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The History of the United States Part 2 1776-1789 The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey
The History of the United States Part 2 1776-1789 The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey

The History of the United States Part 2

1776-1789

The History of the United States Part 2 1776-1789 The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey

The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey was one of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War.

The History of the United States Part 2 1776-1789 The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey

George Washington was a Freemason, a General, a veteran of the French and Indian War, the first American President, and a slave-owner.

The History of the United States Part 2 1776-1789 The Battle of Trenton in New Jersey

These are British warships on the Hudson.

Almost 250 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, we see monumental changes and challenges (especially after Justice Anthony Kennedy resigning) in the United States of America simultaneously. During that era of time, which was from 1776-1789, one occurrence has caused one of the most important events of world history. In essence, that event was the formation of the American nation. During that time, constitutional law developed, infrastructure grew, and slavery continued to oppress African Americans unjustly. Debates relating to Native American land rights persisted and well known figures among many backgrounds would rise up in the grand scale of history. The Revolutionary War was miraculous in the sense that the Patriots were almost totally defeated on numerous occasions, but assistance from France plus Spain (along with the Patriots’ persistence) made victory for America a reality. This is 150 years after the 14 th Amendment. We must defend our rights. On this day of July 4, 2018, we understand the imperfections of America and we recognize the audacious heroes who are Americans as well from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman. Now, this part of this series will explain the origins of the United States of America.

Contents The Second Continental Congress The Battle of Trenton The British New Strategy The Dunmore Declaration The Revolutionary War in the Frontier & the South The end of the Revolutionary War

1783-1789

New Realities The Modern United States Constitution The Bill of Rights and the First President

Appendix A: African Americans during the Colonial and American Revolution Periods

The Second Continental Congress On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress was still meeting in

The Second Continental Congress

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress was still meeting in Philadelphia. They voted unanimously to declare the independence of “the thirteen United States of America.” This was part of the Lee Resolution. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. With the signing of that document, it officially started the birth of the United States of America as we know it. The drafting of the Declaration came about by a group of people called the Committee of Five. It was made up of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and revised by the others and the Congress as a whole. It mentioned that, “all men are created equal" with "certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", and that "to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed", as well as listing the main colonial grievances against the crown. Many people love the eloquence of the words. Other people would criticize the Declaration as hypocritical (like British abolitionists) since it talked about equality, but many of its supporters owned slaves. July 4th would be celebrated as the birthday of the United States.

The British returned in force in August 1776. The Redcoats landed in New York City. They started to defeat the fledgling Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island. During this time of September 1776 was the great fire of New York City where fire destroyed about one third of New York City (especially at the southern end of Manhattan). Major General James Robertson confiscated surviving uninhabited homes of known Patriots and assigned them to British officers. Churches, other than the state churches (i.e. The Church of England) were converted into prisons, infirmaries, or barracks. Some of the common soldiers were billeted with civilian families. There was a great influx of Loyalist refugees into the city resulting in further overcrowding, and many of these returning and additional Loyalists from Patriot-controlled areas encamped in squalid tent cities on the charred ruins. The Battle of Long Island was one of the largest engagements of the Revolutionary war. The Redcoats almost captured General Washington and his army. The British made NYC their main political and military base of operations in North America. They held it until November 25, 1783 (which is also known as Evacuation Day).

The Battle of Trenton The Patriot evacuation and British military occupation made the city of NYC

The Battle of Trenton

The Patriot evacuation and British military occupation made the city of NYC the destination for Loyalist refugees and a focal point of Washington’s intelligence network. The British soon seized New Jersey and American fortunes looked dim during that time. Thomas Paine mentioned that, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” Yet, Washington struck back in a surprise attack. He and his troops crossed the icy Delaware River into New Jersey. They defeated the British and Hessian armies at Trenton and Princeton (in New Jersey on January 3, 1777) at the Battle of Trenton (on December 26, 1776). After a brief battle, nearly the entire Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans. The Battle of Trenton significantly boosted the Continental Army's flagging morale, and inspired re-enlistments. So, the Patriots regained New Jersey. These victories gave a big boast to the Patriots at a time when morale was low and that image of Washington crossing the Delaware has been the iconic images of the war. The Battle of the Assunpink Creek, also known as the Second Battle of Trenton, was a battle between American and British troops that took place in and around Trenton, New Jersey, on January 2, 1777, during the American Revolutionary War. That battle resulted in an American victory.

EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE REVOLUTION

EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE REVOLUTION As late as 1765, most colonists didn’t want explicit independence

As late as 1765, most colonists didn’t want explicit independence from Great Britain. Yet, many of the policies of the UK not only galvanized more anti-British sentiment, but these British acts ultimately led into the American Revolution. The Sons and Daughters of Liberty fought against these laws in order for them to promote their rights as colonists. Samuel Adams created committees of correspondence in Massachusetts to send information about these events in Boston. The American Revolution wasn’t just about battles. It was about the spread of Enlightenment plus pro-independence ideals across the thirteen colonies.

The Sugar Act The Stamp Act The Quartering Act Declaratory Act It existed on April 5,
The Sugar Act The Stamp Act The Quartering Act Declaratory Act It existed on April 5,
The Sugar Act The Stamp Act The Quartering Act Declaratory Act It existed on April 5,
The Sugar Act The Stamp Act The Quartering Act Declaratory Act It existed on April 5,

The Sugar Act

The Stamp Act

The Quartering Act

Declaratory Act

It existed on April 5, 1764 and it lowered the tax on molasses, but increased penalties for smuggling, denying a jury trial to accused smugglers. Colonists ended up paying more taxes.

It taxed printed items and it was the first direct tax on the colonists. March 25, 1765 was the date of its passage. It added a fee to printed materials like legal documents plus newspapers. Riots existed because of this including the creation of the Sons of Liberty.

It allowed British armies to go into people’s homes to force colonists to house them after the French and Indian War. It came about in 1765.

It existed by 1766. It repealed the Stamp Act, but asserts the Parliament’s right to rule the colonies as it saw fit.

Townshend Acts The Boston Massacre The Tea Act Intolerable Acts This existed on June 29, 1767.
Townshend Acts The Boston Massacre The Tea Act Intolerable Acts This existed on June 29, 1767.
Townshend Acts The Boston Massacre The Tea Act Intolerable Acts This existed on June 29, 1767.
Townshend Acts The Boston Massacre The Tea Act Intolerable Acts This existed on June 29, 1767.

