Source: "Croscup's United States History" by George E. Croscup, B.A.; 1911; pgs 17-22 Transcribed by Kathy Leigh, March 27, 2001

REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD
From 1763-1789--26 years

This Period, which saw thirteen rebellious and discordant Colonies welded into a single independent nation, is naturally subdivided as follows:

I. TIME OF DISPUTE From 1763 to 1775--12 years
II. REVOLUTIONARY WAR From 1775 to 1783--  8 years
III. SETTLING THE CONSTITUTION From 1783 to 1789--  6 years

SECTION I
TIME OF DISPUTE
From 1763 to 1775--12 years

SUGGESTED READINGS:
   Howard, Preliminaries of the Revolution (The American Nation Series);
   FROTHINGHAM, Rise of the Republic, Chaps. 5-8;
   FISKE, The American Revolution, 1;
   TREVELYAN, The American Revolution, 1;
   HART, American History told by Contemporaries, II, Nos. 132-159.

LEADING FEATURES:--The attempt of the Parliament of England to regulate and to tax the Colonies aroused ever-increasing antagonism, the strife gradually centering about the stamp and tea taxes and about Boston. The Colonies were drawn together by their common cause and need.

1763

Patrick Henry appeared in the "Parsons' Cause," and vindicated the right of the colonies to manage their own affairs.

   The scarcity of the tobacco crop had caused a law to be passed in Virginia, in 1755 and again in 1758, which fixed the price of tobacco at two pence per pound. These laws fell heavily on the parsons, whose salary was paid in tobacco; with the price of tobacco low, they would, therefore, get little money. They appealed to England against the laws of 1755 and 1758, and the King upheld their plea. Patrick Henry opposed the Crown, asserting that "by annuling or disallowing acts of so salutary a nature, from being the father of his people (the King) degenerates into a tyrant, and forfeits all rights to his subjects' obedience."

The western Indians arose under PONTIAC. They were not suppressed until 1765.

1764

King George III, and his friends in Parliament, demanded that the American Colonies pay a share of the English debt incurred during the French and Indian War.

   The Colonial assemblies were asked for contributions which they refused. Parliament then asserted its right to tax the colonies, though they had no representatives in Parliament; thus discussion arose over taxation without representation.

--The City of St. Louis was founded.
--Brown University was chartered.

1765

Parliament passed the "Quartering Act," requiring the colonists to supply living quarters to an army of British soldiers.

The STAMP ACT was passed by Parliament, putting a stamp tax on all newspapers, pamphlets, and many kinds of legal documents.

   This Act caused rioting and such active resistance throughout the colonies that the tax could not be collected. The younger element of the population organized for active resistance. They adopted the name "Sons of Liberty" and the motto "Liberty, Prosperity, and No Stamps."

Patrick Henry introduced a resolution in the Virginia Assembly denying the right of Parliament to legislate on the internal concerns of Virginia.

THE STAMP ACT CONGRESS met at the Suggestion of Massachusetts.

   1. It issued a "declaration of rights," especially objecting to taxation by Parliament; and 2. It sent petitions to the King and to both houses of Parliament. 3. IT ESTABLISHED A PRECEDENT FOR UNION.

1766

The Stamp Act was repealed by Rockingham's ministry on the advice of Pitt.

   At the same time the conciliatory effect of this repeal was spoiled by the passage of the Declaratory Act; it maintained the right of the English Parliament to tax if it desired.

1767

Townshend, the Chancellor of Exchequer, brought in a bill for taxes on tea, glass, wine, oil, paper, lead, and painters' colors.

   The duties collected were to be used in paying the salaries of the governors and judges, thus rendering them independent of the Colonial assemblies. Writs of Assistance and trial of revenue cases by admiralty courts were both provided for in Townshend's plan. The Massachusetts Circular Letter, 1768, and the Virginia Resolution, 1769, condemned the act.

Parliament temporarily deprived New York of its legislative rights because the New York Legislature had refused to supply quarters for British troops.

Mason and Dixon's line was drawn setting the disputed boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

1768

A NON-IMPORTATION AGREEMENT was adopted by the merchants of Boston, who refused to import anything from England until the obnoxious taxes were repealed. These Non-importation Agreements spread through the other colonies.

The Massachusetts Legislature was dissolved by George III, and an army of British soldiers was quartered in Boston.

1769

Lord North repealed all the taxes except that on tea, which was retained for principle's sake.

