Varieties of Republicanism
Ancient history and political theory informed the first, held chiefly by the educated elite (such as the Adamses of Massachusetts). The histories of popular governments in Greece and Rome suggested that republics could succeed only if they were small and homogeneous. According to classical republican theory, unless a republic's citizens were virtuous men willing to forgo personal profit for the best interests of the nation, the government would collapse. In return for sacrifices, a republic offered equality of opportunity. Rank would be based on merit rather than inherited wealth and status. Society would be governed by the "natural aristocracy" men whose talent elevated them from possibly humble beginnings to positions of power.
A second definition, advanced by other elites and some skilled craftsmen drew on economic theory. Followed Scottish theorist Adam Smith in emphasizing individuals' pursuit of rational self-interest. When republican men sought to improve their own economic and social circumstances, the nation would benefit. Virtue would be achieved through the pursuit of private interests, rather than through subordination to communal ideas.
Third was less influential but more egalitarian than the others. Men who advanced this theory, like Thomas Paine, called for widening men's political participation. They wanted government to respond directly to the needs of ordinary folk. They were democrats in the modern sense. For them, the untutored wisdom of the people embodied republican virtue.
In the first version, that virtue manifested itself in frugality and self-sacrifice; in the second, it would prevent self-interest from becoming vice; in the third, it was the justification for including propertyless freemen as voters.
Judith Sargent Murray, Abigail Adams
From Massachusetts, she became the chief theorist of women's education in the early republic. She argued that women and men had equal intellectual capacities, but inadequate education might make women seem less intelligent. Therefore, she believed boys and girls should be offered equivalent schooling. She further contended that girls should be taught to support themselves: "Independence should be placed within their grasp." He views were part of a general rethinking of women's position that resulted from the Revolution. Consequently, Americans considered new ideas about women's roles in republican society.
WOMENS RIGHTS ADVANCEMENTS
She addressed he husband in March 1776, "In the new Code of Laws which i suppose it will be necessary for you to make i desire you would remember the ladies." The quote continues, stating that men can become tyrants and that women would rebel if they were not heard. She argued that because men were "Naturally Tyrannical," the United Sates should reform marriage laws, which subordinated wives to their husbands, giving men control of family property and denying wives the right to independent legal action. She did not ask for women suffrage, but others claimed that right. In New Jersey "all free inhabitants" who met property qualifications could vote, so women could vote. That women voted at all was evidence of their altered perception of their place in the nation's political life.
The ideal republican man was an individualist, seeking advancement for himself and his family. The ideal republican women always put the well-being of others first.
"the first emancipation"
European and African Americans saw the irony in slaveholders' claims that they sought to prevent Britain from "enslaving" them. In 1773 Dr. Benjamin Rush called slavery "a vice which degrades human nature" warning ominously that "the plant of liberty is of so tender a nature that it cannot thrive long ominously in the neighborhood of slavery" African Americans used revolutionary ideology to their advantage.
Both legislatures responded negatively, but the postwar years witnessed the gradual abolition of slavery in the North. Vermont banned slavery in 1777 constitution. Responding to lawsuits filed by enslaved men an women, Massachusetts courts ruled in 1783 that the state constitution prohibited slavery. (read 161 for other places). South Carolina and Georgian never considered any such acts, and North Carolina insisted that manumissions be approved by country courts.
Revolutionary ideology thus had limited impact on the economic interests of large slaveholders. Only in northern states-societies with slaves, not slave societies-could state legislatures abolished slavery. Even there, legislators' concern for the property rights of slave owners led them to favor gradual over immediate emancipation. For example, New York's law freed children born into slavery after July 4 1799, but only once they reached their mid-twenties. Laws failed to emancipate the existing slave population. As late as 1840 the census recorded the presence of slaves in several northern states.
Growth of the Free black population, the Brown Fellowship Society, racist theory, Benjamin Banneker
This population grew dramatically in the initial post-Revolution years. Most slaves emancipated before the war were mulattos, born of unions between bonds women and their masters, who manumitted the children. Wartime escapees from plantations, slaves who served in the American army, and those emancipated by owners or by state laws contributed to the nearly 60,000 free people of color by 1790. Ten years later they numbered more than 108,000, nearly 11 percent of the total African American population.