Townshend Acts

The Boston Massacre

The Tea Act

Intolerable Acts

This existed on June 29, 1767. They created import taxes on many goods. It ended the responsibility from the colonial assemblies. Their taxes were later ended except the one on tea.

On March 5, 1770, colonists were murdered by British forces in Boston. One of the people killed was Crispus Attucks, who was a man of African descent.

April 27, 1773 was the date when Parliament passed this act. It was used to save the East India Tea Company. It lowered the price of tea, but it gave the company a monopoly. It threatened the businesses of colonial importers.

April 1, 1774 was the time of its passage. It is also known as the Coercive Act. It was used to make Massachusetts to pay for the tea destroyed after the Boston Tea Party. These laws closed the Boston Harbor and forced colonists to house British soldiers in their homes. These laws ultimately caused the First Continental Congress and the Revolutionary War itself.

The British New Strategy People in London by early 1777 organized the grand British strategic plan

The British New Strategy

People in London by early 1777 organized the grand British strategic plan of the Saratoga Campaign. The plan wanted 2 British armies to converge at Albany, New York from the north and south. This would divide the colonies in two and separating New England from the rest. Failed communications and poor planning resulted in the army descending from Canada. It was commanded by General Burgoyne and the British army was bogged down in the dense forest north of Albany. The British Army was supposed to advance up the Hudson River to meet Burgoyne went instead to Philadelphia in a vain attempt to end the war by capturing the American capital city (which was Philadelphia at that time). Burgoyne’s British army was defeated at Saratoga by the U.S. local militia (it was led by a cadre of American regulars). The battle showed the British that the Americans had the strength and determination to fight on. Previously, the Redcoats thought that the Americans were a group of ragtag mob that could be easily dispersed. One British officer mentioned that, “…The courage and obstinacy with which the Americans fought were the astonishment of everyone, and we now became fully convinced that they are not that contemptible enemy we had hitherto imagined them, incapable of standing a regular engagement, and that they would only fight behind strong and powerful works…”

The American victory at Saratoga caused the French into open military alliance with America via the Treaty of Alliance (1778). Spain and the Netherlands also allied with the United States. Spain and the Netherlands had powerful navies who desired to undermine the British strength. Britain was in a European major war too. The French navy neutralized their previous dominance in the war involving the seas. Britain didn’t have major allies and faced the prospect of invasion from across the English Channel. The Second Continental Congress agreed to allow Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777. By June 1778, the British ended its occupation of Philadelphia. It started on September 26, 1777.

The Dunmore Proclamation Thousands of enslaved African Americans in the South escaped to British lines during
The Dunmore Proclamation Thousands of enslaved African Americans in the South escaped to British lines during

The Dunmore Proclamation

Thousands of enslaved African Americans in the South escaped to British lines during the Revolutionary War, as they were promised freedom to fight with the British. There was the Dunmore Proclamation. It was a historical document signed on November 7, 1775, by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, royal governor of the British Colony of Virginia. The proclamation declared martial law in Virginia and promised freedom for slaves of American revolutionaries who left their owners and joined the royal forces. Many Loyalists and black people joined the Redcoat cause. In South Carolina, 25,000 enslaved African Americans, one-quarter of those held, escaped to the British or otherwise leave their plantations. After the war, many African Americans are evacuated with the British for England; more than 3,000 Black Loyalists are transported with other Loyalists to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where they are granted land. Still, others went to Jamaica and the West Indies. An estimated 8-10,000 were evacuated from the colonies in these years as free people, about 50 percent of those slaves who defected to the British and about 80 percent of those who survived. Many free black human beings in the North would fight with the colonists for the rebellion.

*I recently saw some of the episodes of the Book of Negroes series. Honestly, it is

*I recently saw some of the episodes of the Book of Negroes series. Honestly, it is one of the most touching, emotional slavery films that I have seen in my life. It's that good. It is in the category of Roots in my opinion. The lead actress is Aunjanue Ellis and she did her thing. She expressed a lot of strength, emotion, and realism in all of the episodes of that grandiose miniseries. The Book of Negroes is about black people who were captured from Africa as slaves, they were forcibly sent into America, and some of them fought on the British side during the Revolutionary War (as being promised their freedom by the Redcoats). Later, some of them traveled into Nova Scotia plus Africa in order to achieve their freedom. Aunjanue Ellis plays Aminata Diallo who fights for the abolitionist cause after the Revolutionary War. She lived in England by the end of the ministries with her daughter May. The miniseries has an ensemble cast of Lyriq Bent, Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett, Jr., Ben Chaplin, and other actors and actresses. The film resonates with all of us since it showed the power of the human spirit, the glory of Black Love, and the importance to fight against any injustice. On July 8, 1777, The Vermont Republic (a sovereign nation at the time) abolished slavery, the first future state to do so. No slaves were held in Vermont. By 1781, in challenges by Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker, two independent county courts in Massachusetts found slavery illegal under its state constitution and declared each to be free persons. In 1783, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed that Massachusetts state constitution had abolished slavery. It ruled that "the granting of rights and privileges [was] wholly incompatible and repugnant to" slavery, in an appeal case arising from the escape of former slave Quock Walker. When the British left New York and Charleston in 1783, they took the last of 5,500 Loyalists to the Caribbean, along with some 15,000 slaves.

We know that slavery hasn't ended in 1865. It continues to day which is why modern abolitionist movements are in existence currently to end slavery once and for all. Also, it is important to recognize the strength of black people and resiliency. Today, tons of black people are lawyers, doctors, teachers, athletes, IT specialists, politicians, theologians, dentists, fitness experts (like people who I know in Facebook. They

know who they are), and other great people. I will have a great love for my black people. The Book of Negroes miniseries is based on the novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill. Once black people are free and filled with justice, the rest of the human family is subsequently free. That is real talk.

