BECK index

Summary and Evaluation

of American Revolutions 1744-1817

by Sanderson Beck

Latin America 1744-1817
English-French Conflict 1744-63

American Revolution 1763-1783
American Constitution and Federalists 1783-1801
Jefferson’s Republic and Madison’s War 1801-17
Evaluating American Revolutions 1744-1817

Latin America

Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas
Spanish Colonies 1492-1744
Brazil 1500-1744

      By the middle of the 18th century the native population of Brazil had been reduced to 1.5 million while 790,200 slaves had been imported from Angola and Costa da Mina. The Guarani revolted in 1754 but were defeated in two years. In 1755 the Marques of Pombal persuaded Portugal’s Jose I to restore Indian rights, and marriages with the Portuguese were encouraged; but after two years of freedom male Indians aged 13-60 had to work half each year for colonists. Slaves continued to be imported from Africa.
      Tiradentes advocated a republican constitution for Brazil and a revolution, but he was executed on April 21, 1792. That year Joao began ruling Portugal’s empire as Prince Regent. Bahia was influenced by the French Revolution, and a revolt there was suppressed in August 1798. By 1801 about 60% of Portugal’s exports were from imports from Brazil. After Napoleon’s French army began invading Portugal in 1807, Joao and his family and 10,000 aristocrats moved to Brazil. In 1808 Joao made Rio de Janeiro the capital of the Portuguese empire, and newspapers were published. Portuguese troops occupied Montevideo in 1817.
      Spain’s Carlos III ordered the Jesuits expelled from the empire, and they were deported from Buenos Aires in May 1768. Comuneros sought their rights, and military funding for Buenos Aires was greatly increased by 1775. Carlos appointed Cevallos the first Viceroy of Rio de la Plata in 1776, and he invaded Montevideo and Brazil the next year. The population of Buenos Aires and the export of hides increased greatly. Viceroy Vertiz (1778-84) implemented liberal reforms to improve health and education, and a major Indian revolt was suppressed. Salting meat also increased exports, but Buenos Aires suffered a depression in the late 1790s. Paraguay had a tyrannical government that allowed creoles few rights. British troops took over Buenos Aires briefly in 1806 but then were defeated.
      On May 25, 1810 in Buenos Aires a revolutionary Cabildo accepted the people’s desire for the Primera Junta, and the next week Dr. Mariano Moreno founded the Gaceta de Buenos Aires. Montevideo remained loyal to Spain, and their forces marched on Buenos Aires but were defeated on August 26. Manuel Belgrano led the army which was defeated in Paraguay where the military declared its independence from Spain on May 14, 1811. Francia became the ruler of Paraguay. President Saavedra in Buenos Aires overcame Moreno’s faction, but the Junta Grande was replaced by a triumvirate on September 23. They created the Intendancy of Buenos Aires on January 13, 1812. Belgrano led the army and defeated the Spaniards at Salta. Posadas and his nephew Alvear were directors for a time, and on July 9, 1816 the Congress of Tucuman declared the Argentine Rio Plata independent.
      More than 100,000 Araucanians lived in the interior of Chile beyond the government’s control. Ambrosio O’Higgins was President of Chile 1788-96, and his reforms helped some Indians get land. Governor Carrasco repressed revolutionaries from 1809 until he was deposed on July 16, 1810. The Cabildo elected his successor Count Zambrano president of the First Junta in September. Chile’s first National Congress began on July 4, 1811 and was dominated by conservatives, but Jose Miguel Carrera took dictatorial power on November 15. Spanish forces began the reconquest of Chile in 1813, and they regained control of Chile in October 1814. Juan McKenna and Bernardo O’Higgins led the resistance, but Luis Carrera killed Mackenna in a duel. Manuel Rodriguez led guerrilla forces while in February 1816 O’Higgins joined the army of San Martin who was preparing an expedition to liberate Chile.
      The Incas in Peru were oppressed by the Spaniards and often rebelled as large amounts of gold and silver continued to be shipped to Spain. A widespread Inca uprising began in 1780 and was led by Tupac Amaru II though more than twenty caciques remained loyal to Spain. Tupac was captured and executed in 1781, and another Inca rebellion in Huarochiri failed in 1783. Books from the French enlightenment and revolution were suppressed. Europeans were about one-eighth of the population but outnumbered Africans, enslaved and free. Liberal ideas spread more after 1800. The local assemblies (cabildos) gained more power in 1809, but revolts were defeated. After King Fernando VII was restored in 1814, Spaniards reconquered Peru for a few years.
      Spaniards exploited northern South America in the viceroyalty of New Granada, but in 1765 Spain allowed trading in seven Caribbean ports. Cartagena got a printing press and a royal library by 1777. Many Indians rebelled during the Inca revolt in the early 1780s. Archbishop Caballero became viceroy in 1782 and granted a general amnesty. In 1800 New Granada had about 70,000 slaves but twice that many free Africans. Antonio Nariño disseminated revolutionary books and was imprisoned in 1797.
      By 1777 New Granada had eight provinces, and free trade began the next year. Francisco de Miranda advocated revolution and American independence, and in the 1780s and 1790s he traveled to the United States and Europe while rebellions failed. In August 1808 creoles formed a junta in Quito, and Bogota did so the next month and formed a Supreme Congress on December 22. A revolutionary Congress declared Quito free on February 12, 1812, but royalists crushed them in November. Nariño restored the Constitution, and in October 1812 they formed the United Provinces of New Granada. Bogota declared its independence on July 18, 1813, but the royalists defeated them on May 11, 1814.
      Simon Bolivar was a wealthy creole who traveled in Europe. He came back to Venezuela in 1807 and became a leader in the independence movement the next year that was supported by most of the provinces. Bolivar worked with Miranda, and a Venezuelan Congress met at Caracas on March 2, 1811. They developed a constitution which protected rights that was signed on December 21.
      Congress made Miranda dictator on April 23, 1812, and the royalists took over the capital at Valencia in May. Miranda declared martial law and recruited slaves by offering them freedom. The royalists took over Caracas, and Miranda was accused of taking money. Bolivar went to Cartagena and asked for help from New Granada in December. Bolivar’s patriots won victories in Venezuela, and Mérida welcomed him as a liberator on May 23, 1813. Bolivar’s army grew, and they regained Valencia on August 2. He was given supreme power on January 2, 1814, and he organized the state. The restoration of Fernando VII strengthened the royalists, and civil war raged.
      Spain sent more troops, and the casualties in battles increased. Jose Tomas Boves let the Spaniards kill prisoners, and on May 12, 1815 General Pablo Morillo entered Caracas with Spain’s largest army in America. Bolivar had gone back to Cartagena, and he commanded Columbia’s armies. Morillo invaded New Granada and captured Cartagena. Bolivar went to Jamaica to raise money and published his letter on republican values, and he also gained support from Haiti’s President Pétion. Bolivar promised to free slaves and decreed this on June 2, 1816; but men had to join the army, or their families remained slaves. During the civil war from 1810 to 1816 trade was drastically reduced.
      The Dutch governed the colony of Guiana which in 1762 had 3,833 African slaves but only 346 Europeans and countless Indians. A large slave rebellion in 1763 was brutally suppressed by April 1764. Essequibo and Demerara imported slaves from 47 ships from 1766 to 1786. When the French took over Holland, Guiana got a French government in 1795; but the British invaded and took over Guiana in 1796. In the next six years the number of slaves doubled, and in the 1802 Treaty of  Amiens the British gave Guiana back to the Batavian Republic (Holland). The British invaded again in September 1803, and two years later they ended the slave trade there. English became the language of the colony, and in 1816 the three main cities had more than 100,000 slaves with only about 8,000 free citizens.
      Spain continued to rule Mexico through the viceroys of New Spain who enriched themselves and Spain at the expense of the Americans. A Mayan shaman led a revolt in Yucatan in November 1761 that was quickly squelched. That year smallpox killed 94,000 people in Puebla and Mexico City, but Jenner’s vaccine would start helping Mexico in 1804. Spain got more territory in North America when France ceded Louisiana in the 1763 treaty. Jose de Galvez visited Mexico 1765-71 making major financial reforms to increase Spain’s revenue. New Spain had 678 Jesuits, and they were all deported in 1767. As the population of Indians increased, they became poorer with 85,000 people dying of starvation in the famine of 1785-86 just in Bajio. Viceroy Branciforte confiscated the property of the French, but in 1796 England became Spain’s enemy. Viceroy Iturrigaray (1803-08) raised taxes to pay for the war. In 1805 Bustamente began editing the first daily newspaper in Mexico. After Napoleon removed Fernando VII in 1808, conservatives took control in Mexico City.
