The Declaration of Independence has been variously interpreted as a bid for French support, an attempt to swing uncommitted Americans to the revolutionary cause, a statement of universal principles, and an affirmation of traditional rights of Englishman. To what extent, if any are these interpretations in conflict?
The Declaration of Independence was something great in American History. It was to make our great nation independent, get us out of British ties, and to use universal principles. The conflict that existed was between the British and the colonies. That colonies wanted out but the British still wanted to be in control. It needed an inspirational appeal to enlist other English colonies in the Americas, to invite assistance from foreign nations.
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moved that the United Colonies should be free and independent. When Lee’s resolution was passed it was the formal “declaration” of independence by the American Colonies. John Adams wrote on July 2 that it should be celebrated annually with fireworks. On June 7, Lee wanted the Congress to prepare on appropriate statement. That major task fell on the hands of Thomas Jefferson.
The United Colonies were sick of British rule. Jefferson pronouncement that the style was magnificent. He gave his appeal universality by invoking the natural rights of human kind not just British rights. Jefferson figured since the king flouted these rights, the colonies were justified in cutting their connection. The Colonies had enough off the British imposing taxes without consent, establishing a military dictatorship, and cutting off trade. After all of this Jefferson made the Declaration of Independence look like it was world’s greatest editorial. Jefferson had an universal impact. No other document in American History matched the significance of the Declaration of Independence. It was also considered a source of inspiration to revolutionary movements.
Sure enough the people went along with Jefferson ideas to cut off all the power the British had over the colonies. The people who defied the king were now rebels, they were not loving subjects anymore. The people were shooting their way into reconciliation. The king wanted all of them to hang together. After that the people pledge to each other their lives, fortunes, and their honor. With the people getting help from foreign countries and this help solicit hope for success.
The Declaration of Independence was the greatest document ever written in American History. When Richard Henry Lee said that the colonies should be independent he was right. Because when they became independent they turn into a great nation. Jefferson would be remembered forever for writing such a great document. He made sure that the colonies got all their rights and were out of the British tie. After the people read this document they went against the king and made a pledge. After this they were out of the British ties and free.
ESSAY #2 The Declaration of Independence is a very good thing that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Although it was a good thing, the Declaration of Independence had internal conflicts.
It was said that the Declaration of Independence was an affirmation of the traditional rights of the Englishmen. Well, technically it is because the Declaration of Independence is the document that separated and broke all ties with British. This was major a turning point in that Americans wanted to be independent but the British didn’t see it that way. The British wanted the American colonies to be under the control of the King. When the Declaration of Independence was released, the Englishmen basically had their rights to do basic things like choose religion, have free speech, and freedom of expression.
The Declaration of Independence was also said to be a swing at uncommitted Americans to join the cause of the Revolution. This was a conflict because the uncommitted Americans were still on the British side to a certain extent and when they joined the Revolution it was just like the British were losing to the Declaration of Independence. People going and getting with the Revolution because the Declaration of Independence was drawn up really help the whole document of independence get supported.
Two men were very influential in stating the Declaration of Independence as a statement of a universal principle. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was the person that suggested the Declaration of Independence on June 7, 1776. After he suggested that, a thirty-three year old lawyer by the name of Thomas Jefferson was in charge of drafting document. They stated that the basic principle in the document was being free. Being free from the British was something everyone wanted and that was a very important principle.
Throughout the whole process of thinking up the Declaration of Independence to drafting it had it conflicts within itself. None of the conflicts in the Declaration of Independence were big enough for it not to pass.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, American colonists felt that Great
Britain was violating their rights of equality. These same Americans
practiced violating these rights on slaves, Native Americans, as well as
lower class people of their own race.
British natives began colonizing North America in the early 17th century.
As time progressed, they began looking at themselves as Americans, though
Great Britain had a monopoly over them. Because they were not the first
people to settle in North America and other countries were vying for the new
land, naturally, wars were started. Great Britain backed the American
colonies by sending British troops (Redcoats) to help them fight.
Unfortunately after the French and Indian war was won, Great Britain fell
into tremendous debt. The British felt that Americans should compensate
one-third of their debt since Britain helped them in the war. To raise money
for the crown, the British began imposing numerous taxes on the colonies.
Americans felt that the British were trying to keep them from blossoming into
a self-governing nation and the right to be treated equal.