   English merchants, suffering from the "Non-importation Agreements," had petitioned parliament to repeal the taxes, but the retention of the tea tax caused the conciliatory effect to be lost.

Spanish missionaries established their missions in California; San Diego was the earliest of them.

177O

The "Boston Massacre" was a serious encounter between citizens and British soldiery in which several Bostonians were shot by the soldiers.

   So great was the anger of the Boston people that Samuel Adams was able to threaten rebellion if the British soldiers were not removed from the city. They were temporarily withdrawn.

1771

In North Carolina some of the people had united as regulators to resist the royal Governor's tyranny. Fifteen hundred regulators were defeated by a thousand of the militia at ALAMANCE CREEK. About thirty were slain and the leaders were hanged.

Tennessee was settled at Watauga.

1772

The British revenue cutter Gaspee was burned by Rhode Islanders.
   The Gaspee had been attempting to enforce the navigation acts. She had run ashore in Narragansett Bay, and the men of Providence captured the crew and burned the vessel. A commission was appointed to investigate the affair and persons accused were liable to be taken to England for trial. Though the leaders were well known, it was impossible for the commission to get evidence against any one.

1773

As a result of the Gaspee incident, the Virginia House of Burgesses appointed a COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE to keep in touch with other colonies. Other Colonial Legislatures soon made provision for committees of the same sort.

The "BOSTON TEA PARTY" took place in Boston.

   King George had sent tea to America, offering the tea for sale at prices lower than before the tax. The colonists, however, quite generally refused to take the tea at any price, and some Boston people disguised as Indians seized the tea ship and threw the tea overboard.

1774

To punish Boston, Parliament passed the BOSTON PORT BILL, closing the port of Boston to all shipping and removing the seat of government to Salem. At the same time General Gage, commander of the soldiers in Boston, was made Governor of Massachusetts.

   Massachusetts was looked upon as the leader in the expressions and acts of hostility to England that had occurred in the previous years. The first measures of repression were, therefore, leveled against her. The Boston Port bill, which was one of the five so-called "Intolerable Acts," closed that port from June 1 to all commerce, save in fuel, food, and military supplies, until such time as the King, in council, should decide that commerce might safely be resumed. The act remained in force until December, 1775.

The second "Intolerable Act," the REGULATING ACT, remodeled the charter of Massachusetts in order "to take the executive power from the hands of the democratic parts of the government."

   This act was the first attempt of Parliament to change a Colonial charter. It really did away with free government, taking the appointment and removal of almost all of the judicial officers out of the hands of the people, and practically prohibiting town meetings. This united the opposition in all colonies, since it implied that their charters could all be altered at will by Parliament.

The third "Intolerable Act" provided that English officers, or magistrates, charged with murder, or other capital offenses, in a particular colony should be tried in either some other colony or in England.

The fourth "Intolerable Act" was the QUARTERING ACT.

   This was an act of enforcement to be taken in connection with the three previous coercive acts. It called for the billeting of soldiers on the people who failed to voluntarily provide suitable quarters.

The fifth "Intolerable Act" was the QUEBEC ACT.

   This act extended the boundaries of Quebec to the Ohio River, taking in what are now the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and established an arbitrary form of government within it.

The FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, consisting of delegates from twelve colonies, met at Philadelphia (September 5).

   This Congress was the direct result of the English acts of coercion. All colonies sympathized with Massachusetts and responded to her call for a Colonial Congress. This Congress was merely deliberative and advisory, having no power to act, but it served to draw the colonies much closer together: 1. It issued a declaration of rights; 2. It formed the "American Association," which provided for the better carrying out of the non-importation agreement; 3. It forwarded a petition to the King and an address to the colonists; 4. It provided for another Congress to meet in 1775.

King George forbade the exportation of military stores to the colonies.

The Massachusetts Provincial Congress met.

   General Gage had previously arrived in Boston with a number of soldiers. Their presence and petty acts of oppression aroused the people. He summoned the General Court to meet at Salem, but put off the date of assembling. The delegates met without him and his counsellors and prepared for war. They provided for the appointment of a committee of safety, and issued a call for 12,000 volunteers, pledged to be ready for the field at a minute's notice. The volunteers were, therefore, popularly known as "Minute Men."

The settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee, which had been going on in previous years, led to LORD DUNMORE'S WAR against the Indians of the Northwest. The Indians were defeated at the battle of the GREAT KANAWEA and their opposition was thus removed to the occupation of lands beyond the Alleghanies and the winning of the west.

