Loyalist IN Georgia (Tories) • Loyal to England and did not want the colonies to break away from the mother country. • Many influential colonial Georgians remained loyal to England including Royal Governor James Wright, land owner Thomas Brown, and minister John J. Zubly. • Some, such as Brown, took up arms against their fellow Georgians who sided with the patriots. • Most of the loyalist landowners forfeited their land to the patriots and left after the war
Button Gwinnett • Gwinnett became involved in Georgia politics in 1769, though financial troubles caused him to withdraw from public life in 1773. • During the Revolutionary War Period, Gwinnett reentered the political scene, and in 1776 was selected to attend the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. • As a member of the Congress, he strongly supported Independence from England. • Upon his return from Philadelphia, he was instrumental in the creation and passage of the Georgia Constitution of 1777. • He also became embedded in a political rivalry with Lachlan McIntosh, which would prove to be deadly. • After McIntosh publically criticized Gwinnett, Gwinnett challenged him to a dual. • The dual took place in May 1777. Both men shot one another; however, Gwinnett’s wounds were fatal. He died on May 19, 1777. • Gwinnett County was named in his honor.
Lyman Hall • Graduated from Yale University and became an ordained minister in 1747, but after several controversies, he gave up the ministry to practice medicine. • Hall moved to Georgia in 1760. • Hall was the only Georgia representative in the Second Continental Congress in 1775. • Though he participated in debates he abstained from voting because he did not represent the entire state. • Once Gwinnett and Walton joined him in 1776, he voted for independence from England and signed the Declaration. • Upon returning to Georgia, Hall was elected Governor in 1783 and was instrumental in the founding of the University of Georgia. • Hall county was named in his honor.
George Walton • Arguably the most politically successful of Georgia’s three signers. • Walton was born in Virginia around 1749, though his exact year of birth is unknown. • He moved to Georgia in 1769, and established himself as one of the most successful lawyers in the colony. • In 1776, he was appointed as a representative to the Second Continental Congress where he signed the Declaration of Independence. • Upon returning to Georgia, Walton served in the Georgia militia and was eventually captured by the British. • After being released in a prisoner exchange, Walton was elected governor. • He later went on to hold the offices of Congressman, Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, and superior court judge.
Elijay Clarke • One of the more well-known Georgia patriots was Lieutenant Colonel Elijah Clarke. • Clarke’s most famous act was his leadership during the patriot victory at the Battle of Kettle Creek. • During this battle, Clarke led a charge against loyalist troops that helped win the battle . • After this battle, Clarke led guerilla fighting against British troops in Georgia and South Carolina. Based on his military accomplishments, Clarke County was named in his honor.
Austin Dabney • Austin Dabney (1765-1830) was a slave who fought under Elijah Clarke during the Battle of Kettle Creek ( he fought as a stand-in for his slave owner) • He was an artilleryman and was severely wounded during the fighting • Due to his bravery during the Battle of Kettle Creek, the state of Georgia paid for Dabney’s freedom from his former master. The state also gave Dabney a grant for 50 acres of land for his service during the Revolution; the only African-American to receive one
Nancy Hart • Nancy Hart was a Georgia patriot who is most well known for capturing and killing several loyalist soldiers who invaded her cabin during the Revolution. • http://www.gpb.org/georgiastories/story/nancy_hart_story • What part of Nancy Hart’s story do you think is fact or fiction?
The Battle of Kettle Creek • Though the Battle of Kettle Creek was not as important as other major American victories such as Trenton, Saratoga, and Yorktown, this battle raised the morale of the Georgia patriots, gave them much needed supplies, and set the stage for several victories in the southern backcountry toward the end of the Revolutionary War. • The Battle of Kettle Creek took place on February 14, 1779. The Georgia militia, led by Elijah Clarke and Thomas Dooly, attacked an encampment of 600 British Loyalist. Though outnumbered, the patriots routed the Loyalist troops, bringing a much needed victory to the patriot cause after several prior defeats. Based on their heroic actions in the battle both Clarke and Austin Dabney became Georgia heroes.
The Siege of Savannah • In 1778, the British recaptured Savannah making Georgia the only colony to be officially retaken by the British during the war. • In reality there were “two” Georgia’s during the war. The patriot held countryside and the British held cities of Augusta and Savannah. • In October 1779, a joint force of French and patriot troops attacked Savannah in hopes of retaking the city. This attack was a dismal failure. • After five days of intense shelling from French ships and patriot batteries little damage was done to the British military
The Siege of Savannah • When the French and American troops finally attacked the city they were easily defeated by the British troops. • When the fighting ended over 800 allied troops were killed compared to 18 British soldiers. • Savannah stayed in British hands until 1782. • Though the Siege of Savannah was a failure for the patriots several American heroes emerged from the battle.