The Revolutionary War in the Frontier & the South By this time (of the late 1770's),

The Revolutionary War in the Frontier & the South

By this time (of the late 1770's), the British controlled most of the northern coastal cities and the Patriot forces controlled the hinterlands (like the Midwest and other rural locations). The war in the frontier (or in the Midwest) was about many settlers opposing the Proclamation of 1763 that banned settlers to travel west of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists and the British fought each other brutally in the Midwest. The settlers wanted to claim more Native American lands. Native Americans allied with the British heavily during the Revolutionary War, because they didn’t want settlers encroaching on their lands. The frontier war was bloody. Native Americans increased the attacks on colonial settlements as promoted by the British. White settlers also attacked and killed even neutral Native Americans and they didn’t respect truces. This caused revenge spanning years. One Patriot leader of the Midwest was Colonel George Rogers Clark. He led the Patriot militia against the British. He and his forces took the settlements of Kaskaskia and Cahokia during the spring of 1778. During the summer of 1778, Clark and his French allies controlled all British ports in the areas of Indiana and Illinois. The British and the Native Americans responded. They recaptured a fort at Vincennes, Indiana. Clark gathered volunteers to march from their winter quarters on the Mississippi River to fight back. In late February 1779, they came into Vincennes. They convinced many Native Americans to ally with them. This caused the Patriots to get the fort. After the war, Patriot outposts allowed Americans to travel in the Ohio River valley. In upstate New York, Native Americans and British forces attacked many frontier outposts in 1779. Patriot troops responded by viciously burning down 40 Iroquois towns. This harmed the power of the Iroquois Federation. The Native Americans attacked the settlers again and many settlers traveled back to the east.

Additionally, the British decided to attempt to seize the southern states. There were limited British forces in the South. So, the British commanders wanted to mobilize Loyalists (like among farmers and artisans) in the South in order for the campaign to be successful. By late December of 1778, the British forces captured Savannah, Georgia. In 1780, they launched a fresh invasion and took Charleston too. There was a big Redcoat victory at the Battle of Camden during the summer of 1780, which meant that the British invaders controlled most of Georgia and South Carolina.

As for Spain, the Spanish forces in the South under Bearnardo de Galvez attacked the British forts in the Gulf Coast region. By 1780, the Spanish captured the British fort a Mobile, Alabama. By 1781, they took over Pensacola or the capital of the British West Florida. Spanish power in America remained while the British troops came from their offensive against the Patriots to fight the Spanish. Patriot and Loyalists militias fought each other in the South via a civil war.

The British created a network of forts inland. They hoped the Loyalists would rally to the flag. After the British were defeated at the Battle at Kings Mountain in October of 1780, more Patriots had support among those in South Carolina. Even some of the Loyalists in the South started to accuse the British of causing chaos in South Carolina. The Continental Army in the South had the leaders of Nathanael Greene and Daniel Morgan. In 1781, the Continental Army inflicted large casualties against the British in Cowpens, South Carolina and Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina. Not enough Loyalists turned out, however, and the British had to move out. They fought their way north into North Carolina and Virginia, with a severely weakened army. Behind them, much of the territory they left dissolved into a chaotic guerrilla war, as the bands of Loyalists, one by one, were overwhelmed by the Patriots. George Washington sent a large number of his troops into the South by the summer of 1781. He wanted to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. The British army under Lord Cornwallis marched into Yorktown, Virginia. They expected to be rescued by a British fleet. When that fleet was defeated by a French fleet (General Lafayette allied with Washington), the British forces were trapped. They were surrounded by a stronger force of Americans and French under Washington’s command.

On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered with his 8,000 troops. George Washington mentioned the following words on the defeat of Cornwallis on October 19, 1781:

“…I have the Honor to inform Congress, that a reduction of the British Army under the Command of Lord Cornwallis, is most happily effected. The unremitting ardor which actuated every Officer and soldier in the combined Army on this occasion, has principally led to this important event, at an earlier period than my most sanguine hopes had induced me to expect.”

The United States delegation at the Treaty of Paris (as shown in the image of the

The United States delegation at the Treaty of Paris (as shown in the image of the top right) included John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. Here they are depicted by Benjamin West in his American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Agreement with Great Britain. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed.

The end of the Revolutionary War

The news of the defeat ended the fighting in America. The naval war continued for a time. Support for the conflict was never strong in Britain. Many British people in the UK sympathized with the Patriots, but British support for the war reached a new low by 1781. King George III wanted to fight on personally, but he lost control of the Parliament and had to agree to peace negotiations. By 1782, the new British government desired peace with the Americans. Long negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Paris (1783). This provided highly favorable boundaries for the United States. It included nearly all land east of the Mississippi River and south of Canada except British West Florida (which was awarded to Spain). The western territories were about the size of nearly Western Europe. It had a few thousands of American pioneers and tens of thousands of Native Americans (who were mostly allied to the British, but were abandoned by London). The treaties of Fort Sanwix in 1784 and Hopewell in 1785 force Native Americans to give up more land (settlers traveled westward). More than 100,000 Americans lived in Tennessee and Kentucky by 1790. Native American suffered a great deal as a product of the Revolutionary War. Many slaves who allied with the British were moved into Nova Scotia. Some became free and traveled into Canada and Africa. Some were re-enslaved in the Caribbean by the British. Many Loyalists came into Canada and Britain. Loyalists

and British critics said that the Patriots are hypocrites to talk about liberty and had slavery. Even the Patriot governor of New Jersey back in 1778 admitted that slavery was “utterly inconsistent with the principles of Christianity and humanity; and in Americans, who have idolized liberty; peculiarity odious and disgraceful.” Wealthy white women had some rights, but all women didn’t have true equality back then. The most people who benefited from the Revolutionary War were upper middle class and rich property owning white men. African Americans continued to fight for justice. Many black Americans sued in court for emancipation and equal rights. Many black institutions grew in colonial America and early America after the Revolutionary War. Many slaves were liberated. Most black people were still enslaved in America by 1790. Soon, the North would free slaves by legislation and the South had many free slaves, but the South wouldn’t legislate an end to slavery until after the American Civil War. The American Revolution did change the world. It motivated other movements from the French Revolution to other events. The concepts of equality, liberty, and justice were used by so many afterwards in creating social change against oppression.

Nations are known to honor the memory of its founding. People talk about patriotism and identity, but the new American nation was created by contradictions and the injustices of slavery including the genocide of the indigenous peoples continued. The Redcoats shouldn’t be sympathized with because of their advocacy of monarchy, imperialism worldwide, and other forms of oppression. Also, America’s imperfections

shouldn’t be glamorized either. The American Revolution was made up of a diversity of Patriot personalities (like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Nathan Hale, Benjamin Franklin, etc.) who differed on the role of government, religion, and other issues. Yet, they were unified in their goal of establishing independence among the United States of America. By 1783, the American Revolutionary War would be over. This new existence was radical. Back in those days, it was rare for colonies to have independence from the large British Empire. Now, the Patriots defeated the largest empire of the world during that time. The British lost because of: French & Spanish assistance to the Patriots, the British underestimation of the Patriots, the British extended resources worldwide, the leadership of the American armies, and the British people soon distancing themselves from King George III’s policies.

1783-1789 From 1783 to 1789 was the crucial period of early American history. It was a

1783-1789

1783-1789 From 1783 to 1789 was the crucial period of early American history. It was a
1783-1789 From 1783 to 1789 was the crucial period of early American history. It was a

From 1783 to 1789 was the crucial period of early American history. It was a time of massive changes and the debates about the roles of the federal and state governments. It represented the transformation of the existence of states from a confederation into a true federal government system. Back during the 1780’s, the United States of America was a loose confederation of 13 states. It was filled with foreign and domestic problems. The states executed small trade wars with each other. The nation had difficulty in suppressing insurrections like the Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts. The Treasury was empty because of the war and there was no way to pay the war debts. There was no national executive authority. The world experienced an end to the war and the economy started to flourish. Some historians described this period as a bleak challenging time for the new nation. Economic growth existed and political maturation developed according to Merrill Jensen and others. The Treaty of Paris caused the United States to be completely independent and peaceful from British attacks. Yet, there was an unsettled governmental structure. The Second Continental Congress created the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777 to regularize its own status. The Articles of Confederation made a permanent confederation and it granted the Congress (or the only federal institution) little power to finance itself or to ensure that its resolutions were enforced.

There was no President and no judiciary back then. Historians generally agree that the Articles were too weak to hold the fast growing nation together, they gave Congress credit for resolving the conflict between the states over ownership of the western territories (yet, these policies violated the sovereignty and human rights of Native Americans who lived in those territories). The states voluntarily turned over their lands to national control. The Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance created territorial government. It set up protocols for admission of new states, the division of land into units, and set aside land in each township for public use. The system was a sharp break from the old school imperial colonization in Europe and it was the basis for the rest of the American continental expansion through the 19th century. The British blockade ended in 1783.

New Realities So, America started to have economic prosperity. Yet, trade opportunities were restricted. The reason

New Realities

So, America started to have economic prosperity. Yet, trade opportunities were restricted. The reason was the existence of mercantilist policies of the European powers. Before the war, Americans shipped food and other products to the British colonies in the Caribbean. By the 1780’s, those ports were closed. Only British ships could trade there. France and Spain had similar policies for their empires. Spain imposed restrictions on imports of New England fish and Chesapeake tobacco. New Orleans was closed by the Spanish and that hampered settlement of the West. Yet, this didn’t stop frontiersmen from pouring west in in large numbers. Simultaneously, American manufacturers faced sharp competition from British products. These products were suddenly available again. There was the inability of Congress to redeem currency or public debts incurred during the Revolutionary War (or to facilitate trade and financial links among states. This aggravated a gloomy situation). The 1786-1787 Shay’s Rebellion was about an uprising of farmers in western Massachusetts against the state court system. This threatened the stability of state government and Congress was powerless to help. The Shay’s Rebellion was also about farmers who wanted a more democratic impulse to benefit their areas. They desired fairness involving taxation.

The Continental Congress did have power to print paper money back then. It printed so much that its value plunged until the expression “not worth a continental” was used for some worthless item. Congress couldn’t levy taxes and could not only make requisitions upon the states. The states didn’t respond generously. Less than a million and a half dollars came into the Treasury between 1781 and 1784. Yet, the states have been asked for 2 million in 1783 alone. In 1785, Alexander Hamilton issued a court statement that the Treasury had received absolutely no taxes from New York for the year. Many states handled their debts in many levels of success. The South for the most part refused to pay off its debts since they feared that it harmed its local banks. Yet, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia fared well due to their production of cash crops like cotton and tobacco. South Carolina would have done the same, but they had many crop failures. Maryland had financial chaos and political infighting. New York and Pennsylvania fared well, although, Pennsylvania had also political quarrels. New Jersey, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Connecticut struggled. Massachusetts was in a state of virtual civil war and suffered from high taxes and the decline of its economy. Rhode Island alone among the New England states prospered and mostly because of its notorious harboring of pirates and smugglers. John Adams came into London in 1785 as the first representative of the United States. He found it impossible to get a treaty for unrestricted commerce. Demands were made for favors and there was no assurance that individual states would agree to a treaty.

Adams wanted the states to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress or the

Adams wanted the states to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress or the states pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain. Congress had already requested and failed to get power over navigation laws. During this time, each state acted individually against Great Britain to little effect. When other New England states closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit by opening its ports. By 1787, Congress was unable to protect manufacturing and shipping. State legislatures were unable or unwilling to resist attacks upon private contracts and public credit. Land speculators had no rise in values when the government couldn’t defend its borders or protect its frontier population. The idea of a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Alexander Hamilton realized while serving as Washington’s top aide that a strong central government was necessary to avoid foreign intervention and allay the frustrations due to an ineffectual Congress. Hamilton led a group of like-minded nationalists to win Washington’s endorsement. They convened the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to petition Congress to call a convention to meet in Philadelphia to remedy the long term crisis.

The Modern United States Constitution The Congress met in New York City. The Congress called on

The Modern United States Constitution

The Congress met in New York City. The Congress called on each state to send delegates to a Constitution Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The stated purpose of the convention was to amend the Articles of Confederation. Many delegates like James Madison and George Washington wanted to use the convention to create a new constitution for the United States of America. The Convention convened on May of 1787 (with 12 of the 13 states sending delegates to the Convention. Rhode Island declined to participate). It started in the Pennsylvania State House of Independence Hall on May 25, 1787. The delegates selected George Washington to preside over them. James Madison was the driving force behind the Convention. The now elder Benjamin Franklin was there to give his experience and prestige. Other leaders in the Convention included: Roger Sherman, Gouverneur Morris, James Wilson, Elbridge Gerry, William Paterson, John Dickinson, Charles Pinckney, Edmund Randolph, Alexander Hamilton, and George Mason. Alexander Hamilton was right that a powerful central government was necessary to promote a stable society, he was right to desire a balanced government, and some accused him of expressing some sympathy with aristocracy and monarchy. Morris was definitely wrong to advocate a President ruling for life. James Madison didn’t agree with democracy, but he favored republicanism (filled with diverse interests) without a constitution modeled by the British system.

Me personally, I believe in democracy represented fairly among the people. The Constitutional Convention dealt with the compromises to cause a government that was strong and acceptable to all of the states. The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan were 2 different plans for the future U.S. Constitutional government. The Virginia Plan was proposed by James Madison. It wanted a government among 3 branches (legislature, executive, and judicial). For the legislature, he wanted the House and the Senate to be represented based upon population, so states with the greatest population would have the greatest representation. It promoted the interests of the most populous states in America. Madison via his plan wanted Congress to

veto any plan of the states similar to the Parliament in dealing with colonial laws. The Virginia Plan wanted a strong President being in office for seven years. The President would command the armed forces, manage foreign relations, and appoint all executive plus judicial officers subject to the Senate. Patrick Henry didn’t like this plan as the President would have kingly powers. This plan was extreme to put it lightly.

The New Jersey Plan was the opposite of the Virginia Plan which represented states with smaller populations. It was introduced by William Peterson of New Jersey. His plan wanted Congress to regulate commerce, to tax, and to keep many of the powers of the Articles of Confederation. It had one unicameral legislature with the same representative regardless of population size. It had an executive committee not a President. The states were sovereign except for a few powers mentioned by the federal government. The problem with the Virginian Plan was that it went too far in expanding executive power and the problem with the New Jersey Plan was that it didn’t go far enough in strengthening federal government power. So, a compromise was achieved. Roger Sherman of Connecticut led the compromise. The Great Compromise made 3 branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial branches). The House would be represented by population while the Senate had 2 representatives for each state regardless of size. Madison abandoned national veto over state laws. This compromise is about federalism or the divided governmental power between federal and state governments. One of the biggest mistakes of this Convention was the Three fifths compromise, which counted slaves as 3/5 of a person. That was disgrace. Cowardly delegates feared southern resistance, so they enacted that nefarious policy. People like Madison, Jefferson, etc. knew that slavery and racism were immoral, but they supported that wicked 3/5 compromise anyway. The slave trade was banned by 1808. The Constitutional Convention ended by September 17, 1787. Edmund Randolph of Virginia, George Mason of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts didn’t sign the document since they viewed it as not perfect.

The Constitution, as proposed by the Convention (which lasted from May 25 – September 17, 1787), wanted a federal government which was limited in scope but independent of plus superior to the states. It wanted give Congress the role to tax and equipped with both Executive and Judicial branches as well as a two house legislature. The national legislature or Congress envisioned by the Convention embodied the key compromise of the Convention between the small states which wanted to retain the power they had under the one state/one vote Congress of the Articles of Confederation and the large states which wanted the weight of their larger populations and wealth to have a proportionate share of power. The upper House or the Senator would represent the states equally while the House of Representatives would be elected from districts of approximately equal populations. The Constitution itself called for ratification by state conventions specially elected for the purpose. The Confederation Congress recommended the Constitution to the states. They asked that ratification conventions to be called. Many smaller stated led by Delaware embraced the Constitution with little reservations. The two most populous states of New York and Virginia had controversies. Virginia had been the first successful British colony in North America. It has a large population and its political leadership had prominent roles in the Revolution. New York State was large and populous. It had ports on the coast and it was essential for the success of the United States. Local New York politics was controlled by a parochial elite led by Governor George Clinton and local political leaders.

These people don’t want to share their power with the national politicians. The New York ratification

These people don’t want to share their power with the national politicians. The New York ratification convention became the focus for a struggle over the wisdom of adopting the Constitution. The process for ratification continued and it was a long process. From December 7-18, 1787, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ratified the Constitution. Those, who advocated the Constitution, became the Federalists and quickly gained supported nationwide. The most influential Federalists were Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Many Federalists included business leaders, those who lived in urban communities, and other people. These were the anonymous authors of The Federalist Papers or a series of 85 essays published in New York. They were created under the pen name “Publius.” John Jay also wrote some of the Federalist Papers too. These papers became seminal documents for the new United States and have often cited by jurists. These were written to sway the closely divided New York legislature. The opponents of the plan for a stronger federal government were called the Anti-Federalists. They feared that a government with the power to tax would soon become as despotic and corrupt as Great Britain had been only decades earlier. The Anti-Federalists included many farmers. The most famous Anti-Federalist writers were Patrick Henry and George Mason, who demanded a Bill of Rights to be included in the Constitution. The Federalists had approval from George Washington. Washington chaired the Constitutional Convention.

Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period

Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.

George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army. He was a soldier, a farmer, a politician, and he was the President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

John Adams was an American statesman. He was the first Vice President and second President of America. He was an early advocate for U.S. independence.

Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was an Anti-Federalist and would become the third President of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath who was an author, a printer, and a politician. He was a member of the Continental Congress, helped to create the Declaration of Independence, and helped to get French support for American independence. He was a scientist and he later opposed slavery before he passed away. He lived to be 84 years old.

Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.
Key Individuals of the American Revolutionary Period George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army.

Patrick Henry was another early proponent of American independence. He was the member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He gave his famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech.

Lord Charles Cornwallis was the British Army general who surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia.

King George III was the British King during the Revolutionary War. He was forced to end the war because of the defeat at Yorktown and opposition to the war increasingly from members of the British Parliament.

Phillis Wheatley was an African American poet. She was once enslaved and was free later on. She wrote poems and plays on many subjects. She also advocated for the equality of black people.

Thomas Jefferson was the Minister of France at that time. He had reservations about the proposed Constitution. He wanted to remain neutral in the debate and to accept either outcome. Promises of a Bill of Rights form Madison secured ratification in Virginia. Yet, New York had the Clintons (who controlled New York politics) found themselves outmaneuvered as Hamilton secured ratification by a 30-27 vote. The Federalists had a much more powerful infrastructure to allow many states to ratify the Constitution. North Carolina and Rhode Island eventually signed on to make it unanimous among the 13 states. The old Articles of Confederation government of America ended to be replaced by a democratic republican form of government. The Anti-Federalists were right to promote a Bill of Rights addendum to the Constitution and they were wrong to abhor a strong federal government. The Constitution then and now advances popular sovereignty or the people are the only source of the government’s power.

The Constitution advanced limited government making the government limited in what it can or can’t do. It had the separation of powers, federalism, representative government (or citizens can elect representatives to the government to make laws), and checks and balances (like the President can veto a law, but Congress can override the President’s veto with 2/3s majority). Congress then set elections to the new Congress as well as the first Presidential election. The Anti-Federalists were wrong in saying that the Constitution should be always narrowly interpreted to limit federal power at every circumstances while the Federalists were right to say that the expansion of federal power when necessary is important to allow implied, broad powers to benefit the people. For example, the Internet didn't exist back then. Yet, during the future, the Internet would exist and federal implied powers can be enacted by Congress to address the Internet in a fair fashion.

Thomas Jefferson was the Minister of France at that time. He had reservations about the proposed

The Constitution is made up of Articles. Each article has sections in it that deals with a specific function of the American government. The Preamble is the introduction to the purpose of the government as set up by the Constitution. Articles I, II, and III deal with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government respectively. Article IV deals with relations among the states. Article V outline provisions for Amendment. Article VI deals with National debts, the supremacy of national, and oath. Article VII outlines the process of the ratification of the Constitution. Then, you have the Amendments.

The Bill of Rights and the First President The Electoral College unanimously chose George Washington as

The Bill of Rights and the First President

The Electoral College unanimously chose George Washington as the first President. John Adams was the first Vice President. New York City was designated as the national capital. They (George Washington and John Adams) were inaugurated in April 1789 at Federal Hall. Madison used leadership to make the first Congress to set up all of the necessary government agencies. He made good on the Federalist pledge of a Bill of Rights. The Anti-Federalists promoted the Bill of Rights, as it was a check on the federal government to protect rights. Madison drafted the Bill of Rights. It promoted the freedom of religion, the right to assemble, the freedom of speech, the right to a jury, and other rights that we know about today.

Congress passed the Bill of Rights by 1789. Rhode Island, by a margin of 3%, became the thirteenth state to ratify the Constitution on May 29, 1790. The United States Bill of Rights was ratified on 1791. The Bill of Rights was one of the most important documents relating to government in human history. The independent Vermont Republic was admitted to the Union as Vermont, becoming the fourteenth state in 1791 and Kentucky was the 15th state in the same year. The new American government didn’t have political parties at first. Alexander Hamilton in 1790-1792 created a national network of friends of the government that became the Federalist Party. It controlled the national government until 1801. There was still a strong sentiment in favor of states’ rights and a limited federal government. This became the platform of a new party called the Republican or the Democratic-Republican Party. It was in opposition to the Federalists. Jefferson and Madison were its founders and leaders. Madison switched from being a

Federalist to being an ally of Jefferson since Madison opposed the pro-national bank views of Alexander Hamilton.

The Preamble of the Constitution:

“…We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

 

*Promote Your Rights*

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights

1 st Amendment:

It guarantees the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition

2 nd Amendment:

It guarantees the right to bear arms

3 rd Amendment:

It prohibits quartering of troops in private homes

4 th Amendment:

It protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures

5 th Amendment:

It guarantees the due process for accused persons.

6 th Amendment

It guarantees the right to a speedy and public trial in the state where the offense was committed

7 th Amendment:

It guarantees the right to a jury trial for civil cases tried in federal courts

8 th Amendment:

It prohibits excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment

9 th Amendment:

It mentions that people have rights beyond what is stated in the Constitution

10 th Amendment:

It provides that powers not granted in the national government belong to the states or to the people.

The Principles of the Constitution Popular Sovereignty The people are the only source of the government’s
The Principles of the Constitution Popular Sovereignty The people are the only source of the government’s
 

The Principles of the Constitution

 

Popular Sovereignty

 

The people are the only source of the government’s power.

 

Limited government

 

The government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it.

 

Separation of Powers

 

The government’s power is divided among the three branches which are the legislative, executive, and judicial.

 

Federalism

 

The federal government and the state governments including the local governments share power.

 
   

Checks and Balances

 

Each branch of government has the power to limit the actions of the other two.

 

Representative Government

 

The citizens elect representatives in government to make laws.

 
   

The Enlightenment Influences on American Government

The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason, logic, happiness, scientific inquiry, and individual liberty in order to find the truths found in Nature and the Universe. The U.S. Constitution and modern American culture take heavily influence from the ideologies of the Enlightenment.

Enlightenment Leaders and their influences on American society

The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,
The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,
The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,
The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,

John Locke believed that the government’s powers come from the consent of the people. He believed that people are entitled to life, liberty, and property. His words are found in the Preamble to the Constitution.

Montesquieu was a Frenchman who believed in the separation of powers in that different branches of government could co-exist with different powers (and checks and balances).

Voltaire promoted the essence of the freedom of thought and expression excluding censorship. This is found in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Voltaire believed in religious toleration which is part of the freedom of religion.

Beccaria believed in the abolishment of torture. That concept is found in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,
The Enlightenment Influences on American Government The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that used human reason,

Rousseau believed in direct democracy and that’s found in the election of many political leaders of America.

Mary Wollstonecraft believed in women’s equality and giving women opportunities in education and medicine plus politics. Women continue to fight for true equality.

This image shows George Washington being sworn in for a second time on March 4, 1793.

This image shows George Washington being sworn in for a second time on March 4, 1793. John Adams was the Vice President. It was the first presidential inauguration to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jefferson and Madison were the founders and leaders of the Democratic-Republican Party. They opposed strongly Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States. American foreign policy was dominated by the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars between the United Kingdom and France during the late 1700's. The Republicans supported France and the French Revolution as a force for democracy. The Washington administration favored continued peace and commerce with Britain and it signed the Jay Treaty. This angered the Democratic-Republicans who accused Hamilton and the Federalists of supporting aristocracy and tyranny (when the French Revolution was right to oppose aristocracy, but many people in the French Revolution went too far with the Reign of Terror that had acts of murder against even innocent people in France. These events were occurring after the short lived Enlightenment-era Bavarian Illuminati). People during that time were diverse. George Washington was a planter and the commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. James Madison was a legislator from Virginia. Benjamin Franklin was a writer, inventor, printer, legislator, and diplomat (he lived in Philadelphia). Gouverneur Morris was a lawyer, merchant, and legislator from Pennsylvania. Alexander Hamilton was a lawyer and champion of a strong central government. Roger Sherman was merchant, mayor of New Haven (in Connecticut), legislator, and judge. John Dickenson of Delaware was a lawyer, historian, and independence advocate. John Adams succeeded Washington as President in 1797 and continued the policies of his administration. So, these individuals had experience in judicial affairs, government, and other aspects of human living. George Washington would die by the year of 1799. The Jeffersonian Republicans took control of the Federal government in 1801 and the Federalists never returned to power. The beginnings of the United States of America started with controversies, conflicts, disputes, debates, and the development of a new nation. As time would show, America's events would be dynamic and Earth changing indeed.

