Presentation on theme: "The Impact of the American Revolution on American Society"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Impact of the American Revolution on American Society
2 Changes to American Society Blacks demanded the right to freedom in petitions & lawsuitsStates abolished “feudal” laws of primogeniture & entailThe American Revolution led to unintended social changes by forcing many Americans to question the meaning of “equality”Many wanted to eliminate the idea of an American aristocracyFighting British tyranny made slavery seem hypocritical; Abolitionist sentiment grewWomen gained increased statusMany states lowered property qualifications to vote; but none offered universal male suffrageFranklin, Jay, Hamilton founded abolition societies; Washington manumitted his slavesMost states clearly separated church & stateVT, PA, MA abolished slaverySome Southern slave owners privately freed their slaves“Republican Motherhood”—mothers should instill virtue in their childrenIn North, slavery not economically necessary; immigrants resented competing against slave laborVT, PA slavery was abolished; in MA slavery “unconstitutional”But…freed blacks discriminatedIn South, some slave owners privately free slaves, but economic motives too powerful (plantations, cotton gin in 1793, & opening of AL & Miss frontier)Took greater control over family farms & businesses
3 Benjamin Banneker & Phillis Wheatley Benjamin Banneker was a free-born descendant of slaves who became a famous 18th-century astronomer, mathematician and surveyor. He is considered by many to be the first African-American scientist. Banneker was raised on a tobacco farm in rural Maryland, where he attended school but was largely self-taught in the sciences. Although Banneker worked most of his life as a farmer, his analytical and problem-solving skills have become legendary. His achievements are indeed impressive: at age 24 he figured out how to build a clock and constructed one out of wood; he taught himself astronomy and published a popular almanac, Benjamin Banneker's Almanac, from 1792 to 1797; he was appointed to assist in surveying the Federal Territory, the plot of land that was to become Washington, D.C.; he worked on calculating the precise measurement of the meter; and he corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the issue of slavery and the intellectual equality of blacks. Banneker never married and much of his personal life is now a mystery, as his papers and belongings were destroyed in a fire that occurred on the day of his funeral.Phillis Wheatley The first black woman poet of note in the United States. Wheatley's better-known pieces include “To the University of Cambridge in New England,” “To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,” “On the Death of Rev. Dr. Sewall,” and “An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine¼George Whitefield,” the last of which was the first of her poems to be published, in She was escorted by Mr. Wheatley's son to London in 1773, and there her first book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published. Her personal qualities, even more than her literary talent, contributed to her great social success in London. She returned to Boston shortly thereafter because of the illness of her mistress. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley died soon thereafter, and Phillis was freed. In 1778 she married John Peters, an intelligent but irresponsible free black man who eventually abandoned her. At the end of her life Wheatley was working as a servant, and she died in poverty.
4 Postponing Full Liberty The Revolution was limited in its extension of rights & failed to abolish slavery, grant universal male suffrage, or apply equality to women; But……it introduced the ideal of freedom and equality that future generations would use to make these ideals a realityLots of references to the “Spirit of ‘76”World War I propaganda poster6
6 Forming New Governments When independence was declared from England in 1776, colonists considered themselves a new nation & needed a new gov’t:Colonies became individually sovereign states governed by written state constitutionsA national gov’t was needed to provide basic services like sign treaties & develop a militaryIn 1776, the American Revolution has just started; The colonists did not wait to gain British recognition of their independence before creating new governments!
7 States ConstitutionsIn 1776, the new states created written constitutions which:Clearly defined the citizens’ rights & the limits of governmentGuaranteed natural rights; Eight states had bills of rightsAlmost all states reduced the powers of the governor & kept most power in the hands of the people via state legislatures7
8 How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts? The United States, 1783How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts?
9 Defining Republican Culture But, creating a national gov’t that met everyone’s needs was hard:How to balance individual liberty with maintaining order?How to balance property rights with equality?How to create a centralized gov’t without creating a new tyrannical authority?2
10 Defining Republican Culture Civic virtue is now a necessityAmericans set out to create a republican form of government after independence was declared:Gov’t with no king or aristocracyWith power held by the citizensEven though all previous republics had failed, Americans were optimistic this would be an “uncompromising commitment to liberty & equality”2
11 The Articles of Confederation In 1775, three committees were formed to sever ties with England:Thomas Jefferson headed the committee to draft a declaration of independenceJohn Adams headed committee to establish foreign alliancesJohn Dickinson headed a committee to draft a new central government11
12 Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation was adopted as America’s 1st national gov’t in 1777 (but ratified in 1781)The Articles established an intentionally weak central gov’t in order to protect state powerThe confederation-style gov’t gave all 13 states 1 vote in a unicameral congressThere was no national presidentEach state was treated as a pseudo-nationThe war is still going on (will not end until 1781 with Cornwallis surrender & 1783 Treaty of Paris)Too similar to a monarch
13 The Articles of Confederation The Articles were created to loosely tie the states togetherThe only powers granted to the national government were toSettle disputes between states, negotiate treaties, handle Indian affairs, oversee a militaryIt could not tax citizens or states; could only request contributionsLaws required 9 of the 13 statesAmending the gov’t required agreement by all 13 states
14 “A firm league of friendship” The colonies were loosely joined to address common problems"each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power...which is not... expressly delegated to the United States.…"
15 What is the significance of the following quote: “People do not chop off heads so readily when they can chop down trees.”