In the Chesapeake, manumissions were speeded by economic changes, such as declining soil fertility and the shift from tobacco to grain production. Because grain cultivation was less labor-intensive than tobacco growing, planters had excess slaves. They occasionally solved that problem by freeing less productive or more favored bonds people. The enslaved also negotiated agreements with owners allowing them to live and work independently until they could purchase themselves. Virginia and Maryland free people.
Beginning in the 1780s, rural freed people headed to northern port cities, such as Boston and Philadelphia for better employment opportunities. Women outnumbered male migrants by 3 to 2. They exchanged the surnames of former masters for names like Newman or Brown and established independent 2 parent families. They also began to occupy distinct neighborhoods, probably due to discrimination. Even weights who recognized African Americans' right to freedom were unwilling to accept them as equals. Laws discriminated against freedpeople as they had against slaves. Several states-among them Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina-free blacks from testifying aginst whites in court. New Englanders used indenture contracts to control freed youths, who were often denied public education. Freedmen found it difficult to purchase property and find good jobs. Gradually, freed people developed their own institutions. In Charleston, mulattos formed the ______ _______ ________, which provided insurance for hem, financed a school, and helped support orphans.
Before the revolution, European Americans regarded slaves as inferior. Influential writers argued that African slaves' seemingly debased character derived from their enslavement, rather than enslavement's being the consequence of inherited inferiority. In the Revolutions aftermath, slaveowners needed to defend human bondage against the proposition that "all men are created equal." They argued that people of African descent were less than fully human and that the principles of republican equality applied only to European Americans. Experience as slaves on American soil forged the identity African or black from the various ethnic and national affiliations of people who survived the transatlantic crossing (Africans were oceanic sailors) With racism came first the assertion that, as Thomas Jefferson insisted in 1781, blacks were "inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind." THere followed the belief that blacks were congenitally lazy, even though owners often argued that slaves were natural workers. Third was the notion that blacks were sexually promiscuous and that African American men lusted after European American women. But the common sexual exploitation of enslaved women by their masters aroused little concern
African Americans challenged these racists notions. In 1791 ________ _________, a free black mathematical genius, sent Thomas Jefferson a copy of his latest almanac (including astronomical calculations) to show blacks' mental powers. Jefferson admitted Banneker's intelligence, but said Banneker was exceptional and he needed more evidence before he would change his mind about the inferiority of people of African descent.
state constitutions/revised state constitutions
In may 1776 this directed states to devise new republican governments to replace the provincial conventions and committees that had met since colonial governments in 1774 and 1775. Thus American men devoted little attention to their national government-an oversight they would later remedy. At the state level, political leaders had trouble defining a constitution and concluded that legislative bodies should not draft their constitutions. Following Vermont in 1777 and Massachusetts in 1780, they elected conventions exclusively to draft constitutions. Thus states sought authorizing from the people-the theoretical sovereigns in a republic-before establishing new governments. After preparing new constitutions, delegates submitted them to voters for ratification. Framers of state constitutions concerned themselves with outlining the distribution of and limitations on government power. If authority was not confined within reasonable limits, states might become tyrannical, as Britain had.
PAST VS PRESENT
Under colonial charters, Americans learned to fear the power of the governor-usually the appointed agent of the king or proprietor-and to see the legislature as their defender. Accordingly, the first of these typically provided for the governor to be elected annually (commonly by the legislature), limited the number of terms he could serve, and gave him little independent authority. Every state except Pennsylvania and Vermont retained a 2 house structure, with members of the upper house having longer terms and meeting higher property-holding standards than members of the lower house. They also redrew electoral districts to reflect population patterns. Finally most states lowered property qualifications for voting. Attempt to broaden the base of American government.
Constitution majors put greater emphasis on preventing state governments from becoming tyrannical than making them effective wielders of political authority. Establishing such weak political unit, especially in wartime, practically ensured that constitutions would need revision in 1780s. The revised constitutions increased the powers of the governor and reduced those of the legislature. By 1780s, system of checks and balances between government bodies created.
