What did the US assume that the Treaty of Paris give it obligation to?
Land east of the Mississippi
What did the Iroquois formally repudiate in 1786?
Treaty of Fort Stanwix; the Iroquois denied that the men who attended the negotiations had been autorized to speak for the Six Nations; threatened to attack frontier settlements-empty threat; the flawed treaty stood by default
What did NY purchase from individual Iroquois nations?
Large tracts of land; by 1790, the once-dominant confederacy was confined to a few scattered reservations
After the collapse of the Iroquois confederacy, what did some Western Indian nations do?
Shawnees, Chippewas, Ottawas, and Potawatomis-formed their own confederacy and demanded direct negotiations with the US; intend to present a united front but could no longer pursue diplomatic strategy in post-war world (playing of European and American powers against each other)
How did Congress organize the Northwest Territory
They passed ordinance that outlined the process through which the land could be sold to settlers and formal governments organized; directed that the land be surveyed into townships, with revenue reserved for support of public school
Contained bill of rights guaranteeing settlers freedom of religion and the right to a jury trial, forbidding cruel and unusual punishments and nominally prohibiting slavery; specified process by which territorial residents could organize state governments and seek admission to the Union
On what policy did Congress admit new states?
Policy of egalitarian principles on the same basis as the old and assuring residents of the territories the same rights held by citizens of the original states; congressmen understood the importance of preparing the new nation' first "colony" for self-government
In what way was the ordinance theoretical?
Miamis, Shawnees, and Delawares in the region refused to acknowledge American sovereignty; they opposed settlement violently, attacking unwary pioneers who ventured too far north of the Ohio River
What did the problems the US encountered in ensuring safe settlement of the Northwest territory reveal?
The basic weakness of the Confederation government/Articles of Confederation
Inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation
Congress could not levy taxes, impose its will on the states to establish a uniform commercial policy or ensure the enforcement of treaties (caused depression as exporters and importers suffered from the postwar restrictions that European powers imposed on American commerce)
What permanent change did the war do to the US economy?
The near-total cessation of foreign commerce in nonmilitary items during the war stimulated domestic manufacturing; postwar period witnessed stirrings of American industrial development; foreign trade patterns thus shifted
What convinced state governments that reform was needed
An armed rebellion in Massachusetts opposing high taxes levied by the eastern-dominated legislature to pay off war debts
Who led Shay's rebellion?
Daniel Shays, a former officer in the Continental Army, assumed nominal leadership of the disgruntled westerners in assault on the federal armory at Springfield, attempting to capture the military stores housed there
How did the state legislature respond to Shay's rebellion?
They dramatically reduced the burden on landowners by enacting new import duties and easing tax collections
What were some of the explosive assertions surrounding Shay's rebellion?
Calling Massachusetts "tyrannical," they insisted that "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 government;" thus they linked their rebellion to the earlier independence struggle
What did the Shay's rebellion assertions convince leaders of?
That the nation's problems extended far beyond trade policy; to some, it confirmed the need for a much stronger federal government
What convention was held in May 1787 and for what purpose?
55 men, representing all the states but Rhode Island, met in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation
What did many of the representatives at the Constitutional Convention want?
Most wanted to give the national government new authority over taxation and foreign commerce; also sought to advance states' interests
What did Madison think the government most needed?
"Such a modification of the sovereignty as will render it sufficiently neutral between the different interests and factions, to control one part of the society from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controlled itself, from setting up an interest adverse to that of the whole society"; had to be set up so it could not fall wholly under the influence of a particular faction
Embodied Madison's conception of national government; provided fora two-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; executive elected by Congress; national judiciary; congressional veto over state laws
William Paterson's New Jersey Plan
Called for strengthening the Articles rather than completely overhauling the government; retained unicameral Congress in which each state had an equal vote, but gave Congress new powers of taxation and trade regulation
Debates over functions of Congress
Agreed on two-house legislature; also, in accordance with long-standing opposition to virtual representation, they concurred that "the people" should be directly represented in at least one house of Congress
How were the members of the two house to be elected?
