Local Government in Early America: The Colonial Experience and Lessons from the Founders

5. The American Revolution
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American Revolution

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Some people, many of them seeking religious freedom in the New World, set sail from England on the Mayflower in September The Lochner era of American jurisprudence, which ran roughly from to , saw state courts and the Supreme Court strike down laws that, for instance, regulated wages and work hours because such laws violated a right to contract as one chose. Until the American Revolution, half of the colonists who graduated studied at Harvard. Parliament also passed the Currency Act, which restricted colonies from producing paper money. Cambridge: Cambridge UP,

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Local Government in Early America: The Colonial Experience and Lessons from the Founders [Brian P. Janiskee] on faguhulo.tk *FREE* shipping on. In Local Government in Early America, Brian P. Janiskee examines the origins of the 'town hall The Colonial Experience and Lessons from the Founders.

The Swamp Fox. John Oller. Prophets Of Protest. The influence of his early work, Extracts from the Virginia Charters, is seen in the peace treaty with Great Britain, which fixed the Anglo-American boundary at the Great Lakes instead of the Ohio River. After independence, Mason drew up the plan for Virginia's cession of its western lands to the United States.

By the early s, however, Mason grew disgusted with the conduct of public affairs and retired. He married his second wife, Sarah Brent, in In he attended the Mount Vernon meeting that was a prelude to the Annapolis convention of , but, though appointed, he did not go to Annapolis.

At Philadelphia in Mason was one of the five most frequent speakers at the Constitutional Convention. He exerted great influence, but during the last 2 weeks of the convention he decided not to sign the document. Mason's refusal prompts some surprise, especially since his name is so closely linked with constitutionalism.

Local Government in Early America: The Colonial Experience and Lessons from the Founders

He explained his reasons at length, citing the absence of a declaration of rights as his primary concern. He then discussed the provisions of the Constitution point by point, beginning with the House of Representatives. The House he criticized as not truly representative of the nation, the Senate as too powerful. He also claimed that the power of the federal judiciary would destroy the state judiciaries, render justice unattainable, and enable the rich to oppress and ruin the poor.

These fears led Mason to conclude that the new government was destined to either become a monarchy or fall into the hands of a corrupt, oppressive aristocracy. Two of Mason's greatest concerns were incorporated into the Constitution. The Bill of Rights answered his primary objection, and the 11th amendment addressed his call for strictures on the judiciary.

Throughout his career Mason was guided by his belief in the rule of reason and in the centrality of the natural rights of man. He approached problems coolly, rationally, and impersonally. In recognition of his accomplishments and dedication to the principles of the Age of Reason, Mason has been called the American manifestation of the Enlightenment.

Mason died on October 7, , and was buried on the grounds of Gunston Hall. He attended the College of William and Mary and graduated in McClurg then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and received his degree in His work and writings were well-received and respected by the medical community, and his article was translated into several languages. In McClurg returned to Virginia and served as a surgeon in the state militia during the Revolution.

Before the end of the war the College of William and Mary appointed McClurg its professor of anatomy and medicine. The same year, , he married Elizabeth Seldon. James McClurg's reputation continued to grow, and he was regarded as one of the most eminent physicians in Virginia. In and he was president of the state medical society. In addition to his medical practice, McClurg pursued politics. In James Madison advocated McClurg's appointment as secretary of foreign affairs for the United States but was unsuccessful. In Philadelphia McClurg advocated a life tenure for the President and argued for the ability of the federal government to override state laws.

Even as some at the convention expressed apprehension of the powers allotted to the presidency, McClurg championed greater independence of the executive from the legislative branch. He left the convention in early August, however, and did not sign the Constitution. James McClurg's political service did not end with the convention.

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He died in Richmond, VA, on July 9, His parents were Ariana Jenings and John Randolph. Edmund attended the College of William and Mary and continued his education by studying the law under his father's tutelage. When the Revolution broke out, father and son followed different paths. Edmund then lived with his uncle Peyton Randolph, a prominent figure in Virginia politics.