Though Americans preached equality for all men, they strongly
contradicted themselves. According to the Constitution, all men were created
equal, but many signers of the Constitution were slave owners. Southern slave
owners took an active role in managing their property. Viewing themselves as
the slavesâ€™ guardians, they stressed the degree to which they cared for them.
They engaged in meddling, directing, nagging, threatening, punishing, and
they even controlled aspects of marriage. Even free blacks were not really
free because they still could not vote. Many free blacks could have been hung
for talking "uncivilized" to the upper class white people.
The American colonists treated Indians terribly also. After the French
and Indian War, many Native Americans were condemned to reservations. Those who stayed within the colonies were not counted as a people.
The Constitution did not include the Native Americans. The Americans tried to control every aspect of Indian life, particularly religion. Many Indians were forcefully converted to Christianity. The Indians had no say so whatsoever.
American colonists even treated lower class white colonists unfairly.
These people, who did not own any land or hold any significant position,
were not allowed to vote. They also could not be elected into office.
Socially, these people were looked upon as just above the slaves. They would
never be as of such high rank as the higher class American colonists.
On the whole, The American colonists wanted equality and freedom for
themselves, but were unwilling to treat those lower than themselves equally.
these facts as well as others make the American principle of inequality valid.
Essay # 3 During the seventeenth to eighteenth century the colonists only cared about themselves. This is why they treated the native Americans, blacks, and poorer classes with no respect and felt they had no place in the making of the colonies politically, socially, and economically. These people were looked at as someone else to just throw out of their way and on to the back burners of history.
When the colonists were establishing their form of the government, cultural ties, and traditions they tried not to leave any room for the outcasts’ influences. They bombarded their territories trying to slowly but surely push them out of their very own home. The colonist gave the natives no type of representation what so ever and what ever they said was exactly what happened. This was a parallel situation to what went on between the colonists and Britain. Britain didn’t want to give the colonists any type of representation in the higher seats in government because the British felt as if the colonist were not of importance, this was the same way they felt about slaves and NA. The colonists were so focused on trying to be represented in the government that they were blind to the fact of how they were treating the lower classes of the colonies. Some small noticeable changes occurred during the “Unholy Compromise.”
The colonist had no say so in anything and this corresponds to the lower class that they had no say in anything as well. The lower class had basically no communication what so ever. The important colonist and slave owners didn’t allow the slaves to learn, ignored the poorer whites, and didn’t understand the Native American tongue. The only time any of those classes were noticed was when they were doing work. This is just like the colonies and Britain. They weren’t noticed by Britain unless they were bringing in some type of money, otherwise they just were ignored.
Though they colonies were ignored socially they could not help but to be recognized in the economic field. They were expected to produce goods to be traded and imported. Britain would not have been as strong had they omitted the prosperity of the colonies and this is the same for the lower classes of the colonies. The important colonists did not want to admit it, but the lower class whites and slaves were a very important part of the economy. They got no revenue back for what work they did but it mattered not because they were just property and whatever property they got belonged to the owners. Britain gave colonists no say so in the Stamp Act which caused an uproar and created the phrase “no taxation with out representation”. This was just one more way to show how the colonies were neglected, and in correspondence to this colonists would push NA back off their land and not give them any say so in what part belonged to them.
One of the most familiar sayings is “what goes around comes around” and that is just what happened to the colonists. They mistreated the lower classes and gave them no authority and respect and therefore got no authority or respect in Britain. It was not until “The Great Compromise” that the colonies really got some real representation. As far as the slaves they unfortunately never got any type of representation. The colonies tried so hard to be different and create a model society but they in turn could not help to end up being in so many ways like Britain.
During the seventeenth and in the eighteenth century, British colonist in America charged Great Britain with violating the ideals of rule of law , self-government and ultimately, equality of rights. Although the colonist themselves violated these ideals in the treatment of Blacks, Native Americans, and even the lower class of White settlers. The colonist contradicted themselves all throughout the revolution. Their reason for wanting independence was for unfair treatment between Britain and the American colonist, but all the while they showed no regard for the equal treatment of Native Americans, Blacks, and the lower class white settlers.