16 Western Lands The “West” presented a problem: Many states had overlapping land claims in the WestSome “landless” states (MD, NJ, DE) wanted part of West & refused to ratify the Articles without this issue resolvedThe US gov’t negotiated treaties with Indians to gain land in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky12
17 The USA in the “Critical Period” The United States, 1783The USA in the “Critical Period”
18 Western LandsVirginia took the lead to solve the “West problem” by ceding its western claims to the national gov’tOther states, especially NY, ceded their western lands tooBy 1781, Congress (not the states) gained control over all lands west of the AppalachiansWith dispute over, Maryland was the last state to ratify the ArticlesWith the new gov’t finally ratified in 1781, Congress created the Departments of War, Foreign Affairs, & Finance12
19 Western Land Claims Ceded by the States Don’t forget Indian lands tooIndian Land Cessions:
20 The Land Ordinance of 1785The U.S. gov’t was eager to sell off Western lands to settlers to gain revenue (since the gov’t did not have the power to tax)The Land Ordinance of 1785 established an orderly process for laying out western townshipsSection 16 of the each township was dedicated to public schools13
22 The Northwest Ordinance The Northwest Ordinance (1787) gave structure to the NW territory:Created new territories, ruled by a governor, & whose citizens were protected by a bill of rightsResidents could create a legislative assembly when the population reached 5,000Residents could apply for statehood with 60,000 peopleSlavery outlawed in NW lands13
23 Prospectors poured into Kentucky & Tennessee The United States, 1783Because of the 1785 & 1787 ordinances, the Northwest territories were well organized & orderlyProspectors poured into Kentucky & TennesseeBy 1790, the region was plagued by land claims & counterclaims that generated lawsuits for yearsThe USA in 1787Territories south of the Ohio River received less attention from Congress
24 ConclusionsThe Articles of Confederation accomplished exactly what its framers intended:By creating a weak central gov’t, the power of the states was preserved & no tyrants emergedThe weaknesses of the central gov’t failed to meet the long-term needs of the new USA
25 Essential Question:Why did the Americans create the Articles of Confederation & what problems did the Articles present?Warm-Up Question:What major decisions did the new American nation have to answer after winning the war for independence?Lesson Plan for September 9, 2008: Warm-up, Articles of Confed Notes, Examine the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation cartoon
27 The Weaknesses of the Articles The Articles of Confederation served as the framework for the U.S. gov’t from 1781 until 1789:Early in the “Confederation Period,” the weakness of the national gov’t was seen as good because it eliminated tyrannyLater, these same weaknesses kept the gov’t from solving serious national problems
28 Economic ProblemsDuring the American Revolution, colonial boycotts hurt tradeEveryone expected the economy to improve after independence, but the Confederation Congress had a difficult time:Paying off debt & collecting taxesHalting inflationGenerating a favorable balance of trade (foreign & domestic)14
29 Debt, Taxes, & InflationThe gov’t could request, but not require, states to send money to CongressThe U.S. was burdened with $40 million in war debt in 1783:The Confederate Congress could not ease the national debt because it had no power to taxCongress printed $200 million in new currency to pay off debt but this led to massive inflationCreditors demanded repayment of debts at market value
30 Trade Problems under the Articles Connecticut levied heavier duties on Massachusetts goods than on British goodsCongress was unable to create a favorable balance of trade:To raise revenue, states created tariffs on goods from other statesThe lack of hard currency made trade difficultDesire for cheap British goods hurt infant American industriesEngland prohibited its Caribbean colonies from trading with USAThis especially hurt the NorthThis especially hurt Southern planters
31 Economic ProblemsWashington kept generals from overthrowing the new government: "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."The economic stagnation of the Confederation era led to uprisings:The lack of tax revenue & failure of the gov’t to pay soldiers sparked a military coup in 1783 called the Newburgh ConspiracyProperty foreclosures led to desperation & uprising farmers in 1787 called Shays’ RebellionShays’ Rebellion proved to be the convincing event that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787Following his address Washington studied the faces of his audience. He could see that they were still confused, uncertain, not quite appreciating or comprehending what he had tried to impart in his speech. With a sigh, he removed from his pocket a letter and announced it was from a member of Congress, and that he now wished to read it to them. He produced the letter, gazed upon it, manipulated it without speaking. What was wrong, some of the men wondered. Why did he delay? Washington now reached into a pocket and brought out a pair of new reading glasses. Only those nearest to him "As he read the letter, many