During the war Edmund served as an aide-de-camp to General Washington and also attended the convention that adopted Virginia's first state constitution in He was the convention's youngest member at age Randolph married Elizabeth Nicholas in Randolph continued to advance in the political world. He became mayor of Williamsburg and Virginia's attorney-general. In he was a delegate to the Annapolis Convention. Four days after the opening of the federal convention in Philadelphia, on May 29, , Edmund Randolph presented the Virginia Plan for creating a new government.

This plan proposed a strong central government composed of three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial, and enabled the legislative to veto state laws and use force against states that failed to fulfill their duties. After many debates and revisions, including striking the section permitting force against a state, the Virginia Plan became in large part the basis of the Constitution. Though Randolph introduced the highly centralized Virginia Plan, he fluctuated between the Federalist and Antifederalist points of view.

He sat on the Committee of Detail that prepared a draft of the Constitution, but by the time the document was adopted, Randolph declined to sign. He felt it was not sufficiently republican, and he was especially wary of creating a one-man executive. He preferred a three-man council since he regarded "a unity in the Executive" to be the "foetus of monarchy. The old Articles of Confederation were inadequate, he agreed, but the proposed new plan of union contained too many flaws. Randolph was a strong advocate of the process of amendment.

He feared that if the Constitution were submitted for ratification without leaving the states the opportunity to amend it, the document might be rejected and thus close off any hope of another plan of union. However, he hoped that amendments would be permitted and second convention called to incorporate the changes. By the time of the Virginia convention for ratification, Randolph supported the Constitution and worked to win his state's approval of it.

He stated his reason for his switch: "The accession of eight states reduced our deliberations to the single question of Union or no Union. After Thomas Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State, Randolph assumed that post for the years During the Jefferson-Hamilton conflict he tried to remain unaligned. After retiring from politics in , Randolph resumed his law practice and was regarded as a leading figure in the legal community.

During his retirement he wrote a history of Virginia. When Aaron Burr went on trial for treason in , Edmund Randolph acted as his senior counsel. In , at age 60 and suffering from paralysis, Randolph died while visiting Nathaniel Burwell at Carter Hall. His body is buried in the graveyard of the nearby chapel.

The eldest of six children from his father's second marriage, George Washington was born into the landed gentry in at Wakefield Plantation, VA. Until reaching 16 years of age, he lived there and at other plantations along the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, including the one that later became known as Mount Vernon. His education was rudimentary, probably being obtained from tutors but possibly also from private schools, and he learned surveying.

After he lost his father when he was 11 years old, his half-brother Lawrence, who had served in the Royal Navy, acted as his mentor. As a result, the youth acquired an interest in pursuing a naval career, but his mother discouraged him from doing so. At the age of 16, in , Washington joined a surveying party sent out to the Shenandoah Valley by Lord Fairfax, a land baron.

For the next few years, Washington conducted surveys in Virginia and present West Virginia and gained a lifetime interest in the West. In he also accompanied Lawrence on a visit he made to Barbados, West Indies, for health reasons just before his death. The next year, Washington began his military career when the royal governor appointed him to an adjutantship in the militia, as a major.

That same year, as a gubernatorial emissary, accompanied by a guide, he traveled to Fort Le Boeuf, PA, in the Ohio River Valley, and delivered to French authorities an ultimatum to cease fortification and settlement in English territory. During the trip, he tried to better British relations with various Indian tribes. In , winning the rank of lieutenant colonel and then colonel in the militia, Washington led a force that sought to challenge French control of the Ohio River Valley, but met defeat at Fort Necessity, PA - an event that helped trigger the French and Indian War Late in , irked by the dilution of his rank because of the pending arrival of British regulars, he resigned his commission.

That same year, he leased Mount Vernon, which he was to inherit in In Washington reentered military service with the courtesy title of colonel, as an aide to Gen.

Journey to the New World

Edward Braddock, and barely escaped death when the French defeated the general's forces in the Battle of the Monongahela, PA. As a reward for his bravery, Washington rewon his colonelcy and command of the Virginia militia forces, charged with defending the colony's frontier. Because of the shortage of men and equipment, he found the assignment challenging. Late in or early in , disillusioned over governmental neglect of the militia and irritated at not rising in rank, he resigned and headed back to Mount Vernon. Washington then wed Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow and mother of two children.

