The Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence . UNIT 2 NOTES. Democracy. In a Democracy, every person has an equal say in the decisions that are made that affect their lives. The ancient Greeks had a democracy. In the Greek democracy, the people met in a central area to vote.
The Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence
UNIT 2 NOTES
Democracy In a Democracy, every person has an equal say in the decisions that are made that affect their lives. The ancient Greeks had a democracy. In the Greek democracy, the people met in a central area to vote. Presidential elections in America are democratic.
Republic The ancient Romans used a Republican form of government. In a Republic, the people elect representatives to vote on matters for them. Republican and Democratic forms of government faded from the 5th century until the 16th century. The United States is a Republic. What qualities of our government make it a Republic?
Monarchy England’s form of government was a monarchy, meaning it was ruled by a King or Queen. Kings and Queens of Europe believed that God gave them their right to rule. The King basically has all the power in a monarchy. England’s Parliament was made up of two houses. This would lay the foundation for the United States Congress. Upper house: House of Lords Lower house: House of Commons
Englightenment During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, a movement called the “Enlightenment” occurred. This movement began to question the idea that governments should be run by a King or Queen. The Enlightenment thinkers believed in the idea of limited government, meaning rulers should have to follow a set of laws and answer to the people. It also questioned other ideas about science and religion. Some of the men who were famous Enlightenment thinkers: Voltaire, Isaac Newton, and Copernicus.
John Locke One famous person from the Enlightenment was John Locke. Locke challenged the old view that Kings and Queens were picked by God to rule. Locke said that people were born with natural rights that no government could take away. Locke said we had the natural (born with- no matter who you are) rights of life, liberty, and property. His main theory was social contract theory. This theory said that the citizens have a “contract” with the government.
John Locke In this contract, the people give up some of their rights (money) in exchange for order and protection. But, if the government violates the citizens’ natural rights, then they have the right to overthrow the government.
French and Indian War The French and Indian War was a war of England vs. France & The Native Americans. England won the French and Indian War. As a result, they were the main power in North America. The colonists in America fought on the side of England. They still considered themselves to be English. But after the war, England had a huge war debt to pay off. WARS ARE EXPENSIVE!!!!
End of “Salutary Neglect” Because England had a huge debt to pay off, they began taxing the colonies in America in order to pay it off. This angered the colonists. They preferred the time period of salutary neglect. During salutary neglect, the colonial legislatures got to raise their own taxes. But after the French and Indian War, Parliament and the King began raising the colonists’ taxes without their consent. The colonists also felt that this violated the rights that they had under the Magna Carta and English Bill of Rights.
Proclamation of 1763 King George III of England did not want another war in America. So, when Indians began attacking forts in the west, he responded by passing the Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation forbade colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains. It also put the land west of the Appalachians under British military control. This angered the colonists. Land was very important to them. Many ignored the law.
Mercantilism To pay off the huge war debt, the English enforced mercantilist policies. Mercantilism is when the mother country uses its colonies to EXPORT more than it IMPORTS. Under mercantilism, the colonists had to buy things they didn’t have from England and also sell things they had that England didn’t. Also, under mercantilism, the colonies had to pay taxes to ship goods in and out of the colonies. For years, people like John Hancock had been secretly shipping goods (smuggling) in order to avoid taxes. Now, after the French and Indian War debt, England began cracking down on smugglers.
Sugar Act The Sugar act was an indirect tax on sugar. The Sugar Act also set up admiralty courts. Admiralty Courts (or maritime courts) were courts that had jurisdiction anywhere in the British empire. The colonists felt the admiralty courts violated their right to a jury trial, which was a right given by the Magna Carta. In response, colonists protested the courts and increased smuggling.
Stamp Act The Stamp Act taxed nearly all printed material by requiring that it bear the government stamp. This was a direct tax, meaning that the colonists paid it directly. Colonists protested the Stamp Act and created the Stamp Act Congress and the Sons and Daughters of Liberty. The colonists boycotted the Stamp Act, and the Stamp Act failed to raise a single penny of money for the King. The colonists just wanted to go back to the period of time when their colonial assemblies were allowed to raise their own taxes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcTUoNOjr2Q
Boston Massacre The King began sending troops to the American colonies to make sure the mercantilist policies were being enforced. On March 5, 1770, an angry mob of colonists gathered in Boston and began shouting and taunting at the British soldiers. Then, they began to throw balls of snow and ice with rocks inside at the soldiers. The British soldiers opened fire on the colonists. When it was all over, five colonists were dead. The colonists called the event the “Boston Massacre.”
Townshend Acts Even after the Boston Massacre, Parliament raised more taxes. The Townshend Acts were taxes on important goods like glass. This caused the colonists to continue their boycott of British goods.
Tea Act The Tea Act taxed tea coming to the colonies and also tried to require the colonists to only buy their tea from The British East India Company. The colonists had been smuggling in tea from other countries, and the King wanted to put a stop to that. This act outraged the colonists. In response, a group of colonists dressed up like Mohawk Warriors and dumped tea coming from England into the Boston Harbor. This would be known as “The Boston Tea Party.”
