The Revolutionary War • Battle of Kettle Creek: A big victory in Georgia for the patriots. The battle is important because the British had captured and controlled most of Georgia. • Siege of Savannah: Fall of 1779, the Patriots with the help of the French tried to retake the city if Savannah. The British held the city with minimal costs, while the patriots had a severe wounded and death toll. • Georgia was the only colony where British control was re-established. When the war ended the British still had a large control over Georgia. In the spring of 1782 the British gave up control of Georgia.
Constitutions The United States’ and Georgia’s
What is a constitution? • A fundamental plan of operation for a government. • That’s the definition, but what does it mean? • Spells out what the government can and can’t do. • Sets up the different branches. • Identifies major offices in each branch. • Tells how each office is to be filled. • Can spell out important liberties of the people.
Georgia’s Constitution • Originated in 1777. • FYI: The Revolutionary War was going on when Georgia’s first constitution was written. • What did the Georgians want? • The principle Popular Sovereignty • Introduced a new principle in the very first article of the constitution– Separation of Powers: Each branch shall be separate and distinct, so that neither can exercise powers properly belonging to the other. • Unicameral • one house legislature.
Georgia’s Constitution cont… • Counties were set up instead of parishes. • Each county was to have its own officials, courthouse, schools, and militia. • Superior courts were established to settle disputes with the constitution dictating how cases were to be tried. • The framers of the Georgia Constitution severely weakened executive power.
Executive Powers 1 year term. No consecutive terms. Could not veto legislature. Chief executive in name only. Legislative Powers Elected the governor. Elected 12 of their own members to serve as an executive council who had veto power over the governor. Power to grant pardons. Executive vs. Legislative
New government • The new constitution went into effect in May 1777. • John Adam Treutlen was named the first governor.
Problems • Many Georgians were still loyal to the King. They wanted to see the new government fail. • Power Struggle between the different Whig groups.
Problems with the Whigs: • Resentment between the radical backcountry party and the conservative city party escalated when conservative Lachlan McIntosh said slanderous remarks about Button Gwinnett. Gwinnett challenged McIntosh to a duel. The duel was fought on May 16, 1777. Gwinnett died three days later. • Most importantly the War was still going on!!!
So what was going on Nationally? • The First Continental Congress met in September, 1774 to pass resolutions and agreements. • They could not take official action. • Georgia did not send any delegates!! • The Second Continental Congress met in 1776. • Declaration of Independence was issued. • In November 1777, The Articles of Confederation were sent out for State approval. The AoC were officially approved on March 1, 1781.
Articles of Confederation • What is a confederation? • A confederation is a partnership between independent and equal states. • Unicameral or Bicameral? • Are there disadvantages to being unicameral? Advantages? • What kind of house do we have now? • Who had the power? • The Nation or The States
How did the nation respond to the AoC? • How was the national economy? Great! or Desperate need for a change! • Was the nation working together or were the States just taking care of them selves?
How did the nation respond to the AoC? • How were some states issuing money? Gold or paper? • Did the merchants want to accept that kind of currency?
Shay’s Rebellion • In 1786, Massachusetts levied taxes to decrease the war debt. • This meant that farmers would have to sell off their land and livestock to pay off their debts. • In 1787, Daniel Shays led a group of disgruntled farmers and citizens to the national arsenal in Springfield to seize weapons stored there. • Congress had disbanded the Continental Army so they had no way to quell the rebellion. • Massachusetts sent militia troops to restore order. • Many Americans saw this as a sign that the nation was falling apart. • Played a major part in the questioning of the Articles of confederation that led to the decision for the need for a constitutional convention.
Constitutional Convention • Philadelphia, 1787 • 55 delegates from 12 states. • Georgia sent four delegates: • William Pierce • William Houston • William Few • Abraham Baldwin • They all supported the constitution draft but only William Few and Abraham Baldwin stayed to sign it.
The Virginia Plan Strong National Government. 3 branches or parts. Legislative, executive, and judicial. Congress would be 2 houses: The Senate and the House if Representatives. Representation based on population. The New Jersey Plan Strong State Government. 3 branches or parts. The legislative branch would be 1 house instead of two. Equal vote in congress. Problems at the Constitutional Convention
The Great Compromise • Kept the bicameral Congress. • The House of Representatives would represent the people. The number of representatives would be based on the State’s population. • The Senate would represent the states. Each state would have 2 senators.
What role did Georgia’s Abraham Baldwin play in the Great Compromise? • He decided to vote with the smaller states when the vote for equal representation was taken on July 2, 1787. Making the vote a tie. • His actions split Georgia’s vote and forced the convention to turn the matter over to a committee allowing the Great Compromise.
The Three-Fifths Compromise: Were slaves people or property? Slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person or every three out of five slaves were counted for taxation and representation. The Commerce Compromise: Who would regulate trade? Congress would! More constitutional compromises
The Slave Trade Compromise • By 1787 a lot of States had banned slave trade within their boundaries. • Some southern stated wanted to end slave trade completely. • Georgia and South Carolina feared economic devastation without the slave trade market. • The southern delegates agreed to allow congress to control trade with conditions. • First condition: Congress could not place any tax on exports going to other countries. • Second condition: Congress could not interfere with the slave trade for 20 years (1808). After 1808 the importation of slaves could be forbidden.
The Constitution is ratified!!!! • What does ratification mean? • To formally approve a plan or an agreement. • 9 states had the ratify. • On January 2, 1788 Georgia become the 4th state to ratify the constitution. • The promise of the Bill of Rights addition after the Constitution ratification help calm some fears over the national government becoming too strong and keeping individual rights.. • 1789 the National Government took over. • George Washington was elected to the presidency!
Changes to Georgia’s Constitution • 1789 Georgia adopted a new state constitution. • More like the national constitution • Bicameral • 3 branches • Branches not balanced • The legislative branch had more power • General Assembly • Controlled raising and spending money. • Chose the governor. Judges, and other state officials. • Granted divorces.