A Short History of the United States
by Edward Channing
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[Sidenote: La Salle attempts to found a colony. McMaster, 79-80.]

[Sidenote: Louisiana settled, 1699.]

95. Founding of Louisiana.—La Salle named this immense region Louisiana in honor of the French king. He soon led an expedition to plant a colony on the banks of the Mississippi. Sailing into the Gulf of Mexico, he missed the mouth of the Mississippi and landed on the coast of Texas. Misfortune after misfortune now fell on the unhappy expedition. La Salle was murdered, the stores were destroyed, the Spaniards and Indians came and killed or captured nearly all the colonists. A few only gained the Mississippi and made their way to Canada. In 1699, another French expedition appeared in the Gulf of Mexico. This time the mouth of the Mississippi was easily discovered. But the colonists settled on the shores of Mobile Bay. It was not until 1718 that New Orleans was founded.

[Sidenote: The French on the Ohio, 1749. McMaster, 82-86.]

[Sidenote: The English Ohio Company, 1750.]

96. Struggle for the Ohio Valley.—At the close of King George's War the French set to work to connect the settlements in Louisiana with those on the St. Lawrence. In 1749 French explorers gained the Alleghany River from Lake Erie and went down the Ohio as far as the Miami. The next year (1750) King George gave a great tract of land on the Ohio River to an association of Virginians, who formed the Ohio Company. The struggle for the Ohio Valley had fairly begun. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia learned that the French were building forts on the Ohio, and sent them a letter protesting against their so doing. The bearer of this letter was George Washington, a young Virginia surveyor.

[Sidenote: George Washington. Scudder's Washington; Hero Tales 1-15.]

[Sidenote: He warns the French to leave the Ohio.]

97. George Washington.—Of an old Virginia family, George Washington grew up with the idea that he must earn his own living. His father was a well-to-do planter. But Augustine Washington was the eldest son, and, as was the custom then in Virginia, he inherited most of the property. Augustine Washington was very kind to his younger brother, and gave him a good practical education as a land surveyor. The younger man was a bold athlete and fond of studying military campaigns. He was full of courage, industrious, honest, and of great common sense. Before he was twenty he had surveyed large tracts of wilderness, and had done his work well amidst great difficulties. When Dinwiddie wanted a messenger to take his letter to the French commander on the Ohio, George Washington's employer at once suggested him as the best person to send on the dangerous journey.

[Sidenote: The French build Fort Duquesne.]

[Sidenote: Washington's first military expedition, 1754.]

98. Fort Duquesne.—Instead of heeding Dinwiddie's warning, the French set to work to build Fort Duquesne (Due-kan') at the spot where the Alleghany and Monongahela join to form the Ohio,—on the site of the present city of Pittsburg. Dinwiddie therefore sent Washington with a small force of soldiers to drive them away. But the French were too strong for Washington. They besieged him in Fort Necessity and compelled him to surrender (July 4, 1754).

[Sidenote: Braddock's expedition, 1755. Higginson, 152-154; Eggleston, 129-131; Source-book, 103-105.]

99. Braddock's Defeat, 1755.—The English government now sent General Braddock with a small army of regular soldiers to Virginia. Slowly and painfully Braddock marched westward. Learning of his approach, the French and Indians left Fort Duquesne to draw him into ambush. But the two forces came together before either party was prepared for battle. For some time the contest was even, then the regulars broke and fled. Braddock was fatally wounded. With great skill, Washington saved the survivors,—but not until four shots had pierced his coat and only thirty of his three companies of Virginians were left alive.

[Sidenote: The French and Indian War.]

[Sidenote: William Pitt, war minister, 1757.]

100. The War to 1759.—All the earlier French and Indian wars had begun in Europe and had spread to America. This war began in America and soon spread to Europe. At first affairs went very ill. But in 1757 William Pitt became the British war minister, and the war began to be waged with vigor and success. The old generals were called home, and new men placed in command. In 1758 Amherst and Wolfe captured Louisburg, and Forbes, greatly aided by Washington, seized Fort Duquesne. Bradstreet captured Fort Frontenac, on Lake Ontario. There was only one bad failure, that of Abercrombie at Ticonderoga. But the next year Amherst captured Ticonderoga and Crown Point and opened the way to Canada by Lake Champlain.

[Sidenote: Capture of Quebec, 1759. Higginson, 154-156; Eggleston, 137-139; Source-Book, 105-107.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Quebec.]

101. Capture of Quebec, 1759.—Of all the younger generals James Wolfe was foremost. To him was given the task of capturing Quebec. Seated on a high bluff, Quebec could not be captured from the river. The only way to approach it was to gain the Plains of Abraham in its rear and besiege it on the land side. Again and again Wolfe sent his men to storm the bluffs below the town. Every time they failed. Wolfe felt that he must give up the task, when he was told that a path led from the river to the top of the bluff above the town. Putting his men into boats, they gained the path in the darkness of night. There was a guard at the top of the bluff, but the officer in command was a coward and ran away. In the morning the British army was drawn up on the Plains of Abraham. The French now attacked the British, and a fierce battle took place. The result was doubtful when Wolfe led a charge at the head of the Louisburg Grenadiers. He was killed, but the French were beaten. Five days later Quebec surrendered. Montreal was captured in 1760, and in 1763 the war came to an end.

[Sidenote: Peace of Paris, 1763.]

102. Peace of Paris, 1763.—By this great treaty, or set of treaties, the French withdrew from the continent of North America. To Spain, who had lost Florida, the French gave the island of New Orleans and all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi. To Great Britain the French gave up all the rest of their American possessions except two small islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Spain, on her part, gave up Florida to the British. There were now practically only two powers in America,—the British in the eastern part of the continent, and the Spaniards west of the Mississippi. The Spaniards also owned the island of New Orleans and controlled both sides of the river for more than a hundred miles from its mouth. But the treaty gave the British the free navigation of the Mississippi throughout its length.



Sec.Sec. 65, 66.—a. What government did England have after the execution of Charles I? Give three facts about Cromwell.

b. How did the accession of Charles II affect the colonies?

c. What laws were made about the commerce of the colonies?

Sec. 67.—a. How did the new government of England regard Massachusetts? Why?

b. Describe the treatment of the Quakers in Massachusetts.

Sec. 68.—a. Describe the charters given to Connecticut and Rhode Island. Why did Connecticut need a charter when she already had a constitution?

b. What other colony was united with Connecticut?

Sec.Sec. 69,70.—a. Why did England wish to conquer New Netherland? Why did not the people of New Amsterdam wish to fight the English?

b. To whom did Charles give this territory?

Sec.Sec. 71, 72.—a. Mark on a map the position of New Jersey.

b. Describe the division of New Jersey and its sale to the Quakers.

c. Why was the colony prosperous?

Sec.Sec. 73, 74.—a. Describe the founding of Carolina.

b. Describe northern and southern Carolina, and note the differences between them.

Sec.Sec. 75, 76.—a. What complaints did the people of Virginia make? Was Bacon a rebel?

b. Describe the later government of Virginia.

c. Why was the founding of William and Mary College important?

Sec. 77.—a. What was the cause of King Philip's War?

b. What were the results of the war?

Sec.Sec. 78-80.—a. Find out three facts about the early life of William Penn. Why did colonists come to Pennsylvania?

b. What trouble arose with Maryland about the boundary line?

c. How was Mason and Dixon's line famous later?


Sec.Sec. 81-84.—a. Why did Charles and James dislike the growing liberty of the colonies?

b. What changes did Andros make in New England?

c. Describe the "Glorious Revolution" in America.

d. What changes did William and Mary make in the colonial governments?

Sec.Sec. 85-88.—a. How did the Carolina proprietors treat their colonists? What was the result of their actions?

b. Explain the reasons for the founding of Georgia.


Sec.Sec. 89,90.—a. Compare the strength of the English and French colonies. What is a "despotism"?

b. Draw a map showing the position of the English and French colonies.

Sec.Sec. 91-93.—a. Mark on a map all the places mentioned in the text.

b. Describe the expedition against Louisburg.

c. What was the result of these wars?

Sec.Sec. 94-97.—a. Which country, England, France, or Spain, had the best claim to the Mississippi valley? Why?

b. Follow route of La Salle on a map, marking each place mentioned. Describe the settlement of Louisiana.

c. Why did the struggle between England and France begin in the Ohio valley?

d. Describe Washington's early training.

Sec.Sec. 98-101.—a. Where was Fort Duquesne? Why was its position important? Describe Braddock's expedition and trace his route.

b. Mark on a map the important routes to Canada.

c. Describe the capture of Quebec. Why was it important?

Sec. 102.—a. What territory did England gain in 1763? What did Spain gain? What did France lose?

b. What was the great question settled by this war?


a. Were the New England colonies difficult to govern? Why?

b. In what respects were the colonial governments alike? In what respects were they unlike?

c. What events in any colony have shown that its people desired more liberty?


a. The Revolution of 1688 in England and America.

b. Write an account of the life of a boy or girl in any colony; tell about the house, furniture, dress, school, and if a journey to another colony is made, how it is made and what is seen on the way.

c. Arrange a table similar to that described on p. 18.


In this period the growing difficulties between England and the colonies can be traced—especially in commercial affairs and in governmental institutions. Thus many of the causes of the Revolution may be brought out as well as the difficulties in the way of colonial union. This may be emphasized by noting the difference between the English and French colonies.



Books for Study and Reading

References.—Fiske's War of Independence, 39-86; Scudder's George Washington; Lossing's Field-Book of the Revolution; English History for Americans, 244-284 (English political history).

Home Readings.—Irving's Washington (abridged edition); Cooke's Stories of the Old Dominion; Cooper's Lionel Lincoln; Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride.



