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The Early Republic and the Constitution. Growth of a National Spirit.

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Presentation on theme: "The Early Republic and the Constitution. Growth of a National Spirit."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Early Republic and the Constitution

2 Growth of a National Spirit

3 What are the border and trade problems? How does the economy respond?

4 Why are these events significant…? Mt Vernon Meeting of MD and VA delegates 1785 Annapolis Convention Sept 1786 Shay’s Rebellion June-Dec 1786 …Review docs The Mad Cry of the Mob - Abigail Adams A Little Rebellion Now and Then – T. Jefferson

5 The Articles of Confederation strengths? weaknesses? It helped win the revolutionary war! Got those critical Land (’85) and Northwest Ordinances (‘87) passed!!!! What were they?

6 1787: Is a stronger central govt. needed? If so, HOW? Under Articles Loose confederation of states; 1 vote/state 2/3 vote 9 votes in Congress Laws executed by committees of Congress No power to levy taxes (asks for voluntary donations) No federal courts Unanimity for amendments reqd. No authority over individuals Under Federal Constitution A firm union of people 2 votes in Senate/Representation by pop in house Simple majority subject to veto Laws executed by exec. Branch Congress regulates interstate and int’l commerce Extensive power to raise taxes Fed courts, with Supreme Court Power to coerce individuals and states

7 Philadelphia Statehouse, Sept, 1787

8 Evolution of a Central Union Attempts at Union Participants 1686-1689 Dominion of New England7 colonies 1754 Albany Plan of Union7 colonies 1765Stamp Act Congress9 colonies 1772-76Committees of Correspondence13 colonies 17741 st Continental Congress12 colonies 1775-1871 2 nd Continental Congress13 colonies 1781-1789 Articles of Confederation13 states 1789Federal Constitution12 states 1790Federal Constitution13 states

9 Key Influences on the Founders British Model of government English Common Law Judeo-Christian ethics Old and New Testaments Enlightenment beliefs Ancient Roman govt Ancient Greek experiment

10 It’s a Bundle of Compromises… 55 delegates, 88 Sessions, 569 votes taken… Great Compromise Slave Trade Compromise 3/5 Compromise Commerce Compromise President is commander in chief, but Congress declares war President serves 4 year terms and may be reelected for as many terms as people want… President is elected by electors, who were themselves elected in a way each state decided best And those crazy Checks & Balances!

11 1787: Going over the heads of the Continental Congress that called the Convention! The Articles is still in effect until ratification. Congress meekly accepts Convention’s proposal… Constitution’s framers stipulated 2/3 of states to ratify it Each state formulates and holds its own ratifying convention. Several small states are quick to ratify…

12 Ratification…2 laggard states… 1.DelawareDec 7, 87 Unanimous 59,096 2.Penn.Dec 12, 8746-23433,611 3.NJDec 18, 87 Unanimous 184,139 4.GeorgiaJan 2, 88 Unanimous 82, 548 5.CTJan 9, 88128-40237,655 6.Mass.Feb 7, 88187-168475, 199 7.MDApril 28, 8863-11319,728 8.SCMay 23, 88149-73249,073 9.NHJune 21, 8857-46141,899 10.VAJune 26, 8889-79747,610 11.NYJuly 26, 8830-27340,241 12.NCNov 21, 89195-77395,055 13.RIMay 29, 9034-32 69,112

13 To ratify?or Not to ratify?

14 What evidence is there for the following assertion? “The basic principles of the Constitution were firmly grounded in the political and religious experience of America’s colonial and revolutionary period.”

15 Was the ratification of the Constitution a triumph of conservative concerns? Yes No ?

16 Classical Greco-Roman Influence Wisdom All 4 of these in architectural balance: Plato and Aristotle Justice FortitudeTemperance

17 Excavations of the Ruins of Italian Cities Herculaneum in 1738 Pompeii in 1748

18 Overview of Neo-Classicism 1.Art and architecture produced in Europe and North America from the mid-18c to the early 19c. Neo=new, or revived 2.More than just an antique revival  a reaction against aristocratic Baroque 3.Revived study of ancient literature in original 4.Linked to political events: Revolutions established republics in France and in America

19 The “Federal Style” 1780 – 1820 Thomas Jefferson’s influence Monticello University of VA U. S. Capitol Virginia Statehouse

20 Virgil 70-19BC

21 The Great Seal on the US Dollar

22 Washington’s presidency (1789-97) Strengths Weaknesses Whiskey Rebellion? Jay’s Treaty? Pinkney’s Treaty? Battle of Fallen Timbers?

23 What Classical symbols do you see in Stuart’s portrait? George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. * This was originally a gift from Senator Bingham of Pennsylvania to the Marquis of Landsdowne, an English lord who had supported the American Revolution.

24 Historiography Time! Charles Beard An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the US (1913) His Thesis: Constitution’s creation was a reactionary phase by conservative property owners to preserve their wealth by curtailing democratic excesses of the Revolution. Consensus on this today ?

