Section I: Political in colonies
Carolina’s Fundamental Constitutions
Holy Experiment in Pennsylvania
the Enlightenment is the prerequisite of the change in politics.
Section II: move toward the new Government
Background and conflict
the Rules for Pueblos and Missions
During the period between mid-1600s-1789, a series of historical events generate a lot of changes in the land, and the American colonies are moving from loyal subjects of the crown to desiring independence and finally facing the challenges of a new nation. As a result of the growing enlightenment ideas and the end of salutary neglect, the colonies fight and win a revolutionary war creating a republic in the United States. These drastic changes will create monumental challenges in the new nation resulting in the growth of political development and debates over federal power. In this article, I will mainly discuss the changes in the field of political from the period of colonies to the period of new nation.
In 1669, Carolina’s proprietors issued the Fundamental Constitutions, a political treatise coauthored by proprietor Ashley-Cooper and his secretary, a brilliant young man named John Locke. The latter is a representative figure of liberalism and released the Two Treatises of Government in 1689. Because the Fundamental Constitutions were based on landed nobility extracting labor from tithing serfs. They proved highly unpopular with settlers, who knew that Massachusetts, Virginia, and other colonies had a social order based on immigrants owning land. As a result, the colony’s legislature did not ratify the Fundamental Constitutions (Montoya 4-1b).
On the other hand, in New York, Governor Richard Nicolls released the Duke’s Laws to accomplish the transition of New York from colonies of Dutch into Britain. In 1683, in response to popular clamoring, James allowed the election of a colonial assembly for the first time, and the assembly promptly drafted a Charter of Liberties and Privileges (Montoya 4-1c). The Charter mandated that elections be held every three years among male property owners and the freemen of New York City and granted the right of trial by jury and religious toleration for all Protestants.
The First Frame of Government of Pennsylvania was a proto-constitution for the Province of Pennsylvania, a proprietary colony granted to William Penn by Charles II of England. The Frame of Government has lasting historical importance as an essential step in the development of American democracy. The Frame guaranteed settlers liberty of conscience, freedom from persecution, an elected assembly with the sole power to set taxes, and due process of law (Montoya 4-1d). In 1701, William Penn created a Charter of Privileges for the residents of his colony. Penn envisioned a settlement that permitted religious freedom, the consent and participation of the governed, and other property rights laws. The Charter of Privileges recognized the authority of the King and Parliament over the colony while creating “a one-house legislature and made it fully independent of his influence”(Montoya 4-1d).
Additionally, the Enlightenment is the prerequisite of the change in politics. The American Enlightenment was influenced by the 17th-century European Enlightenment and its native American philosophy. The English liberty and liberalism affect the American concept of the relationship between government and individuals. On the other hand, the preliminary conception of “check and balance” was inspired by establishing a mixed and balanced government. In England (after the Glorious Revolution), “The crown executed the law but was checked by courts and controlled by aristocratic and popular elements in Parliament that also restrained one another” (Montoya 5-5c). The British American colonies imitate the system with “one governor, one lower house, and one upper house.” These governors had greater power, including advising judicial decisions, vetoing legislative appointments, and dissolving meetings. Eventually, lower assemblies took some power back and control taxes, the militia, and sometimes the governor’s salary.
Section II Section II: move toward the new Government
Background and conflict
The conflict between colonies and English intensified after the Seven Years War. Upon the conclusion of a British victory and the Treaty of Paris 1763, the colonials believed they had shown their importance and worth to the mother country. However, the crown and Parliament felt otherwise. Rather, they thought that the colonies did not contribute enough and were thus responsible for paying for the costly war. On the one hand, the British released many outrageous acts such as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Intolerable/Coercive Acts, Townshend Taxes 1767, etc. On the other hand, In the colonies, Patrick Henry sparked a movement with his belief in No Taxation Without Representation. Patriotic colonists unite against the act sparking protest groups such as the Daughters of Liberty. Since then, the paradox between the colonies and Britain was not limited to economic interests but sublimated to a political issue. Finally, Boston citizens clashed with the British garrison, which opened fire on North American civilians, resulting in the Boston massacre.
