A. War in the North


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A. War in the North

  • A. War in the North

  • Fighting begins

    • Europeans believed British would easily defeat the rebellion
    • British were militarily strong, while Americans were economically and militarily weak
    • the Continental army (led by Washington) consisted of 18,000 poorly trained and inexperienced recruits.
  • 2. Early American retreat

  • Americans retreated as the British worked to capture New York City

  • Washington’s men had several small victories during the winter months, as the British halted their campaign in the cold weather.







B. Armies and Strategies

  • B. Armies and Strategies

  • Continental soldiers

    • Congress had promised Washington 75,000 men, but the Continental army never reached even a third of that number; was difficult to bring recruits into the military
    • most were poor, and some were foreign born; all were inexperienced
    • recruits resented the contempt their officers had for the “camp followers” (women who made do with the meager supplies provided to feed and care for the troops).


C. Victory at Saratoga

  • C. Victory at Saratoga

  • Problems for the British

  • In 1777, British attempted to isolate New England but not all generals agreed with military plans

  • Howe took Philadelphia but Continental Congress fled

  • British led by Burgoyne were trapped near Saratoga, New York, and forced to surrender.

  • Continental army captured more than 5,000 British troops; Americans in Paris created a military alliance with the French.



D. The Perils of War

  • D. The Perils of War

  • Wartime difficulties

  • Urban populations in the North fled to the countryside

  • farmers and artisans adapted to a wartime economy.

  • With goods now scarce, government needed supplies for the military

  • women were critical in supplying materials to the war effort.

  • British and American soldiers harassed and raped women and girls

  • families were forced to flee their homes for soldiers’ use.



E. Financial Crisis

  • E. Financial Crisis

  • State governments

  • States were afraid to increase taxes; bonds were used to secure gold or silver

  • states issued too much paper money.

  • 2. Continental Congress

  • National finances also collapsed because government had no authority to impose taxes

  • Patriots feared further rebellion as families suffered economic devastation.



F. Valley Forge

  • F. Valley Forge

  • General Washington’s retreat

  • During the winter of 1777, Washington’s army retreated to Valley Forge, where 12,000 soldiers plus hundreds of camp followers suffered horribly; conditions were terrible—cold weather, lack of food, fatigue.

  • Nearby farmers refused to give food or shelter to the soldiers as some were pacifists, Quakers and Germans unwilling to support either side.

  • By spring, 3,000 had died, 1,000 had deserted; Baron von Steuben (former Prussian military officer) trained those men who remained.



A. The French Alliance

  • A. The French Alliance

  • Support for the Patriots

  • 1778 alliance with France provided money, supplies, and troops; created an international war; French wanted to avenge the loss of Canada

  • the Treaty of Alliance stated neither side would sign a treaty to end the war without the “liberty, sovereignty, and independence” of the U.S.

  • in return, the Continental Congress agreed to recognize any French conquests in the West Indies.



2. British concerns

  • 2. British concerns

  • British government was increasingly concerned that war would spread to Ireland and West Indies

  • February 1778, Lord North persuaded Parliament to repeal of the Tea and Prohibitory Acts and renounced its power to tax the colonies; however, rebellion continued.



B. War in the South

  • B. War in the South

  • Britain’s Southern Strategy

  • In 1779, Spain joined the war on the Patriots’ side. The British government revised its strategy to defend their colonies in the West Indies

  • Sir Henry Clinton launched a seaborne attack against Savannah, GA; hoped to continue onward to South Carolina.

  • 2. Guerrilla Warfare in the Carolinas

  • Patriots used local militiamen against British forces; defeated Loyalists in region and took about one thousand prisoners

  • Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in October 1781.



3. Slave combatants: the “triangular war”

  • 3. Slave combatants: the “triangular war”

  • Large number of slaves in the South made the Revolution a “triangular war”

  • Britain actively recruited slaves to its cause with the Philipsburg Proclamation, which declared that any slave who deserted a rebel master would receive protection, freedom, and land from Great Britain

  • some 30,000 African slaves took refuge behind British lines

  • 5,000 African Americans (slave and free) fought for the Patriots.







C. The Patriot Advantage

  • C. The Patriot Advantage

  • British mistakes

    • Parliamentarians debated what went wrong in the war
    • the French alliance and leadership of George Washington were two of the greatest advantages of the Patriots.
    • In the end, it was the American people who decided the outcome, especially the one-third of white colonists who were zealous Patriots.
    • The currency taxes paid by ordinary citizens (a few pennies on each dollar, but millions of dollars changing hands multiple times) financed the American military victory.


D. Diplomatic Triumph

  • D. Diplomatic Triumph

  • The Treaty of Paris 1783

  • Took two years of negotiating; French and Spanish still hoped to make gains in the West Indies

  • was a formal recognition of American independence.

  • British negotiators did not insist on separate land for Native Americans who aided the British.

  • Fishing rights off of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for Americans were also granted by the Paris treaty; guaranteed freedom to navigate the Mississippi River to American citizens “forever.”

  • In return, Americans encouraged states to return confiscated property to Loyalists and grant them citizenship.

  • In the Treaty of Versailles (signed simultaneously), British ended war with France and Spain.



A. The State Constitutions: How Much Democracy?

  • A. The State Constitutions: How Much Democracy?

  • Republicanism

  • During 1776, many states wrote constitutions under the encouragement of the Second Continental Congress

  • many states desired to reject anything that was similar to monarchy or put too much power in the hands of the wealthy.

  • 2. Tempering Democracy

  • Conservatives, including John Adams, countered Pennsylvania’s constitution with arguments for mixed government

  • New York and South Carolina constitutions instituted property qualifications for voting and holding office.



