Chapter_6_Notes - Chapter 6 The Republican Experiment...

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Chapter 6 The Republican Experiment Introduction : In this chapter we will examine the social and political reforms that accompanied the American Revolution, the successes, such as they were, of the Continental Congress in dealing with our national problems in the postwar period, and, finally, the steps leading to the writing and adoption of the new Constitution of the United States. Republican Culture and Republicanism To the founding fathers, republicanism meant, in part, a government without a monarchy But it meant more than that; it was a core ideology which emphasized a commitment to liberty and equality and a high degree of public morality Already, however, there was emerging a division over liberty and order: while some began making new demands on government and society, others feared democratic excesses that might threaten order. Men such as Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and John Adams focused their energies on how republicans should govern themselves Social and Political Reforms Some saw the Society of the Cincinnati as a threat to republicanism, an effort, some thought, to establish a hereditary peerage in America To root out special privilege, laws of primogeniture and entail were repealed Property qualifications for voting often lowered State capitals were often moved to more accessible places to accommodate the desires of state legislators from new western districts; in Virginia, for example, from Williamsburg to Richmond etc. African Americans in the New Republic In some areas, north of Virginia, abolitionist sentiment spread Arguments of favor of human bondage undermined by the work of such prominent African Americas as the mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker and the writer Phyllis Wheatley Abolition of slavery in the north took different forms; perhaps a state law or a state constitution prohibiting slavery But the abolition of slavery did not mean equality for free blacks, far from it In the South, while some slave owners voluntarily freed their slaves, most did not, and no southern state abolished slavery 1
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course HIST 1302 taught by Professor Jones during the Spring '08 term at Richland Community College.

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Chapter_6_Notes - Chapter 6 The Republican Experiment...

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