When the first settlers arrived in the early 1600's, they wiped out nearly 90% of the Native American. Even though the most destructive of the killers were disease, they still killed the Native Americans over land. The settlers pushed Native Americans off their land into the back country. British settlers wiped out entire tribes. For example:a genocide occurred against the Powhatans. The Native Americans didn't see any sort of fair treatment until the Proclamation of 1763, when the colonist were not allowed west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Slave trade began in the American colonies in 1619. Treatment toward the slaves were not very pleasant. Slaves worked in the fields from dusk to dawn, with merely no hope of freedom. The colonist adopted the Barbados Slave Code in 1661. Colonist felt they would be able to keep their slaves in order. In the Northern Colonies slaves were treated better than the Southern and Middle Colonies. Although the treatment in some cases was better than others, American settlers did not treat Blacks equally.
Lower-class white Britains were shipped from Great Britain to the New World to become indentured servants. Indentured Servants worked for their master for 7 years, to earn their "freedom dues". They earned a barrel of corn, a suit of clothes and sometimes a parcel of land, if they were lucky. A few colonist adopted the "head right" system. This encouraged the importation of servant workers. They were also known as "white slaves", but their treatment was far better than that of any other slave. Their masters acquired fifty acres of land for paying their passage to the colonies.
Consequently when they signed the Declaration of Independence to explain why they were seeking independence, the words "all men are created equal", would come back to haunt the colonist later. Therefore they violated their own ideals with their treatment toward Native Americans, Blacks, and the lower class of White colonist.
Essay#4 on ch7-9
The American Revolution played a very big part in American history. The revolution had its roots in politics as well as in the economy and society of America.
In 1750 there was little political basis for a national consciousness in the colonies of British North America. Each of the 13 colonies was a separate entity, with its own governor and legislative assembly. The inhabitants’ fist political allegiance was to their own colony. The lower house of each legislature was elected by the adult white men who were property owners. However the upper houses, or councils, and the governors were chosen in different ways depending on the type of colony.
In addition to the rapid growth and diversity of the population and the experience in the representative government, the emergence of a prosperous agricultural and commercial economy in the colonies during the 18th century helped pave the way for the independence movement. This economic system was based on the production of wheat, cattle, corn, tobacco, and rice in America for export to the West Indies, Britain, and Europe.
The American Revolution moved America into a new era. The revolution has not only affected America politically but it also impacted America economically and socially.
Some opinions say that the conflict between Great Britain and its thirteen North American colonies was economic in origin, and others say the American Revolution has its roots in politics. Both opinions are true depending on prospective. In the political prospective, all events led up to the Constitution. Britain demanded high taxes on goods which made the conflict economic.
The conflict between Great Britain and its thirteen North American colonies was political in that the compromises led to the Constitution. North American colonies were disobedient to the political rules that Britain had set up for them. They wanted to have representation in Parliament because the British were taxing the colonies. The colonists rebelled by dumping tea into the Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was responded to by the Intolerable Acts. In 1775 the Revolutionary war took place between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain. The colonies won. Compromises thereafter politically governed the colonies. These compromises led to the Constitution, the most important document in American history.
Great Britain demanded high taxes on goods. These taxes made the conflict economic. After the Seven Years War, Britain was economically suffering. They tried to use the thirteen North American colonies to pay off their debts. Great Britain used the colonies to economically back them through agriculture and industry. They placed taxes on paper goods, tea, and sugar. The acts were called the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the Sugar Act. They were very oppressive to the colonists.
The conflict that lasted from the origin of the Revolution to the period of the Constitution was both economic and political. The political document, the Constitution, wouldn’t have been possible without the sequence of economic oppressions that the British imposed on the thirteen North American colonies.
The Bill of Rights did not come from a desire to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution, but rather from a fear of the power after new federal government. Assess the validity of the statement. (1991)
The new government faced a list of imperative when the Bill of Rights was drawn up. Many antifederalists sharply criticized the constitution drafted at Philadelphia for its failure to provide guarantees of individual rights such as freedom of religion, and trial by jury, and to guard other from the conclusion that they were the only ones protected.
Many states ratified the constitution thinking that jury would soon amend it to include rights such as freedom of religion, and trial. James Madison feared that a new convention would unravel federalist’s victory in the struggle, so he was determined to draft the amendments himself. In 1791, the first 10 amendments guarded some of America‘s principles. Protection from freedom of religion speech, and the press along with trial by jury are among these.
Madison added the 9th and 10th amendments to guard against the danger that they were the only ones protected. The 9th amendment declared that certain rights “should not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” He added the 10th amendment which reserved all rights not delegated or prohibited by the federal constitution .To equally assure the states rights, Madison preserved a strong central government while specifying protection for minorities individual liberty.
The first congress placed other government jobs into place. The first Congress also effective federal courts. Madison became the first chief justice of the United States of America.