      Another famine in 1810-11 provoked rebellion. The well educated priest Miguel Hidalgo joined a group started by Captain Ignacio Allende at Querétaro, and on September 16 Hidalgo preached a call for independence that quickly gained many followers. Hidalgo and Allende led a revolutionary army, and they captured Guanajuato, Valladolid, and other cities but not Mexico City. General Calleja led the Spanish army and began winning battles in November. The revolutionaries occupied Guadalajara and tried to govern from there. Hidalgo abolished the Indian tribute, but his army of 80,000 suffered a major defeat on January 17, 1811. Hidalgo, Allende, and other leaders were captured on March 21 and were executed.
      Ignacio Rayon took over the rebel army, and the priest Jose Maria Morelos emerged as a leader and became captain-general. He advocated social equality regardless of race and declared all people except Spaniards in Mexico “Americans.” Morelos won battles in nine months and controlled the southern coast with four battalions, but the royalists defeated his army on May 2, 1812, killing 3,000 rebels. Guadalupes formed in Mexico City, and some press freedom was declared on October 5. Morelos captured Oaxaca in November, and the fortress at Acapulco finally fell on August 19, 1813. Viceroy Calleja raised taxes while Morelos called the Congress of Anahuac that declared independence on November 6. The royalists won the battle for Valladolid on December 23, and by April 1814 they regained control of southern Mexico. The rebels met at Apatzingan and created a liberal constitution on October 22, and the royalists ordered all copies burned. The rebels fled east, and Morelos was captured and executed on December 22, 1815. Viceroy Apodaca replaced Calleja on September 16, 1816, and he granted amnesty.
      Spanish colonists in New Mexico converted Moquis (Hopis), but from 1747 to 1761 they battled Comanches before making a treaty with them in 1771. General Croix made peace with Apache Mescaleros in 1779 and allied with the Navajos in 1785 to fight the Apache Gileños. Governor Anza (1777-87) made peace with Comanches, Utes, and Navahos but not all the Apaches. In 1810 Pedro Bautista Pino was elected deputy for New Mexico and made a report to the Spanish Cortes in November 1812. Revolutionaries sent an army from Guadalajara in December 1810, and they defeated royalists and took over San Sebastian, Mazatlan, and Cosala; but they were defeated in February 1811.
      The Navahos were usually at peace with the Spaniards. After the United States acquired Louisiana in 1803, Viceroy Iturrigaray fortified San Antonio and Nacogdoches with 1,500 soldiers. In 1806 General Simon Herrera crossed the Sabine River, and an agreement with the United States recognized neutral ground. In 1807 Spanish authorities in Santa Fe arrested the explorer Zebulon Pike but released him four months later. The blacksmith Gutierrez led a revolt in January 1811 and was supported by Captain Casas who arrested Governor Salcedo and Herrera, but in March the deacon Zambrano set up a junta that was loyal to Fernando VII. In August 1812 the rebels captured Nacogdoches and La Bahia in November. Reuben Kemper led a republican army that defeated 1,200 royalists at Rosillo on March 29, 1813. Gutierrez proclaimed himself president of Texas as part of republican Mexico with a new constitution. However, on August 18 the royalists defeated the republican army by the Medina River, killing more than a thousand men, and amnesty was offered on October 10. In 1816 revolutionaries set up a government on Galveston island with Luis Aury as military governor; but they were overcome by the smuggler Jean Lafitte in 1817.
      In 1768 Junipero Serra sent Franciscans to replace the Jesuits who had been expelled from the missions in Baja California. The next year Governor Portola organized four expeditions at San Diego, and Serra founded the first mission there. In 1770 he started the San Carlos mission in Monterey with a presidio for soldiers. No trade was permitted with California ports. More missions were founded, and by 1773 the Franciscans had baptized 491 natives. Monterey became the capital, and San Jose was the first pueblo for colonists. Serra confirmed 5,309 Christians before he died in 1784. By the Colorado River the Yumas rebelled against the Spaniards who brought few gifts. Governor Neve made Los Angeles a pueblo in 1781. Governor Fages (1782-90) toured the missions, and the converts increased to 7,500 by 1790. In the next five years the new president Fermin Francisco de Lasuen confirmed 10,139 Christians. Two hundred neophytes fled from San Francisco in 1795. Lasuen founded four new missions in 1797, and by 1798 they had eighteen. Governor Arrillaga (1804-14) complained that supply ships left the soldiers destitute.
      Spanish colonists in Panama had trouble with the Chucunaques in 1756 and 1768. In 1809 Panama was allowed to trade with Jamaica. In 1812 Viceroy Perez retreated from Bogota to Panama for four years.
      From 1745 the archbishop of Guatemala was over Central America. A monopoly on liquor was imposed in 1758 and one on tobacco in 1765. England withdrew soldiers from Guatemala in 1763. The Economic Society of Guatemala began in 1795 and promoted reform in education. The liberal Gazeta de Guatemala was published and sponsored classes. In 1809 the provinces elected deputies to the Junta in Spain. An independence struggle began in November 1811 and was defeated in April 1812. Guatemala adopted Spain’s new constitution in November. In 1813 rebels were prosecuted, and in 1814 Fernando VII ended the liberal reforms.
      English settlers by the Belize River were harassed by Spaniards in 1745, 1747, and 1754. An African slave revolt broke out in 1773 and was punished by Yucatan’s Governor Vetancur in 1779.
      Wars between France and England from 1744 to 1814 caused the West Indies to be a frequent war zone, and many islands changed governments. The French West Indies in 1780 had 437,738 African slaves, 63,682 Europeans, and 13,429 free Africans while the British West Indies in 1787 had 461,864 African slaves, 58,353 Europeans, and 7,706 free Africans. Maroons on Dominica rebelled in 1785. A slave revolt in 1793 caused French colonists to ask the British for aid. The second Maroon war by the black Caribs in Jamaica began in July 1795 and lasted eight months. In 1807 the Bahamas extended the vote to free Africans. In the 1814 treaty the British restored most of the French colonies they had seized. On October 31, 1815 Jamaica’s Assembly protested British suppression of their illegal slave trade.
      Spain’s colony of Cuba was active in the slave trade. George Albemarle led a British invasion of Havana in June 1762 and took over western Cuba for a year while losing 6,000 men to sickness. Governor Conde de Ricla increased taxes, but the sugar industry expanded greatly. By 1775 Cuba had 96,440 Europeans, 44,928 African slaves, 19,027 free persons of color, and 11,588 free Africans. Cuba’s imports and exports increased dramatically between 1774 and 1804. Cuba got its first newspaper in 1791, and the Economic Society promoted education. In 1795 the Spanish army suppressed a slave revolt. After Fernando VII abdicated in 1808, creoles made Cuba a sovereign state with a constitution for a while.
      The Royal Company of Barcelona began regulating Puerto Rico’s trade in 1755. Puerto Rico got a printing press and a newspaper in 1806. They sent Ramon Power as a deputy to the Spanish Junta in 1809, and the next year he took petitions from the cabildos. The Cortes at Cadiz elected Power vice president, and he helped the deputies cancel the Regency’s decree that had given colonial governors special powers; but the restoration of Fernando VII  in 1814 ended elections and reforms.
      Slaves revolted in St. Domingue in the 1750s, and the Jesuits were expelled in 1763. The Gazette de St. Domingue began in 1764. Restrictions were put on blacks, and slaves escaped to the mountains and got their own territory in 1782. By 1791 about 40,000 Europeans controlled 452,000 slaves and 28,000 free Africans. That year France’s Assembly decreed that free blacks could be elected to colonial assemblies. That summer a slave revolt resulted in 2,000 French and 10,000 slaves being killed. In 1792 Santo Domingo offered freedom to fugitive slaves. The Jacobins granted equality to all free Frenchmen, and 6,000 soldiers were sent to enforce it in St. Domingue. In June 1793 thousands of Africans forced Governor Galbaud and 10,000 people to flee. A British force from Jamaica arrived in September while Toussaint led the fight for liberty in the north. After learning the French National Convention had freed all the slaves, in June 1794 he began fighting for the French.
      In 1795 Spain agreed to evacuate the island they called Española. The British went east, but Toussaint defeated them. Commissioners freed the slaves there. In April 1797 Toussaint’s army of 20,000 and Rigaud’s 12,000 defeated the English and drove them out after they lost 25,000 men mostly to diseases. Toussaint with 30,000 troops defeated Rigaud in a civil war, and the Directorate made Toussaint governor-general in 1799. He entered Santo Domingo in January 1801, abolished slavery, and banned racial discrimination in a constitution. Napoleon objected and sent 28,000 troops to reimpose slavery. The French lured Toussaint to a conference and arrested him, and he died in prison. The French lost 50,000 men in the war, and Rochambeau surrendered in November 1803. They declared the independent republic of Haiti. Jean-Jacques Dessalines had many French killed and was crowned emperor in 1804. The Constitution of 1805 barred whites from owning property. Pétion joined a revolt in the west, supported President Henri Christophe, and Dessalines was killed. The British helped the Spaniards in the east while Pétion turned on Christophe in the civil war and became president of the southern republic in 1806. In 1811 in the north a council proclaimed Christophe as King Henri. In 1815 a few senators re-elected Pétion president.

