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The Republican Experiment Trial and Error in Forging a New Union.

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Presentation on theme: "The Republican Experiment Trial and Error in Forging a New Union."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Republican Experiment Trial and Error in Forging a New Union

2 I. A Republican Crusade Ideological Foundations of a New Nation --Liberty vs. Equality --Republicanism vs. Democracy Desire for a pure, virtuous republican society free of luxury and aristocratic pretense Desire for “relative economic” equality Growing sentiment north and south that slavery is wrong Growing voice for women in politics Disestablishment of Colonial churches

3 II.... And yet, a Contradiction New nation characterized by a frantic scramble for wealth Distribution of wealth more inequitable than ever No significant changes in property holding or expansion of the electorate Cotton gin (1793) and the opening of the Alabama/Mississippi frontier encouraged growth of slavery Women gain no lasting political or legal power

4 III. Republicanism on the State Level The struggle between tradition and change New state constitutions The novelty of written constitutions A listing of natural rights in several of the state constitutions Reduction of gubernatorial power Constitutions become more conservative over time Growing political voice accorded to the frontier

5 IV. The West: A Republican “Problem” and “Opportunity” Easterners worried about the virtue of frontier folk Fear that this new nation would be too large for effective, virtuous politics British haven’t left the west yet and Native Americans represent obstacle to expansion Conflict between some states over western land claims West allows for the possibility of an agrarian republic

6 IV. Republicanism on the National Level: Experiment #1

7 A. The Articles of Confederation ( ) Components of the Articles Confederation government brought order to the west --Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784) --Land Ordinance of Northwest Ordinance (1787)

8 B. Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Government Economic --Judicial Review of the “Forcing Act” (1787) --Shays Rebellion (1786) Military --Newburgh Conspiracy (1783) --Joseph Brant Diplomatic Political

9 VI. Republicanism on the National Level: Experiment #2

10 A. The Constitutional Convention (Summer, 1787) James Madison: “Father” of the Constitution Motivation for and Timing of the Convention Who was and was not there? Secrecy and Voting

11 B. Constitutional Controversy and Compromise The Issue of State representation in the National Government --Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan --Connecticut Compromise The Issue of Slavery Key Ingredients of the U.S. Constitution The concept of Federalism No Bill of Rights incorporated in the document

12 C. Ratification of the New Constitution Procedure for ratification Significance of the phrase, “We, the people of the United States” Proponents of the Constitution = Federalists Opponents = Anti- Federalists

13 C. Ratification of the New Constitution (cont) The Federalist Papers ( ) Arguments employed “pro” and “con” History of the ratification vote


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