Articles of Confederations
Constitutional theories applied at the state level did not immediately influence Americans' conception of national government. Because American officials initially focused on the war, the Continental Congress evolved by default. Not until late 1777 did Congress send the ________ __ ________ which outlined a national government-to the states for ratification, and those Articles simply made law the unplanned arrangements of the Continental Congress.
The chief organ of national government was a unicameral legislature in which each state had one vote. Its powers included conducting foreign relations, mediating interstate disputes, controlling maritime affairs, regulating Indian trade, and valuing state and national coinage. The Articles required unanimous consent of state legislatures for ratification or amendment. A clause concerning western lands proved troublesome. The draft accepted by Congress allowed state to retain land claims from their original charters. But states with definite western boundaries (such as Maryland and New Jersey) of the Appalachian Mountains. They feared states with large claims could expand and overpower smaller neighbors. mARYLAND REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE aRTICLES UNTIL 1781, WHEN vIRGINIA SURRENDEred it western holdings to national jurisdiction. Other states followed, establishing the principle that unorganized lands would be held by the nation.
The unicameral legislature whether it was called the Second Continental Congress (until1781) or the Confederation thereafter, was too inefficient to govern effectively. Congress was a legislative body and a collective executive (no judiciary) but it had no independent income and no authority to compel the states to accept its rulings.
Because legislators levied taxes reluctantly, Congress and the state first tried to finance the war by printing currency. Paper money becomes worthless from inflation. Robert Morris asked states to amend this to allow a national duty of 5 percent on imported goods. Not accepted by states, reflecting fear of powerful central government.
Congress watched British goods flooded the United States while American produce could not be sold in European markets. Spain in 1784 closed the Mississippi River to American navigation.
Articles Four and Five of the 1783 Treaty of Paris
These provisions also caused problems with the Articles of Confederation. Article 4, which promised payment of prewar debts (most owed by Americans to British merchants), and Article 5, which recommended that states allow loyalists to recover their confiscated property, aroused opposition. States passed laws denying British subjects the right to sue for recovery of debts or property in American courts. Another reason for state opposition was that sales of loyalists' property and possessions had helped finance the war. Because many purchasers were prominent patriots, states hesitated to question the legitimacy of their property titles. The refusal of state and local governments to comply with these gave Britain an excuse to maintain military posts on the Great Lakes. Congress' inability to enforce the treaty disclosed its lack of power, even in an area-foreign affairs-in which it had authority under the Articles. Concerned nationalists argued that failure to enforce the treaty challenged the republic's credibility.
the treaties of Fort Stanwix and Hopewell
At _______ _____, New York, in 1784. American diplomats negotiated a treaty with chiefs who claimed to represent the Iroquois; and at _________, South Carolian, in late 1785 and early 1786, they negotiated with emissaries from the Choctaw, Chickasaw, an Cherokee nations. In 1786 the Iroquois repudiated the Fort Stanwix treaty, denying that the negotiators were authorized to speak for the Six nations. The confederacy threatened new attacks on frontier settlements, but the treaty stood by default. By 1790 the once-dominant confederacy was confined to a few scattered reservations. In the South, too, the US took the treaties as confirmation of its sovereignty. European Americans poured over the southern Appalachians, provoking the Creeks to declare war. In 1790, they came to term with the US. Western nations rejected Iroquois hegemony and after their collapse, they formed a confederacy and demanded negotiations with the US. United, they hoped to avoid the piecemeal surrender of land by individual bands and villages. But, Indian nations could no longer play European and American powers against one another.
Ordinance of 1785, Ordinance of 1787
Shortly after state land cessions were completed, Congress organized the Northwest Territory, bounded by the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the Ohio river. Ordinances outlined the process through which the land could be sold and governments organized.
To ensure orderly development, Congress in _______ wanted the land surveyed into townships 6 miles square, each divided into 36 sections of 640 acres (1 square mile). Revenue from the sale of the 16th section of each would support public schools-the first federal aid to education in American history. 1 Dollar was the minimum price per acre; the minimum sale was one section. The resulting minimum outlay, 640, was unaffordable for ordinary Americans, except veterans who received part of their army pay in land warrants. Proceeds from western land sales constituted the first independent revenues available to the national government.