English-French Conflict 1744-63

French, Dutch, and English Colonies to 1664
New France and New England 1664-1744
New York to Georgia 1664-1744

      The European war between France and England that began in 1744 was also fought between New France and New England. The English attacked Fort Louisbourg in May 1745 and captured it in June, forcing 4,460 people to return to France. Canadians invaded Massachusetts in March 1747. A treaty ended the war in October 1748, and captured territory was restored. While the French expanded their colonies at Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean, English settlers came to Nova Scotia. Both sides built forts and sought Indian allies. Governor Duquesne organized a special militia and in 1753 sent an expedition to build forts in the Ohio valley. King George’s War (1744-48) had increased the debt of Massachusetts from £305,000 to £2,100,000. In 1750 Jonathan Mayhew preached there should be “no taxation without representation.” The number of slaves in Connecticut increased to 3,587 in 1756.
      In the war New York lost at least a hundred men at Saratoga on November 28, 1745, but privateers from New York captured hundreds of French and Spanish prizes worth £618,000 to their investors and crews. New York’s Indian agent William Johnson gained the Iroquois as allies; but the Assembly did not give him nearly as much money as he spent, and so he quit in 1753. Connecticut and Pennsylvania came into conflict over land they purchased from some Indians.
      The College of New Jersey founded at Princeton in 1746 did not exclude any student because of religion. The New Jersey Assembly gained the ability to pay the royal governor by raising revenue to pay his salary in 1752.
      The Pennsylvania Assembly refused to urge Indians to fight in the war. Quakers won elections again, and remaining Pennsylvania forces were dismissed by Governor Shirley of Massachusetts. Conrad Weiser negotiated peace treaties with several Indian tribes in 1748 and 1749.
      In 1747 Ben Franklin published the pamphlet “Plain Truth,” arguing that Pennsylvania should provide for its own defense and that they could raise 60,000 soldiers. It was translated into German, and citizens formed an Association that grew to 10,000 men ready to fight. Franklin organized a lottery that raised £3,000 to buy weapons. The proprietor Thomas Penn criticized him. Franklin founded an Academy in 1749 and disseminated his ideas on a broad curriculum that included physical exercise, liberal studies, and practical skills such as gardening. Franklin also conducted experiments with electricity, proving that lightning is electricity, and even making an electrical battery. He also devised the lightning rod and other means of preventing electrocution. Franklin initiated a public-private partnership to raise money for a hospital. He estimated the American population was one million and predicted it would surpass England’s in a century. He helped get streets paved and inexpensive lamps installed. Franklin became deputy postmaster for America in 1753 and served for twenty years. At the Albany conference in June 1754 Franklin proposed that the English colonies unite in a confederation like the Iroquois. He criticized British mercantilism and taxation without the consent of representatives.
      In 1745 Virginia’s Governor Gooch granted lands in the west by the Greenbrier and Ohio rivers. Thomas Lee organized the Ohio Company in 1747, and George II approved it in 1749. Virginians complained that Governor Dinwiddie gained a lucrative fee on each land patent. Dinwiddie sent Major George Washington as an envoy to the French at Fort Le Boeuf. Maryland became more prosperous by diversifying their crops beyond tobacco, and county sheriffs collected lower fees on land deals.
      South Carolina’s Governor Glen bought land from the Cherokees in February 1747 for England, but he could not persuade them or the Creeks to attack the French. Glen made peace with the Choctaws in April, but few things promised them ever arrived. In 1749 the Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Catawbas renewed their treaties with South Carolina, but by 1752 all the Choctaws had become allies of the French. In October the Creeks were persuaded to make peace with the Cherokees.
      The northern counties of North Carolina were so unfairly represented in the Assembly that they refused to hold elections and pay taxes in 1746.
      Mary Bosomworth helped Georgia’s relations with the Creeks, but she had difficulty collecting her back salary. George Whitefield and others persuaded Georgia to repeal their anti-slavery law in 1750. Georgia’s Trustees were replaced when it became a royal province in 1752 with fewer than 500 Africans.
      In April 1754 French soldiers pushed a few Virginians from the forks of the Ohio River and began building Fort Duquesne. Franklin warned that the English colonies did not have the unity of the French in Canada. On May 18 Washington led an attack that killed ten men and started another war between England and France. On July 3 the Virginians were outnumbered by the French and Indians, and they capitulated at Fort Necessity and were released. In 1755 British General Braddock led an expedition to Fort Duquesne, but they were ambushed by Indians and some Canadians and French. Most of the English officers and men were killed or wounded while the other side lost only 23 men.
      Meanwhile Governor Shirley sent 2,000 volunteers to Nova Scotia, and the French Acadians surrendered on June 16, 1755. Eventually 6,941 Acadians were deported in 46 ships to English colonies, and some Acadians settled in Louisiana. On September 8 William Johnson with about 1,500 soldiers battled an equal number of French and Canadian forces led by Baron Dieskau who was captured; casualties on both sides were also about equal. Johnson was treated as a hero, and Parliament rewarded him with £5,000. In May 1756 Louis-Joseph de Montcalm arrived to command the French, and Loudoun came in July to direct the English. Montcalm with an army of 3,000 captured Fort Oswego in August taking 1,640 prisoners. Parliament granted New England £115,000. In August 1757 Montcalm’s army of 8,000 besieged and took Fort William Henry capturing 2,331 prisoners.
      In 1758 Prime Minister William Pitt began sending more English troops to America. He promised provincial officials that King George II would pay for the war. Massachusetts called for 7,000 men, and Connecticut voted for 5,000. England sent 23,000 soldiers for this war but France only 6,800. Soon the English side had twice as many soldiers as Canada. On July 26 the French surrendered the Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean; 5,637 French prisoners were sent to England, and 4,000 people from Louisbourg were deported to France. John Forbes led the expedition that took over Fort Duquesne on November 25 and changed it to Fort Pitt. Johnson and English reinforcements captured Fort Niagara on July 26, 1759. General Amherst with 12,000 men took over Fort Carillon and renamed it Fort Ticonderoga. Canada’s war expenses multiplied, but shipments of food relieved starvation in Quebec in 1759. General Wolfe led 8,500 troops to Quebec, and they defeated and killed Montcalm in a major battle in September. French and Canadians won a marginal victory near St. Foy on April 28, 1760, but General Amherst with 11,000 men marched on Montreal which was besieged by 18,000 troops. Governor Vaudreuil capitulated on September 8, and the English transported the French soldiers back to France. General Thomas Gage became Governor of Montreal, and the British Navy took over the fur trade. Many Canadians lost savings when Louis XV reduced his debt there from 90 million livres to 45.6 million.
      Subscription libraries were started in New York in 1754 and in Boston two  years later. William Johnson became Superintendent of Indian affairs in 1755. Armed marines impressed sailors in New York City. Most of the 14,000 British sailors in America were in New York. In 1759 New York commissioned 48 privateers with 5,670 seamen and spent £250,000 on the war, but 150 investors and the sailors gained prizes worth £1,400,000. The New Jersey Assembly authorized £80,000 in bills of credit.
      The Pennsylvania Assembly borrowed money to support Braddock’s expedition. Franklin supervised the building of forts and organized the militia. Most Quakers opposed military spending, but they were outvoted. In 1756 Governor Morris declared war on the Delawares and Shawnees and secretly sent 300 Pennsylvanians to attack them. Teedyuscung told the new Governor Denny that the Delawares had been cheated out of their land. In 1757 the Assembly authorized £100,000 for the military, and they sent Franklin as their agent to London. In 1758 about 2,700 Pennsylvanians supported the effort to take over Fort Duquesne, and the road was built in Pennsylvania. John Woolman published his writings opposing slavery and war. In 1759 the Assembly approved taxes on proprietary estates.
      Franklin in London argued with the proprietors Thomas and Richard Penn over the rights of the Pennsylvania Assembly. He published moral advice on religion and the value of self-examination. In 1760 he urged the British to keep Canada and let France have Guadaloupe. The Pennsylvania Assembly instructed him to invest the £30,000 they got from Parliament as reimbursement for war expenses, but the stockbroker John Rice lost them £4,000. Franklin returned to Philadelphia in November 1762, and he helped secure the credit of paper money. He criticized the Paxton Boys’ murder of peaceful Indians in revenge for massacres by other Indians.
      In 1755 Maryland had 153,505 people with 44,539 African slaves and 8,851 indentured servants. Maryland taxed propriety estates but made Catholics pay double. The Anglican clergy received £8,000 a year.
      In 1755 Virginia’s House of Burgesses raised £40,000 with a poll tax for 1,200 soldiers. Washington asked for more men, and Governor Dinwiddie called out 4,000 militia from the 27,000 enrolled. Like Maryland, Virginia sent French Acadians to England. Virginia contributed £120,000 to the war effort, and their treasury notes guaranteed by taxes were £539,962. General Amherst treated Indians with contempt, and those trading with them had to have a license from the Governor. Patrick Henry became popular by criticizing the King George III while winning a famous legal case.
      In July 1755 the Cherokees sold 360,000 square miles of land to George II for 325 dollars. During five years of war the South Carolina Assembly authorized £100,656 sterling for the military. In 1759 Cherokee bands raided settlements while Chief Attakullakulla made a treaty with Governor Lyttelton. Cherokees often deserted the English cause, and Lt. Col. James Grant with 2,250 soldiers attacked the Cherokees in 1761, destroying fifteen towns and driving 5,000 starving Cherokees into the mountains. Attakullakulla made another treaty, but the Cherokees were not allowed to trade with the English. North Carolina did not have functioning laws but by 1763 had about 100,000 colonists and less than 10,000 Africans.
      Georgia did not participate in the war against the French because of poverty and conflicts with the Creeks. In 1758 Georgia prohibited slaves from working in skilled professions. The treaty of 1763 removed the Spanish from Florida and the French from Alabama, and on November 10 the Creeks ceded 2,400,000 acres to Georgia.
      In 1760 the southern colonies had 285,773 slaves and the northern colonies 40,033. That year the British Comptroller Weare warned that the American colonies would unite and overthrow British rule if the British army did not remain to stop them. In Massachusetts twice as many people voted to prevent their town meetings from being dissolved. Boston merchants hired lawyers Oxenbridge Thacher and James Otis Jr. to keep George III from letting customs officials search private buildings without a court order. Otis was elected to the Assembly in May and in 1762 wrote Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives. John Adams warned they needed elections to keep their liberties.
      In 1761 General Amherst had 16,000 British regulars take over posts in Canada. Spain declared war on Britain in early 1762, and on November 3 France secretly ceded Louisiana west of the Mississippi and New Orleans to Spain. In the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763 France ceded New France to England, and Spain gave Florida to the British.
      About 1760 Neolin of the Delawares began prophesying that they should drive the English back to their own land. Chief Pontiac was influenced by his heavenly visions and encouraged prayers. General Amherst stopped gifts to Indians to save money and so they would earn a living. In 1761 the Senecas began planning attacks against English forts, and William Johnson tried to keep the Indians from uniting. He believed (mistakenly) there were only about 50,000 Indians in North America while there were about 1,500,000 British colonists. In May 1763 Pontiac and about 300 Indians tried to take Fort Detroit from the French, and by June various tribes had taken over thirteen forts from the British. On July 7 General Amherst ordered the use of smallpox as a weapon. Pontiac learned in September that the French had given their territory to the British. On October 7 George III claimed Quebec and the Floridas but reserved the western territory for the Indians. Pontiac negotiated a truce with Detroit’s commandant Gladwin. Amherst was replaced, and the war went on for another year; 400 English soldiers and 2,000 settlers were killed in this war.

