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Chapter 6

The Revolutionary Republic

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Hearts and Minds: The Northern
War, 1776-1777

• Rulers of Britain felt that loss of colonies


would be fatal blow to British power
• Britain raised more soldiers and fleets
– Doubled its national debt

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The British Offensive

• Americans driven from Canada


• Richard and William Howe
• George Washington
• Battle of Brooklyn Heights
• Fall of New York City
• Mass desertions from Continental army
• New Jersey and Rhode Island fall to British

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The Trenton-Princeton Campaign
• Christmas attack on Hessians at Trenton
• Charles, Earl of Cornwallis
• Princeton
• British mistakes
– Not pursuing and destroying Washington
– Abandoning Loyalists
– Hessian war crimes

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The Campaigns of 1777 and
Foreign Intervention

• British strategy
– Lacked coherence
– Howes take Philadelphia
– Burgoyne and Clinton meet in interior New
York

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The Loss of Philadelphia
• Howes march North from Maryland to take
Philadelphia
• Washington abandons Philadelphia
• Valley Forge
– Frederich Wilhelm, Baron von Steuben: drillmaster for
the Continental army
– Marquis de Lafayette
– 1/5th of Continental officers were foreign mercanaries
Saratoga
• John Burgoyne takes Ticonderoga, moves
toward Albany
• John Stark and the New Hampshire militia
• Horatio Gates
– Bemis Heights (1777)
• Saratoga: Burgoyne surrenders

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French Intervention
• French want revenge for loss of 7 Years War
• Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais and
French aid
• Benjamin Franklin and Charles Gravier, comte de
Vergennes: Franco-American alliance
• Reasons for French entry
– Afraid fall of Philadelphia might weaken resolve of
colonists to continue fighting
– Saratoga convinced them that colonists could win

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Spanish Expansion and
Intervention
• Spanish want revenge for loss of 7 Years War
• Louisiana still largely French, even under Spanish
rule
• California
– Spaniards explored California coastline
– Junípero Serra
• Spain goes to war with Britain 1779
• Spanish Florida again

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The Reconstitution of Authority

• Intense debate in America on


constitutionalism
• Written constitution important
• Fuller expressions of popular sovereignty
– Power is derived from the people

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John Adams and the Separation
of Powers

• Thomas Paine and unicameral government


• Constitutional Conventions: “popular sovereignty
in its purest form”
• Adams responds with Thoughts on Government
– separation of powers
– virtue

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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

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The Pennsylvania Constitution

• Quaker and Proprietary Parties


• Constitutional Convention 1776
• “Constitutionalists”

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Massachusetts Redefines
Constitutionalism

• Resentment of the “River Gods”


• Berkshire Constitutionalists
– convention
• General Court
– bill of rights

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Confederation
• John Dickinson and the “Articles of
Confederation and Perpetual Union”
– State sovereignty and equality
– Congress must requisition money from states
• Ratification process
– All had to agree
– Stalls over western land claims
– Approved 3-1-1781

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The Crisis of the Revolution,
1779-1783
• Americans, with French assistance,
expected a quick victory
• War of attrition
• Loyalists: important to British war efforts
• British looked to Carolinas for support

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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

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Loyalist Refugees, Black and
White
• Slaves outside New England sided with Britain
• British government freed thousands of slaves
• Loyalists refugees, mostly to Canada
• American Revolution laid groundwork for 2
Western hemisphere rivals—Canada and the
U.S.A.

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The Indian Struggle for Unity
and Survival
• Most Indians believed only hope to stop colonist’s
expansion was British victory
• Iroquois
– Mohawks
– Joseph Brant
– Wyoming Valley
• Shawnees
– Cornplanter
• Indian unity
• George Rogers Clark
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Attrition
• British war weary after 1778
• British army is desperate for soldiers
– Recruited many Irish Catholics
– Resulted in Protestant violence: Gordon riots
• Attrition weakened American forces and
undermined economy
• Continental dollar collapses
• Continental soldiers left unpaid, ill-clothed,
poorly fed, and mutinous
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The British Offensive in the
South
• British success in Georgia
• George Clinton
– Benedict Arnold
– Banastre Tarleton
– Failure of Northern attacks
• Cornwallis
– Carolinas

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The Partisan War

• King’s Mountain (1780)


• Nathanael Greene
• Francis Marion “the Swamp Fox”
• Battle of Cowpens
• Battle of Guilford Court House
• Cornwallis back to Wilimington

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Mutiny and Reform

• 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

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The Ravaging of Virginia to
Yorktown and Peace
• British invade Virginia
• Voluntarism falters
• Yorktown: Britain’s final defeat
– Washington’s plan: trap Cornwallis at Yorktown
– François, comte de Grasse and Battle of the Capes
– Jean Baptiste Donatien, comte de Rochambeau
• Lord North resigns

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Independence
Treaty of Paris (1783) • Post war problems
• British recognize United • Indians don’t accept
States independence
Treaty
• Mississippi as Western
boundary of United States • Army discontent and
• Prewar debts still valid near mutiny
• Congress must urge states
to restore confiscated
loyalist property
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 and Indians
• Winner when their interests coincided with
winners
– Slaves
– Women

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Religious Transformations
• Anglican Church “disestablished” in Southern
states
• Thomas Jefferson
– Statute for Religious Freedom
• Congregational church “established” in New
England
• Office holding generally restricted to Christians or
Protestants
• Toleration extended to Catholics and Jews
– Bishop John Carroll 1790
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The First Emancipation
• Revolutionary Era: freedom for many slaves
• Some freed because of Revolutionary War
• Courts say Massachusetts and New Hampshire
slaves can 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 were essential to plantation economy and a
valuable asset in the South
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The Challenge to Patriarchy
• War gave women more responsibility and
power
• Coverture
• Philadelphia Ladies Association (1780)
– Esther de Berdt Reed
• Republican Motherhood and the spread of
women’s education

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Western Expansion, Discontent,
and Conflict with Indians
• Daniel Boone and the Cumberland Gap
• Postwar settlement boom
• Spain and Britain fuel Indian resistance
• Secessionist Movements
– Franklin
– James Wilkinson
– Green Mountain Boys

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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

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A More Perfect Union
• Difficult times: 1780s
– Failing economy
– Debtors vs. creditors
– Bitter state politics
• Demand to amend the Articles of
Confederation

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Commerce, Debt, and Shays’s
Rebellion

• Depression and debt


• Paper money and debt “stays”
• Massachusetts, high taxes, and Governor
James Bowdoin
• Daniel Shays

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Cosmopolitans versus Localists
• Cosmopolitans
– Urban classes, large scale farmers and planters, Continental Army
officers
– Aggressive trade policy, hard money, payment of public debts,
high salaries for appointed officials
• Localists
– Rural classes
– Paper money and debt relief
• Localist win, but speculators thrive
• Jay-Gardoqui Treaty
– John Jay
• Washington and other cosmopolitans call to strengthen
central government
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The Philadelphia Convention
• Virginia Plan
• New Jersey Plan
– William Paterson
• Connecticut Compromise
• Government of laws enforced on individuals
through federal courts
• Electoral College
• 3/5ths compromise
• Necessary and Proper clause
• State ratification conventions
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Ratification

• Federalists
• Anti-Federalists (localists)
• The Federalist
– Federalist No. 10

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Conclusion
• White America affirms liberty and equality rarely
extended to Indians and blacks
• Discontent of postwar years led to Federalist
coalition
• New national Constitution replaces Articles of
Confederation
• Federalists endowed new central government with
greater power
• American Federalist system

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