Consequences of the Revolution

  1. A National Government

    1. Soon upon deciding for independence, the need for a national government became clear

    2. The Continental Congress approved Articles of Confederation in November, 1777

    3. Would not go into effect until ratified by the states - not till 1781

      1. Many people weren't interested in any central government

      2. Major sticking point was western lands

      3. Who owned them, who would profit from them?

      4. Many states had conflicting claims

      5. Only when they agreed to give these lands to the national government would Articles be approved

    4. A weak government

      1. A Congress in which each state had one vote

      2. Congress could ask, not demand, money from states

      3. Unable to pay national debts, including back pay for army

      4. Meant to deal with foreign policy, Indians, interstate problems, not much else

  2. Biggest Accomplishment - the Northwest Ordinance of 1787

    1. People were moving across the Appalachians - where did they fit in?

    2. Congress saw the land as revenue - they could sell it and not depend on states for money. But how?

    3. Dividing up the land - Land Ordinance of 1785

      1. Attempt to scientifically divide land (Jefferson's idea)

      2. Set up a Township Survey system

        1. All land would be surveyed and divided into blocks of six square miles

        2. Those in turn would be would be divided into blocks 1 mile square - 640 acres

        3. Idea was that people could buy land before heading West and already know exactly where their land was

      3. Congress wanted to sell the land for $1/acre, with smallest unit sold being 640 acres

      4. But most people didn't have $640

      5. Speculators bought up much of the land, divided it in smaller pieces, and sold it off.

      6. And a lot of squatters just took what they could find.

    4. Governing the land - Northwest Ordinance of 1787

      1. There was essentially no government beyond the Appalachians

      2. Seen as dangerous by Eastern elites

      3. Northwest Ordinance created a step-by-step process for creating new states and governments in West

        1. Only applied north of the Ohio - gave Congress right to create 3-5 states in region

        2. Government would create a territory

          1. Governor, Secretary, and three judges appointed by Congress

          2. Young men could move into territory and get into government on ground floor

        3. When population reached 5000, property owners could elect an assembly

          1. Lower house elected, upper house appointed

          2. Governor still had veto

          3. Would also get a non-voting representative in Congress

        4. When population hit 60,000, they could write a state constitution, apply for statehood

        5. When Congress approved, admitted as state equal to older states

      4. Ordinance also had a Bill of Rights for new territories

        1. Freedom of religion

        2. Right of habeas corpus

        3. No cruel or inhumane punishment

        4. Private property rights to be respected

        5. Schools to be forever encouraged

        6. Indians to be treated fairly

        7. Slavery and involuntary servitude prohibited

      5. Would pave the way for expansion of United States

      6. Many principles applied to other regions later

  3. Amerindians and the independent United States

    1. Amerindians generally did worse because of the war and independence

    2. Most fought for Britain,

      1. American militia destroyed many farms and villages of Indians who allied with British

      2. Many had to flee to Canada after defeat

      3. Conquest theory - Congress treated Amerindians who allied with Britain as conquered peoples

        1. gave legal justification for seizing land

        2. Amerindians would also come under pressure to "civilize" themselves, abandoning their own culture in favor of settlers culture

    3. Collapse of the Iroquois Six Nations

      1. Traditional allies of the British against the French, the Iroquois split over the Revolution

      2. Civil war broke out among Iroquois, and Americans launched devastating attacks on pro-British Iroquois

      3. Weak and decimated by war, Iroquois gave up most of their land at Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784)

    4. Impact of Northwest Ordinance

      1. Although Ordinance officially recognized Amerindian land rights, settlers paid little attention to this

      2. Resulting land pressures on Amerindians resulted in violent conflict, raids and counter raids in Ohio Valley area

  4. African Americans and independence

    1. Some slaves gained freedom by fighting for Britain, but they had to evacuate to Canada after the war

    2. Institution of slavery came under attack as a result of the Revolution

      1. Ideals of revolution led many to question slavery

      2. Also, decline of tobacco economy led to less demand for slaves

      3. Virginia and Maryland made manumission easier, and free Black population grew

      4. Northern states either abolished slavery outright or through gradual methods

      5. Georgia and South Carolina, though, where slaves out numbered white settlers, slave codes were strengthened

  5. Women and independence

    1. In colonial culture, as well as in Britain, women traditionally did not engage in politics

    2. The intensity of political debate during the Revolution drew in women, more of whom began to speak out on political issues

    3. Male resistance to women's involvement in politics remained high

    4. Property requirements for political involvement also served to exclude women, as married women had no prperty rights independent of their husbands

    5. Women were only able to vote in New Jersey (starting in 1776), a right that was abolished in 1807

    6. Traditional female roles recast in terms of republican ideology

      1. Spinning and weaving seen as ways to supply troops, boycott British goods

      2. Role as mothers seen as crucial in raising and training republican citizens with values of new country