In 1774, to coordinate protest movements in individual colonies, “fifty-five men from twelve North American colonies attended the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia” (Montoya 6-3b). As the failure with appealing to the Crown, the Second Continental Congress was convened in 1775 to organize the colonies’ defense against the British Army. In 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense sparked a movement unified in the desire for independence. In the meantime, the Declaration of Independence was released. It established the United States as an independent nation, enumerating the causes for separation and declaring the classically liberal ideas of its signers (Montoya 6-3d). Its opening section proclaimed that “all men are created equal” and asserted humanity’s rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It accused the king of planning to establish “an absolute tyranny over these states” and to object to Parliament’s acts regarding taxation and the presence of British troops. These objections had filled the petitions of previous years.
I in 1777, The Articles of Confederation, adopted by the Continental Congress, codified the U.S. government as a loose confederacy joined to fight a war for independence. “Congress had no upper legislative body reserved for aristocrats but only a single elected house. There was no prime minister and no king. The President of the Congress presided but had no separate powers” (Montoya 7-2a). Even though they won the Revolutionary War, gets and organized land (Land Ordinance of 1785 and NW Ordinance of 1787), but “power remained firmly in the hands of the states themselves. Their interests were local” (Montoya 7-2a). However, after deliberation, a new constitution emerged. The delegates decided to use a system of Checks and Balances, which would help limit individual powers, as a foundation for their new constitution. Debates over slavery, trade, and representation resulted in multiple compromises, such as the Three-Fifths Compromise. In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was signed. It proposed two houses of government, including the Senate and that House of Representatives.
Researching history can offer me a prominent picture of how the various aspects of society — such as governmental systems and even society as a whole — worked in the past, so we understand how it came to work the way it is now. I think the founding fathers of the United States initiated many great precedents, such as the checks and balances of power and the revolutionary character notion of the human right.
To solidify their control over North American resources and territory, not until the Seven Years War (1756-1763) realigned European alliances and their colonial empires did Spain seriously attempt to assert control of Alta California. This attempt was made through a combination of military forts (presidios) and mission churches overseen by Franciscan fathers led by Junípero Serra. The line of Spanish settlement along the coast was inaugurated when soldiers and priests established a presidio and mission church in San Diego. By the end of the Spanish colonial period, Alta California had three more presidios (Monterey, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara) and no fewer than twenty-one missions. In addition to the missions, where the Franciscans ministered to local converts and the military presidios, small towns or pueblos sprang up.
The first source I chose is the Rules for Pueblos and Missions, 1779, in section III. The author proposed that “to erect pueblos of white people who, being gathered together, …so that in the course of a few years, their products may suffice to suppl themselves” (Gastil Section III). That will reduce the cost paid by the Crown. By following the rules, Alta California can achieve self-sufficiency and increase the population. Religiously, the Franciscans also supported the settlers across the pueblos and missions. That caused that the Catholics influenced California a lot. For example, I’ve observed the symbol building in SDSU, the Hepner Hall. The rooftop of the building is similar to Catholic churches.
The second source I chose is the Monterey, 1786. It is a letter written by Jean Francois de La Perouse to discuss a California Mission’s life. The conversion was seldom an entirely voluntary process, and converts were not left to return to their old ways but were required to live in the walled mission enclosures. There they were taught Spanish and the tenets of their new religion and trained in skills that would equip them for their new lives: brickmaking and construction, raising cattle and horses, blacksmithing, weaving, tanning hides.
Exposure to Europeans had reduced the number of California’s native peoples by half to about 150,000. Although outright warfare cost few lives, Spaniards had introduced Christianity and new diseases to which the neophytes had no resistance, and thousands died in epidemics.