American Revolution 1763-1783

      The British gained Canada from France and Florida from Spain in the Seven Years War that ran up their debt to £122,603,336. In 1763 the debt of the English colonies was £2,097,000, but in four years they paid it down to £838,000. Prime Minister Grenville sent Customs collectors to the colonies, and the Sugar Act became law in April 1764. The British also prohibited the colonies from issuing paper money. James Otis of Massachusetts and others wrote criticizing the British for taxing the colonies without their consent. Merchants in Rhode Island and other places refused to cooperate with collectors.
      The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 and the act for quartering British troops in America on May 15. Patrick Henry submitted resolutions in opposition, and the Virginia Burgesses passed four of them. Massachusetts in June proposed a congress in New York City in October. On August 14 Sons of Liberty in Boston hanged a stamp distributor in effigy, and they destroyed a building put up to distribute stamps. Laws were not enforced, and Governor Bernard announced he would not authorize the stamps. A mob in Newport rioted on August 27, and protests erupted in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia in September. Nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York, but the governors of Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia prevented assemblies from choosing delegates. The 27 delegates approved thirteen declarations and petitioned the King and Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act.
      Daniel Dulany wrote a pamphlet complaining that the Stamp Act was the first internal tax imposed on the colonies without their consent, and he advocated a boycott of British goods. On October 31 in New York 200 merchants agreed to boycott English goods. The Rhode Island Assembly voted to ignore the Stamp Act, and despite the threatened fines all other colonies refused to use the stamps except Georgia, the Floridas, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the West Indies. Smuggling increased, and the British Navy did not enforce the Act. On January 14, 1766 William Pitt advocated repeal. On February 13 Ben Franklin spoke in Parliament against the Act, and he published the dialog. He warned the British they were causing a rebellion. Nine days later the House of Commons repealed the Stamp Act.
      The British estimated that the cost of defending the American colonies would be £405,607 a year, and the Townshend import duties became law on June 29, 1767 and were expected to bring in £43,420 a year. The New York Assembly was the first to refuse to cooperate, and Parliament suspended them on October 1. James Otis led a meeting in Boston on the 28th that decided to block imports. On December 4 Newport agreed not to consume the taxed imports and was followed by Rhode Island and Connecticut. John Dickinson published his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania by February 1768 arguing that all taxes by the British on the colonies were unconstitutional. The Massachusetts legislature urged all the colonies to resist the Townshend taxes. In June a mob in Boston broke windows in the Controller’s house, and merchants agreed not to import any tea. Two British regiments arrived in Boston on October 1. Philadelphia merchants formed the Non-Importation Association. These efforts were supported by New York, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. In a quarrel on September 5, 1769 the Customs Commissioner John Robinson beat Otis. Boston women signed a pledge not to use tea. On March 5, 1770 British soldiers fired on a mob at the Customs House, killing five men, and two were found guilty of manslaughter. Some efforts were made to reduce the slave trade and allow emancipation. The African Phillis Wheatley published her poems in September 1773.
      In April 1770 Parliament repealed the Townshend duties except on tea. Ethan Allen lost a land case in New York and organized the Green Mountain Boys west of New Hampshire. The Sons of Liberty carried out acts of resistance to British oppression. The British began paying the salaries of judges in Massachusetts in 1772. Sam Adams began organizing committees of correspondence, and most colonies formed committees in 1773. Author Anthony Benezet criticized slavery, alcohol, and war. Ben Franklin was advocating for Americans in England and sent secret letters by Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts showing his intention to violate civil liberties. Philadelphia and Boston had meetings and agreed to boycott tea, and on December 16 Bostonians threw the tea on British ships into the sea. Tea was also prevented from being sold in Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Annapolis. In March 1774 Parliament voted to close the port of Boston, and the Coercive Acts limited their rights by giving the governor more power and by quartering British soldiers there. A Boston town meeting decided to stop all trade with the British until the Acts were repealed. A call for a continental congress went out, and twelve colonies elected delegates by August. James Wilson and Thomas Jefferson wrote about the rights of British Americans.
      The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in September 1774, and they approved non-importation of British goods and exports starting after a year. On October 14 the Congress approved the “Statement of Rights and Grievances.” General Gage dissolved the Massachusetts Assembly, but people organized a Provincial Congress which authorized a militia and £20,837 for weapons. British imports fell drastically after 1774 as did exports the following year. Franklin in London proposed terms for reconciliation to avoid a civil war. The British rejected them and sent more troops to New England in January 1775. Massachusetts, Virginia, and other colonies prepared to defend themselves.
      British settlers lived in the western territory reserved for the Indians by George III in October 1763, and sporadic fighting went on until 1766. Superintendent William Johnson and Croghan organized a land company for speculators while in the south John Stuart urged governors to limit permits for trading. In 1768 the Regulators formed in North Carolina to resist a poll tax for a governor’s palace, and they gained new districts in the back country. Pennsylvania was extended west to include Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh). Daniel Boone hunted in Indian territory and moved to Kentucky. The British neglected the Indian territory because they were trying to enforce taxes on the colonies. The British in Quebec and East Florida did not join the resistance of the thirteen colonies.
      The revolution became a war on April 19, 1775 when British forces tried to take the arms from Lexington and Concord and were confronted by local militia who fought back. News spread quickly, and colonies in New England formed an army. Volunteers took Fort Ticonderoga on May 10 and then Crown Point and St. John’s harbor. The second Continental Congress began meeting, and Peyton Randolph was elected president. British Governor Gage declared martial law in Boston on June 12. The Congress elected George Washington commander of the army of the United Colonies. American forces in Boston occupied Breed’s Hill on June 16 and fought off a British attack. Georgia became the 13th colony in the Congress which discussed reconciliation with the British. Franklin proposed a confederation and was elected postmaster general.
      The British governors in Virginia and North Carolina recruited slaves to fight on their side. George III would only deal with individual colonies and ordered the rebellion suppressed on August 23. Congress increased the army in Boston to 20,372 men and passed army regulations. Americans captured Montreal on November 13, but they failed to take Quebec on December 31. South Carolina created a new constitution in March 1776. Regulators fought for the British in North Carolina, but the revolutionaries defeated them. Washington’s army took Dorchester Heights, and the British evacuated Boston on March 17. George III hired mercenaries in Europe. On May 4 Rhode Island’s Assembly declared independence. On the 6th the British reinforced Quebec with 5,100 men, and the Americans withdrew from Canada. On May 10 Congress authorized colonies to form representative governments.
      Ben Franklin helped Thomas Paine get his start in America, and in January 1776 Paine published Common Sense anonymously. This pamphlet was read by many people and described the case for American independence from the British king with cogent arguments that appeal to common sense. He explained how people could create their own government with a constitution, elections, and rights for all men. They are fighting in self-defense but could establish a republic without a standing army. America is a separate continent and should be independent of Europe for practical reasons, and he suggested a Declaration of Independence. John Adams wrote “Thoughts on Government” recommending legislative, executive, and judicial branches. In June the Virginia Constitutional Convention adopted the “Declaration of Rights” by George Mason that specified many rights that would later be added to the United States Constitution.
      Virginia’s Richard Henry Lee proposed independence in the Continental Congress on June 7, 1776, and committees were formed. Congress approved independence on July 1, and on July 4 all thirteen states accepted it. They also approved the “Declaration of Independence” written by Jefferson that eloquently explained the reasons why the American states were severing themselves from Britain and its king who were at war against them. Congress began discussing a confederation and debated the plans of Dickinson and Franklin for several months. Meanwhile the states were developing their own constitutions with elected governments.
      The British began landing troops in New York on July 2, 1776, and by August 12 they had nearly 32,000 soldiers. About 15,000 British landed on Long island, and they defeated the outnumbered and inexperienced Americans. Washington managed to get his 9,000 remaining men to New York, and he asked Congress for more men and advised a defensive war. The Americans withdrew from New York, and the British army occupied the city. The American army successfully fought off a British attack at White Plains on October 28, but in November the Americans surrendered Fort Washington with 2,837 men. Washington’s small army retreated to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Congress fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Washington made a surprise attack at Trenton on December 25 that captured 918 Hessians. In 1776 American privateers seized 229 British ships while losing only six privateers. Paine published The American Crisis, inspiring the fight for freedom.
      In 1777 the Continental Congress issued $5,000,000 in paper money. Washington had his soldiers inoculated for smallpox. Those loyal to the British were called Tories, and many were raised in New York and New Jersey. The British treated the American prisoners so badly that 8,500 died during the war. Congress returned to Philadelphia but was driven out by Howe’s army again in September. Americans led by General Gates surrounded the British led by Burgoyne at Saratoga and on October 17 captured 5,791 men while getting back 1,856 prisoners. That month the Continental Army had 39,443 men. Thirteen independent states in Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15. During the next winter at Valley Forge about 2,500 American soldiers died.
      Franklin negotiated an alliance and commercial treaty with France that was signed on February 6, 1778. The British issued counterfeit Continental money that circulated. Congress insisted on independence as a basis for negotiations with the British. France went to war against England in June, and a French fleet arrived in July. Ten states ratified the Confederation by November. The British invaded the south and took over Savannah, Georgia in December. By then Congress had issued $106,000,000, and inflation increased so that a $1 coin was now worth $7.42, and this would multiply many times in the next two years. Northern states allowed Africans to enlist in the army while Georgia and South Carolina still opposed this. The British captured 3,000 slaves in South Carolina and took them to Georgia as 1,000 others died. Washington approved attacks on the Indians during the summer of 1779.
      In January 1780 Massachusetts adopted a constitution that abolished slavery with a bill of rights drafted by John Adams. The British besieged Charleston, South Carolina on March 29, and General Lincoln with 1,900 men surrendered on May 12. The British also captured many arms and 2,000 slaves they sent to the West Indies. General Arnold went over to the British, and mutineers in the American army rebelled and were disciplined. Twelve states agreed to import duties, and a plan by Robert Morris for a bank was approved. In March 1781 Maryland became the 13th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. The British army of Cornwallis plundered Virginia, but his forces were trapped by Washington’s army and the French Navy in October and surrendered 7,247 soldiers and 840 sailors.
      Although George III refused to end the war, the Parliament voted to stop it in February 1782. The Confederation had started a bank of the United States in January, and Robert Morris proposed a budget in July. British troops retreated to Charleston, and 4,000 Loyalists and 5,327 Africans were shipped from there. The Americans lost 25,000 soldiers in the war and the British 21,000. Congress issued $241,552,780 in Continental currency. During the war 130,000 people in North America died of smallpox. About 7,500 German mercenaries died, and the British Navy lost 19,784 men, mostly to disease. About 42,000 British sailors deserted, and 50,000 Loyalists emigrated from the United States. Franklin noted the waste caused by the war and what could have been accomplished in constructive ways. John Adams negotiated a treaty with the Netherlands, and the British recognized the United States as independent between Florida and Canada and west to the Mississippi River. Hostilities finally ended in April 1783. Washington urged a union headed by a federal government. British troops left New York on November 25 as Washington’s army entered the city. Washington said farewell in December, and Virginia ceded it claims in the Ohio territory to Congress.
      Sporadic fighting occurred on the frontier during the Revolutionary War as Indian warriors joined one side or the other. In July 1776 Americans attacked Cherokee villages in South Carolina. The Mohawk Joseph Brant led the Iroquois against Americans who had the Oneidas as allies, and the Iroquois helped the British defeat Americans in the Wyoming Valley in June 1778. George Rogers Clark led a force that defeated the British garrison at Vincennes in February 1779. That summer Washington sent General Sullivan to destroy Iroquois settlements in the Wyoming Valley. Chickasaws fought with the British, and Cherokees attacked settlers. In 1782 Clark led forces that took control of western Virginia and Kentucky. Georgia made a treaty with the Creeks in November 1783. In the peace treaty the British ceded the Floridas to Spain.