The _______ of ________-cottoned a bill of rights gauranteeing freedom of religion and the right to a jury trial, forbidding cruel and unusual punishments, and nominally prohibiting slavery. (Eventually that prohibition would become an important symbol for antislavery northerners). It allowed slaveowners to reclaim runaways who took refuge in the territory-the first national fugitive slave law. Discouraged slave holders from moving into territory. It also specified how territorial residents could organize state governments and seek admission to the Union. To become state, a state needed to go through the "colony" phase first. It was largely theoretical. Miamis, Shawnees, and Delawares refused to acknowledge American sovereignty and attacked pioneers who ventured too far north of the Ohio River.
Not until after the Articles of Confederation were replaced with a new constitution could the US muster sufficient force to implement this ordinance.
An armed rebellion in Massachusetts convinced doubting states that reform was needed. Men from several western counties, many of them veterans from leading families, violently opposed the high taxes levied by the eastern-dominated legislature to pay war debts. Such obligation consisted largely of securities issued during the war to soldiers in lieu of pay and to others for supplies and loans. During the hard times following the war, many veterans and creditors sold the securities at heavy discounts. The state legislature nevertheless levied taxes to pay off the securities (plus interest) at full price in specie by decade's end. Men with little prospect of obtaining specie without selling their land responded furiously when the state oved to collect the taxes.
A former Continental army officer led the disgruntled westerners. On January 25, 1787, about fifteen hundred of Shay's troops assaulted the Springfield federal armory. The militiamen defending the armory fired on their former comrades, who withdrew after suffering 20 casualties. They were the "regulators" ''Whenever any encroachments are made either upon the liberties or properties of the people, if redress cannot be had without, it is virtue in them to disturb the government. "
Constitutional Convention, James Madison, Vices of the Political System of the U.S.
Shays's rebellion confirmed the need for stronger federal government. The COnfederation Congress endorsed this "for the sole and express purpose of revising the aRTICLES OF Confederation." In mid-May, 55 men, representing every state but Rhode Island, assembled in Philadelphia. Most were merchants, planters, physicians, generals, governors, and especially lawyers. They wanted the national government to have new authority over taxation and foreign commerce, but also sought to advance their states' interests. Youngest delegate 26, oldest Benjamin Franklin 81.
He was the "Father of the Constitution" Shy and 36. Served on the local Committee of Safety and was elected to provincial convention, the state's lower houses, and the Continental Congress. He returned to the Virginia state legislature but he kept up with national politics, partly through his friend Thomas Jefferson. He summed up his research in a paper entitled "____ __ ___ ______ ______ ___ ___ _______ _______" After listing current gov. flaws like "encroachments by the states on the federal authority" and lack of unity, he felt that government could not become tyrannical or fall under the influence of a particular faction. Rejecting the notion that republics had to be small, Madison asserted that a large, diverse republic was preferable. No one faction could rule government if their were a ton of factions.
the Virginia and New Jersey plans
The ______ plan introduced by Edmund Randolph embodied Madison's conception of national government. It provided a 2 house legislature, the lower house elected directly by the people and the upper house selected by the lower; representation in both houses proportional to property or population; and executive elected by Congress; national judiciary; and congressional veto over state laws. National authority reigned unchallenged and state power was diminished. Proportional representation in both houses would also have given large states a dominant voice in national government.
Disaffected delegates, particularly those from small states, untied under William Paterson of New Jersey. His plan called for the strengthening of the Articles rather than overhauling the government. He Proposed retaining a unicameral Congress in which each state had an equal vote, but giving Congress new powers of taxation and trade regulation. Initially rejected but then accepted.
Debate over Congress
new national gov. should have 2 house legislature
people should be directly represented in at least one house.
Should representation in both houses of Congress be proportional to population? How was representation to be apportioned among the states? How were the members of the two houses to be elected?
