The Formation of a National Governme28

The Formation of a National Governme28 - and English...

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The Formation of a National Government Leaders crafted constitutional, legal basis for young nation STATE CONSTITUTIONS The success of the Revolution gave Americans the opportunity to give legal form to their  ideals as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and to remedy some of their  grievances through state constitutions. As early as May 10, 1776, Congress had passed  a resolution advising the colonies to form  new  governments "such as shall best conduce  to the happiness and safety of their constituents." Some of them had already done so,  and within a year after the Declaration of Independence, all but three had drawn up  constitutions. The new constitutions showed the impact of democratic ideas. None made any drastic  break with the past, since all were built on the solid foundation of colonial experience 
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Unformatted text preview: and English practice. But each was also animated by the spirit of republicanism, an ideal that had long been praised by Enlightenment philosophers. Naturally, the first objective of the framers of the state constitutions was to secure those "unalienable rights" whose violation had caused the former colonies to repudiate their connection with Britain. Thus, each constitution began with a declaration or bill of rights. Virginia's, which served as a model for all the others, included a declaration of principles: popular sovereignty, rotation in office, freedom of elections, and an enumeration of fundamental liberties: moderate bail and humane punishment, speedy trial by jury, freedom of the press and of conscience, and the right of the majority to reform or alter the government....
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2011 for the course AMH AMH2010 taught by Professor Pietrzak during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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