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Consider: What were some of the major reasons (real or perceived) for the American Revolution? Homework: Assignment 4 for Thursday.

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Presentation on theme: "Consider: What were some of the major reasons (real or perceived) for the American Revolution? Homework: Assignment 4 for Thursday."— Presentation transcript:

1 Consider: What were some of the major reasons (real or perceived) for the American Revolution? Homework: Assignment 4 for Thursday


3 Roots of the New American Nation  Trade and Taxation  Mercantilism Strict import/export controls - Widely ignored  *Costly French and Indian War New taxes on sugar (Sugar Act) and paper items (Stamp Act)  “No taxation without representation”  First Steps Toward Independence  Stamp Act Congress formed to address grievances  Boston Massacre  Continental Congress  First and Second Continental Congress  Declaration of Independence 2.1

4 Steps to the Constitution Declaration of Independence  Preceded by Lee’s Resolution in June of 1776 The Articles of Confederation The meeting at Mt. Vernon The Annapolis Convention – and another Lee Resolution

5 Lee’s Resolution for Independence At the 2 nd Continental Congress  By Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, at the behest of that state’s legislature  May of sections:  Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.  That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.  That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation. Tabled for a few weeks, DoI was written in this “off period”  Once approved in early July, DoI was officially approved

6 The Declaration of Independence Drafted mainly by Jefferson, with minor edits from Committee of 5 (mostly Franklin and Adams) Officially adopted by Continental Congress on morning of July 4 th, but not engrossed and signed until August  Lee Resolution for Independence adopted on July 2 nd The Declaration of Independence is made up of several distinct parts: the introduction; the preamble; the body, which can be divided into two sections; and a conclusion.  Think of it as a “break up note”…

7 At the National Archives


9 Consider: What elements of Locke’s philosophy are found in the DoI? Homework: Assignment 5 for Monday; AoC Collaborize for Tuesday

10 Parts of the DoI Not everyone agrees on how many different, distinct “parts” there are, but we can break it down Introduction  BuN – Why you are writing the note  “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind…” Preamble  BuN – What you believe in  “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” List of Grievances  BuN – What you did to me  “To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” Statement of Separation  BuN – We are done  “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states…”

11 Questions about the DoI Who were the various audiences?  Which portions may have addressed those audiences? Why do you think Jefferson maintains that independence, and not reconciliation, is necessary? Locke’s philosophy…

12 SECTION 2: DECLARATION OF NATURAL RIGHTS “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. – WHAT ELEMENTS OF LOCKE’S PHILOSOPHY ARE EVIDENT IN THIS SECTION? The Declaration of Independence

13 How Influential was the DoI?

14 Consider: How did the experiences of the colonists under the King influence the Articles of Confederation? Homework: Assignment 5 for tomorrow; Ch ½ Friday Quiz; AoC Collaborize for Mon/Wed.

15 The Articles of Confederation Describe the type of gov. that existed under the AoC.  Branches of government? Why/how did each of these aspects weaken the AoC?  No Chief Executive  Laws needed 9/13 states to be approved  No power to tax, only request $$  No power to raise army, only request  No national court system  Amendments must be agreed to by all states  No power to settle interstate disputes -A plan for national government drafted in 1777 to bring order to the nation and govern during and after the revolution. -- Fully went into effect in 1781

16 A Return to the Articles? For these reasons, it has become accepted knowledge that the Articles of Confederation failed, and led to the adoption of a constitution which created a stronger central government…  But some today contend that a return to this document might solve some of our current problems…


18 Consider: What was the dilemma that the Framers faced in trying to correct the problems with the AoC? Homework: Assignment 6 for Monday; Collaborize for Mon/Wed

19 Lesser Known Steps to the Convention The Mt. Vernon Conference (March 1785)  Proposed a number of agreements between Virginia and Maryland relating to the regulation of navigation and interstate commerce on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.  Some agreements were reached there, but feeling that similar problems were common to all the states, the delegates recommended a general conference.  In January 1786, Virginia invited all the states to a special meeting at Annapolis in September to discuss commercial issues. The Annapolis Convention (Sept. 1786)  12 representatives from 5 states met; agreed a larger meeting was necessary  “That there are important defects in the system of the Federal Government is acknowledged by the Acts of all those States, which have concurred in the present Meeting; That the defects, upon a closer examination, may be found greater and more numerous, …is at least so far probable, from the embarrassments which characterize the present State of our national affairs, …  Under this impression, Your Commissioners, …suggest … if the States, …would [undertake] …, to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union;…”

20 What was the significance of Shays’ Rebellion? 2.2

21 The Dilemma of the Framers During the 1780’s, what did many people in the United States come to realize about the AoC?  What was the dilemma that the Framers faced in trying to correct this problem? Madison, in Federalist 37…  “It has been shown in these papers, …the existing Confederation is founded on principles which are fallacious; … that the other confederacies which could be consulted as precedents have been vitiated (reduced in value) by the same erroneous principles, and can therefore furnish no other light than that of beacons, which give warning of the course to be shunned, without pointing out that which ought to be pursued. … Among the difficulties encountered by the convention, a very important one must have lain in combining the requisite stability and energy in government, with the inviolable attention due to liberty and to the republican form.”

22 Mindset of the Framers What was the mandate given to the delegates sent to Philadelphia in 1787?  Why did they choose to exceed that mandate?  Was this necessary? How might we have responded to the nature of the convention in today’s society? If the Convention did exceed its authority, should it have anyway?

23 Characteristics and Motives of the Framers  All wealthy/well-to-do white males Common characteristics?  “Republican” motives  Acted in the spirit of building a representative democracy according to certain principles  Pragmatic/Political Motives  The art of what is possible  Economic/Social Order motives Maintain property rights which benefited them Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (“Framing the Constitution”, in Woll) Maintain social order which benefited them

24 Video: The Big Picture IA_1/polisci/presidency/OConner_Ch02_The_Constitution_ Seg1_v2.html 2

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