The 2 most ruggedly individualist centers of the colonial erahomes of the

The 2 most ruggedly individualist centers of the

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The 2 most ruggedly individualist centers of the colonial era—homes of the “otherwise minded”—thus ran true to formThese 4 states did not want to ratify the Constitution, but they could not safely exist as the only states "outside of the fold."A Conservative TriumphThe minority had triumphed 2 times, a minority of American radicals had engineered the military Revolution that cast off the unwritten British constitution and a minority of conservatives—now embracing many of the earlier radicals—had engineered the peaceful revolution that overthrew the inadequate constitution known as the Articles of Confederation11 states, in effect, had seceded from the Confederation, leaving the 2 still in, actually out in the coldA majority had not spoken, only about ¼ of the adult white males in the country, chiefly the propertied people, had voted for delegates to the ratifying conventionsCareful estimates indicate that if the new Constitution had been submitted to a manhood-suffrage vote, as in New York, it would have encountered much more opposition, probably defeatConservatism was victorious. Safeguards had been erected against mob-rule excesses, while the republican gains of the Revolution were conserved.Radicals such as Patrick Henry, who had ousted British rule, saw themselves in turn upended by American conservatives.
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The federalists were convinced that by setting the drifting ship of state on a steady course, they could restore economic and political stabilityThe architects of the Constitution believed that every branch (executive, judiciary,and legislative) effectively represented the peopleUnlike the antifederalists, who believed that the sovereignty of the people resided in a single branch of governmentBy embedding the doctrine of self-rule in a self-limiting system of checks and balances among these branches, the Constitution reconciled the potentially conflicting principles of liberty and orderThe Pursuit of Equality“All men are created equal,” the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed, and equality was everywhere the watchword during this formative and tumultuous periodMost states reduced (but usually did not eliminate altogether) property-holding requirements for votingOrdinary men and women demanded to be addressed as “Mr.” and “Mrs.”—titles once reserved for the wealthy and highborn. Employers were now called “boss,” not “master.”In 1784 New Yorkers released a shipload of freshly arrived indentured servants, on the grounds that their status violated democratic idealsby 1800 this kind of bonded labor was virtually unknownThe Continental Army officers formed an exclusive hereditary order called the Society of the Cincinnati and most Americans ridiculed themSociety of the Cincinnati:Exclusive, hereditary organization of former officers in the Continental Army. Many resented the pretentiousness of the order, viewing it as a vestige of pre-Revolutionary traditions.
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