Presentation on theme: " Objectives: What were two early attempts at unity among the colonies? What British Policies pushed the colonies to cooperate with one another? "— Presentation transcript:
Objectives: What were two early attempts at unity among the colonies? What British Policies pushed the colonies to cooperate with one another? What were some of the ideals that influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence? How were governments of the newly independent states similar?
Searching for Unity: Uniting the 13 colonies was a difficult task that presented several obstacles at first, however, the British governments actions eventually united the colonists in a common cause: Independence. Obstacles: ▪ Colonists who came to North America for different reasons such as: ▪ To make money from natural resources in Virginia ▪ Practice religion freely, the Puritans ▪ Georgia was created as a refuge for debtors instead of going to jail Varying economies and geography also led to differences among the colonies
However large the differences amongst colonists seemed, the need for protection among danger was more of a priority, therefore the first attempt at unity was the New England Confederation. The NEC was created in The four colonies in this confederation worked together to defend against attacks by Native Americans or by settlers of a nearby Dutch settlement. However, the confederation had few powers and didn’t last long. It ended in 1684.
Another attempt at Unity was the Albany Plan of Union proposed by Benjamin Franklin. The plan called for a council of colonial representatives that could levy taxes and raise an army. However the British government and individual colonies rejected the plan and it was never put into effect.
Although a need for common defense did not bring the colonists together, other developments brought the colonies closer together. At the same time, however, these developments strained the relationship with the colonies and Great Britain. Political Distance and British Policies were two of the main reasons the colonists were not getting along with the crown.
The political distance between the colonies and Britain widened even further after 1760, when the British throne was passed to George III. There was a growing attitude among parliament that the colonies had grown too independent. The biggest problem was the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), which had plunged Britain deep into debt, therefore, the solution was to tax the colonists. ▪ To help raise money, the government under George III began to enforce a number of taxes and trade restrictions, such as the Stamp Act, which required the colonists to pay a tax on many paper goods. I.E. Newspaper, contracts, decks of cardsStamp Act
Many colonists were outraged and decided that this was an unfair practice to colonial business. Colonists argued that taxation without representation was tyranny. Therefore, in October 1765, representatives from nine colonies met in New York at the Stamp Act Congress and decided to boycott British goods. This eventually led to the Boston Tea party and then the first Continental Congress.
In 1774, delegates from all the colonies except Georgia met in Philadelphia at the first Continental Congress. The Congress protested British policies and sent King George III the Declaration of Resolves. Officials in the British government responded with stricter measures to tighten control over the colonies.Declaration of Resolves The growing tensions led to battles between British troops and colonial militia at Lexington and Concord on April Therefore the Second Continental Congress was established.
Finally the colonists were ready to fight. The American Revolution began on April 19, On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress began and became the FIRST government of the new United States and produced the Declaration of Independence.Second Continental Congress The Declaration of Independence was written by a committee of five men: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. However, Jefferson wrote most of the document.
Most of the fighting in the Revolutionary War ended with a US victory at the Battle of Yorktown in A challenge now lay before the 13 independent states- that of forming a national government. In the same year the war ended, the states created a confederation, or what they called a “league of friendship”. The weaknesses of this confederation made unity among the states difficult and created pressure for a stronger national government.
In 1777 the Second Continental Congress created a document to form a single national government. This document, the Articles of Confederation loosely held the 13 states together. The 1780’s were problem-filled years for the United States. Although the states wanted a permanent government, they didn’t want it to have too much power. The 13 states ratified the Articles of Confederation in This form of government had too many weaknesses!
The Articles of Confederation, ratified in 1871, limited the power of the national government.
The founding fathers also created a central government that had power to do little more that set up an army and a navy, make war and peace, and settle state disputes. This government consisted of only one branch, Congress, which was unicameral. Each state had one vote and each year, Congress choose one of its members as presiding officer.
The National Government had no power to make the States obey the Articles or the laws it passed. They had no power to tax and printed its own money. When Shay’s Rebellion broke out in Massachusetts, many leaders were convinced that American had to strengthen its government! Weaknesses of the Government: Weaknesses of the Government ▪ One vote for each State, regardless of size ▪ Congress powerless to collect taxes or duties ▪ Congress powerless to regulate foreign and interstate commerce ▪ No executive to enforce acts of Congress ▪ No national court system ▪ Amendment only with consent of all the states ▪ A 9/13 majority required to pass laws ▪ Articles only a “firm league of friendship”