Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

A PEOPLE & A

NATION

EIGHTH EDITION

Norton • Katzman • Blight •

Chudacoff • Paterson • Tuttle •

Escott • Bailey • Logevall

Chapter 7: Forging a

National Republic,

1776−1789


Ch. 7: Forging a National Republic,

1776−1789

• Agree new nation should be republic

(government based on consent of people)

• Disagree strongly and at times violently

on how to implement this republic

• Besides government structure, debate

how many Americans to include in

republic

• Debate how to inculcate virtue required

for republic’s survival

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I. Creating a Virtuous Republic

• Three different definitions of

republicanism

- classical theory assert republic require selfsacrifice,

consensus, & aristocracy of merit

- using Smith’s ideas, stress republic need

individuals to pursue rational self-interest

- last definition reject deference with

egalitarian proposal to widen male political

participation

• Elite advocate #1 & #2; not usually #3

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II. Virtue & the Arts

• All 3 definitions agree Europe corrupt

and virtue critical, but define virtue

differently

• Artists & authors try to teach republican

principles and instill nationalism

• Weem’s Life of Washington

• Same in drama, painting, sculpture, &

architecture

• Others see fine arts as corrupting luxuries

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III. Education Reform & Women’s

Education

• To teach children republican values,

education reform develop

• Some northern states begin 1st public

elementary schools (MA, 1789)

• Expand pre-college education available

to women because mothers influence

children

• Murray (advocate of women’s education)

assert men & women equal in intelligence

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IV. Women & the Republic

• Murray reflect new ideas on gender because

women key contributors to Revolution’s success

• A. Adams apply Revolution’s ideals to women

• Call for legal reform to prevent male tyranny

• Others call for female vote

• Yet gender roles not fundamentally altered

• Ideal republican men pursue self-interest

• Ideal republican women serve others first

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V. The First Emancipation

• During Revolution, some slaves appeal for

freedom using Revolution’s ideals

• Most of north start to end slavery, but do so

slowly because of concerns for property rights

• Free some children when turn adult, but still

slaves in north in 1840s

• Some southern states relax manumission laws

• # of free blacks increase, but most African

Americans still slaves (89%, 1800; Map 7.1)

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VI. Migration

• Chesapeake shift to grain

• Antislavery Baptists/Methodists help

manumission

• Many freed blacks move to northern port

cities

• Although free, face discrimination in

laws, housing, employment, & education

• Build their own institutions, esp. churches

& schools (AME start, 1794)

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VII. Racist Theory

• To solve conflict with Revolution’s ideals,

slaveowners begin theory that people of

African descent less than fully human

• “White” & “black” gain definition

• Transform earlier free /slave division

• Influenced by Revolution, whites see

themselves as distinct group

• African Americans forge new identity

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VIII. A White Men’s Republic

• Blacks challenge theories of inferiority,

but whites (Jefferson) cling to racist

notions

• Exclude women and people of color

(blacks & Indians) from political activity

• Expanding suffrage for white males may

be linked w/ exclusion

• For elite, better to widen participation to

some than risk poor white males ally with

blacks, etc.

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IX. State Constitutions & State

Governments

• After 1776, drafting state constitutions take

priority over national government structure

• Develop documents specifying structure in

special conventions and ratified by

electorate

• Fear of tyranny shape new state structures:

restrict governors; strengthen legislatures

• Lower property qualification for voting;

reapportion districts; enumerate rights

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X. Articles of Confederation

(Ratified, 1781)

• At state level, early governments weak,

but revised (1780s) to strengthen

governor and incorporate checks &

balances

• Similar process at national level

• Articles reflect how Continental Congress

evolve by default as national government

• A unicameral legislature; each state with

1 vote, and unanimity required for

amendments

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XI. Trials of Confederation

• Lacking taxation powers, Congress incur

debt and its currency depreciate (see

Figure 7.1)

• To guard sovereignty, states block

uniform commercial policy and foreign

treaties (prewar debts, loyalists)

• Result = Europeans discriminate against

US exports, and English keep troops on

frontier

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XII. Indian Relations

• USA gain area between Appalachians &

Mississippi (1783 Treaty), but must

negotiate with numerous Indians there

• Tribal fragmentation (e.g., Iroquois) and

loss of European allies weaken Indians

• Treaties (Map 7.3) allow European

American influx

• Organizing territory cause debate within

USA (conflicting state claims, Map 7.2)

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XIII. Ordinances of 1784, 1785, &

1787 (Northwest)

• Congress sell land in large blocks (not

help small farmers)

• Guarantee settlers basic rights

• Some limits on slavery in Northwest

• Establish process for organizing new

states to be equal with original 13

• Influx of settlers cause violence with

Indians

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XV. From Crisis to the Constitution

• Americans active in finance, foreign trade, &

foreign affairs see problems with Articles

• Revolution shift trade (food) to West Indies

and stimulate domestic

manufacturing/market

• Reformers at Annapolis (1786) call for

special meeting in 1787 at Philadelphia

• Shay’s Rebellion (1786–7) scare elite; Shay

link uprising by poor farmers w/ Revolution

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XVI. Constitutional Convention

(1787)

• 55 delegates: most wealthy, American born,

politically experienced, & college-educated

• Madison = central figure, very prepared for

meeting, and Virginia Plan embody his ideas

• Strengthen US government; prevent tyranny

with checks & balances, and praise large

republic

• VA Plan upset small states because new

government so strong and large states

favored

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XVI. Constitutional Convention

(cont.)

• NJ Plan call for revising Articles

• Compromise between two plans

• Two-house legislature: House directly

elected w/ proportional representation

• Senate elected by state legislatures (2

per state)

• Slavery linked to new government: 3/5ths

clause affect representation in House

and Constitution protect slavery

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XVI. Constitutional Convention

(cont.)

• Enumerate new powers for US

Government (tax, commerce) and

Supremacy Clause

• Charge president with foreign affairs, Cin-C

• Delegates not want the “people” to elect

directly either president or senators

• Separation of powers within US

Government and between US Gov’t and

states prevent tyranny

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XVII. Opposition and Ratification

(1788)

• Ratification require state conventions to

attain legitimacy & bypass state

legislatures

• Extensive, heated debate; because many

cannot vote, public protest part of debate

• Federalists assert new structure ensure

republic w/ virtuous leaders from “better

sort”

• Antifederalists stress Real Whig fears of

centralized power; advocate strong states

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XVII. Opposition and Ratification

(cont.)

• No bill of rights upset Antifederalists

• Argue specific guarantees essential

• Slowly Federalists make concession

• Key ratification votes (MA, VA, NY) close

• Many cities celebrate with parades

stressing unity despite debates &

tensions of era

• Like earlier rituals, goal = teach

lessons/values

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Summary: Discuss Links to the

World & Legacy

• How novels link early USA & England?

• Themes of Rowson’s Charlotte: A Tale of

Truth?

• New freedoms/dangers for young women?

• What legacy has the Township & Range

System left on the physical makeup (e.g.

roads) of the USA?

• Contrast with earlier metes and bounds

system?

• Long-term legacy of Township & Range

System?

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