Recent Event Highlights: World War II, World War I, The Civil War, Pre-Civil War, and 12 more...
Created by eritter on Sep 22, 2009
Last updated: 10/09/09 at 04:33 AM
Tags: America Democracy
Unit 2 - Democracy in America has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
Nixon is president (1969-1974) . Kent State & Jackson State (1970): student protests of Vietnam fired-on by the national guard. . Pentagon Papers printed (1971): leaked Vietnam documents, Justice Department sues and loses. . 26th Amendment (1971): lowers voting age to 18 (old enough to fight, old enough to vote) . Watergate (1972-1974) . Spiro Agnew resigns (1973): pleads the 5th on all charges. Gerald Ford replaces Agnew as VP. . US ends direct intervention in Vietnam (1973) . Preparations for Nixon’s impeachment (1974) . Nixon resigns (1974): resigns before he can be impeached, Ford replaces him . Ford pardons Nixon (1974): met with huge disapproval . Carter’s presidency (1977-1981) . Three Mile Island (1979) . Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1981) . Reagan’s Presidency (1981-1989) . Missile defense system proposed (1983): “Star Wars” . Iran-Contra Affair (1985): secret arms-for-hostages negotiation with Iran, so funds go to Contras . Berliners tear down Berlin Wall (1989) . Democracy’s Role By this point in time, huge progress on the issue of equality had been made, so the people could be very vocal. The big issue of democracy became all of the things that the government was doing behind closed doors.
Election of 1960: (Eisenhower’s Vice-President) Nixon vs. Kennedy. Shift from Republican (1950’s) to Democratic (1960’s) dominance with Kennedy’s election, very close election. . Kennedy’s vison, the New Frontier: “Ask not what your country can do for you—but what you can do for your country.” . Peace Corps forms: (1961) . Bay of Pigs (1961) . Cuban Missile Crisis (1962): Castro was less intimidated by Kennedy than he was by Eisenhower . Kennedy is assassinated (1963): replaced by Lyndon Johnson. Tragic, but his death allowed Johnson to carry out Kennedy’s vision with less resistance. LBJ speaks of the “Great Society.” . Civil Rights Act of 1964: bans discrimination in jobs and public places . Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964) . Economic Opportunity Act (1964): War on poverty . LBJ defeats Goldwater (1964) . First troops in Vietnam (1965) . Death of Emmett Till (1965): Brought sympathy to the civil rights cause . Voting Rights Act of 1965: eliminates literacy tests and other restrictions on voting . Immigration Act of 1865 . Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated (1968) . Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated (1968) . Moon-landing (1969) . Woodstock (1969) . Democracy’s Role From the 50’s to the 60’s, dominance began to transfer from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Kennedy was not fully able to make the changes that this shift would entail. His vision was realized only after Kennedy was killed. Congress is supposed to do what is best for the public, and many of the members completely changed their behavior, so either before, or after the assassination they’d have to have been wrong. The fact that congress could be so greatly influenced by a single death raises some questions about the strength of democracy.
Truman Presidency (1945-1953) . Nuremburg Trials (1945) . Iron Curtain speech (1946): curtain separating Communist bloc, from non-Communist countries . Postwar baby boom (1946) . Truman Doctrine (1947): proposed aid to countries threaten by communism, containment policy . Levittown NY (1947) . Marshall Plan (1948): postwar financial aid to Europe, Soviet Union declined . West Germany is born (1948) . Berlin Airlift (1948) . Soviet Union atom bomb (1949) . US joins NATO (1949) . China becomes Communist (1949) . Start of the McCarthy hearings (1950) . Korean War (1950) . 22nd Amendment (1951): limits presidency to 2 terms . UNIVAC I (1951) . Checkers speech (1952) . Hydrogen bomb (1952) . Eisenhower presidency (1953-1961) . Korean War ends (1953) . Stalin dies (1953): replaced by Khrushchev . Rosenbergs executed (1953) . Senate condemns McCarthy (1954) . CIA overthrows Guatemalan leader (1954): showed the beginning signs of Communism . Brown v. Board of Education (1954) . AFL & CIO merge (1955) . Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) . Interstate Highway System (1956) . Pledge of Allegiance adjusted (1956) . Little Rock desegregation crisis (1957) . Sputnik launched (1957) . National Defense Education Act (1958) . Explorer space program (1958) . Alaska & Hawaii added (1959) . Kitchen Debate (1959) . Democracy’s Role The 50’s are strongly defined as a conformist time. Dissent was not appreciated. Scary new opinions like communism were feared. The 1950’s were rather stagnant, especially compared the coming eras.
First concentration camp (1933) . Japan invades China (again) (1937) . Germany Invades Poland (1939): The beginning of WWII . America sends supplies overseas (1940) . Hitler betrays the Soviet Union (1941) . FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech (1941): The 4 freedoms everyone should have (freedom of speech/expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear) . Atlantic Charter (1941): blueprint for the post WWII world, basis for treaties. . Pearl Harbor (1941) . US enters the war (1941) . Federal govt takes even more control over the economy than in WWI . Internment Camps (1942) . Battle of Midway (1942) . US Forces invade North Africa (1942) . D-Day invasion of France (1944) . GI Bill (1944) . Yalta (1945) . FDR dies (1945) . Truman becomes President (1945) . Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945) . End of WWII (1945) . Democracy’s Role Wartime and democracy don’t really mix. Opposition to the government it dealt with much more harshly and the country takes on a more collective mentality than usual. Once the war is over, the memories of the unifying experience can help democracy. Women and minorities who are allowed to fight are needed, and become more of a part of society. Once the more independent mentality returns, people will still have proof that non-white, non-males can be brought into society.
