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Founding and Constitution

Founding and Constitution - The First Founding Interests...

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The First Founding: Interests and Conflicts The phrase "no taxation without representation" stirred a generation of Americans to revolution against their own government. Despite the general belief that independence and the creation of a new government was a fait accompli , the creation of a new government under the Constitution was nothing short of a miracle. I. What conflicts were apparent and what interests prevailed during the American Revolution and the drafting of the Articles of Confederation? Five sectors of society had interests that were important in colonial politics: New England merchants. Southern planters. Royalists. Shopkeepers, artisans, and laborers. Small farmers. The New England merchants, southern planters, and royalists made up the colonial elite and, at first, generally cooperated with each other. After 1750, changes in tax and trade policies split the colonial elite, permitting the radical elements of colonial society to cause a revolution. England imposed new taxes (e.g., the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act) and new trade policies (e.g., granting a monopoly on export tea to the East India Company) that had negative impacts on the economic fortunes of the merchants and planters. Radicals like Samuel Adams began calling for independence from what they saw as tyranny. After much debate and numerous attempts at reconciliation, the colonies declared their independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Founding: From Compromise to Constitution I. Why were the Articles of Confederation unable to hold the nation together? In November of 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation—the United States' first written constitution.
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