[Sidenote: England's early liberal colonial policy.]

[Sidenote: England's changed colonial policy.]

103. Early Colonial Policy.—At the outset, England's rulers had been very kind to Englishmen who founded colonies. They gave them great grants of land. They gave them rights of self-government greater than any Englishmen living in England enjoyed. They allowed them to manage their own trade and industries as they saw fit. They even permitted them to worship God as their consciences told them to worship him. But, as the colonists grew in strength and in riches, Britain's rulers tried to make their trade profitable to British merchants and interfered in their government. On their part the colonists disobeyed the navigation laws and disputed with the royal officials. For years Britain's rulers allowed this to go on. But, at length, near the close of the last French war Mr. Pitt ordered the laws to be enforced.

[Sidenote: Difficulties in enforcing the navigation laws.]

[Sidenote: James Otis. Eggleston, 163. His speech against writs of assistance, 1761.]

104. Writs of Assistance, 1761.—It was a good deal easier to order the laws to be carried out than it was to carry them out. It was almost impossible for the customs officers to prevent goods being landed contrary to law. When the goods were once on shore, it was difficult to seize them. So the officers asked the judges to give them writs of assistance. Among the leading lawyers of Boston was James Otis. He was the king's law officer in the province. But he resigned his office and opposed the granting of the writs. He objected to the use of writs of assistance because they enabled a customs officer to become a tyrant. Armed with one of them he could go to the house of a man he did not like and search it from attic to cellar, turn everything upside down and break open doors and trunks. It made no difference, said Otis, whether Parliament had said that the writs were legal. For Parliament could not make an act of tyranny legal. To do that was beyond the power even of Parliament.

[Sidenote: Patrick Henry. Eggleston, 162.]

[Sidenote: His speech in the Parson's Cause, 1763.]

105. The Parson's Cause, 1763.—The next important case arose in Virginia and came about in this way. The Virginians made a law regulating the salaries of clergymen in the colony. The king vetoed the law. The Virginians paid no heed to the veto. The clergy men appealed to the courts and the case of one of them was selected for trial. Patrick Henry, a prosperous young lawyer, stated the opinions of the Virginians in a speech which made his reputation. The king, he said, had no right to veto a Virginia law that was for the good of the people. To do so was an act of tyranny, and the people owed no obedience to a tyrant. The case was decided for the clergyman. For the law was clearly on his side. But the jurymen agreed with Henry. They gave the clergyman only one farthing damages, and no more clergymen brought cases into the court. The king's veto was openly disobeyed.

[Sidenote: Proclamation of 1763. McMaster, 110.]

106. The King's Proclamation of 1763.—In the same year that the Parson's Cause was decided the king issued a proclamation which greatly lessened the rights of Virginia and several other colonies to western lands. Some of the old charter lines, as those of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and the Carolinas had extended to the Pacific Ocean. By the treaty of 1763 (p. 69) the king, for himself and his subjects, abandoned all claim to lands west of Mississippi River. Now in the Proclamation of 1763 he forbade the colonial governors to grant any lands west of the Alleghany Mountains. The western limit of Virginia and the Carolinas was fixed. Their pioneers could not pass the mountains and settle in the fertile valleys of the Ohio and its branches.



[Sidenote: George III.]

[Sidenote: George Grenville.]

[Sidenote: The British Parliament.]

107. George III and George Grenville.—George III became king in 1760. He was a narrow, stupid, well-meaning, ignorant young man of twenty-one. He soon found in George Grenville a narrow, dull, well-meaning lawyer, a man who would do what he was told. So George Grenville became the head of the government. To him the law was the law. If he wished to do a thing and could find the law for it, he asked for nothing more. His military advisers told him that an army must be kept in America for years. It was Grenville's business to find the money to support this army. Great Britain was burdened with a national debt. The army was to be maintained, partly, at least, for the protection of the colonists. Why should they not pay a part of the cost of maintaining it? Parliament was the supreme power in the British Empire. It controlled the king, the church, the army, and the navy. Surely a Parliament that had all this power could tax the colonists. At all events, Grenville thought it could, and Parliament passed the Stamp Act to tax them.

[Sidenote: Taxation and representation.]

[Sidenote: Henry's resolutions, 1765. Higginson, 161-164; McMaster, 112-114.]

108. Henry's Resolutions, 1765.—The colonists, however, with one voice, declared that Parliament had no power to tax them. Taxes, they said, could be voted only by themselves or their representatives. They were represented in their own colonial assemblies, and nowhere else. Patrick Henry was now a member of the Virginia assembly. He had just been elected for the first time. But as none of the older members of the assembly proposed any action, Henry tore a leaf from an old law-book and wrote on it a set of resolutions. These he presented in a burning speech, upholding the rights of the Virginians. He said that to tax them by act of Parliament was tyranny. "Caesar and Tarquin had each his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell, and George III"—"Treason, treason," shouted the speaker. "May profit by their example," slowly Henry went on. "If that be treason, make the most of it." The resolutions were voted. In them the Virginians declared that they were not subject to Acts of Parliament laying taxes or interfering in the internal affairs of Virginia.

[Sidenote: Opposition to the Stamp Act, 1765. Higginson, 164-165; McMaster, 116.]

109. Stamp Act Riots, 1765.—Until the summer of 1765 the colonists contented themselves with passing resolutions. There was little else that they could do. They could not refuse to obey the law because it would not go into effect until November. They could not mob the stamp distributers because no one knew their names. In August the names of the stamp distributers were published. Now at last it was possible to do something besides passing resolutions. In every colony the people visited the stamp officers and told them to resign. If they refused, they were mobbed until they resigned. In Boston the rioters were especially active. They detested Thomas Hutchinson. He was lieutenant-governor and chief justice and had been active in enforcing the navigation acts. The rioters attacked his house. They broke his furniture, destroyed his clothing, and made a bonfire of his books and papers.

[Sidenote: Colonial congresses.]

[Sidenote: Albany Congress, 1754.]

[Sidenote: Stamp Act Congress, 1765.]

110. The Stamp Act Congress, 1765.—Colonial congresses were no new thing. There had been many meetings of governors and delegates from colonial assemblies. The most important of the early congresses was the Albany Congress of 1754. It was important because it proposed a plan of union. The plan was drawn up by Benjamin Franklin. But neither the king nor the colonists liked it, and it was not adopted. All these earlier congresses had been summoned by the king's officers to arrange expeditions against the French or to make treaties with the Indians. The Stamp Act Congress was summoned by the colonists to protest against the doings of king and Parliament.

[Sidenote: Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonists, 1765. McMaster, 115.]

111. Work of the Stamp Act Congress.—Delegates from nine colonies met at New York in October, 1765. They drew up a "Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonists." In this paper they declared that the colonists, as subjects of the British king, had the same rights as British subjects living in Britain, and were free from taxes except those to which they had given their consent. They claimed for themselves the right of trial by jury—which might be denied under the Stamp Act. But the most important thing about the congress was the fact that nine colonies had put aside their local jealousies and had joined in holding it.

[Sidenote: Benjamin Franklin.]

[Sidenote: Examined by the House of Commons.]

112. Franklin's Examination.—Born in Boston, Benjamin Franklin ran away from home and settled at Philadelphia. By great exertion and wonderful shrewdness he rose from poverty to be one of the most important men in the city and colony. He was a printer, a newspaper editor, a writer, and a student of science. With kite and string he drew down the lightning from the clouds and showed that lightning was a discharge of electricity. He was now in London as agent for Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. His scientific and literary reputation gave him great influence. He was examined at the bar of the House of Commons. Many questions and answers were arranged beforehand between Franklin and his friends in the House. But many questions were answered on the spur of the moment. Before the passage of the Stamp Act the feeling of the colonists toward Britain had been "the best in the world." So Franklin declared. But now, he said, it was greatly altered. Still an army sent to America would find no rebellion there. It might, indeed, make one. In conclusion, he said the repeal of the act would not make the colonists any more willing to pay taxes.

[Sidenote: Fall of Grenville.]

[Sidenote: Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766.]

[Sidenote: The Declaratory Act, 1766.]

113. Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766.—It chanced that at this moment George III and George Grenville fell out. The king dismissed the minister, and gave the Marquis of Rockingham the headship of a new set of ministers. Now Rockingham and his friends needed aid from somebody to give them the strength to outvote Grenville and the Tories. So when the question of what should be done about the Stamp Act came up, they listened most attentively to what Mr. Pitt had to say. That great man said that the Stamp Act should be repealed wholly and at once. At the same time another law should be passed declaring that Parliament had power to legislate for the colonies in all cases whatsoever. The Rockinghams at once did as Mr. Pitt suggested. The Stamp Act was repealed. The Declaratory Act was passed. In the colonies Pitt was praised as a deliverer. Statues of him were placed in the streets, pictures of him were hung in public halls. But, in reality, the passage of the Declaratory Act was the beginning of more trouble.

[Sidenote: The Chatham Ministry.]

[Sidenote: The Townshend Acts, 1767. McMaster, 117-118.]

114. The Townshend Acts, 1767.—The Rockingham ministers did what Mr. Pitt advised them to do. He then turned them out and made a ministry of his own. He was now Earl of Chatham, and his ministry was the Chatham Ministry. The most active of the Chatham ministers was Charles Townshend. He had the management of the finances and found them very hard to manage. So he hit upon a scheme of laying duties on wine, oil, glass, lead, painter's colors, and tea imported into the colonies. Mr. Pitt had said that Parliament could regulate colonial trade. The best way to regulate trade was to tax it. At the same time that Townshend brought in this bill, he brought in others to reorganize the colonial customs service and make it possible to collect the duties. He even provided that offences against the revenue laws should be tried by judges appointed directly by the king, without being submitted to a jury of any kind.

[Sidenote: The Sugar Act.]

[Sidenote: Enforcement of the Navigation Acts.]

115. Colonial Opposition, 1768.—Many years before this, Parliament had made a law taxing all sugar brought into the continental colonies, except sugar that had been made in the British West Indies. Had this law been carried out, the trade of Massachusetts and other New England colonies would have been ruined. But the law was not enforced. No one tried to enforce it, except during the few months of vigor at the time of the arguments about writs of assistance. As the taxes were not collected, no one cared whether they were legal or not. Now it was plain that this tax and the Townshend duties were to be collected. The Massachusetts House of Representatives drew up a circular letter to the other colonial assemblies asking them to join in opposing the new taxes. The British government ordered the House to recall the letter. It refused and was dissolved. The other colonial assemblies were directed to take no notice of the circular letter. They replied at the first possible moment and were dissolved.

[Sidenote: Seizure of the sloop Liberty, 1768.]

116. The New Customs Officers at Boston, 1768.—The chief office of the new customs organization was fixed at Boston. Soon John Hancock's sloop, Liberty, sailed into the harbor with a cargo of Madeira wine. As Hancock had no idea of paying the duty, the customs officers seized the sloop and towed her under the guns of a warship which was in the harbor. Crowds of people now collected. They could not recapture the Liberty. They seized one of the war-ship's boats, carried it to the Common, and had a famous bonfire. All this confusion frightened the chief customs officers. They fled to the castle in the harbor and wrote to the government for soldiers to protect them.

[Sidenote: Virginia Resolves, 1769.]

117. The Virginia Resolves of 1769.—Parliament now asked the king to have colonists, accused of certain crimes, brought to England for trial. This aroused the Virginians. They passed a set of resolutions, known as the Virginia Resolves of 1769. These resolves asserted: (1) that the colonists only had the right to tax the colonists; (2) that the colonists had the right to petition either by themselves or with the people of other colonies; and (3) that no colonist ought to be sent to England for trial.

[Sidenote: Non-Importation Agreements, 1769.]

[Sidenote: Partial repeal of the Townshend Acts, 1770.]

118. Non-Importation Agreements, 1769.—When he learned what was going on, the governor of Virginia dissolved the assembly. But the members met in the Raleigh tavern near by. There George Washington laid before them a written agreement to use no British goods upon which duties had been paid. They all signed this agreement. Soon the other colonies joined Virginia in the Non-Importation Agreement. English merchants found their trade growing smaller and smaller. They could not even collect their debts, for the colonial merchants said that trade in the colonies was so upset by the Townshend Acts that they could not sell their goods, or collect the money owing to them. The British merchants petitioned Parliament to repeal the duties, and Parliament answered them by repealing all the duties except the tax on tea.



[Sidenote: The British soldiers at New York.]

[Sidenote: Soldiers sent to Boston, 1768.]

119. The Soldiers at New York and Boston.—Soldiers had been stationed at New York ever since the end of the French war because that was the most central point on the coast. The New Yorkers did not like to have the soldiers there very well, because Parliament expected them to supply the troops with certain things without getting any money in return. The New York Assembly refused to supply them, and Parliament suspended the Assembly's sittings. In 1768 two regiments came from New York to Boston to protect the customs officers.

[Sidenote: The Boston Massacre, 1770. Higginson, 166-169; McMaster, 118.]

120. The Boston Massacre, 1770.—There were not enough soldiers at Boston to protect the customs officers—if the colonists really wished to hurt them. There were quite enough soldiers at Boston to get themselves and the colonists into trouble. On March 5, 1770, a crowd gathered around the soldiers stationed on King's Street, now State Street. There was snow on the ground, and the boys began to throw snow and mud at the soldiers. The crowd grew bolder. Suddenly the soldiers fired on the people. They killed four colonists and wounded several more. Led by Samuel Adams, the people demanded the removal of the soldiers to the fort in the harbor. Hutchinson was now governor. He offered to send one regiment out of the town. "All or none," said Adams, and all were sent away.

[Sidenote: Town Committees of Correspondence.]

[Sidenote: Colonial Committees of Correspondence, 1769.]

121. Committees of Correspondence.—Up to this time the resistance of the colonists had been carried on in a haphazard sort of way. Now Committees of Correspondence began to be appointed. These committees were of two kinds. First there were town Committees of Correspondence. These were invented by Samuel Adams and were first appointed in Massachusetts. But more important were the colonial Committees of Correspondence. The first of these was appointed by Virginia in 1769. At first few colonies followed Massachusetts and Virginia in appointing committees. But as one act of tyranny succeeded another, other colonies fell into line. By 1775 all the colonies were united by a complete system of Committees of Correspondence.

[Sidenote: The tax on tea. McMaster, 119.]

122. The Tea Tax.—Of all the Townshend duties only the tax on tea was left. It happened that the British East India Company had tons of tea in its London storehouses and was greatly in need of money. The government told the company that it might send tea to America without paying any taxes in England, but the three-penny colonial tax would have to be paid in the colonies. In this way the colonists would get their tea cheaper than the people of England. But the colonists were not to be bribed into paying the tax in any such way. The East India Company sent over ship-loads of tea. The tea ships were either sent back again or the tea was stored in some safe place where no one could get it.

[Sidenote: Boston Tea Party, 1773. Higginson, 171-173; Eggleston, 165; Source-Book, 137.]

123. The Boston Tea Party, 1773.—In Boston things did not go so smoothly. The agents of the East India Company refused to resign. The collector of the customs refused to give the ships permission to sail away before the tea was landed. Governor Hutchinson refused to give the ship captains a pass to sail by the fort until the collector gave his permission. The commander at the fort refused to allow the ships to sail out of the harbor until they had the necessary papers. The only way to get rid of the tea was to destroy it. A party of patriots, dressed as Indians, went on board of the ships as they lay at the wharf, broke open the tea boxes, and threw the tea into the harbor.

[Sidenote: Repressive acts, 1774. McMaster, 120.]

124. Punishment of Massachusetts, 1774.—The British king, the British government, and the mass of the British people were furious when they found that the Boston people had made "tea with salt water." Parliament at once went to work passing acts to punish the colonists. One act put an end to the constitution of Massachusetts. Another act closed the port of Boston so tightly that the people could not bring hay from Charlestown to give to their starving horses. A third act provided that soldiers who fired on the people should be tried in England. And a fourth act compelled the colonists to feed and shelter the soldiers employed to punish them.

[Sidenote: The colonists aid Massachusetts. Higginson, 174-177.]

[Sidenote: George Washington.]

125. Sympathy with the Bostonians.—King George thought he could punish the Massachusetts people as much as he wished without the people of the other colonies objecting. It soon appeared that the people of the other colonies sympathized most heartily with the Bostonians. They sent them sheep and rice. They sent them clothes. George Washington was now a rich man. He offered to raise a thousand men with his own money, march with them to Boston, and rescue the oppressed people from their oppressors. But the time for war had not yet come although it was not far off.

[Sidenote: The Quebec Act, 1774.]

126. The Quebec Act, 1774.—In the same year that Parliament passed the four acts to punish Massachusetts, it passed another act which affected the people of other colonies as well as those of Massachusetts. This was the Quebec Act. It provided that the land between the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Great Lakes should be added to the Province of Quebec. Now this land was claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These colonies were to be deprived of their rights to land in that region. The Quebec Act also provided for the establishment of a very strong government in that province. This seemed to be an attack on free institutions. All these things drove the colonists to unite. They resolved to hold a congress where the leaders of the several continental colonies might talk over matters and decide what should be done.

[Sidenote: The First Continental Congress, 1774.]

127. The First Continental Congress, 1774.—The members of the Continental Congress met in Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, in September, 1774. Never, except in the Federal Convention (p. 137), have so many great men met together. The greatest delegation was that from Virginia. It included George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee. From Massachusetts came the two Adamses, John and Samuel. From New York came John Jay. From Pennsylvania came John Dickinson. Of all the greatest Americans only Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were absent.

[Sidenote: The American Association, 1774.]

128. The American Association, 1774.—It soon became clear that the members of the Congress were opposed to any hasty action. They were not willing to begin war with Great Britain. Instead of so doing they adopted a Declaration of Rights and formed the American Association. The Declaration of Rights was of slight importance. But the Association was of great importance, as the colonies joining it agreed to buy no more British goods. This policy was to be carried out by the Committees of Correspondence. Any colony refusing to join the Association should be looked upon as hostile "to the liberties of this country," and treated as an enemy. The American Association was the real beginning of the American Union.

[Sidenote: Resistance throughout the colonies 1774-75.]

129. The Association carried out, 1774-75.—It was soon evident that Congress in forming the Association had done precisely what the people wished to have done. For instance, in Virginia committees were chosen in every county. They examined the merchants' books. They summoned before them persons suspected of disobeying "the laws of Congress." Military companies were formed in every county and carried out the orders of the committees. The ordinary courts were entirely disregarded. In fact, the royal government had come to an end in the Old Dominion.

[Sidenote: Parliament punishes Massachusetts, 1774-75.]

130. More Punishment for Massachusetts, 1774-75.—George III and his ministers refused to see that the colonies were practically united. On the contrary, they determined to punish the people of Massachusetts still further. Parliament passed acts forbidding the Massachusetts fishermen to catch fish and forbidding the Massachusetts traders to trade with the people of Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and all foreign countries. The Massachusetts colonists were rebels, they should be treated as rebels. General Gage was given more soldiers and ordered to crush the rebellion.

[Sidenote: General Gage.]

[Sidenote: Opposed by the Massachusetts people.]

131. Gage in Massachusetts, 1774-75.—General Gage found he had a good deal to do before he could begin to crush the rebellion. He had to find shelter for his soldiers. He also had to find food for them. The Boston carpenters would not work for him. He had to bring carpenters from Halifax and New York to do his work. The farmers of eastern Massachusetts were as firm as the Boston carpenters. They would not sell food to General Gage. So he had to bring food from England and from Halifax. He managed to buy or seize wood to warm the soldiers and hay to feed his horses. But the boats bringing these supplies to Boston were constantly upset in a most unlooked-for way. The colonists, on their part, elected a Provincial Congress to take the place of the regular government. The militia was reorganized, and military stores gathered together.

[Sidenote: Lexington and Concord, 1775. Higginson, 178-183; McMaster, 126-128; Source-Book, 144-146.]

132. Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775.—Gage had said that with ten thousand men he could march all over Massachusetts. In April, 1775, he began to crush the rebellion by sending a strong force to Concord to destroy stores which his spies told him had been collected there. The soldiers began their march in the middle of the night. But Paul Revere and William Dawes were before them. "The regulars are coming," was the cry. At Lexington, the British found a few militiamen drawn up on the village green. Some one fired and a few Americans were killed. On the British marched to Concord. By this time the militiamen had gathered in large numbers. It was a hot day. The regulars were tired. They stopped to rest. Some of the militiamen attacked the regulars at Concord, and when the British started on their homeward march, the fighting began in earnest. Behind every wall and bit of rising ground were militiamen. One soldier after another was shot down and left behind. At Lexington the British met reinforcements, or they would all have been killed or captured. Soon they started again. Again the fighting began. It continued until the survivors reached a place of safety under the guns of the warships anchored off Charlestown. The Americans camped for the night at Cambridge and began the siege of Boston.



Sec. 103.—a. Name some instances which illustrate England's early policy toward its colonies.

b. Explain the later change of policy, giving reasons for it.

Sec.Sec. 104, 105.—a. What reasons did Otis give for his opposition to the writs of assistance? Why are such writs prohibited by the Constitution of the United States?

b. What is a veto? What right had the King of Great Britain to veto a Virginia law? Which side really won in the Parson's Cause?

Sec. 106.—What colonies claimed land west of the Alleghany Mountains? How did the king interfere with these claims?


Sec.Sec. 107-109.—a. What reasons were given for keeping an army in America?

b. What is meant by saying that Parliament was "the supreme power in the British Empire"?

c. Is a stamp tax a good kind of tax?

d. Explain carefully the colonists' objections to the Stamp Act of 1765. Do the same objections hold against the present Stamp tax?

Sec.Sec. 110-113.—a. Explain the difference between the Stamp Act Congress and the earlier Congress.

b. What did the Stamp Act Congress do?

c. Give an account of Franklin. What did Franklin say about the feeling in the colonies?

d. Explain carefully the causes which led to the repeal of the Stamp Act.

e. Can the taxing power and the legislative power be separated? What is the case to-day in your own state? In the United States?

Sec.Sec. 114-116.—a. How did Townshend try to raise money? How did this plan differ from the Stamp tax?

b. What was the Massachusetts Circular Letter? Why was it important?

c. What was the result of the seizure of the Liberty?

Sec.Sec. 117, 118.—a. What were the Virginia Resolves of 1769? Why were they passed?

b. What were the Non-importation agreements?

c. What action did the British merchants take? What results followed?


Sec.Sec. 119, 120.—a. Why were the soldiers stationed at New York? At Boston?

b. Describe the trouble at Boston. Why is it called a massacre?

Sec.Sec. 121-123.—a. What was the work of a Committee of Correspondence?

b. What did the British government hope to accomplish in the tea business? Why did the colonists refuse to buy the tea?

c. Why was the destruction of the tea at Boston necessary?

Sec.Sec. 124-126.—a. How did Parliament punish the colonists of Massachusetts and Boston? Which of these acts was most severe? Why?

b. What effect did these laws have on Massachusetts? On the other colonies?

c. Explain the provisions of the Quebec Act.

d. How would this act affect the growth of the colonies?

Sec.Sec. 127-129.—a. What was the object of the Continental Congress?

b. Why was the Association so important?

c. How was the idea of the Association carried out?

d. What government did the colonies really have?

Sec.Sec. 130-132.—a. What is a rebel? Were the Massachusetts colonists rebels?

b. Describe General Gage's difficulties.

c. What was the result of Gage's attempt to seize the arms at Concord?


a. Arrange, with dates, all the acts of the British government which offended the colonists.

b. Arrange, with dates, all the important steps which led toward union. Why are these steps important?

c. Give the chief causes of the Revolution and explain why you select these.


a. The early life of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin's Autobiography).

b. The early life of George Washington (Scudder's Washington).

c. The Boston Tea Party (Fiske's War of Independence).

d. The Nineteenth of April, 1775 (Fiske's War of Independence; Lossing's Field-Book).


This section is not only the most important but the most difficult of any so far considered. Its successful teaching requires more preparation than any earlier section. The teacher is advised carefully to peruse Channing's Students' History, ch. iv, and to state in simple, clear language, the difference between the ideas on representation which prevailed in England and in the colonies. Another point to make clear is the legal supremacy of Parliament. The outbreak was hastened by the stupid use of legal rights which the supremacy of Parliament placed in the hands of Britain's rulers, who acted often in defiance of the real public opinion of the mass of the inhabitants of Great Britain.



Books for Study and Reading

References.—Fiske's War of Independence; Higginson's Larger History, 249-293; McMaster's With the Fathers.

Home Readings.—Scudder's Washington; Holmes's Grandmother's Story of Bunker Hill; Cooper's Lionel Lincoln (Bunker Hill); Cooper's Spy (campaigns around New York); Cooper's Pilot (the war on the sea); Drake's Burgoyne's Invasion; Coffin's Boys of '76; Abbot's Blue Jackets of '76; Abbot's Paul Jones, Lossing's Two Spies.



[Sidenote: Advantages of the British.]

133. Advantages of the British.—At first sight it seems as if the Americans were very foolish to fight the British. There were five or six times as many people in the British Isles as there were in the continental colonies. The British government had a great standing army. The Americans had no regular army. The British government had a great navy. The Americans had no navy. The British government had quantities of powder, guns, and clothing, while the Americans had scarcely any military stores of any kind. Indeed, there were so few guns in the colonies that one British officer thought if the few colonial gunsmiths could be bribed to go away, the Americans would have no guns to fight with after a few months of warfare.

[Sidenote: Advantages of the Americans.]

134. Advantages of the Americans.—All these things were clearly against the Americans. But they had some advantages on their side. In the first place, America was a long way off from Europe. It was very difficult and very costly to send armies to America, and very difficult and very costly to feed the soldiers when they were fighting in America. In the second place, the Americans usually fought on the defensive and the country over which the armies fought was made for defense. In New England hill succeeded hill. In the Middle states river succeeded river. In the South wilderness succeeded wilderness. In the third place, the Americans had many great soldiers. Washington, Greene, Arnold, Morgan, and Wayne were better soldiers than any in the British army.

[Sidenote: The Loyalists.]

135. Disunion among the Americans.—We are apt to think of the colonists as united in the contest with the British. In reality the well-to-do, the well-born, and the well-educated colonists were as a rule opposed to independence. The opponents of the Revolution were strongest in the Carolinas, and were weakest in New England.

[Sidenote: Boston and neighborhood, 1775-76.]

[Sidenote: Importance of Dorchester and Charlestown.]

136. Siege of Boston.—It was most fortunate that the British army was at Boston when the war began, for Boston was about as bad a place for an army as could be found. In those days Boston was hardly more than an island connected with the mainland by a strip of gravel. Gage built a fort across this strip of ground. The Americans could not get in. But they built a fort at the landward end, and the British could not get out. On either side of Boston was a similar peninsula. One of these was called Dorchester Heights; the other was called Charlestown. Both overlooked Boston. To hold that town, Gage must possess both Dorchester and Charlestown. If the Americans could occupy only one of these, the British would have to abandon Boston. At almost the same moment Gage made up his mind to seize Dorchester, and the Americans determined to occupy the Charlestown hills. The Americans moved first, and the first battle was fought for the Charlestown hills.

[Sidenote: Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775. Higginson, 183-188; McMaster, 129-130.]

137. Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.—When the seamen on the British men-of-war waked up on the morning of June 17, the first thing they saw was a redoubt on the top of one of the Charlestown hills. The ships opened fire. But in spite of the balls Colonel Prescott walked on the top of the breastwork while his men went on digging. Gage sent three or four thousand men across the Charles River to Charlestown to drive the daring Americans away. It took the whole morning to get them to Charlestown, and then they had to eat their dinner. This delay gave the Americans time to send aid to Prescott. Especially went Stark and his New Hampshire men, who posted themselves behind a breastwork of fence rails and hay. At last the British soldiers marched to the attack. When they came within good shooting distance, Prescott gave the word to fire. The British line stopped, hesitated, broke, and swept back. Again the soldiers marched to the attack, and again they were beaten back. More soldiers came from Boston, and a third time a British line marched up the hill. This time it could not be stopped, for the Americans had no more powder. They had to give up the hill and escape as well as they could. One-half of the British soldiers actually engaged in the assaults were killed or wounded. The Americans were defeated. But they were encouraged and were willing to sell Gage as many hills as he wanted at the same price.

[Sidenote: Washington takes command of the army, 1775. Higginson, 188-193.]

[Sidenote: Seizure of Ticonderoga and Crown Point.]

[Sidenote: Evacuation of Boston, 1776.]

138. Washington in Command, July, 1775.—The Continental Congress was again sitting at Philadelphia. It took charge of the defense of the colonies. John Adams named Washington for commander-in-chief, and he was elected. Washington took command of the army on Cambridge Common, July 3, 1775. He found everything in confusion. The soldiers of one colony were jealous of the soldiers of other colonies. Officers who had not been promoted were jealous of those who had been promoted. In the winter the army had to be made over. During all this time the people expected Washington to fight. But he had not powder enough for half a battle. At last he got supplies in the following way. In the spring of 1775 Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, with the help of the people of western Massachusetts and Connecticut, had captured Ticonderoga and Crown Point. These forts were filled with cannon and stores left from the French campaigns. Some of the cannon were now dragged by oxen over the snow and placed in the forts around Boston. Captain Manley, of the Massachusetts navy, captured a British brig loaded with powder. Washington now could attack. He seized and held Dorchester Heights. The British could no longer stay in Boston. They went on board their ships and sailed away (March, 1776).

[Sidenote: The Canada expedition, 1775-76.]

[Sidenote: Assault on Quebec.]

139. Invasion of Canada, 1775-76.—While the siege of Boston was going on, the Americans undertook the invasion of Canada. There were very few regular soldiers in Canada in 1775, and the Canadians were not likely to fight very hard for their British masters. So the leaders in Congress thought that if an American force should suddenly appear before Quebec, the town might surrender. Montgomery, with a small army, was sent to capture Montreal and then to march down the St. Lawrence to Quebec. Benedict Arnold led another force through the Maine woods. After tremendous exertions and terrible sufferings he reached Quebec. But the garrison had been warned of his coming. He blockaded the town and waited for Montgomery. The garrison was constantly increased, for Arnold was not strong enough fully to blockade the town. At last Montgomery arrived. At night, amidst a terrible snowstorm, Montgomery and Arnold led their brave followers to the attack. They were beaten back with cruel loss. Montgomery was killed, and Arnold was severely wounded. In the spring of 1776 the survivors of this little band of heroes were rescued—at the cost of the lives of five thousand American soldiers.

[Sidenote: Strength of Charleston.]

[Sidenote: Fort Moultrie.]

[Sidenote: Attack on Fort Moultrie, 1776.]

[Sidenote: Success of the defense]

140. British Attack on Charleston, 1776.—In June 1776 a British fleet and army made an attack on Charleston, South Carolina. This town has never been taken by attack from the sea. Sand bars guard the entrance of the harbor and the channels through these shoals lead directly to the end of Sullivan's Island. At that point the Americans built a fort of palmetto logs and sand. General Moultrie commanded at the fort and it was named in his honor, Fort Moultrie. The British fleet sailed boldly in, but the balls from the ships' guns were stopped by the soft palmetto logs. At one time the flag was shot away and fell down outside the fort. But Sergeant Jasper rushed out, seized the broken staff, and again set it up on the rampart. Meantime, General Clinton had landed on an island and was trying to cross with his soldiers to the further end of Sullivan's Island. But the water was at first too shoal for the boats. The soldiers jumped overboard to wade. Suddenly the water deepened, and they had to jump aboard to save themselves from drowning. All this time Americans were firing at them from the beach. General Clinton ordered a retreat. The fleet also sailed out—all that could get away—and the whole expedition was abandoned.

[Sidenote: Defense of New York, 1776.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Long Island, 1776.]

[Sidenote: Escape of the Americans.]

141. Long Island and Brooklyn Heights, 1776.—The very day that the British left Boston, Washington ordered five regiments to New York. For he well knew that city would be the next point of attack. But he need not have been in such a hurry. General Howe, the new British commander-in-chief, sailed first to Halifax and did not begin the campaign in New York until the end of August. He then landed his soldiers on Long Island and prepared to drive the Americans away. Marching in a round-about way, he cut the American army in two and captured one part of it. This brought him to the foot of Brooklyn Heights. On the top was a fort. Probably Howe could easily have captured it. But he had led in the field at Bunker Hill and had had enough of attacking forts defended by Americans. So he stopped his soldiers—with some difficulty. That night the wind blew a gale, and the next day was foggy. The British fleet could not sail into the East River. Skillful fishermen safely ferried the rest of the American army across to New York. When at length the British marched to the attack, there was no one left in the fort on Brooklyn Heights.

[Sidenote: Retreat from New York.]

[Sidenote: Washington crosses the Delaware.]

142. From the Hudson to the Delaware, 1776.—Even now with his splendid fleet and great army Howe could have captured the Americans. But he delayed so long that Washington got away in safety. Washington's army was now fast breaking up. Soldiers deserted by the hundreds. A severe action at White Plains only delayed the British advance. The fall of Fort Washington on the end of Manhattan Island destroyed all hope of holding anything near New York. Washington sent one part of his army to secure the Highlands of the Hudson. With the other part he retired across New Jersey to the southern side of the Delaware River. The end of the war seemed to be in sight. In December, 1776, Congress gave the sole direction of the war to Washington and then left Philadelphia for a place of greater safety.

[Sidenote: Battle of Trenton, 1776. Higginson, 203; Hero Tales, 45-55]

143. Trenton, December 26, 1776.—Washington did not give up. On Christmas night, 1776, he crossed the Delaware with a division of his army. A violent snowstorm was raging, the river was full of ice. But Washington was there in person, and the soldiers crossed. Then the storm changed to sleet and rain. But on the soldiers marched. When the Hessian garrison at Trenton looked about them next morning they saw that Washington and Greene held the roads leading inland from the town. Stark and a few soldiers—among them James Monroe—held the bridge leading over the Assanpink to the next British post. A few horsemen escaped before Stark could prevent them. But all the foot soldiers were killed or captured. A few days later nearly one thousand prisoners marched through Philadelphia. They were Germans, who had been sold by their rulers to Britain's king to fight his battles. They were called Hessians by the Americans because most of them came from the little German state of Hesse Cassel.

[Sidenote: Battle of Princeton, 1777. Source-Book, 149-151.]

144. Princeton, January, 1777.—Trenton saved the Revolution by giving the Americans renewed courage. General Howe sent Lord Cornwallis with a strong force to destroy the Americans. Washington with the main part of his army was now encamped on the southern side of the Assanpink. Cornwallis was on the other bank at Trenton. Leaving a few men to keep up the campfires, and to throw up a slight fort by the bridge over the stream, Washington led his army away by night toward Princeton. There he found several regiments hastening to Cornwallis. He drove them away and led his army to the highlands of New Jersey where he would be free from attack. The British abandoned nearly all their posts in New Jersey and retired to New York.



[Sidenote: Rising spirit of independence, 1775-76.]

145. Growth of the Spirit of Independence.—The year 1776 is even more to be remembered for the doings of Congress than it is for the doings of the soldiers. The colonists loved England. They spoke of it as home. They were proud of the strength of the British empire, and glad to belong to it. But their feelings rapidly changed when the British government declared them to be rebels, made war upon them, and hired foreign soldiers to kill them. They could no longer be subjects of George III. That was clear enough. They determined to declare themselves to be independent. Virginia led in this movement, and the chairman of the Virginia delegation moved a resolution of independence. A committee was appointed to draw up a declaration.

[Sidenote: The Great Declaration, adopted July 4, 1776. Higginson, 194-201; McMaster, 131-135; Source-Book, 147-149.]

[Sidenote: Signing of the Declaration, August 2, 1776.]

146. The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.—The most important members of this committee were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Of these Jefferson was the youngest, and the least known. But he had already drawn up a remarkable paper called A Summary View of the Rights of British America. The others asked him to write out a declaration. He sat down without book or notes of any kind, and wrote out the Great Declaration in almost the same form in which it now stands. The other members of the committee proposed a few changes, and then reported the declaration to Congress. There was a fierce debate in Congress over the adoption of the Virginia resolution for independence. But finally it was adopted. Congress then examined the Declaration of Independence as reported by the committee. It made a few changes in the words and struck out a clause condemning the slave-trade. The first paragraph of the Declaration contains a short, clear statement of the basis of the American system of government. It should be learned by heart by every American boy and girl, and always kept in mind. The Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776. A few copies were printed on July 5, with the signatures of John Hancock and Charles Thompson, president and secretary of Congress. On August 2, 1776, the Declaration was signed by the members of Congress.

[Sidenote: Battle of Brandywine 1777. McMaster, 137-138.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Germantown, 1777.]

147. The Loss of Philadelphia, 1777.—For some months after the battle of Princeton there was little fighting. But in the summer of 1777, Howe set out to capture Philadelphia. Instead of marching across New Jersey, he placed his army on board ships, and sailed to Chesapeake Bay. As soon as Washington learned what Howe was about, he marched to Chad's Ford, where the road from Chesapeake Bay to Philadelphia crossed Brandywine Creek. Howe moved his men as if about to attempt to cross the ford. Meantime he sent Cornwallis with a strong force to cross the creek higher up. Cornwallis surprised the right wing of the American army, drove it back, and Washington was compelled to retreat. Howe occupied Philadelphia and captured the forts below the city. Washington tried to surprise a part of the British army which was posted at Germantown. But accidents and mist interfered. The Americans then retired to Valley Forge—a strong place in the hills not far from Philadelphia.

[Sidenote: The army at Valley Forge, 1777-78.]

[Sidenote: Baron Steuben.]

148. The Army at Valley Forge, 1777-78.—The sufferings of the soldiers during the following winter can never be overstated. They seldom had more than half enough to eat. Their clothes were in rags. Many of them had no blankets. Many more had no shoes. Washington did all he could do for them. But Congress had no money and could not get any. At Valley Forge the soldiers were drilled by Baron Steuben, a Prussian veteran. The army took the field in 1778, weak in numbers and poorly clad. But what soldiers there were were as good as any soldiers to be found anywhere in the world. During that winter, also, an attempt was made to dismiss Washington from chief command, and to give his place to General Gates. But this attempt ended in failure.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne's campaign, 1777. Eggleston, 178-179; McMaster, 139-140; Source-Book, 154-157.]