The delegates though it "essential that the members of the lower branch of Congress be elected directly by the people and "expedient" that members of the upper house be chosen by state legislatures; allowed state legislatures to elect senators
How was representation in the lower house to be apportioned among states?
Delegates concurred that a census should be conducted every 10 years to determine the nation's actual population
Who did the convention give primary responsibility to for conducting foreign affairs and chief of armed forces?
If a majority of electors failed to unite behind one candidate, the House of Representatives would choose the president
What was the key to the Constitution?
Separation of powers; president could veto congressional legislation, but that veto could be overridden by two-thirds majorities in both house, and his treaties and major appointments required the Senate's consent; Congress could impeach the president and federal judges; courts had final say on interpreting the Constitution
What did the Constitution draw a vague line between that would cause a civil war?
Drew a vague line between state and national powers
Provided for the Constitution to take effect once it was approved by at least nine states whose delegates were elected; thus it rested directly on popular authority
People who supported the Constitution
Federalists; built on notions of classical republicanism' vision of virtuous, collectivist, self-sacrificing republic; claimed that nation did not need to fear centralized authority when good men drawn from the elite were in charge
While they recognized the need for a national source of revenue, they feared a too-powerful central government and saw the states as the chief protectors of individual rights and said that weakening them could bring the onset of arbitrary power; heirs of Real Whig ideology; led by Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee; focused on Constitution's lack of a bill of rights to prevent tyranny by guaranteeing specific rights
Letters of a Federal Farmer
Widely read Antifederalist pamphlet-listed the rights that should be protected: freedom of press and religion, trial by jury, and guarantees against unreasonable searches
A series of 85 political essays by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, writing collectively as "Publius" explaining the theory behind the Constitution
What purpose did parades celebrating the Constitution's ratification serve?
Political lessons for literate and illiterate Americans alike; aimed to educate men and women about the significance of the new Constitution and instruct them about political leaders' hopes for industry and frugality on the part of a virtuous American public
Classical Republican Theory
A truly virtuous man had to forgo personal profit and work solely for the best interests of the nation; in return for sacrifice of personal interest, it offered its citizens equality and opportunity; rank would be based on merit and talent rather than inherited wealth and status
Economic theory of republicanism
Developed by Scottish theorist Adam Smith who believed in emphasizing individuals' pursuit of rational self-interest; when republican men sought to improve their own economic and social circumstances, the entire nation would benefit; republican virtue would be achieved through the pursuit of private interests, rather than through subordination to communal ideals: this thinking abandoned the old Puritan covenant
Egalitarian notion of republicanism
Thomas Paine was a leader in the advancement of this republican theory; called for widening of men's participation in the political process; wanted government to directly respond to the needs of ordinary folk, rejecting the notion that the "lesser sort" should automatically defer to their "betters."
What similarities did the 3 strands of republicanism share?
Contrasted the industrious virtue of American with the corruption of Britain and Europe-in the first, 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 free men in the ranks of voters
What did citizens of the US hope to do as they set out to construct a republic?
With great pride in their new nation, they expected to replace the vices of monarchical Europe-immorality, selfishness, and lack of public spirit-with the sober virtues of republican America; sought to embody republican principles not only in their governments but also in their society and culture, expecting painting, literature, drama, and architecture to convey messages of nationalism and virtue to the public
At the outset of Americans' efforts to embody virtue, what crucial contradiction did they encounter?
To some republicans, fine arts were manifestations of vice and their presence in a virtuous society, many contended, signaled the existence of luxury and corruption: why did a frugal farmer need a painting or a novel? Why should anyone spend hard-earned wages to see a play in a lavishly decorated theater? The first American artists, playwrights, and authors confronted an impossible dilemma as they tried to produce works embodying virtue while many viewed those very works as corrupting, regardless of their content
How did authors try to confront the crucial contradiction? (Examples)
William Hill Brown's "The Power of Sympathy" related a lurid tale of seduction as a warning to young women; in Royall Tyler's "The Contrast," the first successful American play, the virtuous conduct of Colonel Manly was contrasted witht eh reprehensible behavior of the fop Billy Dimple; Mason Locke Weems wrote "Life of Washington," intending to hold up his great virtues as an example to youth; Artists Gilbert Stuart
How did artists/architects try to confront the crucial contradiction? (Examples)
Artists Gilbert Stuart and Charles Willson Peale painted many portraits of upstanding republican citizens; John Trumbell depicted milestones of American history as the Battle of Bunker Hill and Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown; architects tried to convey in their buildings a sense of the young republic's ideals; when Thomas Jefferson was asked for advice on the design of the state capitol in Richmond, he unhesitatingly recommended copying a Roman building; architectural ideals were simplicity of line, harmonious proportions, and a feeling of grandeur
How were signs of luxury and corruption detected?
