pols 2 - I II III IV V The Constitution Some background A...

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The Constitution I) Some background A) 1764 1) The Sugar Act – the act increased duties on non-British goods shipped to the colonies 2) Currency Act – prohibited American colonies from issuing their own currency 3) Beginnings of colonial opposition – “taxation without representation” B) 1765 1) Quartering Act 2) Stamp Act – Parliament’s first direct tax on the American colonies (a) Responses to the Stamp Act (i) Colonial assemblies passed resolutions demanding repeal of the tax; sent delegates to a national conference to draft a unified response (ii) The Stamp Act Congress claimed that American colonists were equal with British citizens (iii) Sons of Liberty created, aimed at intimidating the stamp agents who collected Parliament’s taxes (iv) Agreed not to import British goods C) 1766 1) Repeal of the Stamp Act 2) Declaratory Act – Parliament could make laws binding the American colonies in all cases D) 1767 1) Townsend Act 2) Nonimportation 3) Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the inhabitants to the British colonies E) 1770 1) Boston Massacre (a) 5 Americans killed (b) Troops withdrew from Boston (c) British soldiers defended by future president John Adams F) 1773 1) Boston Tea Party II) The First Continental Congress A) 1774 B) They wanted to be able to rule themselves, but not necessarily be their own country C) Ban all trade with Britain until the taxes were taken away D) Trade ban was a collective action problem E) Trade ban enforced by force and violence III) Declaration of Independence A) Thomas Paine’s Common Sense moved independence from Britain to center stage; it had not been considered early on B) Three months and 120,000 copies later, Americans thought independence was a good idea C) In June 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee called for creation of a new nation separate from Britain D) Then Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence IV) The Road to Independence A) Why was America so well-suited to be the first nation to break with monarchy and embrace republicanism? 1) Geographic location 2) Legacy of self-governance V) America’s 1 st constitution: the Articles of Confederation A) Delegates to the Second Continental Congress proceeded to create a new government B) Drafted the Articles of Confederation – not ratified until 1781
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C) Our first government was a confederation – a highly decentralized government system in which the national government derives limited authority from the states rather than directly from the citizenry D) Nature of the Articles 1) Created a new, permanent government in which each state received 1 vote 2) Major laws – such as those dealing with taxes and constitutional change – required the endorsement of 9 of the 13 states 3)
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