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Citizenship in the Early Republic. TAH Institute December 7, 2010. 14th Amendment.

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citizenship in the early republic

Citizenship in the Early Republic

TAH Institute

December 7, 2010

14th amendment
14th Amendment
  • All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Civil: rights necessary for individual freedom—liberty of the person, freedom of speech, though and faith, right to own property and to make contracts and the right to justice.
  • Political: right to participate in the exercise of political power, as a member of a body invested with political authority or as an elector of the members of such a body

3) Social: composed of the whole range form the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being according to standards prevailing in society.

  • 11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.
    • 1.Describe the Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas as the context in which the nation was founded.
guiding questions part i
Guiding Questions: Part I
  • 1. What is citizenship? What kinds of citizenship can be exercised?
  • 2. Where did U.S. notions of/definition of citizenship come from?
  • 3. How much of it was derivative of English law and how much/what innovative of New World?
  • 4. How was American citizenship gendered and racialized at its conception?
  • 5. How has citizenship been defined against non-citizens? (women, slaves, poor, Native Americans)
guiding questions part ii iii
Guiding Questions: Part II & III
  • 1. How have notions of citizenship changed? Expanded? Contracted?
  • 2. How have groups and individuals struggled to expand the boundaries and privileges of citizenship
  • 3. What kinds of boundaries have limited rights/access to citizenship?
divine right of kings
Divine Right of Kings
  • God appoints monarchs
  • Subjecthood: natural and immutable
    • “Freeborn Englishmen”
  • Dependence and obligation
  • Glorious Revolution 1688
    • Parliament
Colonies exist to strengthen European home country

Colonies to supply raw materials and markets for goods

Paying for imperialism

Sugar Act; Stamp Act; Coercive Act

john locke two treatise on government
John Locke: Two Treatise on Government
  • First Treatise: Attack on Filmer’s Patriarcha & Divine Rights of Kings
  • Second Treatise:
    • Natural Rights Theory
    • Social Contract
“To understand political power right and derive it from its original, we must consider what State all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and that is a state of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another…this equality of men by nature…Everyone as he is bound to preserve himself of the life, the liberty Health limb or goods of anther…

.."Civil interest I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things...”

--John Locke Second Treatise

Greeks & Aristotle:

obey laws

participate in public life

Exercise virtue

Roman Republic (Cicero)

People source of sovereignty

Corruption threatens

Balance of power in representation



common sense
Common prose

lack of deference

Appeal to common sense

no reference to authority

Challenges monarchy

Exposes Imperialism as detrimental to economic health

Common Sense
In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense... I have heard it asserted by some, that as America has flourished under her former connection with Great-Britain, the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true; for I answer…that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.
But there is another and greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is the distinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS. Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth inquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.

But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain...let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.

But the injuries and disadvantages we sustain by that connection, are without number; and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instruct us to renounce the alliance: Because, any submission to, or dependance on Great-Britain, tends directly to involve this continent in European wars and quarrels; and sets us at variance with nations, who would otherwise seek our friendship, and against whom, we have neither anger nor complaint. As Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no partial connection with any part of it…Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'tis time to part.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…
Secondly: I answer, such revolutions happen not upon every little mismanagement in public affairs. Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty will be borne by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going, it is not to be wondered that they should then rouse themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the end for which government was at first erected...

John Locke, Concerning Civil Government, 1693, second essay, Ch. 19

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence, 1776

virginia declaration of rights by george mason june 12 1776
Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason, June 12, 1776
  • The first and second article of the, is:That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
subjecthood to citizenship
Subjecthood to Citizenship
  • Transition from hierarchically organized to political order through contract among citizens—implied free and equal status. It presumes all have identical rights and duties.
constitutional solution the articles of confederation constitution of 1787
Constitutional Solution: The Articles of Confederation…Constitution of 1787
  • “We the people”…
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • Federalism: balance of national and state government
  • Checks & Balances
Reformative of corrupt tyranny

Harkening back to classic times, It called for the purity of character and public good, a utopian vision. To restore the simplicity, harmony and homogeneity of the social order

Radicalism: Sought “to destroy the bonds holding together the older monarchical society – kinship, patriarchy, and patronage – and to put in their place new social bonds of love, respect, and consent. Civic virtue would bind people in new kinds of relationships.” --Gordon Wood

Rule by “enlightened elected officials” not monarchy

Property owning men of virtue

Aligned with Country Party of Great Britain

republicanism vs democracy

*Rule by many

*Only concerned with group needs


*Rule by law (the Constitution) but governed by “enlightened representatives

*Must protect individuals from infringement of liberties

Republicanism vs. Democracy
People “should have as little to do as may be about the Government. They want information and are constantly liable to be misled.”…Their choice is like “refer[ing] a trial of colours to a blind man. The extent of the Country renders it impossible that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge the representative pretensions of the candidates”… --George Mason

…“it is ridiculous to think that every silly clown and illiterate mechanic deserves a voice in government.”