Heroes from the Siege of Savannah • Count Casmir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who was killed leading a charge. • Sergeant William Jasper, was also killed while attacking a British position. • A group of black soldiers from Haiti heroically protected the allied retreat and saving hundreds of allied soldiers’ lives in the process. Savannah Under Attack
Constitutional Period • While it can be said that Georgia played a limited role during the American Revolution, it can be argued that Georgians played an instrumental role in the creation of the U.S. Constitution. • GA Constitution of 1777 • Article of Confederation 1776-1789 • U.S. Constitution 1789
GA Constitution of 1777 • similar to the Articles of Confederation • based on the idealistic principals of the Declaration of Independence and was not a constitution capable of meeting the realistic needs of governing a state. • had three branches of government, most of the power was held by the unicameral legislative branch • the legislative branch’s powers was the ability to appoint members of both the judicial and executive branch; including the state governor ( who had very little power) • constitution offered the citizens of Georgia many freedoms such as freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and trial by jury
Article of Confederation • America’s first written constitution was not the Constitution that we have today but another document called the Articles of Confederation (AOC) • The AOC, which was America’s constitution from 1776-1789, provided Americans with an extremely weak central government. • This was based on the Americans’ experience with Britain’s monarchy and their goal to give as much power as they could to the “people” through the autonomy of the states. • Nevertheless, the AOC had too many limitations that hindered the smooth functioning of the government.
Powers the national government did not have under the AOC Article of Confederation Powers the national government had under the AOC • Declare war • Coin money • Establish post offices • Send and recall Ambassadors • Levy (impose) taxes to fund the government (had to ask states for support) • Could not regulate the trade of goods between the states (states could put tariffs on each other)
Some of the more serious weaknesses of the articles included: • A strong legislative branch and no executive or judicial branches • Each state had its own currency • All 13 states had to approve a law for it to pass • One vote per state no matter the size of the state’s population
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 • In 1787, the founders realized that the Articles of Confederation were far too weak to effectively govern the country, especially with the continual threat of attack from the European powers and the Native American tribes. • In addition, states were constantly bickering about land and sea rights and in some cases almost coming to blows due to their disagreements. • Since the national government could not raise revenue to support itself, it could not maintain an Army and Navy or build roads and canals. • Due to the fact that all 13 states had to agree on any legislation, the United States government had a difficult time passing laws. • Finally, there was no “separation of powers,” as the government under the AOC did not have an executive or judicial branch.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 • Due to these weaknesses, many of the nation’s most important leaders, including Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, knew that they had to change or even completely discard the AOC and create a new constitution. • In 1787, representatives from all 13 states meet to do just that. While most went into the proceedings hoping to revamp the AOC, when they departed, they had created a new constitution that has been the law of the land for over 200 years.
Why not just rewrite the AOC? • The Articles of Confederation did not allow for the creation of a united country • Every state was doing its own thing and this was holding back the unification of the nation • There was no way to fix the articles as they were written • They had to be thrown out because there was too much wrong with them and a new government document had to be created from scratch.
The Great Compromise The Two Most Important Compromises The Three-fifths Compromise • A compromise agreed upon by the North and the South which allowed for slaves to count toward a state’s overall population by counting slaves as “3/5 of a person,” • Created a bicameral legislature where each state had two members in the Senate but representation in the House of Representatives was based on the state’s population
The Role of Georgia at the Constitutional Convention Georgians played two important roles during the Constitutional Convention. The first was due to their unrelenting support of slavery. Based on the united stance of the southern delegates, including the delegates from Georgia, in favor of allowing states to include slaves in their population count, the members of the Constitutional Convention agreed upon the Three- fifths Compromise. While this provided a temporary resolution to a slavery issue, it was the beginning of a great and lasting divide between the North and the South that would later lead to war.
The Role of Georgia at the Constitutional Convention • The second important contribution was from Abraham Baldwin. He is given credit for changing his vote to side with the “small states” in the Congressional representation debate. • This decision evened the numbers for and against the Virginia Plan and allowed for the Great Compromise. • Baldwin claimed that this act was one of his greatest accomplishments.
Abraham Baldwin A lawyer who became a successful politician in GA. One of two GA signers of Constitution. Vote impacted the Great Compromise. http://www.gpb.org/georgiastories/stories/abraham_baldwin William Few A soldier, signer of the U.S. Constitution, judge, and legislator. Though he did not make much of an impression during the proceedings, following the Convention, he had a successful political and private career in two states Georgia’s Constitutional Signers