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Revolution and aftermath. Bloody and Destructive Neighbor and family Messy localized fight Civil war?. May 1776 Louis XVI aid to rebels Secret and unofficial Until defeat of Burgoyne at Saratoga 1777 Leads to two French Treaties. 1 st Trade based Very beneficial to America

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revolution and aftermath

Revolution and aftermath

Bloody and Destructive

Neighbor and family

Messy localized fight

Civil war?


May 1776

  • Louis XVI aid to rebels
    • Secret and unofficial
  • Until defeat of Burgoyne at Saratoga 1777
  • Leads to two French Treaties

1st Trade based

    • Very beneficial to America
  • 2nd Recognized Independence
    • Perpetual alliance with USA
    • Fight against GB until independence
    • Disavow territorial claims
  • Treaties shift British attention
the reconstitution of authority
The Reconstitution of Authority
  • Intense debate in America on constitutionalism
  • Written constitution important
  • Fuller expressions of popular sovereignty
    • Power is derived from the people
john adams and the separation of powers
John Adams and the Separation of Powers
  • Thomas Paine and unicameral government
  • Adams responds with Thoughts on Government
    • Mixed and balanced
    • Separation of powers
  • Constitutional Conventions: “popular sovereignty in its purest form”
the virginia constitution
The Virginia Constitution
  • June 1776, Virginia
    • first state to adopt a permanent, republican constitution
    • Sovereign legislature
  • George Mason and Virginia’s Bill of Rights
  • Many states adopted variations of Virginia’s model constitution
the pennsylvania constitution
The Pennsylvania Constitution
  • Quaker and Proprietary Parties
  • Constitutional Convention 1776
  • “Constitutionalists”
    • unicameral
  • Anti-constitutionalists
    • Republicans
    • bicameral
massachusetts redefines constitutionalism
Massachusetts Redefines Constitutionalism
  • Resentment of the “River Gods”
    • Reformation of old ways
  • Berkshire Constitutionalists
    • convention
  • General Court/constitution
  • John Dickinson and the “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union”
    • State sovereignty and equality
    • Congress must requisition money from states
  • Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress Assembled
    • Thomas Burke

Ratification process

    • All had to agree
    • Slaves
    • Stalls over western land claims
    • Approved 3-1-1781
  • Effective?
    • Jefferson/Sam Adams home
    • Washington army
    • Franklin/John Adams diplomats
the loyalists
The Loyalists
  • Many colonists were conflicted:
    • new American union vs. part of British empire
  • Risks for loyalists living in American colonies
  • One-sixth of white population chose British side of the war
    • 19,000 men joined loyalist military units
  • State government banished loyalists and confiscated their property
loyalist refugees black and white
Loyalist Refugees, Black and White
  • Slaves outside New England sided with Britain
  • British government freed thousands of slaves
  • Loyalists refugees, mostly to Canada
    • 30/1000 Am. Rev.
    • 5/1001 French Rev.
  • American Revolution laid groundwork for 2 Western hemisphere rivals—Canada and the U.S.A.
the indian struggle for unity and survival
The Indian Struggle for Unity and Survival
  • Most Indians believed only hope to stop colonist’s expansion was British victory
  • Neutrality
  • Iroquois
    • Mohawks
    • Joseph Brant


    • Cornplanter
  • Racism
  • Indian unity
  • George Rogers Clark
  • British war weary after 1778
    • Not only America
  • British army is desperate for soldiers
    • Recruited many Irish Catholics
    • Resulted in Protestant violence: Gordon riots
  • Yorktown 1781
    • Cornwallis defeated
  • March 1782
    • Lord North PM resigns
    • George III writes, never releases, abdication letter
  • New Government leans towards peace

Attrition weakened American forces and undermined economy

  • Continental soldiers left unpaid, ill-clothed, poorly fed
  • 1780
    • 16,000 on paper
    • 3,600 in reality – not enough horses to move equipment
  • Mutinies in New Jersey