were in tears" knew he lately required them, and he had never worn them in public. Then he spoke: "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country." This simple act and statement by their venerated commander, coupled with remembrances of battles and privations shared together with him, and their sense of shame at their present approach to the threshold of treason, was more effective than the most eloquent oratory. As he read the letter to their unlistening ears, many were in tears from the recollections and emotions which flooded their memories. As Maj. Samuel Shaw, who was present, put it in his journal, " There was something so natural, so unaffected in this appeal as rendered it superior to the most studied oratory. It forced its way to the heart, and you might see sensibility moisten every eye."15
32 Shay’s Rebellion in Western Massachusetts Poor farmers in western MA were angered over high taxes & prospect of debtors jailDaniel Shays led an uprising & closed debt courts & threatened a federal arsenalIn 1786, nearly 2,000 debtor farmers in western Massachusetts were threatened with foreclosure of their mortgaged property. The state legislature had voted to pay off the state's Revolutionary War debt in three years; between 1783 and 1786, taxes on land rose more than 60 percent. Desperate farmers demanded a cut in property taxes and adoption of state laws to postpone farm foreclosures. The lower house of the state legislature passed relief measures in 1786, but creditors persuaded the upper house to reject the package.When lower courts started to seize the property of farmers such as Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary War veteran, western Massachusetts farmers temporarily closed the courts and threatened a federal arsenal. Although the rebels were defeated by the state militia, they were victorious at the polls. A new legislature elected early in 1787 enacted debt relief.By the spring of 1787, many national leaders believed that the new republic's survival was at risk. The threat of national bankruptcy, commercial conflicts among the states, Britain's refusal to evacuate military posts, Spanish intrigues on the western frontier, and armed rebellion in western Massachusetts underscored the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. The only solution, many prominent figures were convinced, was to create an effective central government led by a strong chief executive.
33 Economic Problems“Nationalists” called for a stronger central gov’t & a constitutional amendment to allow create a 5% import tax & a national bank12 states agreed, but a group of Rhode Island “Localists” refused & killed the amendmentThe failure to reform the Articles led Nationalists to consider the Articles hopelessly defectiveLed by Alexander Hamilton,James Madison, & Robert Morris“A national debt if not excessive, will be a national blessing”—Hamilton15
34 Foreign Policy Problems Congress & the army were too weak to resistThe Articles proved inadequate to handle interstate & foreign affairs:When Americans did not repay legitimate war debts, Britain kept troops in the Ohio ValleySpain refused to recognize the southern U.S. border & closed access to the Mississippi RiverAlgerian pirates attacked & enslaved American merchantsStates argued over river rightsJohn Jay’s Jay-Gardoqui Treaty was met with regional resistance & was rejected in Congress16
35 “Have We Fought for This?” “Have we fought for this? Was it with these expectations that we launched into a sea of trouble?”—George Washington, 1785
36 Constitutional Reform American political ideology changed from the beginning of the American Revolution to the late Confederation period:In the 1770s, American political leaders saw tyranny as the greatest threat to the USABut…by the mid-1780s, they saw ordinary citizens who lacked virtue as the greatest threatThus, states created weak state governors & a weak Articles of ConfederationThe problem is an excess of democracy not an excess of tyrannyShays’ Rebellion will help prove this point to the Founding Fathers17
37 Constitutional Reform Congress did not have the tax funds to send an armyMerchants in MA hired their own mercenary militia to end the uprisingBy 1787, the fatal flaws of the Articles of Confed were exposed:Shays’ Rebellion broke out among desperate MA farmers who faced losing their farms or being sent to debtor’s prisonCongress called for a meeting in Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles & strengthening the national gov’tShays’ Rebellion gave nationalists like Washington, Madison, Hamilton the urgency to call for a stronger national gov’tIn Sept 1786, James Madison led the Annapolis Convention to discuss improving American trade18
39 The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, 1787
40 The Philadelphia Convention Shays Rebellion led to increased support for a stronger central government & more attendance at the Philadelphia ConventionIn May 1787, 55 delegates from all states (except RI) met to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation, but it soon became apparent that something more serious was neededThey did NOT intend to replace the Articles19
