Ch. 6: The Founding of a Nation



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  1. Ch. 6: The Founding of a Nation

    1. Battlefield NJ

      1. The Battle of Trenton

        1. Things going poorly for Amer. by end of 1776

        2. After losses in this area GW and troops retreat across NJ and Del. River to make a plan

        3. GW comes up with plan to surprise attack German mercenaries (hired soldiers) in Trenton

        4. Christmas night 2000 Amer. soldiers cross Delaware River and surprise attack the mercenaries in the morning of Dec. 26th.

          1. Cont. Army kills and wounds many soldiers

and takes 1000 prisoner.

          1. Surprise attack works

        1. Battle of Trenton is turning point of War

        2. Many men decided to reenlist and continue fighting (enlistment – period of time committed to military service)

      1. The Battle of Princeton

        1. Jan. 2, 1777 (week after Battle of Trenton) General Cornwallis and 8000 British men are sent to stop GW’s army.

        2. GW has clever plan to leave 400 men in Trenton-light fires, and make noise so British think they’re staying there.

        3. Meanwhile GW takes 2000 men toward Princeton.

        4. Suffered setback at first and troops start to retreat, but GW stops them and encourages them to keep fighting.

        5. Patriots suffer several losses, but end up winning

        6. Americans head to winter headquarters in Morristown to regroup.

      2. The Battle of Monmouth

        1. Washington rebuilds his army in 1777 after Battles of Trenton and Princeton

        2. On June 28, 1778 (approx. a year and a half after Battle of Princeton) 10,000 British and 12,000 Patriots fight at Monmouth

          1. Heatstroke and thirst

          2. Battle ends in draw (no side wins)

          3. Heroes on both sides (Patriot – Molly Pitcher)

      3. Victory and Beyond

        1. Last major Battle is Battle of Yorktown in VA from Sept 1781 to Mid October 1781

        2. French soldiers help Amer. surround British and they surrender. (Amer. win battle)

        3. 1783- British and Amer. sign Treaty of Paris which means America is a free and independent country

        4. In 1777 Cont. Congress finished Articles of Confederation (first Constitution) and by 1781 all states ratified, or approved it.

          1. This was first step in setting up a democratic gov’t.

    1. A Design for Democracy

      1. The Constitutional Convention

        1. In 1787 a group of 55 delegates met for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. They had to decide how the new nation was going to govern itself.

        2. The delegates created a legislature: an elected group of lawmakers.

        3. The legislature had two houses: The Senate and the House of Representatives.

          1. Senate-each state elects 2 reps

          2. House of Reps-# of reps depends on population of each state.

        4. They also drafted the United States Constitution, creating a democratic government.

        5. Democracy: A government ruled by the people.

        6. This type of government differed from an authoritarian government: a government ruled by a single leader or small group.

        7. The United States is a democratic republic: In this type of government, the people hold the power, but they do not make the laws directly. They elect representatives who make the laws.

      2. The Constitution

        1. James Madison was called, “The Father of the Constitution.” He believed in a strong national government.

        2. The Constitution called for a separation of powers: The government would have three branches:

          1. Executive Branch: The President, enforces the laws

          2. Legislative Branch: Congress, makes the laws

          3. Judicial Branch: Federal court system, interprets the laws

        3. These powers are controlled by checks and balances: A system that prevents one branch from having too much power

          1. Congress has two houses: The House of Representatives and the Senate. To make a law, a majority of the members of the two houses must agree about an issue.

          2. The President has the power to veto (reject) a law.

          3. If 2/3 of Congress agrees about an issue, they can override (overrule) the veto.

          4. Judicial branch can declare law unconstitutional, but majority in Congress can overturn decision by making amendment.

        4. 9 of 13 states had to ratify Constitution before it would go into effect. This took awhile.

      3. The Bill of Rights

        1. Debate about Constitution wasn’t pretty because people felt gov’t had too much power.

        2. They amended (changed) Constitution by adding in Bill of Rights

          1. This is the first ten amendments that guaranteed people basic rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, etc.

        3. The Bill of Rights was needed in order for more states to finally ratify Constitution. It was added in 1791.

        4. Constitution went into effect in March 1789 and GW became first president.


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