SECTION II
REVOLUTIONARY WAR
1775 to 1783--8 years

SUGGESTED READINGS:
   FISKE, The American Revolution, I, 136-344; 11, 1-286;
   VAN TYNE, The American Revolution (The American Nation Series)
   LODOE, Story of the Revolution, I, II;
   FROTHINGHAM, Rise of the Republic, 403-568;
   HART, American History told by Contemporaries, II, Nos. l59-220.

LEADING FEATURES:--The strife, begun by both in full confidence of victory, fluctuated with the defeat of the Americans at New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, and the capture of the English armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. After this last decisive American victory, two years were spent in negotiation before the final treaty of peace.

1775

Massachusetts was declared by the English Parliament to be in a state of rebellion.

Lord Howe was sent to America with a fleet and with offers of conciliation.

   These provided that Parliament would not tax, except by commercial duties, if the colonies would contribute a fixed amount, for the support of the army and Colonial officials, which should meet Parliament's approval.

An expedition was sent out from Boston to seize the powder in the surrounding towns, and to arrest the two chief "traitors," John Hancock, president of the Massachusetts Legislature, and Samuel Adams, the "man of the town meeting." The countryside was warned by Paul Revere. Hancock and Adams escaped. AT LEXINGTON THE BRITISH TROOPS FIRED ON THE ASSEMBLED "MINUTE MEN," KILLING EIGHT OF THEM.

At CONCORD the British destroyed the military stores. Their advance guard fired on the Americans, and was fired on in return. Two soldiers were killed, the rest retreated. THUS ARMED RESISTANCE BEGAN (April 19).

Map of Bunker Hill and Vicinity

   The British troops, retreating from Concord, were pursued and fled back to Boston their disorderly retreat covered by Lord Percy. The New England militia immediately besieged the British in Boston.

THE OPENING EVENTS OF THE WAR were confined to New England and the North.

   They included:--The capture of the British forts at TICONDEROGA and CROWN POINT by the militia of Vermont, "Green Mountain Boys" (May 10 and 12).
   The BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL, fought just outside of Boston (June 17)--the British, twice repulsed, finally captured the hill, but lost a thousand men.
   The SIEGE 0F BOSTON, July 3, 1775--March 17, 1776.
   The Canadian expedition under Montgomery captured MONTREAL, but failed in an attack on Quebec.

The SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS met at Philadelphia, May 10. It immediately voted to raise 20,000 men for defense, and chose George Washington Commander-in-Chief.

   The powers of this Revolutionary Congress were uncertain. It had no legal existence and no settled form of government back of it, but: 1. It acted as the central government during the war; 2. It acted as a military council; 3. It declared independence; 4. It drew up the Articles of Confederation; 5. It provided for the organization of State governments.

1776

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1776 centered in the Middle States, with one British expedition despatched to the South and one to the North.

   The chief events were: The EVACUATION OF BOSTON (March 17). Gage with all his troops and loyalist citizens sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
   The repulse of the British fleet and army which attacked CHARLESTON, South Carolina (June 28). Failing to subdue the South, the English remained away until late in the war.
   The BATTLE of LONG ISLAND (Aug. 27). Sir William Howe compelled Washington to retreat to the Harlem Heights, and New York was occupied by the British (Sept. 15).
   The reoccupation of CROWN POINT by the British as a result of the defeat of Arnold in two naval expeditions on Lake Champlain (Oct.11 and 13).
   The BATTLE OF WHITE PLAINS (Oct.28); the capture of 3,000 Americans at Fort WASHINGTON (Nov. 16). The evacuation of Fort Lee (Nov.20), and the retreat of Washington across New Jersey to Pennsylvania (Nov.28). The capture of the Hessians at TRENTON (Dec.26). Washington recrossed the Delaware at night and surprised the garrison of 1,000 men. He outgeneralled the British during the next few days and defeated them at PRINCETON (Jan. 3,1777).

Map of New York and Vicinity

The Continental Congress, on May 10, provided for the establishment of State governments.

   It recommended that each colony "adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and of America in general." State conventions were immediately called in most of the colonies to make constitutions. They were generally modeled on the old Colonial charters minus English control.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE was passed by Congress on July 4.

   The rough draft of the Declaration was written by Jefferson, and included an attack on the slave trade (later eliminated). The Declaration consisted of two parts: 1. A statement of American political theories, chiefly derived by Jefferson from Locke's "Essay on Government"; 2. A list of the train of abuses that brought on the war.