3. Pennsylvania’s Controversial Constitution

  • 3. Pennsylvania’s Controversial Constitution

  • In 1776, all taxpaying men were granted the right to vote and hold office.

  • The Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 created a unicameral (one-house) legislature with complete power, no governor, elementary education, and no imprisonment for debt

  • many Patriots criticized this new government without a governor.

  • In 1776, John Adams published Thoughts on Government encouraging a mixed government with shared powers—executive, judicial, and legislature.



B. Women Seek a Public Voice

  • B. Women Seek a Public Voice

  • Postwar demands

  • Postwar women wanted an end to restrictive customs and laws; some advocated property rights for women

  • women were largely ignored, except in New Jersey

  • 1790s, Massachusetts granted girls an equal right to education under the state constitution.





C. The War’s Losers: Loyalists, Native Americans, and Slaves

  • C. The War’s Losers: Loyalists, Native Americans, and Slaves

  • Financial gains and losses

  • Nearly 100,000 Loyalists left after the war; most lost large sums of money and/or property

  • some sought compensation from the new government but got very little if any; in some states, the Loyalists’ property was seized and auctioned to highest bidder.

  • In urban areas, Tories were replaced by Patriot merchants; republican-minded entrepreneurs now replaced traditional elites whose money had come from land ownership.

  • 2. Native Americans

  • 3. Slaves



The Revolution raised yeomen’s hopes of acquiring land in the West, requiring new incursions onto Native American land.

  • The Revolution raised yeomen’s hopes of acquiring land in the West, requiring new incursions onto Native American land.





D. The Articles of Confederation

  • D. The Articles of Confederation

  • Approved in Congress November 1777

  • The Articles provided for a loose union in which each state had one vote regardless of size, population, or wealth

  • no chief executive; no judiciary

  • Congress could declare war, make treaties, adjudicate disputes between states, borrow and print money, seek money from the states for common defense.

  • 3. The Northwest Ordinance



Government had no power to tax the people; in 1780, the new central government was nearly bankrupt.

  • Government had no power to tax the people; in 1780, the new central government was nearly bankrupt.

  • The Bank of North America was established in Philadelphia as a private institution whose notes were meant to stabilize the economy

  • Congress desired to sell western lands to raise revenue.



Created territories that would eventually become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin; prohibited slavery

  • Created territories that would eventually become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin; prohibited slavery

  • earmarked funds from land sales to establish schools

  • specified when population reached 5,000 men, the citizens could elect a territorial legislature

  • when the population reached 60,000, the legislature could devise a republican constitution and apply to join the Confederation.



E. Shays’s Rebellion

  • E. Shays’s Rebellion

  • State governments

  • Eastern states suffered tremendously after war

  • shipping industry had been crippled

  • war debts were enormous; creditors wanted state governments to repay loans quickly;

  • states did not want to tax the people and instead authorized new paper money.



State would not enact debtor-relief, and instead imposed high taxes to pay off wartime debts

  • State would not enact debtor-relief, and instead imposed high taxes to pay off wartime debts

  • farmers began protesting the tax rate and property seizures.

  • Led by Captain Daniel Shays, mobs of farmers closed the Massachusetts courts by force; rebellion was put down by force.

  • Although Shays’s Rebellion failed, it made clear to the new government that the times ahead would be difficult.







A. The Rise of a Nationalist Faction

  • A. The Rise of a Nationalist Faction

  • 1. Money debates

  • Money questions—debts, taxes, and tariffs—dominated the postwar political agenda as a new constitution was debated

  • some wanted a strong central government (national perspective), including creditors in the South.



B. The Philadelphia Convention

  • B. The Philadelphia Convention

  • The Virginia and New Jersey Plans

  • In May 1787, fifty-five delegates arrived in Philadelphia; Rhode Island opposed increasing central authority and did not send representation.

  • Most were strong nationalists; forty-two had served in the Confederation Congress.

  • They were also educated and propertied: merchants, slaveholding planters, and “monied men.”

  • George Washington was elected as the presiding official.



The delegates considered the Virginia Plan (proposed by James Madison), which rejected state sovereignty for national authority, called for national government to be established by the people, and proposed a three-tier election system.

  • The delegates considered the Virginia Plan (proposed by James Madison), which rejected state sovereignty for national authority, called for national government to be established by the people, and proposed a three-tier election system.

  • Smaller states liked the New Jersey Plan, which gave power to raise revenue, control commerce, and make binding requisitions on the states to the Confederation

  • it preserved the states’ control of their own laws and guaranteed their equality.





Gov. Morris of New York condemned slavery at the convention, arguing that it was a “nefarious institution”

  • Gov. Morris of New York condemned slavery at the convention, arguing that it was a “nefarious institution”

  • slaveholders recognized contradictions between slavery and republicanism but only supported an end to the slave trade and not slavery itself.

  • Slave trade would not be regulated by Congress until 1808.

  • Delegates developed a fugitive slave clause but also excluded the words slave and slavery from the Constitution.

  • Ultimately, delegates agreed that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a free person for purposes of taxation and representation.



4. National Authority

  • 4. National Authority

  • Created powerful, pro-creditor national government with powers of taxation, military defense, external commerce

  • all but three present at the convention signed the document.



C. The People Debate Ratification

  • C. The People Debate Ratification

  • The Antifederalists

  • Required ratification by nine of the thirteen states; “Federalists” supported a federal union

  • “Antifederalists” opposed the Constitution, feared that states would lose power, and desired states to remain sovereign.

  • 2. Federalists Respond

  • In New York, where ratification was hotly contested, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton defended the proposed constitution in a series of 85 essays The Federalist published by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton.



a. People in coastal areas tended to be Federalists; backcountry population tended to be Antifederalists.

    • a. People in coastal areas tended to be Federalists; backcountry population tended to be Antifederalists.





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