American Constitution and Federalists 1783-1801

      The Congress of the United States could not levy duties on imports, and so the states did so, especially on the British. Americans began trading with other countries, including China and India. Americans had a trade surplus with France but a large trade deficit with the British. Banks were started in Massachusetts and New York. Conservatives got Charleston, New Haven, and other cities incorporated to avoid town meetings. State legislatures usually elected governors and judges and had the most power. Many new newspapers and magazines were started. By 1785 all states except South Carolina and Georgia had banned the slave trade. Hamilton favored treaties and international law. Congress moved to New York in January 1785. Franklin in Paris negotiated a treaty with Prussia. Jefferson became minister to France and John Adams minister to Britain.
      In 1786 the Virginia Senate passed Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom to keep the state from imposing any religion on people while allowing freedom of religion. James Madison and Virginia tried to get the states to attend a convention at Annapolis in September, but only five states sent delegates. The British refused to leave their garrisons in the northwest until the Americans paid British creditors and compensated Loyalists according to the treaty. Most states issued their own paper money.
      After the depression of 1784-85 wages fell. Creditors demanded payment in coins, and many debtors were ruined or went to prison. Massachusetts did not issue paper money, and debtors had trouble paying hard money. In August 1786 delegates from towns met to seek relief for debtors. Farmers in Worcester stopped courts from functioning, and others freed debtors from prison. Regulators stopped hundreds of foreclosures. Daniel Shays led 700 armed men and closed the supreme court at Worchester. Congress raised soldiers. In January 1787 Governor Bowdoin called out 4,400 troops, and the Shays Rebellion was suppressed in February. Hancock defeated Bowdoin in the election and implemented reforms. A committee in Congress approved of a convention in Philadelphia in May. The United States and most of the states still had large debts. Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance on July 13 to protect civil liberties, and so they could form new states. Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote on prison reform and education. In Bayard v. Singleton a North Carolina court invalidated a law as unconstitutional. Joel Barlow satirized this chaotic era in The Anarchiad.
      The Constitutional Convention began meeting in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. They agreed to vote by state, and Rhode Island did not attend. Madison’s Virginia Plan was discussed for many days, and they approved of a bicameral legislature, an elected President, and a federal judiciary. The executive’s veto could be over-ruled by two-thirds of both houses. The House of Representatives was based on a state’s population with slaves counting as three-fifths, but each state would have two senators. William Paterson’s New Jersey Plan was discussed but was rejected. The national government was to be supreme, and each state must have a republican government. A Committee of Detail rewrote the draft and added new provisions. The convention voted that the slave trade could not be prohibited before 1808. Gouverneur Morris wrote the final draft and added the preamble. They agreed on two ways of amending the Constitution and sent it to the states for ratification on September 17.
      The Confederation Congress received the Constitution and unanimously agreed to submit it to the states on September 28. The proposed Constitution was vigorously discussed and criticized in the newspapers, and many demanded that rights be specifically protected. The Constitution was strongly defended and explained in the Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Hamilton and Jay emphasized the importance of a uniting and strong central government while the legislative, executive, and judicial branches provide checks and balances. Madison argued that in a republic factions could be overcome because people could elect representatives who would decide by majority votes. States formed conventions that began ratifying the Constitution in November. Massachusetts agreed in January 1788 with the understanding that amendments would be added to protect rights. Madison explained how government itself could be controlled by the people and the checks and balances. The Constitution went into effect in June when the ninth state ratified. That month Virginia’s convention met, demanded that rights be added, and voted to ratify. New York approved in July while also recommending amendments.
      Congress had thirteen states represented and scheduled the election for President so that the Constitution could proceed in March 1789. It did so, and Madison in the House of Representatives in June agreed to support a bill of rights. The Senate and House agreed on twelve amendments and sent them to the states for ratification in September. Two were rejected, but the first nine amendments that protected the rights of citizens and the tenth protecting the states were ratified by eleven states by December 1791. Vermont had become the 14th state on March 4, 1791. The bill of rights protects freedom of religion, speech, the press, and assembly with due process of law, a jury trial in all criminal cases, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel punishments.
      After the Revolutionary War many settlers moved into western territories. In July 1784 Spain closed the Mississippi River to American commerce, and North Carolina ceded its Tennessee territory to Congress. In January 1785 Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Delaware chiefs agreed to stay on reservations in Ohio. Kentucky organized itself and became separate from Virginia in January 1786. Cherokees, Shawnees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws made treaties with the Confederation, but the Shawnees, Creeks, and Cherokees fought settlers in 1786 and 1787.
      In January 1789 the Federalists won a majority in the elections for the House of Representatives, and Madison became majority leader. Congress had a quorum by April 8, and the anti-Federalist critic James Maclay kept a journal and persuaded them to avoid British ceremonies and honorifics Vice President John Adams had proposed. George Washington was unanimously elected the first President by the Electoral College and was inaugurated on April 30. He expressed his belief that virtue leads to happiness and that Heaven rewards what is right. Federal courts were established, and Washington appointed Federalists from different parts of the country as Supreme Court justices. General Knox continued as Secretary of War and asked for funds for an army of 5,040 men to fight hostile Indians. Alexander Hamilton was appointed Secretary of Treasury which began as by far the largest department with thousands of employees mostly to collect customs and revenues. Congress passed a tariff bill with a 5% tax on most goods. Hamilton persuaded Congress to assume the entire national debt and all the states’ debts, though Continental money was paid off at a rate of 100 to one, making the total debt $80 million. The first census in 1790 counted 3,699,525 people in the United States with 697,624 African slaves and 59,557 free Africans but did not include Indians.
      Hamilton proposed a national bank, and Congress meeting now in Philadelphia passed it in February 1790 in a compromise that set the new capital on the Potomac River. Jefferson and Madison began organizing the Republican party and persuaded Philip Freneau to start a newspaper for their views. Jefferson warned against letting the powerful and rich prey upon the poor. Banking was successful and proliferated, though some speculators ruined themselves. Republicans favored the French Revolution, but conservative Federalists feared anarchy. Congress passed excise taxes on liquor, snuff, and other luxuries. Madison explained why political parties were necessary. Hamilton led the Federalists and persuaded Washington to run for a second term while Jefferson led the Republicans and resigned as Secretary of State at the end of 1793.
      France declared war on England, Holland, and Spain, and the Girondists sent Edmond Genet as their minister to the United States. He arrived at Charleston in April 1793 and outfitted four privateers. Then he held rallies with Republicans as he traveled to Philadelphia. He asked the United States to pay its debt to France soon, but Washington refused and proclaimed American neutrality. Jefferson supported neutrality and tried to restrain Genet, and Hamilton wrote essays as “Pacificus.” Federalist meetings condemned Genet, and the British began seizing American ships. Washington remained above party conflicts, but the Supreme Court declined to advise the President as it limited itself to judicial cases. Madison wrote articles arguing that the President’s proclamation violated Congress’s power to declare war. Yellow fever took 4,000 lives in Philadelphia as newspapers closed. Madison tried but failed to stop trade with the British, and Congress funded the US Navy. After the US Supreme Court decided that a citizen could sue another state, Congress proposed the 11th amendment that banned that.
      In 1791 the federal excise tax on liquor provoked resistance in the west where grain farmers transported their crops in the form of whiskey. They tarred and feathered the first revenue collector and intimidated others. In 1792 around Pittsburgh they formed the Mingo Creek Association that blocked tax collection and enforcement, and in 1793 gangs followed Tom the Tinker. In February 1794 President Washington offered a reward of $200 to catch violators. Hamilton and Attorney General William Bradford got the law made more lenient, but resistors battled militia and burned down a plantation. Brackenridge with the Presidential Commission mediated with moderates. Washington threatened the use of force and went west. Arrests were made, and soldiers occupied a town. Washington pardoned the two convicted, and violent opposition ended.
      John Jay was sent to London as an envoy in 1794 and negotiated a treaty with Grenville, but a copy did not reach President Washington until March 7, 1795. The Senate objected to prohibiting the export of molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, or cotton in American ships. Hamilton argued for the treaty while many Republicans were vigorously opposed. Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin helped make cotton a successful crop in the late 1790s. The US Supreme Court upheld treaties as the supreme law. Washington urged the Cherokees to grow food, raise animals, and have their women make clothes. In October 1795 Thomas Pinckney negotiated a treaty with Spain that ceded territory which later became part of the states of Alabama and Mississippi. A treaty in which the United States agreed to pay off the Barbary pirates was approved by Washington and the Senate. In his “Farewell Address” Washington warned against permanent alliances and advised that honesty is always the best policy. In the 1796 election John Adams narrowly defeated Jefferson to become the second President. Judith Sargent Murray was a Universalist, and they successfully refused to pay a tax to another church. She wrote about equal rights for women and recommended the education of girls.
      President John Adams was a Federalist and gave a moderate inaugural address, though he failed to make any use of Vice President Jefferson. Diplomatic problems with France provoked Adams to call a special session of Congress in May 1797, and he continued Washington’s policy of neutrality while strengthening defense. He sent John Marshall to France. He justified increasing naval power to protect commerce. Republicans and Federalists quarreled in Congress and battled verbally in newspapers. The United States refused to loan money to France, and Hamilton advocated expanding the Army to counter the French. Yet Adams considered starting an unnecessary war the greatest guilt, and he managed to avoid war. He proclaimed a day of humiliation and prayer on May 9, 1798, but Federalists and Republicans wore cockades and clashed in the streets. Diplomats said the French wanted peace. During the fear of war Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts that authorized expelling foreigners and punishing people for “malicious” writing. Only Republicans were charged, and Jefferson and Madison responded with the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions so that states could nullify an unconstitutional federal law. Congress passed the first tax on land which was progressive on more valuable houses. Congress abrogated the Treaty with France, and it was called the
      In January 1799 President Adams began negotiating a treaty with France, shocking the Federalists in Congress. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania the house tax was unpopular, and John Fries led those who opposed the law. Adams accused them of treason and got Pennsylvania’s Governor Mifflin to send the militia. Adams also sent 500 Army regulars. Sixty prisoners were tried in May, and eventually the vindictive Supreme Court justice Chase sentenced Fries to be hanged; but Adams pardoned him and granted amnesty to the tax resistors. The Fries rebellion had been nonviolent. Justice Chase also harshly sentenced the writer James Callender for sedition. Adams ended the trade embargo against Toussaint’s Haiti. The annual federal budget reached $9.3 million in 1799. Adams replaced the Hamiltonian officials in his cabinet and made John Marshall Secretary of State and at the end of his term Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Republicans chose Aaron Burr to run for Vice President with Jefferson, and he helped the Republicans win New York; but when the votes for Jefferson and Burr were tied because then electors voted for two people, Burr and the Federalists in Congress refused to yield until many votes were taken. Finally the Senate ratified the peace treaty with France in February 1801, and they confirmed many Federalists as judges before Jefferson was inaugurated.
      The British held on to the forts in the northwest because Americans had not paid their debts. An Indian war broke out in the Ohio frontier in 1789, and the Miami and Shawnee led by Chief Little Turtle inflicted major defeats on the American forces in 1790 and 1791. General Anthony Wayne trained soldiers for two years, and on August 20, 1794 they defeated more than 2,000 Indians led by Blue Jacket at Fallen Timbers. On August 3, 1795 Wayne made a treaty at Greenville with eleven tribes, and the British finally left their forts in 1796. Speculators bought and sold land in the west. Yet many Americans settled on land they got for free because they did not believe anyone had a right to own land they did not farm. Kentucky’s population multiplied, and it was admitted as the 15th state on May 1, 1792. In the southwest President Washington made treaties and land purchases with the Cherokees, but he had trouble controlling the Americans there. Chickamaugas fought but made peace on November 8, 1794. Governor Blount organized elections and a constitutional convention, and Tennessee became the 16th state on June 1, 1796. That year Spain gave up territory north of the 31st parallel and east of the Mississippi River which they opened to American ships. Spain ceded Louisiana to France on October 1, 1800.