The marriage produced no offspring, but Washington reared those of his wife as his own. During the period , he managed his plantations and sat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He supported the initial protests against British policies; took an active part in the nonimportation movement in Virginia; and, in time, particularly because of his military experience, became a Whig leader.

By the s, relations of the colony with the mother country had become strained. Measured in his behavior but strongly sympathetic to the Whig position and resentful of British restrictions and commercial exploitation, Washington represented Virginia at the First and Second Continental Congresses. In , after the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, Congress appointed him as commander in chief of the Continental Army.

Overcoming severe obstacles, especially in supply, he eventually fashioned a well-trained and disciplined fighting force. The strategy Washington evolved consisted of continual harassment of British forces while avoiding general actions. Although his troops yielded much ground and lost a number of battles, they persevered even during the dark winters at Valley Forge, PA, and Morristown, NJ. Finally, with the aid of the French fleet and army, he won a climactic victory at the Battle of Yorktown, VA, in During the next 2 years, while still commanding the agitated Continental Army, which was underpaid and poorly supplied, Washington denounced proposals that the military take over the government, including one that planned to appoint him as king, but supported army petitions to the Continental Congress for proper compensation.

Once the Treaty of Paris was signed, he resigned his commission and returned once again to Mount Vernon. His wartime financial sacrifices and long absence, as well as generous loans to friends, had severely impaired his extensive fortune, which consisted mainly of his plantations, slaves, and landholdings in the West. At this point, however, he was to have little time to repair his finances, for his retirement was brief. Dissatisfied with national progress under the Articles of Confederation, Washington advocated a stronger central government. He hosted the Mount Vernon Conference at his estate after its initial meetings in Alexandria, though he apparently did not directly participate in the discussions.

Despite his sympathy with the goals of the Annapolis Convention , he did not attend. But, the following year, encouraged by many of his friends, he presided over the Constitutional Convention, whose success was immeasurably influenced by his presence and dignity. Following ratification of the new instrument of government in , the electoral college unanimously chose him as the first President.

During his two precedent-setting terms, he governed with dignity as well as restraint. He also provided the stability and authority the emergent nation so sorely needed, gave substance to the Constitution, and reconciled competing factions and divergent policies within the government and his administration.

Although not averse to exercising presidential power, he respected the role of Congress and did not infringe upon its prerogatives. He also tried to maintain harmony between his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, whose differences typified evolving party divisions from which Washington kept aloof. Yet, usually leaning upon Hamilton for advice, Washington supported his plan for the assumption of state debts, concurred in the constitutionality of the bill establishing the Bank of the United States, and favored enactment of tariffs by Congress to provide federal revenue and protect domestic manufacturers.

Washington took various other steps to strengthen governmental authority, including suppression of the Whisky Rebellion To unify the country, he toured the Northeast in and the South in During his tenure, the government moved from New York to Philadelphia in , he superintended planning for relocation to the District of Columbia, and he laid the cornerstone of the Capitol In foreign affairs, despite opposition from the Senate, Washington exerted dominance.

Yet, until the nation was stronger, he insisted on the maintenance of neutrality. For example, when the French Revolution created war between France and Britain, he ignored the remonstrances of pro-French Jefferson and pro-English Hamilton. Although many people encouraged Washington to seek a third term, he was weary of politics and refused to do so.

In his "Farewell Address" , he urged his countrymen to forswear party spirit and sectional differences and to avoid entanglement in the wars and domestic policies of other nations. Washington enjoyed only a few years of retirement at Mount Vernon. Even then, demonstrating his continued willingness to make sacrifices for his country in when the nation was on the verge of war with France he agreed to command the army, though his services were not ultimately required. He died at the age of 67 in In his will, he emancipated his slaves.

Both parents died when Wythe was young, and he grew up under the guardianship of his older brother, Thomas. Though Wythe was to become an eminent jurist and teacher, he received very little formal education.