The Cherokee Indians attacked the Carolinas. After three months of fighting their power was completely broken.

San Francisco Bay was discovered by the Spanish and settled by them near San Francisco.

1777

THE MILITABY EVENTS OF 1777 centered around the British attempt to gain control of the Hudson Valley and separate New England from the Southern and Middle states. The attempt failed, partly because General Howe, through an error, failed to cooperate with General Burgoyne; occupying Philadelphia instead. The two movements may be considered separately.

   BURGOYNE'S CAMPAIGN:--General Burgoyne led a British army southward from Canada in June, advanced down Lake Champlain, took TICONDEROGA, but found further advance vigorously contested by General Schuyler, who so impeded the English army that it took fifty days to cover seventy-five miles; a side expedition into Vermont was defeated by Colonel Stark at BENNINGTON (August 16); a Canadian relief expedition, under St. Leger, was compelled to turn back; Burgoyne finally reached BEMIS HEIGHTS, and was defeated by the Americans under Gates (who had succeeded Schuyler), in two engagements (Sept.19 and Oct. 7).
   According to the SARATOGA CONVENTION his army was to surrender and to be transported from Boston to England in British transports, and was not to engage in war against America unless exchanged. The agreement was not lived up to; instead the captors confined "the convention troops," first in Cambridge, and then marched them into the interior of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
   Some results of the surrender were: 1. It secured substantial aid from France; 2. It kept the English troops fighting France in Europe; 3. It led to English proposals of peace.    HOWE'S CAMPAIGN:--General Howe left New York by sea in August to attack Philadelphia; he defeated Washington at BRANDYWINE (Sept. 11); PHILADELPHIA WAS CAPTURED (Sept. 27); Congress fled from the city; Washington attacked the British and was defeated at GERMANTOWN, Pa. (Oct. 4); Washington's troops went into winter quarters and suffered much misery at VALLEY FORGE.
   OTHER MILITARY EVENTS DURING 1777:--A British marauding expedition burned Danbury, Conn. (April); Forts on the Hudson, near West Point, were captured by a force from New York (Nov.).

The "STARS AND STRIPES" were adopted by Congress as the American flag (June 14).

The "CONWAY CABAL" was formed to place Gates, instead of Washington, in supreme command. It failed.

"ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND PERPETUAL UNION" were drafted by Congress.

The confederacy was to be called "The United States of America." It was some time before the various States ratified the articles.

1778

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1778 were widely diffused.

   They included: The EVACUATION of PHILADELPHIA (June 18) by General Clinton (who had succeeded General Howe); the unsuccessful attack of Washington on Clinton's retreating columns at MONMOUTH (June 28); the American forces were badly disorganized by the disgraceful retreat of General Charles Lee at the beginning of the engagement.
   The frightful massacre by Tories and Indians at Wyoming, Pa. (July 4).
   The failure of an attempt of the Americans to unite with the French fleet under Count d'Estaing in an attack on Newport (Aug. 22-29).
   Another massacre (at Cherry Valley) by Tories and Indians (Nov.11).
   The capture of Savannah by a British fleet (Dec. 29).
   IN THE WEST meanwhile the American leader, CLARK, captured the British posts in the Northwest Territory at VINCENNES and KASKASKIA. This enabled the Americans to claim this region at the close of the war.

Lord North's CONCILIATORY PROPOSALS were not accepted by America.

   The English Parliament offered complete freedom from taxation except duties imposed for the regulation of commerce.

The Treaty of Alliance with France was entered into.

   This treaty was the work of Benjamin Franklin. It provided for: 1. French acknowledgment of American independence; 2. Offensive and defensive alliance against England; 3. Guarantees of possessions of both in America. This gradually involved England in a general European war.

Franklin was appointed "A Minister Plenipotentiary" to France; America's first foreign minister.

1779

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1779 included a great variety of movements.

   Among the chief encounters there may be included the following: The British ravaged the coast of Virginia in May and of Connecticut in July.
   The Americans, under General Wayne, stormed the fort at Stony Point, on the Hudson (July 15).
   Paul Jones, in the Bon Homme Richard, made a daring foray upon the English coast and defeated a large English ship, the Serapis (Sept.23).
The British made a sortie from Savannah to Charleston, S. C., but retired.
   The Americans and the French fleet made a combined attack on Savannah (Oct. 9); it failed and Count d'Estaing and his fleet left the coast.

