the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

And unilaterally proposed a date in may 1787 for a

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and unilaterally, proposed a date in May 1787 for a convention to consider a major overhaul of the Articles. All these efforts had happened separately, without collusion or cooperation. In a substantive sense, they all shared a common conviction that the full promise of the American Revolution was being betrayed. But that conviction was controversial, since resistance to any coercive version of government power could claim to be the central impulse of the American Revolution. What brought them together in the last months of 1786 was the common recognition that one man possessed the potential to transform the improbable into the inevitable. If the attempt to reform—or better yet, replace—the Articles was to levitate above the lethal combination of entrenched parochialism and studied indifference, it had to be led by the same man who, against all odds, had won the war for independence. Thus began the courting of George Washington. The specific event that launched the campaign was the announcement by the Confederation Congress of a resolution authorizing the state legislators to appoint delegates to attend a convention in Philadelphia, in effect endorsing the proposal Hamilton had made at the Annapolis convention. While most of the state governments regarded the status quo as wholly acceptable, and any enhanced authority at the federal level as both threatening and unnecessary, within the Confederation Congress there was an emerging sense that reform of the Articles was probably necessary in order to ensure the survival of the confederation. Correspondence among delegates mentioned enhanced control over commerce, greater federal authority over taxes—though that would be hard—and some kind of mechanism to provide a single voice in foreign policy, Jay’s hobbyhorse. In what was obviously a very fluid situation, the delegates seemed to recognize that something had to be done, and they seized upon Hamilton’s proposal for a convention to reform the Articles on the assumption that some kind of modest reform defined the parameters of the possible. The lack of a quorum delayed a vote on the bill for two months, an ominous sign, but Madison wrote Washington on November 8, 1786, while the bill was pending, to inform him that history was about to happen: We can no longer doubt that the crisis is arrived at which the good people of America are to decide the solemn question, whether they will reap the fruits of that
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Independence…and of that Union which they have cemented with so much of their common blood, or whether by giving way to unmanly jealousies and prejudices, or to partial and transitory interests, they will renounce the auspicious blessings prepared for them by the Revolution, and furnish its enemies an eventual triumph.
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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