Social Contract: Power from contract vs power from the top

Individual Rights of mankind: life, liberty, property

Protection from state interference in private life

Right to Rebellion

john locke
Attack on Richard Filmer’s Patriarcha

“Honor they father…and they mother”

Power shared & limited

Adam as human ruling animals not Eve

Legislative body controlled by “persons”

John Locke
“The slavery of women is perfectly conformable to the genius of a despotic government, which delights in treating all with severity…In a government which requires, above all things, that particular regard be paid to its tranquility, it is absolutely necessary to shut up the women.”…. “On the other hand in a republic, the condition of citizens is moderate, equal, mild and agreeable ….an empire over women cannot be so well exerted.”Montesquieu
marquis de condorcet
Important in prehistoric era

Men used their power to make laws that establish “a great inequality between the sexes.”

Education would bring equality

“Perhaps you will find this discussion too long: but think that it is about the rights of half of human beings, rights forgotten by all the legislators; that it is not useless even for the liberty of men to indicate the means of destroying the single objection which would be made to republics, and to make between them and states which are not free a real difference.”

Marquis de Condorcet
jean jaques rousseau
Women are “ruled”


“The good son, the good father, the good husband, that constitute the good citizen.”…

“To oblige us, to do us service, to gain our love and esteem, these are the duties of the sex at all times, and what they ought to learn from their infancy.”…“ Women is framed particularly for the delight and pleasure of man.. Her violence consists in her charm”

Attack on Plato’s critique of social roles based on gender

Jean-Jaques Rousseau
james otis
The original of government has in all ages no less perplexed the heads of lawyers and politicians than the origin of evil has embarrassed divines…the gentlemen in favor of [the theory that government is based on] the original compact have often been told that their system is chimerical and unsupported by reason or experience. Questions like the following have been frequently asked them…who were present and parties to such compact? Who acted for infants and women, or who appointed guardians for them? Had these guardians power to bind both infants and women during life and their posterity after them?...What will there be to distinguish the next generation of men from their forefathers, that they should not have the same right to make original compacts as their ancestors had? If every man has such right, may there not be as many original compacts as there are men and women born or to be born? Are not women born as free as men? Would it not be infamous to assert that the ladies are all slaves by nature? IF every man and woman born or to be born has and will have a right to be consulted and must accede to the original compact before they can with any kind of justice be said to be bound by it, will not the compact be ever forming and never finished?” …” If upon abdication all were reduced to a state of nature, had not apple women and orange girls as good a right to give their respectable suffrages for a new King as the philosopher, courtier, and politician?James Otis

In response to British corruption

“virtus”/”vir”: Man

heroic courage, public spirit, strength

vs “feminine” qualities of cowardice, idleness, luxury

freedom from individual material interest

established by ownership of property, headship of family, wives, slaves



property virtue
self reliance

neediness precluded acting for public good

sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with and attachment to the community

Property & Virtue
“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He had made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.”

--Thomas Jefferson

Women’s legal identity subsumed by men in marriage

No property, contract, independent occupation, legal suit

Economic dependence as political dependence

”Generally Speaking, Women and Children have as good Judgment, and as independent Minds as those Men who are wholly destitute of Property: these last being to all Intents and Purposes as much dependent upon others, who will please to feed, cloath, and employ them, as Women are upon their Husbands, or Children on their Parents."

Thomas Jefferson

Non-citizen constitutes citizen…

Materially, the autonomy and freedom of the citizen were made possible by labor (often involuntary) of non-autonomous wives, slaves, children, servants and employees

Attack on patriarchy…incomplete Revolution

remember the ladies
I long to hear that you have declared an independancy and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

Abigail Adams, 1776

“Remember the Ladies”
republican motherhood
How should it enflame the desire of the mothers and daughters of our land to be the occasion of so much good to themselves and others! -You will easily see that here is laid the basis of public virtue; of union, peace and happiness in society.... Mothers do, in a sense, hold the reins of government and sway the ensigns of national prosperity and glory."Republican Motherhood
feminization of virtue
Post-revolution, less emphasis on heroism

Female virtue -- exclusion from public life and economy

“The Spirit of Liberty, spread where it was not intended.”

Virtue justifies political participation in 19th century

Feminization of virtue
  • Linda K. Kerber, “The Paradox of Women’s Citizenship in the Early Republic: The Case of Martin vs. Massachusetts”
  • Linda K. Kerber, “The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment -an American Perspective”
  • Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution