Chapter 8 - Roark Chapter 8: Building a Republic, 1775-1789...

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1775-1789 Notes and Questions for HIS1043 by Rex H. Ball, Senior Lecturer At first glance, it might be styled “a firm league of friendship.” It means that they created a government that pretty much resembled itself. Looking at the 2nd Continental Congress, you see an extra- legal body, with no executive or judicial branches and no legal authority. Yet, it managed to raise an army, appoint its command, print money, and petition the crown for relief. This is both and easy and a difficult question for the colonials to answer. Easy because they knew what they did not want. After declaring their independence from the Crown and Parliament, would they model their new government on what they had experienced all their lives? Hardly. Difficult because what model should they follow? Look through the world. The existing examples looked too similar to what they had just broken from. They could have turned to theory. Montesquieu and Locke come to mind, but they had a war to run and little time to play with lofty ideas and philosophy. Besides, no one had ever done what they were attempting to do. They looked to their own experience and then reduced to writing what they had been doing since 1765. They did not want a powerful government. They had just broken with a powerful government and didn’t want to just jump from the frying pan into the fire. They created a government that could function under duress when their common safety was threatened, but take that away, it was a powerless, pitiful invention of the moment. What type of government did the Continental Congress create for “The United States of America?” What does that mean? How is that? Why was it so hard to create a legal governmental framework after independence was declared? What could they do? Where could they turn for guidance? So what did they do? That takes us back to the earlier question, what type of government did the Continental Congress create for “The United States of America?” How pitiful was this government? 1
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This note was uploaded on 05/08/2008 for the course HIS 1043 taught by Professor Rexball during the Spring '08 term at Texas San Antonio.

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Chapter 8 - Roark Chapter 8: Building a Republic, 1775-1789...

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