Appendix A: African Americans during the Colonial and American Revolution Periods

The first African slaves brought to the British thirteen colonies came about in 1619. This was when black people were sent to Point Comfort, or today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. This was 30 miles downstream from Jamestown, Virginia. The English settlers mistreated them. Later, slavery was more rigid in America and became more race-based slavery. Many black people back then were indentured servants and some were free. So, black people included both free and enslaved

peoples. Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery in

1641.

Other colonies did the same thing that allowed slavery onto the children of slaves and making non-Christian imported black people slaves for life. There were about 10-12 million Africans were transported into the Western Hemisphere via the Maafa. Most of these human beings were from the stretch of the West African coast extending from present-day Senegal to Angola; a small percentage came from Madagascar and East Africa. Only 5% (about 500,000) went to the American colonies.

The vast majority went to the West Indies and

Brazil, where they died quickly. Demographic conditions were highly favorable in the American colonies, with less disease, more food, some medical care, and lighter workloads than prevailed in the sugar fields. At first, the Africans in the South were outnumbered by white indentured servants who voluntarily came from Britain. Slaves worked for a lifetime on plantations. Slaves were prevented from escaping on many cases, but some slaves did escape. Slaves had their own family systems, religion, and customs. Slavery increased in America after 1660 when demand for African slaves grew. By 1700, there were about 25,000 black slaves in the North American mainland colonies, which was about 10% of the total population.

Some slaves came from Africa, some came from the Caribbean, and some were native born in North America. Direct kidnapping of black people and sending them into America grew by the early 1700’s. From about 1700 to 1859, the majority of slaves imported to the North American mainland came directly from Africa in huge cargoes to fill the massive spike in demand for labor to work the continually expanding plantations in the Southern colonies (later to be states), with most heading to Virginia, South Carolina, and French or Spanish Louisiana. Northern colonies didn’t have as many black slaves during the early 1700’s since the North was heavily urbanized not agricultural. There weren’t as many imported slaves into the North as compared to the South. Also, big Northern cities had large black populations (both slave and free) in places like New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. From the 1750’s onward, American born slaves of African descent began to outnumber African-born slaves. During the time of the American Revolution, some Northern state started to consider abolishing slavery. Some Southern states like Virginia had large locally born slave populations. So, they stopped taking in

direct imports of slaves from Africa altogether but still had slavery. States like South Carolina and Georgia had direct imports from Africa until 1808. The continued, direct importation of slaves from Africa ensured that for most of the eighteenth century, South Carolina's black population remained very high, with black people outnumbering whites three to one, unlike in Virginia, which had a white majority, despite its large black slave population. A free black population existed from Charleston to Boston. In the year of 1760, Jupiter Hammon had a poem printed, becoming the first published African- American poet. The Non-Importation Agreements lasted from 1765 to 1767. It involved the First Continental Congress creates a multi- colony agreement to forbid importation of anything from British merchants. This implicitly included slaves, and stopped the slave trade in Philadelphia. The second similar act explicitly stopped the slave trade. In 1773, Phillis Wheatley had her own book entitled, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. By 1774, the first black Baptist congregations were organized in the South at: Silver Bluff Baptist Church in South Carolina, and First African Baptist Church near Petersburg, Virginia. On April 14, 1775, Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully held in Bondage holds four meetings. It was re-formed in 1784 as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and Benjamin Franklin would later be its president.

During the days of the American Revolution, political upheaval existed in America. Many white settlers talked about relief of British rule and independence, but some of them hypocritically owned slaves while demanding freedom. The Declaration of Independence is a document that would inspire people in the future to promote human rights and personal freedom. It was written by Thomas Jefferson when he owned more than 200 slaves. Other Southern statesmen were also major slaveholders. The Second Continental Congress did consider freeing slaves to disrupt British commerce. They removed language from the Declaration of Independence

that included the promotion of slavery amongst the offenses of King George III. A number of free black people, most notably Prince Hall—the founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry, submitted petitions for the end of slavery. But these petitions were largely ignored. This didn’t deter black people as black people always fought for freedom. Black Americans (both slave and free) served on both sides of the American Revolutionary War. Crispus Attucks, a free Black tradesman, was the first casualty of the Boston Massacre and of the ensuing American Revolutionary War. 5,000 Blacks, including Prince Hall, fought in the Continental Army. Many fought side by side with White soldiers at the battles of Lexington and Concord and at Bunker Hill. Some of the black people involved in the battles of Lexington and Concord plus at Bunker Hill included these human beings on the Patriot side: Peter Salem, Salem Poor, Barzillai Lew, Prince Estabrook, etc. Peter Salem is said to have killed Major John Pitcairn at Bunker Hill. James Armistead Lafayette was another black man who fought for the U.S. during the Revolutionary war too. He was a runaway slave who scouted British encampments in Richmond, VA.

When George Washington took command in 1775, he barred any further recruitment of black people. About 5,000 free African American men fought with the Patriots during the American Revolution. One of these men, Agrippa Hull, fought in the American Revolution for over six years. He and the other African-American soldiers fought in order to improve their white neighbor's views of them and advance their own fight of freedom. By contrast, the British and Loyalists offered emancipation to any slave owned by a Patriot who was willing to join the Loyalist forces. Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia, recruited 300 African-American men into his Ethiopian regiment within a month of making this proclamation. In South Carolina 25,000 slaves, more than one-quarter of the total, escaped to join and fight with the British, or fled for freedom in the uproar of war. Thousands of slaves also

escaped in Georgia and Virginia, as well as New England and New York. Well-known Loyalist soldiers include Colonel Tye and Boston King.

Later,

the

Americans

won the war. The

provisional

treaty

outlined

the

goal

of

many

Americans

to

return slaves. Yet, the

British

helped

up

to

4,000

documented

African

leave

Americans

to the country for

Nova Scotia, Jamaica,

and Britain rather than be returned to slavery.

Thomas

Peters

was

one of the large

numbers

of

African

Americans who fought

for the British. Peters

was

born in present-

day Nigeria and

belonged

to

the

Yoruba

tribe,

and

ended up being

captured and sold into

slavery

in

French

Louisiana. Sold again,

he became

a

slave in

North

Carolina

and

escaped

his

slave-

owner’s farm in order

to

receive

Lord

Dunmore's promise of

freedom. Peters fought

for

the

British

throughout

the

war.