Jefferson’s Republic and Madison’s War 1801-17

      On March 4, 1801 President Jefferson began the era of Republican political influence as they sought to limit government and maximize freedom. Jefferson encouraged immigration, and the naturalization period was reduced to five years. His Treasury Secretary Gallatin worked to decrease the national debt, and military spending was reduced nearly 70% the first year. The Federalist Chief Justice Marshall recognized treaties as the supreme law and in Marbury v. Madison established the Supreme Court’s power to declare laws unconstitutional. The US Army had only 3,350 men, but a military academy was established at West Point in 1802. In the 1802 elections the Republicans won even more seats in Congress. Ohio became the 17th state in 1803 and banned slavery but created “black laws.”
      In his first week President Jefferson consulted his cabinet about the Barbary pirates, and they sent a naval squadron led by Dale in June. Because the United States stopped paying tribute, Tripoli declared war. In February 1802 Congress authorized protection of commerce and American sailors. On June 25 Morocco declared war on the United States. In early 1803 Congress funded fifteen gunboats and four warships. American marines first landed on a foreign shore in June at Tripoli. In October the Philadelphia was lost, and 307 men were captured. The US Senate raised import duties to fund another squadron, and they attacked Tripoli in August 1804. Consul General Tobias Lear made a treaty with Morocco in October, and in June 1805 at Algiers he negotiated peace and the release of the 307 men. The US Senate ratified the Tripoli treaty in April 1806.
      Napoleon and Jefferson agreed to a revised treaty, and the US Senate ratified it in December 1801. Jefferson in January 1803 asked Congress for funding to buy New Orleans and to explore the Missouri River, and he sent Monroe to France to negotiate a deal. France’s Foreign Minister Talleyrand offered to sell all of Louisiana, and the United States bought 828,000 square miles for $15 million. Congress approved it in October. The New Orleans Territory was governed by federal agents and then by unpopular Claiborne and Wilkinson. In 1806 people in Louisiana adopted the Code Noir segregation. Jefferson sent an expedition led by Lewis and Clark that left St. Louis in May 1804 and explored the Missouri, Snake, Columbia and other rivers, reaching the Pacific Ocean in November. They got along with the Indians and brought back new plant and animal species. Lt. Pike explored the sources of the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers, and Jefferson sent scientists to explore the Red River.
      The Marshall Supreme Court made significant decisions in Stuart v. Laird and Marbury v. Madison asserting the independence of the judiciary in interpreting the US Constitution and using their authority to strike down laws deemed unconstitutional. Gallatin advised reducing the Navy budget, and added duties on imports increased revenues in 1804 and helped pay down the national debt. Spain still claimed West Florida. A Federalist conspiracy to have New England secede failed to gain support. New York’s Governor George Clinton defeated Aaron Burr and was re-elected. Then the Republicans elected Clinton Vice President as President Jefferson easily won re-election. Republicans now outnumbered Federalists in Congress 141 to 35. Burr quarreled with Hamilton, killed him in a duel, and fled. Justice Chase was impeached by the House but was not convicted of any crime by the Senate. The Presbyterian Blackburn helped educate Cherokees, and they reformed their laws. In 1805 the Seneca’s Chief Red Jacket gave an eloquent speech asserting their right to choose their own religion.
      In his second term Jefferson continued his constructive efforts while maintaining peace. A Kentucky court upheld the rights of a freed slave. Increased revenues helped pay the public debt. Harrison made a treaty with tribes in the Indiana Territory, and Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Creeks sold land to Tennessee and Georgia. The British were at war and seized American ships; but they continued to be the main trading partner, and neutral Americans made money on exports. Spaniards complained about West Florida and also fought Americans in Texas. Mercy Warren published her history of the American Revolution. Joel Barlow wrote about education and scientific progress, and he urged the abolition of slavery. Jefferson agreed to a Non-importation Bill that went into effect in November 1806 as negotiations with the British continued. Tecumseh’s brother became the influential spiritual leader Tenskwatawa who persuaded Indians to stop drinking alcohol. Tecumseh got aid from Canada for their Prophetstown community.
      Aaron Burr conspired with the governors Wilkinson in Louisiana and Claiborne in New Orleans to form an independent nation, and he obtained support from the British. Senator Dayton of New Jersey got $3,000 from Spain and encouraged Burr who secretly made plans with Wilkinson for an expedition down the Mississippi in November. Wilkinson warned Spaniards to leave the Orleans Territory in September. Harman Blennerhassett offered Burr an island where they could gather weapons and train volunteers. On September 27 Burr met with Andrew Jackson who later sent him $3,500 to build boats. On November 5 US District Attorney Daveiss for Kentucky began investigating Burr’s planned invasion of Mexico. On the 27th Jefferson warned citizens against participating in this unlawful expedition. Ohio’s Governor Tiffin ordered Burr’s boats seized. Wilkinson, having changed sides again, went to New Orleans and began arresting people. Burr was eventually captured on March 6. Chief Justice Marshall tried Burr and Blennerhassett for treason, but a jury did not find them guilty.
      The United States banned the slave trade starting on January 1, 1808, but slaves were still imported illegally. Republicans ended the salt tax, the last domestic tax. Jefferson rejected a treaty with England that would have let impressment of American sailors continue. On June 22, 1807 the British ship Leopard killed three men on the Chesapeake and removed four crewmen, and Jefferson ordered British ships to leave American waters. England and France were at war, and each declared that any ship trading with their enemy could be confiscated. Jefferson wanted to avoid war, and the Embargo Act became law on December 22. This stopped trade with American ships, but foreign ships could bring goods to American ports. Mostly affected were the slaves in the West Indies who lacked food.
      In January 1808 the Enforcement Act made punishment more severe. The US Army was increased to 6,000 and 24,000 volunteers. In March exports were banned to any foreign country including Canada and Spanish colonies. Jefferson ordered smuggling by Lake Champlain stopped in April, and in August he sent the Army and Navy. Republican Madison was elected President easily, and Clinton was re-elected Vice President. Federalists made gains in New England, New York, and Maryland but nowhere else. Jefferson acknowledged Congress’s right to declare war but hoped they would end the embargo which had drastically reduced trade and caused economic hardship in America. Federalists met in Hartford, and in February 1809 Connecticut refused to enforce the embargo. On March 1 the Non-Intercourse Act ended all embargoes while closing American ports to the British and French. The embargo had cost much in lost exports; but it may have prevented war, and it stimulated American manufacturing.
      James Madison was inaugurated the fourth President of the United States on March 4, 1809, and in his address he reviewed the achievements of the Jefferson era and affirmed republican principles and peace and friendly relations. The embargo was over, and he decommissioned most gunboats and discharged 100,000 militia. He used diplomacy to avoid the war between England and France. Governor Harrison in Indiana bought three million acres from Indians in September. Chief Tecumseh complained that all tribes should have to agree to these deals, and he worked to unite the Indian nations while negotiating with the British and the Americans. Madison asked for much more military spending for 1810. The US Supreme Court in Fletcher v. Peck recognized property rights of those who took land from the Indians between Georgia and the Mississippi River. Madison proclaimed a fulfilled agreement with Napoleon’s France in November 1810. Americans occupied West Florida, and in January 1811 they invaded East Florida. In the 1810 elections the Republicans increased their majorities in Congress.
      The US Congress did not renew the charter of the national bank in February 1811, benefitting the state banks. Madison vetoed a bill that would have funded churches. Seneca’s Chief Red Jacket complained about land sales by some Indians for others. Madison replaced the incompetent Secretary of State Robert Smith with James Monroe in April. On November 7 war broke out between Harrison’s army and the Indians at Tippecanoe, and the Indians’ town was burned. Tecumseh returned from a visit to the Creeks and tried to negotiate peace. The British were still seizing American ships, and Madison asked for more Navy ships and harbor fortifications. In January 1811 Madison approved increasing the US Army to 35,000 men. Restored trade had multiplied by 32 exports to Britain. Madison ordered that invaded territory in East Florida be returned to Spain. Louisiana with slaves became the 18th state. On June 1 Madison sent a message to Congress asking for war against the British, and the declaration passed on the 17th. England had repealed the offensive Orders in Council the day before, but it was too late.
      The United States planned to add 25,000 regulars and 50,000 volunteers for one year and authorized 100,000 militia for six months, but the Navy had less than a dozen warships while the British had 80 in the region and 700 at sea. Techumseh opposed the older chiefs and wanted to unite the tribes on the British side to regain some of their land. The Federal Republican in Baltimore opposed the war, and hundreds of angry men destroyed their building. Governor William Hull in the Michigan Territory was ordered to go to Fort Detroit where he was defeated by British soldiers led by General Brock. The US Army invaded Canada, but General Van Ransselaer was defeated at Queenstown in October. The state militia refused to cross the border. Many in New England opposed the war, and the British tried to win them over by not blockading their coast. Madison won re-election, but the Federalist minority gained eight senators and 32 seats in the House. In 1813 nearly 500 American privateers seized more than 400 British ships. The United States borrowed $12.5 million from New York and Philadelphia as expenditures went from $20 million to $32 million in 1813. In April the US Army and Navy attacked and burned the Canadian capital buildings at York. The United States imposed another Embargo Act in December.
      Madison agreed to peace talks in January 1814, and Congress authorized a $24 million loan. Andrew Jackson’s army continued to kill Creeks, and they capitulated on August 9, giving up 36 million square miles. The embargo stopped New England from trading with Canada, and the British blockaded the entire coast of the United States. Having defeated Napoleon, the British could send more soldiers. The British invaded from Montreal in September. Secretary of War Armstrong failed to defend Washington which the British attacked, burning the Capitol and the White House. The Madisons escaped with documents, and the Americans managed to defend Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The Library of Congress had been burned, and Jefferson sold his library to replace the books. The British had stopped impressing American sailors. John Taylor wrote a book on Jeffersonian economics that criticized the aristocratic views of John Adams and Hamilton’s capitalism, advising the removal of privileges. Federalists opposed to the war met at Hartford in December and proposed amendments to the Constitution. With little exporting the federal deficit for 1814 was about $41 million. A peace treaty was signed at Ghent on December 24, and Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The US Senate ratified the treaty on February 16, ending the war. The United States spent $105 million on the war, and 2,260 Americans were killed. Privateers took 1,700 ships, and manufacturing expanded.
      After the war Congress agreed to a standing Army of 10,000 men, and families of killed and wounded men got pensions. Jackson continued martial law after the war. A squadron was sent to Algiers so that American prisoners would be released. The United States made a commercial treaty with Britain that was ratified by the end of 1815. That summer treaties ended the war’s fighting with the Indians. The national debt reached $120 million, and prices had nearly doubled. Indians no longer owned land in Ohio, and settlers increased the population to 400,000. Indiana adopted a constitution that abolished slavery and became the 18th state in December. Madison approved a new national bank in April 1816, and a commission began planning the Erie Canal. People objected to Congress raising its pay substantially, and only a third were re-elected. Federalists lost 17 seats, and the lame-duck Congress repealed the Compensation Act. American trade naturally increased. Jackson made a treaty with the Cherokee nation and Chickasaws in September 1816, and the Choctaws also ceded land. Criticism of alcohol began a temperance movement, and peace societies formed in New York and Massachusetts. Bible societies increased, and many religious tracts were published. Abolitionists worked to end slavery, and some proposed sending free blacks back to Africa. Madison also retired after a second term, and Monroe was easily elected President.