1780

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1780 were quite generally confined to the South.

   The main encounters were as follows: CHARLESTON, S. C., was besieged by a British fleet of 10,000 men under General Clinton; Charleston and 5,000 American militia men were captured (May 12).
   General Gates was sent to help the falling American cause in the South, but was utterly defeated by General Cornwallis (Aug. 16) at CAMDEN-all Georgia and most of South Carolina were left in British hands, and THE REVOLUTION SEEMED LOST IN THE FAR SOUTH, but loyalist marauders treated the Americans so cruelly that by degrees the whole people were roused against the oppressors.
   General Arnold attempted to betray West Point to the British; his treachery was exposed by the capture of the British spy, Andr´┐Ż (Sept. 23).
   A company of backwoodsmen defeated a large force at KING'S MOUNTAIN (Oct. 7), and the patriots began to rally again. The bands of SUMTER and MARION harassed the British.

1781

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1781 were again chiefly confined to the South.

   Generals GREENE and MORGAN superseded Gates in command of the Americans in the South; Morgan defeated the British under Tarleton at COWPENS, S. C. (Jan. 17); General Arnold, in the employ of the British, ravaged Virginia (Jan.); Greene, facing the overwhelming forces of Cornwallis, conducted HIS CELEBRATED RETREAT of 300 miles across North Carolina, drawing Cornwallis after him. He fought an indecisive battle at Guilford Court House (March 15), and compelled Cornwallis to fall back to the coast at Wilmington.
   Greene now left Cornwallis and returning into South Carolina, with the aid of the "partisan" leaders, especially Marion, he recaptured post after post from the British, caused them heavy loss in an indecisive battle at EUTAW SPRINGS (Sept. 8), and forced their remaining forces to take refuge in Charleston--this remarkable and triumphant campaign ranks Greene next to Washington among the generals of the Revolution.
   Cornwallis concentrated his forces at Yorktown (Aug.).
   In September a French fleet under Count De Grasse entered Chesapeake Bay. Washington, who was maneuvering against General Clinton at New York, secured the aid of French troops under Rochambeau and managed to withdraw the bulk of his army unsuspected; by rapid marches Washington hurried south into Virginia and CONFRONTED CORNWALLIS AT YORKTOWN--the British were thus besieged, both by land and sea; a French column and an American one under Alexander Hamilton stormed the chief British defenses and CORNWALLIS SURRENDERED HIS ENTIRE ARMY OF 7,000 MEN (Oct.19).
   The defeat of Cornwallis, coupled with the declaration of war against England made by Spain and France in 1778 and 1779, strengthened the opposition in England against George III and practically put an end to hostilities.

Map of Yorktown

The "Articles of Confederation" previously adopted by Congress were formally ratified by all the States and BECAME THE LEGAL GOVERNMENT of the colonies.

   The Confederation as created was not a nation, but only a league of sovereign States. The articles had several fundamental weaknesses: 1. The executive was a commission; 2. Congress was given no power to collect revenue for the support of a Federal Government or the payment of debts; 3. Congress lacked power to regulate commerce; 4. Congress had no army to enforce the laws that it made.

The American troops around New York and Philadelphia mutinied because of lack of supplies; but returned to duty again.

1782

THE MILITARY EVENTS OF 1782 consisted in the evacuation of southern cities by the British and in the general cessation of hostilities.

   General Wayne defeated the British in Georgia and shut them up in Savannah, which was evacuated (July 11); Charleston was evacuated (July 11); preliminary articles of peace were signed (Nov.30).

Holland acknowledged the independence of the United States (April 19). The other European countries followed the next year.

1783

Congress proclaimed, on April 11, "the cessation of hostilities on land and sea."

   The definitive treaty was signed at Paris September 3. It provided: 1. That the boundaries of America should be similar to those of the colonies under the treaty of 1763 and the King's proclamation of the same year; thus the northern boundary followed the southern boundary of Canada. From the point where the 45th parallel reached the St. Lawrence it followed the channel of that river to the Great Lakes and connecting waters to the northwest corner of the Lake-of-the-Woods, and thence due west to the source of the Mississippi River; 2. That Congress would recommend the States to pass relief acts for loyalists; 3. That the United States was to have fishing rights off Newfoundland; 4. That private debts should be payable at the close of the war; 5. That the British armies were to be withdrawn at once from all posts in the United States, taking no negroes with them; 6. That the navigation of the Mississippi was to be free to subjects of both countries.