When

the war

finally

ended,

he

and

other

African

Americans

who

fought

on

the

losing side were taken

Sister Elizabeth Freeman (ca. 1744-1829) was the first slave to file a lawsuit in court and

Sister Elizabeth Freeman (ca. 1744-1829) was the first slave to file a lawsuit in court and won her freedom in Massachusetts. She was a great midwife, healer, and nurse. Her life has inspired freedom loving people the world over.

Sister Elizabeth Freeman (ca. 1744-1829) was the first slave to file a lawsuit in court and

Sister Phillis Wheatley (ca. 1753-1784) was the first published African American woman poet.

She was born in West Africa and her poetry was

very eloquent and

personal.

to Nova Scotia. Here, they were given pieces of land that they could not farm.

Black Loyalists and Black Patriots wanted the same goal, but used different ways to trying to
Black Loyalists and Black Patriots wanted the same goal, but used different ways to
trying to get freedom.

They also did not receive the same freedoms as white Englishmen. Peters sailed to London in order to complain to the government. He arrived at a momentous time, when English abolitionists were pushing a bill through Parliament to charter the Sierra Leone Company and to grant it trading and settlement rights on the West African coast. Peters and the other African Americans on Nova Scotia left for Sierra Leone in 1792. Peters died soon after they arrived but the other members of his party lived on in their new home. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 defined the early government of the newly formed United States of America. The constitution related to the discussions about freedom and equality. Also, it is important to note that the original Constitution continued slavery via the fugitive slave clause and the three-fifths compromise. That compromise is about counting slaves as three-fifths of a person in order to increase Southern voting representation in Congress while denying black people fundamental human rights in a vicious fashion. Additionally, free blacks' rights were also restricted in many places. Most were denied the right to vote and were excluded from public schools. Some Blacks sought to fight these contradictions in court. In 1780, Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker used language from the new Massachusetts constitution that declared all men were born free and equal in freedom suits to gain release from slavery. A free Black businessman in Boston named Paul Cuffee sought

abolished slavery, the first future state to do so. No slaves were held in Vermont. Pennsylvania was the first U.S. state to abolish slavery in 1780. Northern states passed emancipation acts between 1780 and 1804. In 1787 Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance and barred slavery from the large Northwest Territory. In 1790, there were more than 59,000 free black Americans in the United States. By 1810, that number had risen to 186,446. Most of these were in the North, but Revolutionary sentiments also motivated Southern slaveholders to fight back against freedom loving movements. Some Southerners freed slaves by manumission or in wills after the slave- owners’deaths. In the Upper South, the percentage of free black human beings rose from about 1% before the Revolution to more than 10% by 1810. Quakers and Moravians worked to persuade slaveholders to free families. In Virginia, the numbers of free black people increased from 10,000 in 1790 to nearly 30,000 in 1810, but 95% of black people were still enslaved. In Delaware, three-quarters of all black people were free by 1810. By 1860 just over 91% of Delaware's black population was free and 49.1% of those in Maryland. One famous freeman was Benjamin Banneker. He was a Maryland astronomer, mathematician, almanac author, surveyor, and farmer. He assisted in the initial survey of the boundaries of the future District of Columbia back in 1791. Some free black people emigrated to Africa.

to be excused from paying taxes since he had no voting rights. People continued to fight for justice. Many people fought against slavery in the North and in the South.

Some stayed in America. Black people, who were enslaved, suffered rape, torture, abuse, family splitting, and other evils. Many black people back

July

8,

1777 was

the year

when the Vermont

then were Muslims, Christians, and followers of traditional African religions. Networks of

Republic

(a

sovereign

nation

at

the

time)

churches were formed by both free and enslaved

African Americans. The black church was an expression of community and a gathering place for social activist movements. They were community centers where black people could celebrate their African heritage without apology. Many churches were educational centers for black people. They helped to educate black people throughout the nation. Richard Allen (who was a bishop) founded many separate black denominations. February 12, 1793 was when the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was passed by President Georgia Washington. It was an evil law that allowed slave-owners to recover an escaped

slave. The Second Great Awakening would further develop African-American Christian circles. By the end of the 1700’s, Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803), Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806), and Henri Christophe (1767-1820) were heroically fighting the French empire during the Haitian Revolution. Also, many black people were Muslims long before 1800. The African American journey for freedom and justice continues to this very day in 2018.

This is hallowed ground. This is the Gettysburg National Cemetery where people acknowledge the sacrifice of
This is hallowed ground. This is the Gettysburg
National Cemetery where people acknowledge the
sacrifice of heroes.

Next will be the continuation of the series with Part 3 detailing the antebellum period and Part 4 dealing with the Civil War.

The struggle continues, but our cause is just and justice is what we seek for the human race.

Yes, here is one more reminder below about the importance of protesting for liberty:

Days ago, Sister Therese Patricia Okoumou climbed up the Statue of Liberty to protest migrant separation.
Days ago, Sister Therese Patricia Okoumou climbed up the Statue of Liberty to protest migrant separation.
Days ago, Sister Therese Patricia Okoumou climbed up the Statue of Liberty to protest migrant separation.

Days ago, Sister Therese Patricia Okoumou climbed up the Statue of Liberty to protest migrant separation. She made a great point in her brave action that defending the rights of migrants is part of promoting human rights. This is an international issue not just an American issue. Black migrants suffer in Africa and in Europe. Latinx migrants suffer in America. Black undocumented immigrants exist too in America. She is from the Republic of the Congo and she is opposing the draconian zero-tolerance Trump immigration policy. Okoumou is a known fitness trainer and a 44 year old human being. She was part of the Rise and Resist protest group that wants to abolish ICE. ICE only

Therefore, we honor Sister Therese

“…Michelle Obama, our beloved first lady that I care so much about said, 'When they go low, we go high.' I went as high as I could…”

existed during the early 21st century while others believe in the myth that ICE was established decades ago. During this time and generation, we will continue to defend the rights of the suffering. She is defending the rights of children being held in internment camps without their parents. That

-Therese Patricia Okoumou.

reality is the height of cruelty and anti-democratic values. Fundamentally, immigration rights are human rights. We always appreciate the strength,

the wisdom, and the insights of this beautiful black woman.

Patricia Okoumou's sacrifice and heroism.

By Timothy