The resumption of European trade after the war brought a return to up-to-date imported fashions for both men and women; elite families attended balls and concerts; gambling and card playing at social clubs: Samuel Adams expressed concern for growing luxury
Why did education become important?
Education had previously been seen as a means for personal advancement and the concern of individual families; now schooling served a public purpose to prepare youth for self-government as useful citizens: northern states used tax money for schools; schooling for girls was improved
What role did Abigail Adams play in the republic?
Abigail Adams deliberately applied the ideology developed to combat parliamentary supremacy to purposes revolutionary leaders had never intended (they assumed that wives had no interests different from those of their husbands); she argued that because men were "naturally tyrannical" the US should reform colonial marriage laws, which subordinated wives to their husbands, giving men control of family property and denying wives the right to independent legal action
What were women seen as the embodiment of?
Because they could not vote, own property or participate in economic life, women were seen as the embodiment of self-sacrificing, disinterested republicanism; thus men were freed from the naggings of conscience as they pursued economic self-interest, secure in the knowledge that their wives and daughters were fulfilling the family's obligation to the common good
Ideal republican man
Sought personal advancement; individualist
Ideal republican woman
Always put the well-being of others ahead of her own
Primary contradiction in American society
Irony that people who pretend to stand for the rights of mankind can lavish in slavery and oppression; caused many bondsmen to petition the legislature for their freedom; postwar years thus witnessed gradual abolition of slavery
In what ways did emancipation not bring equality?
Even whites who recognized blacks' rights to freedom were unwilling to accept them as equals; laws discriminated against black freemen, denying them the right to vote or testify in court as well as the right to public education; freemen found it difficult to purchase property and find good jobs
How did slaveowners defend holding human beings in bondage?
Argued that people of African descent were less than fully human and the principles of equality didn't apply
Development of Racist Theory
Thomas Jefferson: argued that blacks were inferior to whites in body and mind; additional belief that blacks were congenitally lazy and disorderly; sexually promiscuous
Why do some historians argue that subjugation of certain races was necessary for theoretical equality among whites?
Identifying common racial antagonists helped create white solidarity and lessened threat of gentry power posed by the enfranchisement of poorer men
How did state governments decrease authority to prevent tyranny?
Governor elected annually with a limited number of terms he could serve and little independent authority; expanded legislature's powers: two-house structure; redrew electoral districts to reflect population patterns; lowered property qualifications for voting to broaden base of American government
What did the Articles not give the national government the ability to do?
Raise revenue effectively or enforce a uniform commercial policy; required unanimous consent of state legislatures
Why did it take so long for the Articles to be accepted?
Because Maryland refused to accept the Articles, which allowed all states to retain land claims derived from their original charters, until 1781, when Virginia finally promised to surrender its western land holdings to national jurisdiction (capacity of a single state to delay ratification for 3 years was Articles' downfall
Problem with Congress powers' under the Articles
Congress acted simultaneously as a legislative body and collective executive, but had no independent income and no authority to compel the states to accept its rulings
What posed the most persistent problem by both state and national governments?
Because legislators at all levels levied taxes only reluctantly, both Congress and the states at first tried to finance the war simply by printing currency; during war, prices began to rise and inflation set in; Congress made futile attempt to stop printing currency and rely on money contributed by the states; soon the currency was worthless
How did foreign trade expose the government's weakness?
Articles denied Congress the power to establish a national commercial policy; after the war, European nations restricted American trade with their colonies; members of Congress watched helplessly as British manufactured goods flooded the US while American produce could no longer be sold in the British West Indies; Congress's inability to convince states to implement the treaty disclosed its lack of power