[Sidenote: Schuyler and Gates.]

149. Burgoyne's March to Saratoga, 1777.—While Howe was marching to Philadelphia, General Burgoyne was marching southward from Canada. It had been intended that Burgoyne and Howe should seize the line of the Hudson and cut New England off from the other states. But the orders reached Howe too late, and he went southward to Philadelphia. Burgoyne, on his part, was fairly successful at first, for the Americans abandoned post after post. But when he reached the southern end of Lake Champlain, and started on his march to the Hudson, his troubles began. The way ran through a wilderness. General Schuyler had had trees cut down across its woodland paths and had done his work so well that it took Burgoyne about a day to march a mile and a half. This gave the Americans time to gather from all quarters and bar his southward way. But many of the soldiers had no faith in Schuyler and Congress gave the command to General Horatio Gates.

[Sidenote: Battle of Bennington, 1777. Hero Tales, 59-67.]

150. Bennington, 1777.—Burgoyne had with him many cavalrymen. But they had no horses. The army, too, was sadly in need of food. So Burgoyne sent a force of dismounted dragoons to Bennington in southern Vermont to seize horses and food. It happened, however, that General Stark, with soldiers from New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Massachusetts, was nearer Bennington than Burgoyne supposed. They killed or captured all the British soldiers. They then drove back with great loss a second party which Burgoyne had sent to support the first one.

[Sidenote: Battle of Oriskany, 1777.]

151. Oriskany, 1777.—Meantime St. Leger, with a large body of Indians and Canadian frontiersmen, was marching to join Burgoyne by the way of Lake Ontario and the Mohawk Valley. Near the site of the present city of Rome in New York was Fort Schuyler, garrisoned by an American force. St. Leger stopped to besiege this fort. The settlers on the Mohawk marched to relieve the garrison and St. Leger defeated them at Oriskany. But his Indians now grew tired of the siege, especially when they heard that Arnold with a strong army was coming. St. Leger marched back to Canada and left Burgoyne to his fate.

[Sidenote: First battle of Freeman's Farm, 1777.]

[Sidenote: Second battle of Freeman's Farm, 1777.]

[Sidenote: Surrender of the British at Saratoga, 1777.]

152. Saratoga, 1777.—Marching southward, on the western side of the Hudson, Burgoyne and his army came upon the Americans in a forest clearing called Freeman's Farm. Led by Daniel Morgan and Benedict Arnold the Americans fought so hard that Burgoyne stopped where he was and fortified the position. This was on September 19. The American army posted itself near by on Bemis' Heights. For weeks the two armies faced each other. Then, on October 7, the Americans attacked. Again Arnold led his men to victory. They captured a fort in the centre of the British line, and Burgoyne was obliged to retreat. But when he reached the crossing place of the Hudson, to his dismay he found a strong body of New Englanders with artillery on the opposite bank. Gates had followed the retiring British, and soon Burgoyne was practically surrounded. His men were starving, and on October 17 he surrendered.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Alliance, 1778.]

153. The French Alliance, 1778.—Burgoyne's defeat made the French think that the Americans would win their independence. So Dr. Franklin, who was at Paris, was told that France would recognize the independence of the United States, would make treaties with the new nation, and give aid openly. Great Britain at once declared war on France. The French lent large sums of money to the United States. They sent large armies and splendid fleets to America. Their aid greatly shortened the struggle for independence. But the Americans would probably have won without French aid.

[Sidenote: The British leave Philadelphia 1778.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Monmouth, 1778.]

154. Monmouth, 1778.—The first result of the French alliance was the retreat of the British from Philadelphia to New York. As Sir Henry Clinton, the new British commander, led his army across the Jerseys, Washington determined to strike it a blow. This he did near Monmouth. The attack was a failure, owing to the treason of General Charles Lee, who led the advance. Washington reached the front only in time to prevent a dreadful disaster. But he could not bring about victory, and Clinton seized the first moment to continue his march to New York. There were other expeditions and battles in the North. But none of these had any important effect on the outcome of the war.

[Sidenote: Clark's conquest of the Northwest, 1778-79. Hero Tales, 31-41.]

155. Clark's Western Campaign, 1778-79.—The Virginians had long taken great interest in the western country. Their hardy pioneers had crossed the mountains and begun the settlement of Kentucky. The Virginians now determined to conquer the British posts in the country northwest of the Ohio. The command was given to George Rogers Clark. Gathering a strong band of hardy frontiersmen he set out on his dangerous expedition. He seized the posts in Illinois, and Vincennes surrendered to him. Then the British governor of the Northwest came from Detroit with a large force and recaptured Vincennes. Clark set out from Illinois to surprise the British. It was the middle of the winter. In some places the snow lay deep on the ground. Then came the early floods. For days the Americans marched in water up to their waists. At night they sought some little hill where they could sleep on dry ground. Then on again through the flood. They surprised the British garrison at Vincennes and forced it to surrender. That was the end of the contest for the Northwest.

[Sidenote: Benedict Arnold.]

[Sidenote: His treason, 1780 Higginson, 209-211; McMaster, 144]

156. Arnold and Andre, 1780.—Of all the leaders under Washington none was abler in battle than Benedict Arnold. Unhappily he was always in trouble about money. He was distrusted by Congress and was not promoted. At Saratoga he quarrelled with Gates and was dismissed from his command. Later he became military governor of Philadelphia and was censured by Washington for his doings there. He then secured the command of West Point and offered to surrender the post to the British. Major Andre, of Clinton's staff, met Arnold to arrange the final details. On his return journey to New York Andre was arrested and taken before Washington. The American commander asked his generals if Andre was a spy. They replied that Andre was a spy, and he was hanged. Arnold escaped to New York and became a general in the British army.



[Sidenote: Invasion of the South.]

[Sidenote: Capture of Charleston, 1780.]

157. Fall of Charleston, 1780.—It seemed quite certain that Clinton could not conquer the Northern states with the forces given him. In the South there were many loyalists. Resistance might not be so stiff there. At all events Clinton decided to attempt the conquest of the South. Savannah was easily seized (1778), and the French and Americans could not retake it (1779). In the spring of 1780, Clinton, with a large army, landed on the coast between Savannah and Charleston. He marched overland to Charleston and besieged it from the land side. The Americans held out for a long time. But they were finally forced to surrender. Clinton then sailed back to New York, and left to Lord Cornwallis the further conquest of the Carolinas.

[Sidenote: Battle of Camden, 1780.]

158. Gates's Defeat at Camden, 1780.—Cornwallis had little trouble in occupying the greater part of South Carolina. There was no one to oppose him, for the American army had been captured with Charleston. Another small army was got together in North Carolina and the command given to Gates, the victor at Saratoga. One night both Gates and Cornwallis set out to attack the other's camp. The two armies met at daybreak, the British having the best position. But this really made little difference, for Gates's Virginia militiamen ran away before the British came within fighting distance. The North Carolina militia followed the Virginians. Only the regulars from Maryland and Delaware were left. They fought on like heroes until their leader, General John De Kalb, fell with seventeen wounds. Then the survivors surrendered. Gates himself had been carried far to the rear by the rush of the fleeing militia.

[Battle of King's Mountain, 1780. Hero Tales, 71-78.]

159. King's Mountain, October, 1780.—Cornwallis now thought that resistance surely was at an end. He sent an expedition to the settlements on the lower slopes of the Alleghany Mountains to get recruits, for there were many loyalists in that region. Suddenly from the mountains and from the settlements in Tennessee rode a body of armed frontiersmen. They found the British soldiers encamped on the top of King's Mountain. In about an hour they had killed or captured every British soldier.

[Sidenote: General Greene.]

[Sidenote: Morgan's victory of the Cowpens, 1781.]

160. The Cowpens, 1781.—General Greene was now sent to the South to take charge of the resistance to Cornwallis. A great soldier and a great organizer Greene found that he needed all his abilities. His coming gave new spirit to the survivors of Gates's army. He gathered militia from all directions and marched toward Cornwallis. Dividing his army into two parts, he sent General Daniel Morgan to threaten Cornwallis from one direction, while he threatened him from another direction. Cornwallis at once became uneasy and sent Tarleton to drive Morgan away, but the hero of many hard-fought battles was not easily frightened. He drew up his little force so skillfully that in a very few minutes the British were nearly all killed or captured.

[Sidenote: Greene's retreat.]

[Sidenote: The Battle of Guilford, 1781.]

161. The Guilford Campaign, 1781.—Cornwallis now made a desperate attempt to capture the Americans, but Greene and Morgan joined forces and marched diagonally across North Carolina. Cornwallis followed so closely that frequently the two armies seemed to be one. When, however, the river Dan was reached, there was an end of marching, for Greene had caused all the boats to be collected at one spot. His men crossed and kept the boats on their side of the river. Soon Greene found himself strong enough to cross the river again to North Carolina. He took up a very strong position near Guilford Court House. Cornwallis attacked. The Americans made a splendid defense before Greene ordered a retreat, and the British won the battle of Guilford. But their loss was so great that another victory of the same kind would have destroyed the British army. As it was, Greene had dealt it such a blow that Cornwallis left his wounded at Guilford and set out as fast as he could for the seacoast. Greene pursued him for some distance and then marched southward to Camden.

[Sidenote: Greene's later campaigns, 1871-83.]

162. Greene's Later Campaigns.—At Hobkirk's Hill, near Camden, the British soldiers who had been left behind by Cornwallis attacked Greene. But he beat them off and began the siege of a fort on the frontier of South Carolina. The British then marched up from Charleston, and Greene had to fall back. Then the British marched back to Charleston and abandoned the interior of South Carolina to the Americans. There was only one more battle in the South—at Eutaw Springs. Greene was defeated there, too, but the British abandoned the rest of the Carolinas and Georgia with the exception of Savannah and Charleston. In these wonderful campaigns with a few good soldiers Greene had forced the British from the Southern states. He had lost every battle. He had won every campaign.

