the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Do in the summer of 1776 what james madison and his

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do in the summer of 1776 what James Madison and his Federalist colleagues succeeded in doing in the summer of 1787. 8 No official record of the debate exists because none was kept. Fortunately, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson kept extensive notes on the deliberations, which occurred between July 22 and August 20. This meant that they coincided with the looming British invasion of Long Island. Despite that distraction, the political issues at stake got the attention of the most prominent delegates, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Ironically, Dickinson himself was absent, having gone to command his militia unit in New Jersey in anticipation of the British attack in New York. 9 The debate exposed three fundamental disagreements: first, a sectional split between northern and southern states over slavery; second, a division between large and small states over representation; and third, a more general argument between proponents for a confederation of sovereign states and advocates for a more consolidated national union. There was considerable overlap between the second and third arguments, since defenders of the one-state-one-vote principle were implicitly rejecting the viability of a nation-size republic. Slavery was too volatile a subject to be addressed directly; indeed, there was an unspoken policy of silence surrounding the topic based on the broadly shared sense that it, more than any other issue, possessed the potential to destroy the political consensus that had formed around independence. But slavery was too embedded in the economy of the southern states to avoid altogether, and it came up, albeit obliquely, during debate over Article XII of the Dickinson Draft, which proposed that “the expenses for the war and the general welfare shall be defrayed out of a Common Treasury, which shall be supplied by the several colonies in proportion to the Number of Inhabitants of every Age, Sex and Quality, except Indians.” An argument then ensued over how to count “Inhabitants,” which soon became an argument over slaves: Were they persons or property? 10 The delegates from the southern states insisted that slaves were property, like horses and sheep, and therefore should not be counted as “Inhabitants.” Franklin countered this claim with an edgy joke, observing that slaves, the last time he looked, did not behave like sheep: “Sheep will never make any insurrections.” The South Carolina delegation, which did not find this funny, then issued the ultimate threat. If the northern states insisted on this point, “there is an End of the Confederation.” In response to this threat of a southern secessionist movement, Samuel Chase of Maryland urged all delegates to calm down, then proposed to insert “white” before “Inhabitants” in order to appease his southern brethren. But the northern delegates, led by Adams, objected strenuously to this change, accusing South Carolina of attempting to avoid its fair share of the tax burden to finance the war. In a thoroughly sectional vote, Chase’s amendment was defeated.
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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