The Bill of Rights did not come from a desire to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution, but rather from a fear of the powers of the new federal government. Assess the validity of this statement. (1991)
The Bill of Rights stemmed from the absence of individual rights in the Constitution drafted at Philadelphia, criticization from many antifederalist, and the fear that a new convention would unravel the narrow federalist victory.
Drawing up a Bill of Rights headed the list of imperatives facing the new government. Many antifederalists had sharply criticized the Constitution drafted at Philadelphia for its failure to provide guarantees of individual rights such as freedom of religion and trial by jury. Many states had ratified the federal Constitution on the understanding that it would soon be amended to include such guarantees. Amendments to the Constitution could be proposed in either of two ways by a new constitutional convention requested by two-thirds of the states or by two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.
Fearing that a new convention might unravel the narrow federalist victory in
the ratification struggle, James Madison determined to draft the amendments himself. He then guided them through Congress, where his intellectual and political skills were quickly making him the leading figure.
Adopted by the necessary number of states in 1791, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, popularly known as the Bill of Rights, safeguard some of the most precious of American principles. Among these are protections for freedom of religion, speech, and the press; the right to bear arms and to be tried by a jury; and the right to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. The Bill of Rights also prohibits cruel and unusual punishments, and arbitrary government seizure of private property. By preserving a strong central government while specifying protections for minority and individual liberties, Madison's amendments (9th and 10 amendments) partially swung the federalist pendulum back in an anti-federalist direction.
Evaluate the relative importance of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel in 1776:
Parliament Taxation, British Military Measures, Restrictions on Civil Liberties, Legacy of colonial religious and political ideas
After independence in 1776, the Congress appointed a committee to draft a written constitution known today as the Articles of Confederation. The British bloody when hey learned a frontal attack with three thousands men. The colonials’ were forced to abandon the Bunker Hill in disorder. The British set fire to the Virginia town Norfolk (British Military Measures).
11)"Our prevailing passions are ambition and interest; and it will be the duty of a wise government to avail itself of those passions, in order to make them subservient to the public good." Alexander Hamilton 1787
How was this viewpoint manifested in Hamilton's financial program as Secretary of Treasury?
Alexander Hamilton found it his duty to set out immediately and correct the economic vexations that had crippled the Articles of Confederation. Hamilton was willing to have a new and wise government to be of service to the public good. He outlined his financial program in interrelated reports to Congress: on public credit, a national bank, and tariffs.
Without public confidence in the government, Hamilton could not secure the funds with to float his risky schemes. His plan was to shape the fiscal policies of the administrations, such a way as to favor the wealthier groups. They, in turn, would gratefully lend the government monetary and moral support. The support of the rich for the national administration was a crucial link in Hamilton's political strategy of strengthening the central government.
The public credit ideal worked out so well for Hamilton that he had enough confidence to ask Congress to charter a national financial institution, the Bank of U.S. He convinced Congress that this would make the new national debt easier to fund and it was set up for approval. Thomas Jefferson said a national bank was unconstitutional. But Hamilton proved that the Bank would assist the government to collect taxes and pay its debt. George Washington agreed with Hamilton and the Bank was created.
The next thing on the agenda was to figure out where the money was to come from to run the government and pay off debt. Hamilton's answer was tariff revenues, which depended on foreign trade. Congress passed the first tariff law in 1789. Revenue was the main goal, but it was also designed to protect infant industries. In 1791 Hamilton secured an excise tax on a few domestic items.
In conclusion, Hamilton was trying to make the government subservient to the public goo. He succeeded without the public credit and the Bank of the U.S. His plan was influential. It proved to be convient and servile to the public.
Hamilton's financial programs were a financial success. On of George Washington’s most important decisions was his choice of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury.
As Secretary of Treasury, Hamilton devised bold policies that addressed the fiscal problems that had bedeviled the confederation. Hamilton’s plan was to shape the fiscal policies of the administration in such a way as to favor the wealthier groups. And the wealthiest groups in return would end the government money and moral support.
Hamilton was a very ambitious person; his ambition was set toward balancing the nations debt problem. He urged congress to fund the national debt at an equal level and to assume the debts incurred by the states during the recent war. The support of the rich for national administration was a crucial link in Hamilton’s political strategy of strengthening the central government. Hamilton helped develop the wise government, which did help the people of the United States.
