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The REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT America: Past and Present Chapter 6.

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Presentation on theme: "The REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT America: Past and Present Chapter 6."— Presentation transcript:

1 The REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT America: Past and Present Chapter 6

2 Defining a New Political Culture n Post-Revolutionary Divisions – Balancing individual liberty with social order – Balancing property rights with equality n Varying answers result in varying Revolutionary governments

3 Living in a Revolutionary Society n Revolution introduced unintended changes into American society n Hierarchical social relations challenged n Fundamental questions raised about the meaning of equality

4 Social and Political Reform n Changes in laws of inheritance n More liberal voting qualifications n Better representation for frontier settlers n Separation of church and state

5 African-Americans in the New Republic n African-Americans embrace Declaration’s stress on natural rights n Demand right to freedom in petitions, suits n Northern states gradually abolish slavery n Southerners debate abolition – Some privately free slaves – Economic motives overcome republican ideals

6 Limiting Women's Rights n Women demand the natural right of equality n Contribute to new society through “Republican Motherhood” n Women more assertive in divorce, economic life n Denied political and legal rights

7 Postponing Full Liberty n Revolution limited in extension of rights n Introduced ideal of freedom and equality

8 The States: the Lessons of Republicanism n The people demand written constitutions – provide clear definition of rights – describe clear limits of government n Revolutionary state constitutions serve as experiments in republican government n Insights gleaned from state experiences later applied to constructing central government

9 Blueprints for State Government n State constitution writers insist on preparing written documents n Precedents in colonial charters, church covenants n Major break with England’s unwritten constitution

10 Natural Rights and the State Constitutions n State constitutions guarantee cardinal rights – freedom of religion – freedom of speech – freedom of the press – private property n Governors weakened n Elected assemblies given most power

11 Power to the People n Procedure for adoption of Constitution pioneered by Massachusetts – Constitution written by a special convention – Ratification by referendum of the people n State constitutions seen as flawed experiments n Growing sentiment for stronger central government

12 Stumbling toward a New National Government n War for independence requires coordination among states n Central government first created to meet wartime need for coordination

13 Articles of Confederation n John Dickinson’s plan for central government – proposed cession of West to Congress opposed – proposed equality in state representation opposed n Articles of Confederation severely limit central government’s authority over states n States suspicious of Articles

14 Western Land: Key to the First Constitution n Maryland ratification of Articles delayed for Virginia’s renunciation of Western claims n Virginia takes lead in ceding Western claims to Congress n Other states cede claims to Congress n Congress gains ownership of all land west of Appalachians

15 Northwest Ordinance: The Confederation's Major Achievement n Creates 3-5 new territories in Northwest n Population of 5,000 may elect Assembly n Population of 60,000 may petition for statehood n Bill of Rights provided n Slavery outlawed

16 Land Ordinance of 1785

17 Strengthening Federal Authority n Inadequate authority over interstate affairs n Inadequate influence on national economy n Weak foreign policy

18 The Nationalist Critique n Confederation treasury empty n Congress unable to address inflation, debt n Congress has no power to tax n Failure to pay soldiers sparks “Newburgh Conspiracy” (squelched by Washington) n Failure of reform prompts Nationalists to consider Articles hopelessly defective

19 Diplomatic Humiliation n England keep troops on U.S. soil after 1783 n Spain closes New Orleans to American commerce in 1784 –John Jay to negotiate reopening Mississippi –Instead signs treaty favoring Northeast –West and South denounce, Congress rejects Jay-Gardoqui Treaty

20 Have We Fought for This? n By 1785 the country seemed adrift n Washington: “Was it with these expectations that we launched into a sea of trouble?”

21 The Genius of James Madison n Recognition by 1780s of shortcomings in small state republics n Stronger central government gains support n James Madison persuades Americans that large republics could be free and democratic

22 Constitutional Reform n May Annapolis Convention agrees to meet again, write a new constitution n Summer Shay’s Rebellion sparks fears of national dissolution n Crisis strengthens support for new central government

23 The Philadelphia Convention n Convenes May 1787 n 55 delegates from all states except Rhode Island n Delegates possess wide practical experience

24 Inventing a Federal Republic: The Virginia Plan n Central government may veto all state acts n Bicameral legislature of state representatives n Larger states have more representatives n Chief executive appointed by Congress n Small states object to large-state dominance

25 Inventing a Federal Republic: The New Jersey Plan n Congress given greater taxing powers n Articles of Confederation otherwise untouched

26 Compromise Saves Convention n House of Representatives based on population--a victory for the large states n Each state given two delegates in the Senate--a victory for the small states

27 Compromising with Slavery n Issue of slavery threatens Convention’s unity – Northerners tend to be opposed – Southerners threaten to bolt if slavery weakened n Slave trade permitted to continue to 1808 “Great as the evil is, a dismemberment of the Union would be worse.” --James Madison

28 The Last Details n July 26—Committee of Detail formed to prepare rough draft n Revisions to Executive –Electoral College ensures president will not be indebted to Congress –Executive given a veto over legislation –Executive may appoint judges n Decision that Bill of Rights unnecessary

29 We, the People n Convention seeks to bypass vested interests of state legislatures n Power of ratification to special state conventions n Constitution to go into effect on approval by nine state conventions n Phrase “We the People” makes Constitution a government of the people, not the states

30 Whose Constitution? The Struggle for Ratification n Supporters recognized the Constitution went beyond the Convention’s mandate n Document referred to states with no recommendation

31 Federalists n Supported the Constitution n Well-organized n Supported by most of the news media

32 Anti-Federalists n Opposed to the Constitution n Distrusted any government removed from direct control of the people n Suspected the new Constitution favored the rich and powerful

33 Progress of Ratification n Succeed in winning ratification in 11 states by June 1788 n North Carolina ratifies November 1789 n Rhode Island ratifies May 1790 n Americans close ranks behind the Constitution

34 Adding the Bill of Rights n The fruit of Anti-Federalist activism n Nationalists promise to add a bill of rights n First ten amendments added by December 1791

35 Articles, Constitution Compared


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