[Sidenote: Lafayette and Cornwallis, 1781.]

163. Cornwallis in Virginia, 1781.—There were already two small armies in Virginia,—the British under Arnold, the Americans under Lafayette. Cornwallis now marched northward from Wilmington and added the troops in Virginia to his own force; Arnold he sent to New York. Cornwallis then set out to capture Lafayette and his men. Together they marched from salt water across Virginia to the mountains—and then they marched back to salt water again. Cornwallis had called Lafayette "the boy" and had declared that "the boy should not escape him." Finally Cornwallis fortified Yorktown, and Lafayette settled down at Williamsburg. And there they still were in September, 1781.

[Sidenote: The French at Newport, 1780.]

[Sidenote: Plans of the allies, 1781.]

164. Plans of the Allies.—In 1780 the French government had sent over a strong army under Rochambeau. It was landed at Newport. It remained there a year to protect the vessels in which it had come from France from capture by a stronger British fleet that had at once appeared off the mouth of the harbor. Another French fleet and another French army were in the West Indies. In the summer of 1781 it became possible to unite all these French forces, and with the Americans to strike a crushing blow at the British. Just at this moment Cornwallis shut himself up in Yorktown, and it was determined to besiege him there.

[Sidenote: The march to the Chesapeake.]

[Sidenote: Combat between the French and the British fleets.]

[Surrender of Yorktown, October 19, 1781. Higginson, 211-212.]

165. Yorktown, September-October, 1781.—Rochambeau led his men to New York and joined the main American army. Washington now took command of the allied forces. He pretended that he was about to attack New York and deceived Clinton so completely that Clinton ordered Cornwallis to send some of his soldiers to New York. But the allies were marching southward through Philadelphia before Clinton realized what they were about. The French West India fleet under De Grasse reached one end of the Chesapeake Bay at the same time the allies reached the other end. The British fleet attacked it and was beaten off. There was now no hope for Cornwallis. No help could reach him by sea. The soldiers of the allies outnumbered him two to one. On October 17, 1781, four years to a day since the surrender of Burgoyne, a drummer boy appeared on the rampart of Yorktown and beat a parley. Two days later the British soldiers marched out to the good old British tune of "The world turned upside down," and laid down their arms.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Peace, 1783.]

166. Treaty of Peace, 1783.—This disaster put an end to British hopes of conquering America. But it was not until September, 1783, that Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay brought the negotiations for peace to an end. Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States. The territory of the United States was defined as extending from the Great Lakes to the thirty-first parallel of latitude and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Spain had joined the United States and France in the war. Spanish soldiers had conquered Florida, and Spain kept Florida at the peace. In this way Spanish Florida and Louisiana surrounded the United States on the south and the west. British territory bounded the United States on the north and the northeast.



Sec.Sec. 134-136.—a. Compare the advantages of the British and the Americans. Which side had the greater advantages?

b. Explain the influence of geographical surroundings upon the war.

c. Why were there so many loyalists?

Sec.Sec. 137-139.—a. Mold or draw a map of Boston and vicinity and explain by it the important points of the siege.

b. Who won the battle of Bunker Hill? What were the effects of the battle upon the Americans? Upon the British?

c. Why was Washington appointed to chief command?

d. What were the effects of the seizure of Ticonderoga on the siege of Boston?

Sec.Sec. 140, 141.—a. Why did Congress determine to attack Canada? b. Follow the routes of the two invading armies. What was the result of the expedition?

c. Describe the harbor of Charleston. Why did the British attack at this point?

d. What was the result of this expedition?

Sec.Sec. 142, 143.—a. What advantage would the occupation of New York give the British?

b. Describe the Long Island campaign.

c. Why did Congress give Washington sole direction of the war? Who had directed the war before?

Sec.Sec. 144, 145.—a. Describe the battle of Trenton. Why is it memorable?

b. Who were the Hessians?

c. At the close of January, 1777, what places were held by the British?


Sec.Sec.146, 147.—a. What had been the feeling of most of the colonists toward England? Why had this feeling changed?

b. Why was Jefferson asked to write the Declaration?

c. What great change was made by Congress in the Declaration? Why?

d. What truths are declared to be self-evident? Are they still self-evident?

e. What is declared to be the basis of government? Is it still the basis of government?

f. When was the Declaration adopted? When signed?

Sec.Sec. 148, 149.—a. Describe Howe's campaign of 1777.

b. What valuable work was done at Valley Forge?

Sec.Sec. 150-153.—a. What was the object of Burgoyne's campaign? Was the plan a wise one from the British point of view?

b. What do you think of the justice of removing Schuyler?

c. How did the battle of Bennington affect the campaign? What was the effect of St. Leger's retreat to Canada?

d. Describe Arnold's part in the battles near Saratoga.

Sec.Sec. 154, 155.—a. What was the effect of Burgoyne's surrender on Great Britain? On France? On America?

b. What were the results of the French alliance?

c. Describe the battle of Monmouth. Who was Charles Lee?

Sec. 156.—a. Describe Clark's expedition and mark on a map the places named. b. How did this expedition affect the later growth of the United States?

Sec. 157.—a. Describe Arnold's career as a soldier to 1778. b. What is treason? c. Was there the least injustice in the treatment of Andre?

Chapter 16

Sec.Sec. 158, 159.—a. Why was the scene of action transferred to the South? b. What places were captured? c. Compare the British and American armies at Camden. What was the result of this battle?

Sec.Sec. 160-163.—a. Describe the battle of King's Mountain. b. What was the result of the battle of the Cowpens? c. Follow the retreat of the Americans across North Carolina. What events showed Greene's foresight? d. What were the results of the battle of Guilford? e. Compare the outlook for the Americans in 1781 with that of 1780.

Sec.Sec. 164-166. a. How did the British army get to Yorktown? b. Describe the gathering of the Allied Forces. c. Describe the surrender and note its effects on America, France, and Great Britain.

Sec. 167.—a. Where were the negotiations for peace carried on? b. Mark on a map the original territory of the United States. c. How did Spain get the Floridas?

General Questions

a. When did the Revolution begin? When did it end?

b. Were the colonies independent when the Declaration of Independence was adopted?

c. Select any campaign and discuss its objects, plan, the leading battles, and the results.

d. Follow Washington's movements from 1775-82.

e. What do you consider the most decisive battle of the war? Why?

Topics For Special Work

a. Naval victories.

b. Burgoyne's campaign.

c. Greene as a general.

d. Nathan Hale.

e. The peace negotiations.


The use of map or molding board should be constant during the study of this period. Do not spend time on the details of battles, but teach campaigns as a whole. In using the molding board the movements of armies can be shown by colored pins.

The Declaration of Independence should be carefully studied, especially the first portions. Finally, the territorial settlement of 1783 should be thoroughly explained, using map or molding board.


The Critical Period, 1783-1789

Books for Study and Reading

References.—Higginson's Larger History, 293-308; Fiske's Civil Government, 186-267; McMaster's With the Fathers.

Home Readings.—Fiske's Critical Period, 144-231, 306-345; Captain Shays: A Populist of 1786.

Chapter 17

The Confederation, 1783-1787

[Sidenote: Disunion and jealousy. Source-Book, 161-163.]

167. Problems of Peace.—The war was over. But the future of the American nation was still uncertain. Indeed, one can hardly say that there was an American nation in 1783. While the war lasted, a sense of danger bound together the people of the different states. But as soon as this peril ceased, their old jealousies and self-seekings came back. There was no national government to smooth over these differences and to compel the states to act justly toward one another. There was, indeed, the Congress of the Confederation, but it is absurd to speak of it as a national government.

[Sidenote: Formation of the Articles of Confederation.]

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Confederation. McMaster, 163.]

168. The Articles of Confederation, 1781.—The Continental Congress began drawing up the Articles of Confederation in June, 1776. But there were long delays, and each month's delay made it more impossible to form a strong government. It fell out in this way that the Congress of the Confederation had no real power. It could not make a state or an individual pay money or do anything at all. In the course of a few years Congress asked the states to give it over six million dollars to pay the debts and expenses of the United States. It received about a million dollars and was fortunate to get that.

[Sidenote: Distress among the people.]

169. A Time of Distress.—It is not right to speak too harshly of the refusal of the state governments to give Congress the money it asked for, as the people of the states were in great distress and had no money to give. As soon as peace was declared British merchants sent over great quantities of goods. People bought these goods, for every one thought that good times were coming now that the war was over. But the British government did everything it could do to prevent the coming of good times. The prosperity of the northern states was largely based on a profitable trade with the West Indies. The British government put an end to that trade. No gold and silver came to the United States from the West Indies while gold and silver constantly went out of the country to pay debts due to British merchants. Soon gold and silver grew scarce, and those who had any promptly hid it. The real reason of all this trouble was the lack of a strong national government which could have compelled the British government to open its ports to American commerce. But the people only saw that money was scarce and called upon the state legislatures to give them paper money.

[Sidenote: Paper money.]

170. Paper Money.—Most of the state legislatures did what they were asked to do. They printed quantities of paper money. They paid the public expenses with it, and sometimes lent it to individuals without much security for its repayment. Before long this paper money began to grow less valuable. For instance, on a certain day a man could buy a bag of flour for five dollars. In three months' time a bag of flour might cost him ten dollars. Soon it became difficult to buy flour for any number of paper dollars.

[Sidenote: Tender laws.]