Throughout Hamilton’s term as being Secretary of the State he helped to develop help to the public. Thought his term he stayed very ambitious and passionate, he really did support his quote. And he supported his quote emotionally and financially.
There are plenty of factors and events that led up to the Constitution . The basic principles of the constitution were firmly grounded in the political and religious experience of America’s colonial and revolutionary periods .
Some of the things that led up to the constitution was the Sugar Act ,the Quatering Act, Stamp Act, the Townshend Act .Also the Boston Massacre ,the Tea Act , the Intolerable Act The Sugar Act was the restriction on imported sugar in 1764.The Quarter Act was established in 1765 ,they had to put up soldiers and feed them also give them somewhere to sleep. The Stamp Act was passed in1765. The Townshend Act was passed in 1767 the indirect tax was reinstated .During this time the Sons and daughters of liberty was formed and parliament suspends New York Colonial Assembly . The Boston Massacre was fought in 1770 . Samuel Adams also starts Committees of Correspondence. The Tea Act of 1773 lead to the Boston Tea Party. The Intolerable Act of 1764.Considering these acts “intolerable,” the other American colonies united in sympathy with Massachusetts. Virginia set aside a day of prayer and fasting and later proposed that the colonies meet to formulate joint action against the objectionable features of British rule. This proposal led to the calling of the First Continental Congress in September 1774.
. By 1786, the Confederation of the United States, established in 1781 by the Articles of Confederation, was in danger of dissolution. A general feeling of dissatisfaction existed with a national government that lacked authority to legislate for the country as a whole in many vital matters and that was not empowered to enforce its decisions. Shays' Rebellion in Massachusetts and the possibility of intervention by foreign countries gave added point to the repeated warnings of George Washington and other statesmen that the government of the union, formed during the American Revolution, was in need of drastic revision if the U.S. were to endure as a nation.
A solution to the problem developed unexpectedly as a result of action taken by a convention of representatives of five states, held in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1786, to formulate a uniform code of trade regulations to apply to the 13 states of the Confederation. The Annapolis convention, in which James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were leading members, recommended to the 13 states that they send delegates to meet in another convention “to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies of the Union. . . .” The Congress of the Confederation endorsed the proposal in February 1787, and set Philadelphia as the place, and May of that year as the time, for what later became known as the Constitutional, or Federal, Convention.
Colonist organized the Stamp Act Congress and also the 1st Continental Congress . The First Continental Congress convened in Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, on September 5, 1774, to consider and act on the situation arising from the so-called Intolerable Acts, passed by the British Parliament in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party. The colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress to protest the act, which they called, ”taxation without representation.“
A protracted fight for separation of church and state resulted in notable gains .Although the well entrenched Congregational church continued to be legally established in some new England states, the Anglican church ,tainted by association with the British crown ,was humble. De-Anglicized ,it reformed as the Protestant Episcopal church and was everywhere disestablished . The struggle for divorce between religion and government proved to be bitterest in Virginia . It was prolonged to 1786, when free-thinking Thomas Jefferson and his co-reformers , including the Baptist ,won a complete victory with the passage of the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom.
All of the acts from the colonial period were factors of the constitution .If these acts wouldn’t have never led up to the revolutionary war the constitution may not exist today.
Essay Question 14
Two decades before the Revolutionary War, many shifts occurred. These profound shifts occurred with the Americans. Many Americans had different thoughts and feelings about the British government and their colonial governments. There are many validities of this statement. Two validities are of the political and constitution debates of those decades.
This can be validated of the political debates. There was once forty other colonies under British government; due to many wars and outbreaks Britain no longer controls these colonies. There are now thirty political units in Britain, which include territories and independences. Most dependencies are developing towards self-government. The original thirteen colonies, except Georgia, were formally planed by the British colonies. All of these colonies were found haphazardly by trading companies.
Another source of validity was constitution debates. About 60 percent of the British revenue comes from federal-provincial tax sharing arrangement and federal assistance. America felt that the British mercantile system was through selfish and deliberately oppressive or malicious. Until the Navigation Laws (1763) were imposed, no intolerable burdens were laxly enforced through a policy of “salutary neglect.”
The Americans and the British had many differences. The Stamp Act, the Navigation Act, the Seven Years War, and other acts of law enforcement; many conflicts came about. Through the political and constitutional debates Britain knew that something had to give between them and America. Britain redefined its relationship with the North American colonies after the Seven Years War, but even after the Revolutionary War America and Britain still have disagreements.