Congress abandons wartime economic controls and restores market

  • Robert Morris
    • Bank of North America
  • Congress still weak, no laws, only ordinances
  • 1778
    • John Jay & John Adams secret negotiation with New British Government
independence treaty of paris 1783
Independence - Treaty of Paris (1783)

British recognize United States independence

Mississippi as Western boundary of United States

Access to Grand Banks

Prewar debts still valid

Congress must urge states to restore confiscated loyalist property


Post war problems

  • Indians don’t accept Treaty
  • Army discontent
    • Threatened coup 1783
  • I have great apprehensions for the union of the states
    • Charles Thompson
      • Secretary to congress
a revolutionary society
A Revolutionary Society
  • Independence transformed American life
  • Biggest winners: free householders
    • Gained enormous benefits from democratization of politics and chance to colonize Great West
  • Biggest losers: loyalists, Indians, Africans
religious transformations
Religious Transformations
  • Anglican Church “disestablished” in Southern states
    • George III head
  • Congregational church “established” in New England
    • Performed public functions
    • Salary paid from Taxes
    • 1818 Connecticut
    • 1833 Massachusetts

Office holding generally restricted to Christians or Protestants

  • Toleration extended to Catholics and Jews
    • Bishop John Carroll 1790
  • Thomas Jefferson
    • Statute for Religious Freedom 1779

Where as Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others

the first emancipation
The First Emancipation
  • Revolutionary Era: freedom for many slaves
  • Some freed because of Revolutionary War
  • Connecticut regiment
    • Jeffery Liberty
    • Cuff Liberty
    • Dick Freeman
    • Jube Freeman

Massachusetts bill of rights

    • ‘Free and equal’
  • 1781Bett Freeman
  • Massachusetts and New Hampshire slaves walk away to freedom

Pennsylvania 1780

    • first gradual emancipation statute
    • model for slave emancipation in North
  • Manumission of slaves allowed in Virginia and Maryland

Slaves essential to plantation economy

    • valuable asset in the South
  • South Carolina & Georgia
    • Reopen transatlantic slave trade 1790
    • 60,000 new slaves ‘imported’ by 1808
the challenge to patriarchy
The Challenge to Patriarchy
  • Reverence for elderly gave way to idealization of youth
  • War gave women more responsibility and power
  • Philadelphia Ladies Association (1780)
    • Esther de Berdt Reed
  • Republican Motherhood and the spread of women’s education
  • New jersey 1776 -1806 right to vote

Spain and Britain fuel Indian resistance

  • Secessionist Movements
    • Franklin
    • Green Mountain Boys
the northwest ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance
  • Land Ordinance of 1785
    • Surveyed and divided land into townships
    • Ohio Company and apparent speculator triumph
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787
    • 3-5 states equal to original 13
    • Congressionally appointed governor, locally elected assembly after population of 5000
    • At 60,000 population, could apply for statehood
    • Public funded education
    • No slavery
  • Overview
  • Difficult times (critical period)
    • Failing economy
    • Debtors vs. creditors
    • Bitter state politics
  • Demand to amend the Articles of Confederation
commerce debt
Commerce & Debt
  • Depression and debt
  • America in great difficulty
    • American Exports to Great Britain
    • 1774 - £ 1.9 million
    • 1784 - £ 750,000
    • British imports
  • 1784 - £ 3.7 million

Deficit caused fiscal and social problems

  • Trade with France could make up difference
  • British Navigation Acts
    • Closed West Indies to American Shipping
  • States began to pay debts with paper money
    • Often worthless
states and debt the massachusetts example
States and Debt – The Massachusetts example
  • Massachusetts had previous problems with paper money
    • Didn’t want to issue more
  • Several states issued debt “stays”
  • Delaying due date on debts
    • Massachusetts didn’t go that way
  • Solution – High Taxes
  • Farmers in west of state hit hard
  • See it as a repeat of British tyranny under new name
  • Leads to Shays Rebellion 1787