171 Tender Laws.—The people then clamored for "tender laws." These were laws which would make it lawful for them to tender, or offer, paper money in exchange for flour or other things. In some cases it was made lawful to tender paper money in payments of debts which had been made when gold and silver were still in use. The merchants now shut up their shops, and business almost ceased. The lawyers only were busy. For those to whom money was owed tried to get it paid before the paper money became utterly worthless. The courts were crowded, and the prisons were filled with poor debtors.

[Sidenote: Stay laws.]

172. Stay Laws.—Now the cry was for "stay laws." These were laws to prevent those to whom money was due from enforcing their rights. These laws promptly put an end to whatever business was left. The only way that any business could be carried on was by barter. For example, a man who had a bushel of wheat that he did not want for his family would exchange it for three or four bushels of potatoes, or for four or five days of labor. In some states the legislatures passed very severe laws to compel people to receive paper money. In one state, indeed, no one could vote who would not receive paper money.

[Sidenote: Disorder in Massachusetts.]

173. Shays's Rebellion, 1786-87.—In Massachusetts, especially, the discontent was very great. The people were angry with the judges for sending men to prison who did not pay their debts. Crowds of armed men visited the judges and compelled them to close the courts. The leader in this movement was Daniel Shays. He even threatened to seize the United States Arsenal at Springfield. By this time Governor Bowdoin and General Lincoln also had gathered a small force of soldiers. In the midst of winter, through snowstorms and over terrible roads, Lincoln marched with his men. He drove Shays from place to place, captured his followers, and put down the rebellion. There were risings in other states, especially in North Carolina. But Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts was the most important of them all, because it convinced the New Englanders that a stronger national government was necessary.

[Sidenote: Claims of the states to Western lands. McMaster, 155]

[Sidenote: Hero Tales, 19-28.]

[Sidenote: Opposition of Maryland and of other states.]

174. Claims to Western Lands.—The Confederation seemed to be falling to pieces. That it did not actually fall to pieces was largely due to the fact that all the states were interested in the settlement of the region northwest of the Ohio River. It will be well to stop a moment and see how this came about. Under their old charters Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia had claims to lands west of the Alleghanies. Between 1763 and 1776 the British government had paid slight heed to these claims (pp. 75, 89). But Daniel Boone and other colonists had settled west of the mountains in what are now the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. When the Revolution began the states having claims to western lands at once put them forward, and New York also claimed a right to about one-half of the disputed territory. Naturally, the states that had no claims to these lands had quite different views. The Marylanders, for example, thought that the western lands should be regarded as national territory and used for the common benefit. Maryland refused to join the Confederation until New York had ceded her claims to the United States, and Virginia had proposed a cession of the territory claimed by her.

[Sidenote: The states cede their claims to the United States. McMaster, 159-160.]

175. The Land Cessions.—In 1784 Virginia gave up her claims to the land northwest of the Ohio River with the exception of certain large tracts which she reserved for her veteran soldiers. Massachusetts ceded her claims in 1785. The next year (1786) Connecticut gave up her claims. But she reserved a large tract of land directly west of Pennsylvania. This was called the Connecticut Reserve or, more often, the Western Reserve. South Carolina and North Carolina ceded their lands in 1787 and 1790, and finally Georgia gave up her claims to western lands in 1802.

[Sidenote: Reasons for the ordinance.]

[Sidenote: Passage of Ordinance of 1787. McMaster, 160-162; Source-Book, 169-172.]

[Sidenote: Passage of Ordinance of 1787. McMaster, 160-162; Source-Book, 169-172.]

176. Passage of the Ordinance of 1787.—What should be done with the lands which in this way had come into the possession of the people of all the states? It was quite impossible to divide these lands among the people of the thirteen states. They never could have agreed as to the amount due to each state. In 1785 Congress took the first step. It passed a law or an ordinance for the government of the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River. This ordinance was imperfect, and few persons emigrated to the West. There were many persons who wished to emigrate from the old states to the new region. But they were unwilling to go unless they felt sure that they would not be treated by Congress as the British government had treated the people of the original states. Dr. Cutler of Massachusetts laid these matters before Congress and did his work so well that Congress passed a new ordinance. This was in 1787. The ordinance is therefore called the Ordinance of 1787. It was so well suited to its purpose that nearly all the territories of the United States have been settled and governed under its provisions. It will be well to study this great document more at length.

[Sidenote: Provisions of the Ordinance of 1787.]

177. The Ordinance of 1787.—In the first place the ordinance provided for the formation of one territory to be called the Territory Northwest of the Ohio. But it is more often called the Northwest Territory or simply the Old Northwest. At first it was to be governed by the persons appointed by Congress. But it was further provided that when settlers should arrive in sufficient numbers they should enjoy self-government. When fully settled the territory should be divided into five states. These should be admitted to the Confederation on a footing of equality with the original states. The settlers in the territory should enjoy full rights of citizenship. Education should be encouraged. Slavery should never be permitted. This last provision is especially important as it saved the Northwest to freedom. In this way a new political organization was invented. It was called a territory. It was really a colony; but it differed from all other colonies because in time it would become a state on a footing of entire equality with the parent states.

Chapter 18

Making Of The Constitution, 1787-1789

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Confederation.]

[Sidenote: Meeting of the Federal Convention, 1787.]

178. Necessity for a New Government.—At this very moment a convention was making a constitution to put an end to the Confederation itself. It was quite clear that something must be done or the states soon would be fighting one another. Attempt after attempt had been made to amend the Articles of Confederation so as to give Congress more power. But every attempt had failed because the consent of every state was required to amend the Articles. And one state or another had objected to every amendment that had been proposed. It was while affairs were in this condition that the Federal Convention met at Philadelphia in May, 1787.

[Sidenote: James Madison.]

179. James Madison.—Of all the members of the Convention, James Madison of Virginia best deserves the title of Father of the Constitution. He drew up the Virginia plan which was adopted as the basis of the new Constitution. He spoke convincingly for the plan in the Convention. He did more than any one else to secure the ratification of the Constitution by Virginia. He kept a careful set of Notes of the debates of the Convention which show us precisely how the Constitution was made. With Alexander Hamilton and John Jay he wrote a series of papers which is called the Federalist and is still the best guide to the Constitution.

[Sidenote: Washington President of the Convention.]

[Sidenote: Franklin.]

180. Other Fathers of the Constitution.—George Washington was chosen President of the Convention. He made few speeches. But the speeches that he made were very important. And the mere fact that he approved the Constitution had a tremendous influence throughout the country. The oldest man in the Convention was Benjamin Franklin. His long experience in politics and in diplomacy with his natural shrewdness had made him an unrivaled manager of men. From all the states came able men. In fact, with the exception of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson, the strongest men in political life were in the Federal Convention. Never in the history of the world have so many great political leaders, learned students of politics, and shrewd business men gathered together. The result of their labors was the most marvelous product of political wisdom that the world has ever seen.

[Sidenote: The Virginia plan.]

[Sidenote: Pinckney's plan.]

[Sidenote: Vote for a national government.]

181. Plans for a National Government.—As soon as the Convention was in working order, Governor Randolph of Virginia presented Madison's plan for a "national" government. Charles Pinckney of South Carolina also brought forward a plan. His scheme was more detailed than was Madison's plan. But, like it, it provided for a government with "supreme legislative, executive, and judicial powers." On May 30 the Convention voted that a "national government ought to be established, consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary." It next decided that the legislative department should consist of two houses. But when the delegates began to talk over the details, they began to disagree.

[Sidenote: The New Jersey plan.]

182. Disagreement as to Representation.—The Virginia plan proposed that representation in one branch of the new Congress should be divided among the states according to the amount of money each state paid into the national treasury, or according to the number of the free inhabitants of each state. The Delaware delegates at once said that they must withdraw. In June Governor Patterson of New Jersey brought forward a plan which had been drawn up by the delegates from the smaller states. It is always called, however, the New Jersey plan. It proposed simply to amend the Articles of Confederation so as to give Congress more power. After a long debate the New Jersey plan was rejected.

[Sidenote: Representation in the House of Representatives. McMaster, 167.]

[Sidenote: Representation in the Senate.]

183. The Compromise as to Representation.—The discussion now turned on the question of representation in the two houses of Congress. After a long debate and a good deal of excitement Benjamin Franklin and Roger Sherman proposed a compromise. This was, that members of the House of Representatives should be apportioned among the states according to their population and should be elected directly by the people. In the Senate they proposed that each state, regardless of size, population, or wealth, should have two members. The Senators, representing the states, would fittingly be chosen by the state legislatures. It was agreed that the states should be equally represented in the Senate. But it was difficult to reach a conclusion as to the apportionment of representatives in the House.

[Sidenote: The federal ratio.]

184. Compromise as to Apportionment.—Should the members of the House of Representatives be distributed among the states according to population? At first sight the answer seemed to be perfectly clear. But the real question was, should slaves who had no vote be counted as a part of the population? It was finally agreed that the slaves should be counted at three-fifths of their real number. This rule was called the "federal ratio." The result of this rule was to give the Southern slave states representation in Congress out of all proportion to their voting population.

[Sidenote: Power of Congress over commerce.]

[Sidenote: Restriction as to slave-trade.]

185. Compromise as to the Slave-Trade.—When the subject of the powers to be given to Congress came to be discussed, there was even greater excitement. The Northerners wanted Congress to have power to regulate commerce. But the Southerners opposed it because they feared Congress would use this power to put an end to the slave-trade. John Rutledge of South Carolina even went so far as to say that unless this question was settled in favor of the slaveholders, the slave states would "not be parties to the Union." In the end this matter also was compromised by providing that Congress could not prohibit the slave-trade until 1808. These were the three great compromises. But there were compromises on so many smaller points that we cannot even mention them here.

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