41 The Philadelphia Convention Is this a government of the people?The Philadelphia Convention delegates in Philadelphia made 3 important (& illegal) decisions:The Articles of Confederation were to be completely replacedNothing from the meeting was to be printed or spoken to the publicEvery state got 1 vote but all decisions needed a majority vote (not 9 of 13 states) to passTo amend the Articles, all 13 states had to agree
42 Inventing a Federal Republic Delegates incorporated 4 major principles into this new gov’t:Limited gov’t—even though a stronger gov’t was being created, citizens’ liberty is protectedRepublicanism—the people vote for their leadersSeparation of powers—three branches with defined powersFederalism—the national gov’t shares power with state gov’ts21
45 Inventing a Federal Republic James Madison presented the Virginia Plan:Bicameral legislatureLarger states had more representativesCreate a chief executive appointed by CongressWilliam Paterson presented the New Jersey Plan:Congress given power to taxEach state had one vote in a unicameral legislatureBut Articles mostly untouchedSmall states objected to this large-state dominanceThe large states listened politely then overwhelmingly voted against it21
46 The Great CompromiseAlso known as the “Connecticut” Compromise”Roger Sherman helped resolve the differences between the large & small states by proposing the Great CompromiseCongress would be a bicameral legislature (House & Senate)Each state was given 2 delegates in the SenateHouse of Representatives was determined by state populationVictory for the small statesVictory for large statesOnly the House of Reps could introduce tax bills22
47 What did Congress look like after the Great Compromise?
49 The 3/5 CompromiseProblems still remained between the northern & southern states regarding how to count population size (do slaves count?)The Three-Fifths Compromise settled the issue:Three-fifths of the slave population could be counted toward representation in the House of Representatives22
51 Compromising with Slavery Despite the contradiction slavery posed, Southerners threatened to leave the USA anytime the slave question was discussedAs a compromise for the South, the slave trade could continue to 1808 & runaway slaves returned“Great as the evil is, a dismemberment of the Union would be worse.”—James Madison23
52 The Last Details In 1787, a final draft included: Electoral College to vote for the president to “filter the masses”System of checks & balances among the 3 branches of gov’tPresident would serve for 4 years rather than for lifeDelegates decided against a Bill of Rights because most state constitutions already had themIncluding ideas once considered tyrannical: Presidential power to appoint judges & presidential veto power over Congress
55 James Madison helped broker many of the compromises that made the Constitution possible & is referred to as the “father of the Constitution”
56 Key Ideas of the Constitution Only Congress can make laws, declare war, create taxesThe “elastic clause” gives Congress implied powers to make laws seen as “necessary & proper”The Senate ratifies treaties & confirms judicial appointments
57 Key Ideas of the Constitution The president can only recommend legislation to Congress but can veto billsThe president oversees the bureaucracy
58 Key Ideas of the Constitution The only court mentioned in the Constitution is the Supreme Court
59 Federalism—state gov’ts & the national gov’t both have power The supremacy clause establishes the Constitution (not the states) as the "the supreme law of the land"A state law cannot contradict a national law
61 The Struggle for Ratification The delegates in Philadelphia knew that ratification of the new Constitution would not be easy:They had no authority to change the Articles of ConfederationThey did not inform the public of their ongoing decisionsThey fundamentally altered the relationships between the states & the central government
62 Federalists & Anti-Federalists Supported ratification of the ConstitutionWere well-organized & educatedUsed Federalist Papers to argue for ratificationHad the support of the mediaAnti-FederalistsAgainst ratificationDistrusted of a gov’t that removed power from the hands of the peopleClaimed the new Constitution favored the upper classAuthored by Madison, Hamilton, & JayAnti-Federalists argued for more protection of individual liberties“The Constitution is itself a Bill of Rights”26
64 Adding the Bill of Rights To win ratification, the Federalists agreed to add a Bill of RightsWith this protection of citizens’ liberty, all 13 states agreed to ratify the ConstitutionConstitution became the official the law of the land in 1789After bitter fight, most Americans chose to support the ConstitutionIf 1776 was the 1st American Revolution… 1787 was the 2nd American Revolution27
66 Discussion QuestionWhich of the following ideas was most important to the framers of the Constitution in 1787?FederalismSeparation of powers?Checks and balances?Republican democracy?Gov’t limited by the people?Which is most important today?
68 Essential Question:In what ways did the Constitution deviate from the gov’t under the Articles of Confederation?What were the Federalist and Anti-Federalist critiques regarding the new Constitution?Lesson Plan for Thursday, September 11, 2008: RQ 8A, Constitution Notes, Examine Federalist Papers vs. Anti-Federalist documents, & Constitution scavenger hunt