Intolerable (Coercive) Acts In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts. These acts closed the Boston Harbor and placed a military governor over Massachusetts. It also expanded the Canadian border, which took land away from some of the colonies.
First Continental Congress After the Intolerable Acts, the colonists knew they had to do something. So, representatives from almost all of the colonies (except Georgia) gathered for the First Continental Congress. The colonists wrote to King and told him that the colonists had the right to govern themselves since they didn’t have a seat in Parliament.
Lexington and Concord In April 1775, any hope for peace was gone. British troops were moving to seize arms and ammunition stored by colonists at Concord, Massachusetts, but they were met by colonial militia. No one is sure who shot the first shot. But, it has been called “the shot heard ‘round the world.” It is called this because the American Revolution inspired other countries (especially in South America) to fight for independence. The colonists killed 73 British troops and wounded 174 others. This was the first battle of the Revolution and the colonists had won.
Second Continental Congress A few weeks later, The Second Continental Congress met with all of the colonies attending. In this meeting, the colonists decided that peace was no longer an option – it was time to fight. The Second Continental Congress would meet throughout the war to direct the strategy, raise troops, and raise money for the war. The Second Continental Congress would also write the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation was the document that created the first government of the United States. The Articles was a plan for the government and a set of laws.
Declaration of Independence On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration said that men had “natural rights” which could not be taken away. It declared that the colonies would be a free nation from that point forward. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence was written to convince those who were still loyal to the King to join the side of the revolutionaries. The Declaration repeatedly targets states things that “He” has done wrong. The “He” in the Declaration is talking about the King. The colonists wanted to make people desert the King in favor of Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was based on the ideas of John Locke (social contract). The colonists were stating that they had the right to overthrow the government. The Declaration also was based on the idea of limited government, meaning a government that is based on a set of laws and must answer to the people.
Declaration of Independence After the Declaration of Independence, many state governments began to write their own constitutions. These constitutions reflected the ideas of the Declaration. For example, states in the North began to gradually outlaw slavery because the Declaration said “all men are created equal.” Also, these states created governments that gave the legislatures more power than the governors, since the colonists were scared of one person having too much power.
Targeting the King…. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
The Beginning The Declaration of Independence was actually written over one year after the fighting had already began. King George III of England did not expect a long war. The next major battle of the war was the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British won this battle but lost many more men than the Americans. A month after this battle, George Washington became the commander of the Continental Army.
The Beginning Washington tried to defend New York from the British, but he was forced to start a long and humiliated retreat. Many of his soldiers deserted him and he had a lack of supplies. It seemed like the Americans were going to lose the war. But then, on Christmas night in 1776, Washington and his men crossed the Delaware River in the middle of the night and surprised the enemy at Trenton, New Jersey.
The Northern War In September 1777, General Horatio Gates won a huge victory for the US at Saratoga, New York. This victory was very important because it convinced the French that the U.S. could win the war and the French started helping the Americans. During the winter of 1777, Washington and his men spent their time at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The winter was very harsh and supplies were low. Many soldiers died, others were too sick to fight. But they made it through the winter, and this is considered to be one of the turning points of the war.
The Southern War On June 28, 1776, the South Carolina militia won a battle at Fort Moultrie. The palmetto log fort they built was able to absorb the British cannons. The British focused on trying to win the south because there were a lot of Tories there. Tories were people still loyal to Britain. By the summer of 1780, the British had control of both Savannah and Charleston. After victories at Cowpens and Kings Mountain, however, the British had been severely weakened. Francis Marion (“the Swamp Fox”) and Thomas Sumter (“the Gamecock”) also made it hard for the British by launching surprise guerilla attacks.
End of the War Then, U.S. forces fought a hard battle at Guilford’s Courthouse which is now Greensboro, NC. The British won, but they lost many men. The British needed supplies, so they headed north to Yorktown, Virginia where they hoped to get supplies from British ships in the port. Washington took advantage of this and met him at Yorktown. The French Navy provided a blockade and prevented the British from getting more supplies. On October 19, 1781, the British surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown. The Treaty of Paris ended the war and Great Britain formally recognized U.S. independence.
Unit 2 Notes
Establishing a U.S. Government
The Articles of Confederation During the war, the government would be run by a document called the Articles of Confederation. The 13 states were very cautious about giving too much power to the central government. They thought that the King was too powerful in Great Britain and they did not want to make the same mistake. They preferred a confederation, meaning each state would maintain its sovereignty while still being unified as a nation. Remember: America was fighting for the rights of its colonial assemblies. For this reason, states had the power under the Articles government. But the Articles of Confederation were very WEAK. And here’s why…
The Articles of Confederation The central government did not have the power to collect taxes. It had to rely on the states for financial support through annual contributions, which states often did not pay. This situation made it very difficult for the central government to borrow money. Congress had no power to regulate commerce, and states charged tariffs and duties on goods going to and coming from other states. There was no provision for a chief executive (president) to enforce the law. There was no provision for a national judiciary. The legislative branch had no power to make states obey the laws.