      France lost control of Canada in the Seven Years War and gave it up in the 1763 treaty. Some French left, and the British excluded Catholics from government. King George III reserved the western lands for Indians. Governor Murray tried to be fair to the French Catholic majority in Quebec, but he was recalled in 1765. The British opened up trade with the Indians in 1768. Governor Carleton supported community leaders, but he left in 1770 and returned in 1774, the year of the Quebec Act which reformed the government in 1775. Although some Halifax merchants supported the American boycott of tea, most of the British in Canada sided with England during the American Revolution. No Canadians attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. During the British-American War some Canadians helped Americans take forts on Lake Champlain, but the Americans failed to hold Montreal or take Quebec. The British sent 10,000 troops to Canada in May 1776, and the Americans retreated. However, General Burgoyne let his army get trapped and surrendered at Saratoga in October 1777. France allied with the Americans and would not let them invade Canada while the Americans had no interest in helping the French regain Canada. In the treaty of 1783 the British ceded the Ohio valley to the Americans. Many Loyalists left the United States and went to Nova Scotia and Quebec.
      Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton implemented reforms in the laws and was recalled in 1785. The Constitutional Act of 1791 let French civil law function in the eastern Lower Canada while British common law was instituted in the western Upper Canada. They and Nova Scotia exported fish, flour, and timber to the West Indies. Newfoundland also exported fish and built ships. Mackenzie and others explored the north and west. In the 1794 treaty with England the Americans opened the Mississippi River and promised not to interfere with the Canadian fur trade. Lower Canada had 145,000 French and 10,000 British, and their Legislative Assembly first met in December 1792. The French had a majority but not in the Legislative and Executive councils. They agreed to use English laws and rules of evidence. In 1793 they banned bringing in slaves. Agents of Genet and the French Revolution led to riots, and a militia act and the Alien and Sedition Act were passed. The French won more seats in 1797; but the English still controlled the councils, and they granted land to their friends. Lt. Governor Milnes (1799-1805) encouraged education, and newspapers flourished. Governor General Craig (1807-11) dissolved the Assembly and persecuted the publishers of Le Canadien. Upper Canada went from 14,000 people in 1791 to 90,000 in 1812. Lt. Governor Simcoe encouraged Loyalists and opposed slavery. Americans speculated in land. In 1803 the Canadian courts were given jurisdiction over the Indian territory. Montreal’s fur trade prospered.
      Much of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain was fought near the Canadian border. Canada had less than 500,000 people, but the British sent more troops to supplement the 6,000 regulars already there. Governor Brock organized the war effort and won a victory in August 1812 capturing 2,182 soldiers at Fort Detroit. Some Americans wanted to take over Canada, but the British, Canadians, and Indians led by Tecumseh managed to defend it fairly well. In 1813 the Americans in their Niagara campaign outnumbered the British, and the capital buildings at York were burned. The Americans also took control of Lake Erie and Lake Champlain. General Harrison’s US Army defeated the Indian confederacy and killed Tecumseh on October 5, and the Americans regained most of Michigan. However, in 1814 the Americans retreated from Canada, and the British plundered Washington. In the peace treaty the boundaries of 1783 remained the same. After the war Americans going into Canada had to take an oath of allegiance. Upper Canada’s Lt. Governor Gore granted land to American refugees and prorogued the Assembly which challenged that.

