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From Colonies to a Nation, 1783-1789. I. The Radicalism of the American Revolution.

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Presentation on theme: "From Colonies to a Nation, 1783-1789. I. The Radicalism of the American Revolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Colonies to a Nation,

2 I. The Radicalism of the American Revolution

3 A. Revolutionary Politics Colonists oppose unfair colonial taxes and colonial elites The Regulators: Reform of colonial government Constitutional Experiments Virginia’s Declaration of Rights Pennsylvania’s unicameralism George Mason Timothy Matlack To symbolize Matlack’s role in drafting the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, the painter included several items in the background, including law books, the great seal of Pennsylvania, the text of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and a powder horn and musket.

4 A. Revolutionary Politics (Cont.) The Articles of Confederation Drafted 1777 as first constitution of the United States Created a pact of independent states, not a national government

5 B. African-Americans and the American Revolution How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negro slaves? -Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1775 Slaves used the broad themes of revolution to escape slavery or agitate for abolition New England moves toward gradual emancipation

6 C. Native-Americans and the Revolution Most natives chose the British Declaration of Independence showed hostility toward Native-Americans Murder of Jane McCrea He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and had endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions Death of Jane McCrea John Vanderlyn’s painted this scene several decades after the event occurred. He took several liberties with history. McCrea’s fiancé, the military figure rushing to rescue her (circled in red), wears the blue uniform of a Continental soldier. In reality McCrea was a Loyalist and her fiancé a British regular.

7 D. Women and the Revolutionary Movement Mercy Otis Warren: Contributed to the Patriot cause theater and the arts Abigail Adams Wife of John Adams and advocate of greater focus on women’s issues during the Revolutionary era

8 II. Creating a New Republic

9 A. Government under the Articles of Confederation(economics) Continental Paper Currency The value of Continental paper currency dropped precipitously as Congress printed more money, and faith in the value of the currency dwindled. Massive inflation, trade deficits, and debt produced the nation’s first depression.

10 A. Government under the Articles of Confederation(diplomacy) Border Disputes in Old Northwest and Southwest The British refused to abandon their forts in the Old Northwest until Congress complied with all the provisions of the Treaty of Paris. In the Old Southwest, Spain frustrated America’s efforts to secure the rights to navigate the Mississippi River. Diplomatic Problems British troops in the west Indian relations Piracy on the high seas

11 A. Government under the Articles of Confederation(Settling the old Northwest) The Northwest Territory Northwest Ordinance of 1787: The final plan for new territories Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

12 A. Government under the Articles of Confederation(Shay’s Rebellion) Court Closings and Major Battles in Shays’s Rebellion Shays and his supporters closed courts in several major towns in central and western Massachusetts. Shaysites and forces loyal to the state of Massachusetts fought a decisive battle at the Springfield state armory, where the Shaysites were routed.

13 B. Constitutional Reform We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation. --George Washington, 1786 Comparison of the Articles of Confederation, Virginia, and New Jersey Plans Although the Virginia and New Jersey plans differed on the issue of representation, each would have given the new government the vital power of taxation.

14 Comparison of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution As this chart shows, the new federal government created by the Constitution was far more powerful than the old government under the Articles of Confederation.

15 National Legislature Enact laws Upper and lower house Executive Veto power Negotiate treaties Issue pardons Judiciary Unclear powers Supposedly weakest of the branches

16 C. Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. --James Madison, The Federalist 1788 Anti-Federalist versus Federalist Ideas Anti-Federalists and Federalists each believed in republican government, but they disagreed over how to structure such a government.

17 Ratification Map Geographical Distribution of the Vote on Ratification Support for the Constitution was strongest along coastal regions and frontiers exposed to threats from external enemies and among small states such as Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. Anti-Federalism was strongest in the backcountry regions of New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the South.


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