Accepted without much debate the principle of representation proportional to population in the In the House of Representatives. But small states wanted equal representation int the Senate, which would give them relatively more power at the national level. Large states supported a proportional plan that would give them more votes in the upper house. READ P173
the 3/5 compromise
Delegates of the lower house concurred that a census should be conducted every decade to determine the nation's population and that Indians who paid no taxes should be excluded. Delegates from states with large slave pops wanted African and European inhabitants counted equally; delegates from states with few slaves wanted only free people counted. SLAVERY thus became linked to the new government. Delegates resolved the dispute with a formula developed by the Confederation Congress in 1783 to allocate financial assessments among states: _ _ of slaves would be included in population totals. The formula reflected delegates' judgment that slaves were less efficient producers of wealth than free people, not that they were 60% human and 40% property. This clause assured white southern male voters congressional representation out of proportion to their numbers and a disproportionate influence on the selection of the president, because the number of each state's votes in the electoral college was determined by the size of its congressional delegation.
Constitution's slave-trade and fugitive slave clauses
In return for southerners' agreement that commercial regulations could be adopted by a simple majority vote (rather than 2/3), New Englanders agreed that Congress could not end the importation of slaves for 20 years. The _______ _______ clause required sates to return runaways to their masters. By guaranteeing national assistance to sates threatened with "domestic violence," the Constitution promised aid in putting down future slave revolts and incidents like Shay's Rebellion.
electoral college,separation of power, checks and balances
To select the president, delegates established the _________ ___________, whose members would be chosen in each state by legislatures or voters. If a majority of electors failed to unite behind one candidate, et House of Representatives (voting as states, not as individuals) would choose the president.
The key to the Constitution was the distribution of political authority, that is, the separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the national government and the division of powers between states and nation. (called federalism). 2/3 of Congress and 3/4s of the states had to concur on amendments. The branches balanced on another, thir powers deliberately entwined to prevent each from acting independently. The president could veto congressional legislation, but that veto could be overridden by 2/3s majorities in both houses, and his treaties and major appointments required the Senate's consent. These ______ and _________ would keep the government from becoming tyrannical, but at times, they prevented the government from acting quickly and decisively. Furthermore, the Constitution drew such a vague line between state and national powers that the unites States fought a civil war in the next century over that issue.
The Constitution's supporters called themselves _________. Building on classical republicanism, they envisioned a virtuous, self-sacrificing republic led by a manly aristocracy of talent. They argued that when good men drawn from the elite were in charge, the carefully structured government would prevent tyranny. A republic could be large if the governemnt's design kept any one group from controlling it. The separation of powers among legislative, executive, and judicial branches and the division of powers between states and nation would accomplish that.
The Federalists termed those who opposed the Constitution ______________, thus casting them in a negative light. While recognizing the need for a national source of revenue, they feared a too-powerful central government. They saw the states as the chief protectors of individual rights; consequently, weakening the states could bring the onset of arbitrary power. Antifederalist arguments often listed potential abuses of government authority. Heirs of the Real whig ideology of the late 1760s and early 1770s, they stressed the need for constant popular vigilance to avert oppression. Indeed, some promulgated those ideas prior to the centralizing, nationalistic Revolution-Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry led the opposition to the coNSTITUTION. Joining them were small farmers preoccupied with guarding their property against excessive taxation, backcountry Baptists and Presbyterians, and upwardly mobile men who could benefit from economic and political system less tightly controlled than that the Constitution envisioned.
Letters of a Federal Farmer, The Federalist
Perhaps the most widely read Antifederalist pamphlet, listed the rights that should be protected: freedom of the press and religion, trial by jury, and guarantees against unreasonable searches. From Paris, Thomas Jefferson added his voice to the chorus, declaring, "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth."
Pro-Constitution forces won by ten votes in the Virginia convention, which recommended adding rights specifications. In New York, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, writing collectively as Publius, published ______ ________, 85 essays explaining the theory behind the constiution and answering its critics. Their arguments, coupled with Federalists' promise to add a bill of rights, helped win the battle. On July 26, 1788, New York ratified the constitution by just three votes. Although the last sates-North Carolina and Rhode island-did not join the Union until November 1789 and May 1790, respectively, the new government was a reality.