The Articles of Confederation The national government had no standing army, like we have today. Because of this, the government had no international power. The British refused to leave forts in the west, and there was nothing the states could do about it. The Spanish also refused to allow Americans to use the New Orleans port to ship goods, and there was nothing the government could do about it.
Shay’s Rebellion Finally, the United States realized the Articles of Confederation were too weak as a result of Shay’s Rebellion in 1786. After the Revolution, the U.S. experienced an economic crisis. Farms were failing to make enough money, and the states were raising taxes to pay the war debts. This angered a Massachusetts farmer named Daniel Shay. Shay led a group of farmers in rebellion in Massachusetts. They shut down courthouses so that the judges could not foreclose on their farms.
Shay’s Rebellion Because the Articles of Confederation did not allow the government to have a standing army, Massachusetts had to put down the rebellion on its own. Massachusetts had to put down the rebellion on its own, and it almost lost the fight. This event showed the country that the government was too weak. Leaders began calling for a meeting to create a new government.
The Constitutional Convention In 1787, leaders met again to come up with a new government. They came up with a document called the United States Constitution. Under the Constitution, individuals have more of the power.
The Constitution The delegates agreed that the U.S. government should be made up of 3 branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. But there was debate over representation in Congress… The Virginia Plan proposed two houses for the legislative branch (Congress). The two houses would be based on population. The New Jersey Plan proposed one house for the legislative branch (Congress). Each state would have one vote in this plan. The Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan) was a compromise between the two plans. It called for two houses in Congress. The House of Representatives would be based on population and elected by the people. The Senate would have two representatives from each state.
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists or(Democratic Republicans) Federalists Thought the Constitution gave the government too much power. Small farmers Wanted the states to have power. Believed in strict interpretation – meaning that the government can only take actions that are specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson Democratic republicans Supported the Constitution and a strong central government. Made up of large farmers and merchants. Believed in a loose interpretation of the Constitution – meaning the government could take necessary action not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton
Thomas Jefferson Alexander Hamilton
The Debate over Slavery Slavery was also a topic of debate. Northern states did not want slaves to be counted as part of the population because slaves could not vote. Also, northern states did not have very many slaves. Southern states wanted slaves to be counted because they had far more of them. The Three Fifths Compromise states that each slave would count as three-fifths (3/5) of a person. The slave trade was also allowed to continue for 20 years.
The Federalist Papers Federalists James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay campaigned for ratification by writing a series of essays that are collectively known as The Federalist Papers. These essays were written to influence New York to ratify (approve) the Constitution. The authors supported a strong central government that could lead effectively.
Bill of Rights Many people were still afraid of the new government because they were afraid it had too much power. So, when Congress met in 1789, it passed the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was added to make sure that the government did not infringe on individuals’ rights. The Bill of Rights protects our freedoms of speech, religion, assembly and the press. It also gives us the right to a fair trial, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to bear arms.
New Government The Constitution had to ratified by 9 of the 13 states. Eventually, all of the states ratified the Constitution. George Washington was elected President of the United States in the only unanimous presidential election ever in the electoral college. But when he took office, the economy of the United States was in an economic recession.
Hamilton’s Economic Plan Alexander Hamilton developed a plan to help the economy. His plan: The federal government would take on the war debt of the states. Establish a tax on whiskey. Impose tariffs (tax on imports) Start a national bank. He also wanted the rich to buy federal government bonds to invest in the new government.
Hamilton’s Economic Plan Hamilton’s Economic Plan was the reason that political parties began in America. The Democratic-Republicans (aka Anti-Federalists) did not like the plan because it hurt small farmers. The Federalists liked the plan because it strengthened the central government.
Whiskey Rebellion Many farmers did not like Hamilton’s tax on whiskey. So in 1794, many farmers refused to pay the tax and organized a military force to rebel. President George Washington organized some of the army and the Whiskey Rebellion was crushed. This showed that the new government was strong and had the power to enforce laws. The event angered farmers, however, and they continued to support Anti-Federalists and Thomas Jefferson.
Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans When President Washington left office after two terms, he warns the American people that they should not form political parties. Despite this warning, two parties formed during his presidency. They were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The Democratic Republicans were the Anti-Federalists.
Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans The French Revolution was one event that the Federalists and Democratic Republicans disagreed on. The Federalists hated the French Revolution because the rich elite were being executed and thrown out of power. In response, they passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts limited free speech and expression. The Democratic-Republicans saw this as an abuse of power (kind of like a King). So, they passed the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. These resolutions stated that states could ignore a federal law that they thought broke the Constitution. This idea became known as the doctrine of nullification.