Washington resigned his commission and returned to private life.

Congress was driven from Philadelphia by an army of half-drunken and mutinous soldiers. The army, however, was disbanded (June 23).

The officers of the American army founded the Society of the Cincinnati.

SECTION III
SETTLING THE CONSTITUTION
1783 to 1789--6 years

SUGGESTED READINGS:
   FISKE, Critical Period;
   McLAUGHLIN, The Confederation (The American Nation Series);
   FROTHINGHAM, Rise of the Republic, 569-610;
   HART, American History Told by Contemporaries, III, Nos. l0-82.

LEADING FEATURES:--The feeble central government of the States resulted almost in anarchy. A strong central government was at length devised, and was put in force with the election of Washington as President.

This period has been aptly called the "Critical Period." The poverty of the country and the lack of a strong central government gave rise to rebellions and to commercial rivalries which threatened the existence of the newly-created nation. The great men whom the war had brought to the front saved the country, and the period, which began in gloom, ended with a hopeful outlook toward the future.

1784

   The ordinance of 1784 was passed by Congress for the government of the Northwest Territory. The territory originated out of the cessions of Western lands made by the various states of the Atlantic seaboard. Maryland had refused to ratify the Articles of Confederation unless these lands were given up, and Congress had urged the states to transfer their Western land claims to the United States. New York first ceded her Western territory in 1781 and the other States slowly followed. Before all the cessions were made Congress passed the ordinance for the general government of the territory and its creation into new states.

Connecticut passed a State law for the abolition of slavery.

The first daily newspaper in American was established in Philadelphia.

Samuel Seabury was consecrated as the first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America.

The first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church were ordained this year, Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury.

Pittsburg was founded.

1785

Cotton began to be exported to England, chiefly from Philadelphia.

l786

SHAYS'S REBELLION broke out in Massachusetts.

   This rebellion was named after its leader and had for its purposes: 1. The overthrow of the courts, which were proceeding against delinquent debtors; and 2. The issuance of a larger quantity of irredeemable paper money.

Rhode Island withdrew her representatives from the Congress of the Confederation.

Delegates from five States met at Annapolis, September 11, to provide for some method of checking the anarchy that threatened the states.

   This Convention was the result of a previous meeting at Alexandria of representatives of Virginia and Maryland to settle commercial difficulties on the Potomac River. At Washington's suggestion they asked other states to meet them at Annapolis. At this meeting the delegates adopted a resolution offered by Hamilton urging the State Legislatures to select delegates for a Constitutional Convention which should revise the Articles of Confederation.

The frontiersmen of Western North Carolina, now Tennessee, formed a government of their own, seceded from Carolina and called their state FRANKLIN or Falkland.

1787

THE ORDINANCE OF 1787.

   This was the final act for the organization and government of the Northwestern territory. Leading promoters of the Ohio Company were responsible for its enactment; among them were General Rufus Putnam, Samuel Parsons, and Rev. Manasseh Cutler.
   Its important provisions included: 1. Civil rights and religious liberty were granted to the inhabitants; 2. Representative government was provided for; 3. Admission to the Union was to follow as soon as the inhabitants numbered 60,000 free persons (not less than three or more than four states were to be created out of the territory); 4. There was to be "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory otherwise than in the punishment of crimes; 5. The thirty-sixth section of each township was put aside to aid education; 6. Division of estates among all heirs was required.

The CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION met in Philadelphia in May.

   Washington was the presiding officer and after four months of secret debate the Constitution of the United States was completed and offered to the individual states for adoption.
   The work of the Constitutional Convention was made possible by three great compromises: 1. The Connecticut compromise ended the rivalry between large and small states; the Senate was to be arranged with equal representation from each state, while the House of Representatives was to consist of representation according to population; 2. The three-fifths compromise between the North and the South provided that slaves for representation and taxation should be counted at the ratio of five blacks to three whites; 3. The commerce compromise gave to Congress the power of regulating commerce, provided the slave trade was permitted until 1808.

1788

Ohio was first permanently settled at Marietta.

The Constitution was established June 21.

   Nine states were necessary to the establishment of a Constitution and New Hampshire made the ninth state. There had been a great deal of opposition to ratification, the chief objections being that the rights of the people were not enumerated and that the central government was too strong. Much of this opposition was explained away by the Federalist, a remarkable serial paper written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, explaining and defending the proposed Constitution.

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