25 ? Does a republican govt. rest more on the virtue of its citizenry, or on the proper structure of the government? “We are not forming plans for a Day, Month, Year or Age, but for Eternity. Let us endeavour with united Councils to establish a Government that not only may render our Nation great, respectable, free, and happy, but also VIRTUOUS. Let us try to combine political Establishments with moral Virtue...” - John Dickinson, DEL Delegate

26 A Prerequisite of Republicanism "The preservation of liberty rested on the ability of the people to maintain effective checks on wielders of power and hence in the last analysis rested on the vigilance and moral stamina of the people...." - Historian Bernard Bailyn

27 The Indispensable Character of George Washington “Nothing but harmony, honesty, industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and happy people.” Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, Mount Vernon, January 29, 1789 And why it still matters


29 Who is a “person of character”? 1.How would you define that? 2.What qualities would he/she have?*

30 A firm and seasoned substance of the soul… “What I mean by character is a firm and seasoned substance of the soul. I mean such qualities as intelligence, thoughtfulness, conscientiousness, right- mindedness, patience, fortitude, long-suffering, and unconquerable resolve.” Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (qtd in Palmer 391) Anyone read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara?

31 An Overview of Washington’s Character and Virtues Visionary Honest Courageous Temperate Ambitious Personally Responsible Determined Strong Work Ethic Faithful Wise Good Judgment Learns from Mistakes Educates himself (Adapted from Rees, James. George Washington’s Leadership Lessons. Wiley & Sons, 2007.)

32 The Houdon Life Mask, 1784, made at Mt Vernon

33 Houdon Sculpture at the Louvre

34 Classical Influences Richmond Statehouse

35 Self Control Explosive temper kept publicly under control Rules of Civility, a Jesuit book of 110 rules, copied and memorized as a boy.

36 Self Control 1 st. Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. 2 nd. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered. 3 rd. Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him. 4rd. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.

37 Courage: Political and otherwise.. Washington-Mason Resolutions in VA House protest Intolerable Acts He called for First Continental Congress ’74 “If you speak of solid information and sound judgment, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest man on that floor.” - P. Henry 1774 Revolutionary Battle Flag, "Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God," 1776

38 Wisdom: Good Judgment The first “Team of Rivals” Creates a cabinet of best/brightest, not yes men Who was in his Cabinet? Hamilton Jefferson Knox Randolph He wore a brown suit made in Hartford to his inaugural. Why?

39 Honesty Parson Weems’ cherry tree story contained a seed of truth General Washington demanded his army foragers and his quartermaster pay for all goods, not seize them. Grant Wood’s Parson Weems Fable, 1939

40 Horatio Greenough’s controversial sculpture, commissioned 1832, centennial of GW’s birth and delivered in 1841. This now sits in the Smithsonian Museum of American History


42 Washington’s Farewell Speech (1796) Let’s Soapstones this orally in class… S O A P S Tone S



45 Washington’s death Dec., 1799 Wait 3 days before entombment Manumission of his slaves Mount Vernon: The House Washington’s Tomb (top L) 2 friends dedicating wreath Slave Memorial (lower R)

46 Foreign and Domestic Affairs by George ! Proclamation of Neutrality 1793 Citizen Edmond “Genet Affair” 1793 Attacks on neutral countries’ shipping Jay’s Treaty 1795 - effigies Pinckney’s Treaty 1795 WEST Whiskey Rebellion 1794 - Hamilton Battle of Fallen Timbers 1794 – L’l Turtle &L’l Wayne Washington’ Farewell 1796

47 Hamilton WANTS his Plan…$$$ What was it? (Hints) Report on Public Credit Report on Manufactures WANT : 4 Parts War Bonds and Securities: Pay in full to individuals; not discrimination Assumption: Take on state debts National Bank Necessary and Proper Clause: 1.8.18 in Constitution Tariffs promote manufacturing and commerce

48 Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!! Hamilton-Jefferson 1790s Debate

49 In small groups: Compare and Contrast Washington’s and Adam’s Presidencies

50 Remember the ladies, John… Did you know? New Jersey temporarily gave property-owning women the right to vote in 1776 (for 30 years) when their new state constitution vaguely worded the criteria for citizenship. How many voted is not known. Also, women temporarily voted but then lost the right in 1777 in NY, 1780 in Mass., and 1784 in NH Those permissive Puritans! Lydia Taft was the first woman to vote legally in America from 1756-68 at the Town Meeting of Uxbridge, Mass…

51 John Adams’ Presidency 1797-1801 "People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity." – John Adams Election of 1796 and Hamilton’s intrigues Pinkney Jefferson Partisanship intensifies Foreign affairs dictate much of what happens…

52 Foreign Affairs and JA The Quasi-War XYZ Affair 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts 1798 Naturalization Act Alien Enemies Act Alien Act Sedition Act Internal matters: VA and KY resolutions

53 American Delegation 5-Headed Directory and…

54 Q: Assess the conduct of American diplomacy in the 1790s. How important was it to the course of domestic politics? Let’s look at GW thru Adams presidencies.

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