Evaluating American Revolutions 1744-1817

Evaluating American Civilization to 1744

      By 1744 Latin America had been colonized by Spain for two and a half centuries, and the Portuguese were in Brazil nearly that long. The oppression of the native peoples continued in Brazil, and large numbers of African slaves were imported. Yet Brazil prospered with trade so much that it became more important than Portugal itself so that King Joao moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1809.
      When Napoleon’s French army occupied Spain from 1808 to 1814, that provided the opportunity for the Spanish colonies to become independent. Spaniards prospered in Buenos Aires, and in May 1810 the creoles revolted against colonialism and declared its independence a year later. Paraguay also became independent but was autocratic. On the west coast Chile had many Araucanians inland and formed a National Congress on July 4, 1811. However, the Spaniards reconquered the colony for a few years. Peru still produced much gold and silver as they exploited the Incas who rebelled in the early 1780s. Cabildos took power in 1809, but the Spaniards also regained control in Peru.
      In the north New Granada developed as they allowed many African slaves to become free. A revolt in Quito in 1812 was crushed by the Spaniards, and Bogota’s independence in 1813 was defeated the next year. Simon Bolivar emerged in Venezuela as a revolutionary leader, and he worked to bring New Granada into a larger American republic with Venezuela. A civil war raged from 1810 to 1816, and that year Bolivar declared slaves freed if they served in the revolutionary army. In the other South American colony the English replaced the Dutch and the French in Guiana where Europeans were greatly outnumbered by African slaves.
      Spain also ruled and exploited Mexico while expanding to Texas, New Mexico, and California. During a famine in 1810 Hidalgo started a revolution in Mexico, but Spaniards used military forces to defeat them. Morelos carried on the revolution in southern Mexico until he was finally executed in December 1815. Nonetheless the efforts of the creoles to liberate the oppressed Indians and create a liberal constitution would not be forgotten. The Franciscans established missions along the coast of California and helped the Indians, though they pushed their own religion on them. Yet this approach was more peaceful and successful than the military and exploitative methods. The situation in Guatemala and Central America was similar to Mexico with high taxes.
      On the Caribbean islands the slave trade flourished and provided the labor that made European aristocrats richer. The wars between France and England made their lives even more difficult. Spain used military force to dominate Cuba and Puerto Rico, but they were driven out of Santa Domingo by the only successful slave revolt in Haiti. There the French Revolution stimulated a revolution led by blacks. The English lost 25,000 men while fighting there. In 1801 Toussaint abolished slavery and discrimination based on color in a constitution. They defeated the troops sent by Napoleon as the French lost 50,000 men in the war by 1803. Personal ambition caused Haiti to be divided into a northern kingdom and a southern republic.
      King George’s War (1744-48) between England and France provoked fighting in New England and Canada, and other English colonies supported the New Englanders who resented the British trading their conquest of Louisbourg for Madras in India. Forts were built on the frontier, and efforts were made to form alliances with Indian tribes. Peaceful Pennsylvania declined to participate in the war, though Ben Franklin advocated defense. Franklin made important contributions to politics, science with electricity, education, public health care, and the postal service. South Carolina made peace with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Catawbas, and Creeks but not the Choctaws. Georgia succumbed to the temptation to indulge in slavery.
      On May 18, 1754 George Washington led Virginians in an attack against a few French on the frontier that began the conflict which Europeans called the Seven Years War (1756-63). The British sent General Braddock who led an expedition to attack Fort Duquesne, but the English were badly beaten in 1755 mostly by Indians and some French. At the same time New Englanders attacked Canada, and Acadians were deported. The French sent an army led by Montcalm who arrived in 1756 and was mostly victorious until 1758. Then British Prime Minister Pitt sent more troops, and the northern English colonies provided more men. By 1760 the English side had defeated the outnumbered French in Canada which became British. The American colonies gained experience fighting in this war and against Indians west of Pennsylvania and in the south. Benjamin Franklin helped persuade the Quaker colony to fight while he promoted representative government and social improvements. South Carolina gained much territory from the Cherokees, and Georgia allowed slavery and made slave laws while getting land from the Creeks. Most of the slaves were in the south, but in 1760 the northern colonies still had more than 40,000. The treaty in 1763 gave New France (Canada) to the British and most of Louisiana to Spain who gave up the Floridas to England. An Indian revolt led by Pontiac was defeated, and George III proclaimed the western territory as a reserve for the Indians.
      After the British helped their colonies defeat the French in Canada, they expected to get some of their expenditures reimbursed by taxing the colonies. Yet the Americans had fought for the British also and contributed funds to the effort. Otis and others complained that the British had no right to impose taxes on the colonists without the consent of their own legislatures. In 1765 the Stamp Act and the quartering of British soldiers aroused widespread protests and disobedience in the colonies. Merchants began boycotting British goods, and twelve colonies refused to use the stamps. Soon after Pitt and Franklin spoke against the Stamp Act, it was repealed. Resistance to the Townshend duties of 1767 led to boycotts of the British goods taxed. These were repealed in 1770 except on tea which was resisted, especially in Boston in 1773. The British reacted by closing the port of Boston and sending troops. The English colonies began uniting by meeting as a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in September 1774, and they agreed on not importing British goods or exporting to England. George III reserved western land for Indians, but settlers wanted to move west.
      The American Revolution was well advanced by mostly nonviolent means when British imperialism and militarism started the war on April 19, 1775. The British oppressed Boston for its nonviolent resistance, and the Americans decided to fight for their independence. The thirteen colonies had joined together and formed a Congress, but Canada declined to join and fought off an invasion. George III foolishly ordered the military to fight to retain the American colonies. Washington used a defensive strategy understanding that Americans dedicated to their cause of freedom could endure against military forces from across an ocean. Many Americans were well educated, and brilliant men like Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, John Adams, James Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and others helped them understand the better life with more rights for which they struggled. The British wanted their colonies to pay for the previous war, but fighting a futile war wasted even more men and wealth. The alliance with France doomed the British cause even though they got Indians and slaves on their side. The British ended up losing the thirteen colonies and the western territory to the United States and the Floridas to Spain, retaining only Canada.
      The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the Congress, and so the state governments passed their own import duties and issued paper money. Debtors had trouble paying in coins, especially in Massachusetts where Daniel Shays led a rebellion of farmers against the punishment of debtors in 1786; but they were suppressed by military forces. The Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom also protected people from having religion imposed on them by the government.
      The Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787 created a federal constitution that made the national government supreme in specified powers balanced and checked by a bicameral legislature, an elected executive, and a federal judiciary while reserving rights and other powers to the people and the states. The southern states would not renounce slavery, and even the slave trade was protected until 1808. Once the people were assured that a bill of rights would be added by amendments the states ratified the new Constitution. Many settlers moved west, and conflicts with the Indians continued despite many treaties.
      George Washington was the uncontested choice as the first President under the Constitution, and its federalist influence spawned the Federalists as the first political party of those who believed in a central government that could unite the states. Hamilton as the first Treasury Secretary got the federal government to take on the debts of the states and created a national bank. Those demanding a bill of rights were called Anti-federalists and then Republicans led by Jefferson and Madison. The Federalists were northern and urban while Republicans were rural and southern with many in between going either way. The Federalists were commercial and favored England while the freedom-loving Republicans championed the French Revolution. Washington remained above the fray by declaring neutrality and maintaining peace. War debts had to be paid, and rebellion against the whiskey tax was suppressed. Washington retired, and a republic showed that power could be shifted by an election.
      Though President John Adams was a Federalist, he wisely avoided war against France and lost the support of Hamilton. Party conflicts were fierce, and Federalists reacted with the Alien and Sedition Acts that punished Republicans for their opinions. Jefferson and Madison argued that unconstitutional laws did not have to be obeyed. Adams got a treaty with France, and tax resistors were arrested and pardoned. Settlers moving west led to more Indian wars, and treaties were made and took land. The United States expanded with Kentucky and Tennessee becoming states, and Spain opened the Mississippi.
      Jeffersonian democracy began in 1801 by reducing military expenditures and domestic taxes while using import duties to pay down the national debt. President Jefferson refused to pay tribute to the pirates in North Africa. The US Navy defeated them, and a peace treaty was worked out. Jefferson arranged the purchase of the immense Louisiana Territory and sent Lewis and Clark to explore it. Federalist John Marshall headed the US Supreme Court and upheld its power to recognize treaties as superior to laws and to strike down unconstitutional laws. More treaties and land purchases were made with Indian tribes, and diplomacy was used to get territory from Spain. Ambitious Aaron Burr killed Hamilton and tried to take over western territory. The conspiracy failed to accomplish much, and they were not punished. The United States ended the slave trade in 1808. Jefferson managed to avoid war with England by imposing embargoes that kept American ships out of danger. This severely reduced foreign trade and angered Federalists in New England and the middle states; but war was prevented, and American manufacturing was encouraged.
      President Madison carried on the Republican policies of Jefferson but found it difficult to avoid war with Indians and the British. Chief Techumseh wanted justice after unfair land deals and tried to unite the tribes, but Governor Harrison in the Indiana Territory moved aggressively against the community at Tippecanoe. The British continued to impress American sailors and interfere with commerce, and American sentiment pushed for war. Just before the British change of policy Madison gave in, and Congress declared war. American invasions of Canada failed militarily and certainly did not win over Canadians or the British. The British had a powerful Navy, but American privateers seized hundreds of ships. Both sides had victories and losses while many Indians fought with the British to try to regain their land from the Americans.  Canada’s capital at York was burned, and in retaliation the British burned government buildings in Washington. Andrew Jackson led the military effort in the south and gained land from the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws. He defeated the British at New Orleans and continued martial law after the war. The war had more than doubled the national debt. Social movements for temperance, the abolition of slavery, to distribute Bibles, and for peace began to grow after the war. Land taken over from Indians enabled the states of Indiana and Mississippi to join the Union.
      Monarchical France lost control of Canada in the war that ended with the treaty of 1763. After some religious discrimination the British gradually recognized the rights of French Catholics. The British in Canada did not join the American revolution as most supported England, and the numerous French still had little power. The peace treaty in 1783 established the borders with the Ohio valley in the United States. Canada provided a refuge for Loyalists leaving the United States. The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided Canada with most of the French in Lower Canada in the east with British in the less populated Upper Canada in the west. Although the French elected a majority in the Lower Canada Assembly, the ruling councils and governors above them were still controlled by the British. Canada was greatly affected by the war that broke out between the United States and England in 1812. The Indians tended to side with the British because they had lost land in the territories of the United States. England sent more troops, and Canada managed to defend itself with a much smaller population. Thus the war changed little as the borders remained the same.

Copyright © 2012 by Sanderson Beck

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AMERICA to 1744

South America 1744-1817
Mexico and the Caribbean 1744-1817
English and French Conflict in America 1744-54
English, French, and Indian Wars 1754-63
American Resistance to British Taxes 1763-75
American War of Independence
Confederation and a Constitution 1784-89
Federalist United States 1789-1801
Jeffersonian Democracy 1801-1809
Madison and the War of 1812
Canada under the British 1763-1817
Summary and Evaluation of American Revolutions 1744-1817

World Chronology
Chronology of America to 1817

BECK index