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Unit II: Founding the Constitution From Colonies to States.

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1 Unit II: Founding the Constitution From Colonies to States

2 Early Settlement Roanoke: 1585 – precious metals Jamestown (VA): 1606 – permanent colony, some agriculture, trade, precious metals… profit for Virginia Company of London Massachusetts Bay (MA): 1620 – religious haven for Puritans… escaping Europe

3 Others… Maryland: 1634 – George Calvert (Lord Baltimore)… haven for Roman Catholics / religious toleration NY: 1626 – originally a Dutch colony (New Amsterdam)… trade (taken over by English in 1664) (similar settlement of NJ & DE) CT / NH / RI: 1630s – remnants of Puritan communities… religious independence Carolinas: 1653 – proprietors… protect against Spanish piracy… business venture Georgia: 1733 – buffer against Spanish Florida… settled in part by debtors Pennsylvania: 1682 – proprietor… Quaker haven

4 The Unique American Identity To what extent does a uniquely American identity develop in British N America? Political: – Corporate / Proprietary / Royal – Colonial gov’t Economic: – Yeoman farming & land – Cash crop plantation farming – Trade (w/ natives, slavery…) Religious: – Opportunity / freedom (MD: Religious Toleration Act) Social: – New class system (land?) Intellectual: – Survival, independence, opportunity Area: – Geography, land, wilderness

5 Crevecoeur (1770) … Whence came all these people? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes. From this promiscuous breed, that race now called Americans have arisen… In this great American asylum, the poor of Europe have by some means met together, and in consequence of various causes; to what purpose should they ask one another what countrymen they are? Alas, two-thirds of them had no country… Formerly they were not numbered in any civil lists of their country, except in those of the poor. Here they rank as citizens. By what invisible power has this surprising metamorphosis been performed? By that of the laws and that of their industry…They receive ample regards for their labors; these accumulated rewards procure them lands; those lands confer on them the title of freemen

6 The Navigation Acts 1621 Virginia tobacco can be sold only in England. English tobacco crop prohibited. 1650-51 Navigation Acts forbid import of all goods except in English ships or ships owned by producing country (No third parties); foreign ships barred from the colonies. Acts are not anti-Colonial, but aimed at Dutch; Dutch War breaks out 1652; peace in 1654 1660 Provides for no goods in and out of colonies except in British ships or ships with 1/4 British crews; Certain goods (indigo, sugar, tobacco) may be shipped only to England. 1662Goods may be imported in English-built ships only 1663 Staples Act: European goods bound for the colonies must go in English-built ships from England. Colonial governors may grant authority to naval officers.

7 B. Franklin (1751) Land being thus plenty in America, and so cheap as that a laboring man that understands husbandry can, in a short time, save money enough to purchase a piece of new land sufficient for a plantation, whereon he may subsist a family, such are not afraid to marry. For, if they even look far enough forward to consider how their children, when grown up, are to be provided for, they see that more land is to be had at rates equally easy… Hence marriages in America are more… and generally early, than in Europe… and if in Europe they have but four births to a marriage, we may here reckon eight…

8 “The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon” (1770s) Curiosity is natural to the soul of man… Thus we behold Kentucky, lately an howling wilderness, the habitation of savages and wild beasts, become a fruitful field; this region, so favourably distinguished by nature, now become the habitation of civilization… in the midst of a raging war, and under all the disadvantages of emigration to a country so remote from the in habited parts of the continent. Here, where the hand of violence shed the blood of the innocent; where the horrid yells of savages, and the groans of the destressed… we now hear the praises and adoration of our Creator… It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America…

9 Origins of Political Discontent French & Indian War (1754-1763) – Competition for land between American colonists and French traders – Results: 20 times pre war British debt Mercantilism – Proper role of colonies within this system (Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations - 1776) – Balance of trade / bullionism – Tax basis

10 Political Discontent (cont.)… End to Salutary Neglect – More aggressive taxation – enforcement Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Quartering Act, Townshend Acts, Restraining Act, Tea Act… Stamp Act (1765) – required an official seal or stamp to be placed on any official or legal documents such as marriage licenses, newspapers, deeds to property, court documents etc – The tax was relatively low and considered quite reasonable by the British… the difficulty was that the duty had to be paid in gold or silver and applied to everyone – Response: gentry relentlessly petition the British gov’t to no avail, others responded with violence, particularly directed towards tax collectors




14 Document Analysis For EACH primary source… – What specifically is the argument being made? – What specific injustices are the British responsible for? – What should be the proper relationship between the British and the American colonies? – What references are made to concerning the proper role of government?

15 Issue #1: Gov’t debt Situation: Nation owed $160 million in war debts Problems: -under the A.O.C., the states, not Congress, had the power to tax -the national currency was worthless -AOC required unanimous approval of legislation… single states blocked revenue bills Essential Question: How can the federal government pay off its war debts without the ability to raise revenue?

16 Issue #2: Foreign Policy Situation: new federal government faced threats by foreign nations Problems: -Spain closed the Mississippi River to American commerce -Britain retained military positions in the Northwest -tensions from debts owed to France Essential Question: How does the new United States protect its territorial interests and maintain good relations with foreign countries?

17 Issue #3: A Failing Economy Southern states: -disrupted southern commerce (particularly tobacco) -loss of 60,000 slaves -Orders in Council of 1783 – no trade with the West Indies -loss of lines of credit with British bankers Northern states: -Mass. shipbuilding industry w/o buyers -merchants of British commodities w/o buyers -economic localism: interstate tariffs

18 The Critical Period Economic: – Legacy of the Revolutionary war State & Federal debts Physical destruction / infrastructure State of trade Political: – Independence / sovereignty of state governments – Articles of Confederation Powers vs weaknesses Social: – Threats to social order / stability – Exodus of loyalists / torries – Expansion of the poor

19 The Articles of Confederation Drafted by the Continental Congress and put into use 1777 (formally ratified by 1781) Gives legitimacy to the Continental Congress to manage the Revolutionary War, negotiate with European nations, address territorial issues, and deal with Native Americans Weaknesses: – Unicameral legislature (no separation of powers) – No chief executive – Respects state sovereignty (weak central gov’t) – Congress did not have the power to tax or to regulate commerce – Required unanimous approval to be amended (all states represented equally = 1 vote)

20 Shays’ Rebellion Context: – post Revolution state debts dominated economic concerns – economic losses and currency weaknesses create a desperate poor class of yeomanry – MASS state legislature raises property taxes to pay debts Farmer’s Concerns: – lack of hard currency… little available paper currency – high taxation – threatened with foreclosure of property Result: – riots / demonstrations (led by Daniel Shays… that makes the rebellion HIS!) – efforts to close the courts Significance: – under the AOC, the federal gov’t did not have the power to raise an army, nor the power to tax the states to pay for an army – left unchecked, these protestors threatened the political stability of MASS – indicates the inability to respond to foreign aggressors (British invasion from Canada?)


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