Red Scare . Labor tensions, Steel Strike of 1919 . Prohibition: leads to large illegal alcohol problem . Civil rights conflicts: African Americans who fought in WWI wanted war benefits, movement north caused job completion, blacks moving in to traditionally white neighborhoods. Rioting and acts of violence ensue. . Restrictive Covenants: since segregated neighborhoods were illegal, people signing contracts disallowing them to sell their homes to African Americans. Gave rise to ghettos. . Immigration restriction . First radio stations (1919), record players, rise in film industry . ~ Causes of the Great Depression ~ Speculation: Investing loaned money, essentially gambling Economic policies: little regulation, tariffs in other countries Consumerism: more spending, less saving Income distribution gap Scams, get-rich-quick schemes . Presidents (1921-1929): Waren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge. Fooled by short-term gains, didn’t implement necessary checks . Hoover is elected (1928): “rugged individualism” . Black Thursday (1929): major stock market crash, Hoover fears intervention . Reconstruction Finance Corporation (1932): Hoover’s final effort to intervene in the economy. . Election of 1932: Hoover vs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many were angry at Hoover for not giving much federal aid, Roosevelt campaigned on the opposite philosophy as Hoover. . First 100 Days: national bank holiday, Emergency Banking Relief Act, Federal Emergency Relief Act, Glass-Steagall Act, Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, ect. . New Deal: Roosevelt’s economic plan, agricultural bills, employment programs, emergency aid, ect. . Prohibition removed (1933) . Social Security Act of 1935 . Depression of 1937 . Democracy’s Role With Democracy, when one thing fails, you try another. That’s what happened with the Great Depression. Americans made many mistakes in the euphoria of prosperity, so things were changed so that this will not happen again in the future. Because the leaders must be representatives of the people, if the people want change, that’s what they’ll get.
Tension builds: Countries were competing for colonial territories, power was transferring, they wanted to prove their dominance and they feared each other, they forged secret treaties and were prepared to fight to protect them, weakness could not be shown . Archduke Ferdinand’s Assassination (1914): in Bosnia in by a Bosnian nationalist (associated with a group secretly controlled by the Serbian government) caused a chain reaction that started a war. Austria-Hungary, who was aggressively involved with its allies, delivered strong demands to Serbia on Bosnia’s behalf. Some believe they were intentionally designed to be rejected. When Serbia only agreed to comply with 8, Austria-Hungary declared war with German support, and Russia mobilized to defend the Serbs. France’s treaty with Russia, and its bitterness against German prompted their involvement in the war as well. . Germany’s first moves: Germany attempted to end the war quickly by making the first strike. They marched toward France, through the neutral state of Belgium which violated a treaty. This motivated England to become involved. The German forces were slowed by Belgian resistance, and Russia moved faster than they had expected. This crushed Germany’s plan to achieve a quick victory. . Long, painful trench warfare followed the initial mobilizations. The conditions were horrible and made for long, drawn-out battles. Germany hoped that new innovations in warfare (submarines, bombers, tanks, weaponized gases, grenades) would make the battles quicker and more decisive, but infantry battles were still the biggest part of the war. . Sinking of the Lusitania (1915): Hoping to cut off England’s supplies, Germany launched unrestricted U-boat warfare at the risk of getting the US involved. After the Sinking of the Lusitania, Germany replaced the restrictions, but later took them off again. . 1916 election: Wilson is re-elected with the slogan “he kept us out of war.” . Zimmerman Telegraph (1917): A telegraph is intercepted, Germany offers to help Mexico reclaim Texas-area if Mexico attacks the US. . America joins the war (1917) . Government power increased, especial economically . Women have access to male jobs . Committee on Public Information: propaganda . Espionage Act: Illegal to interfere with military interests in pretty much any way. . Sedition Act (1918): Illegal to speak negatively of anything American . Schenck v. United States . Bolsheviks came into power, beginning of the Red Scare . War ends (1918) . Wilson’s 14 Points (1918): Wilson’s idealistic solution to the postwar negotiation . Treaty of Versailles (1919): Put blame and huge economic strain on Germany. . Democracy’s Role The WWI Era itself is not a great one for democracy, with the Sedition and Espionage acts and all of the propaganda. Still, in the midst of this, some important strides were made. Women proved themselves to be capable of holding “men’s jobs,” and were given the right to vote.
McKinley Assassination (1901): Teddy Roosevelt, a Progressive Republican becomes president. . Construction of the Panama Canal begins (1904) . The Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906): the result of Muckrakers . Regulations of working conditions: child labor laws, minimum wage, working conditions, workmen’s compensation . NAACP is founded (1909) . William Taft's presidency (1909-1913) . Various regulations on health and safety, education, ect. The real beginning of business regulation. . Jim Crow Laws . Roosevelt (1901-1909) believed big business could exist under government supervision, Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) believed it was the govt. responsibility to break up big business. . The Federal Reserve Act: establishes banking oversight committee . The Federal Trade Commission Act: establish FTC, a business overseer. . Clayton Act Anti-Trust Act: more provision against corporate trusts. . 16th Amendment (1913): Federal income tax . 17th Amendment (1913): direct election of senators . 18th Amendment (1919): prohibition of alcohol . 19th Amendment (1920): women’s suffrage . Democracy’s Role The voice of the people certainly had power in the Progressive Era. Whatever one’s opinion on Progressivism is, they must admit that many of the laws that were enacted at this time were necessary. Unfortunately, the individual voice was sometimes louder than the collective’s. If it had gone to a national vote, the 18th amendment would have failed, but a relatively small group was able to have it enacted anyway.
Through reconstruction, congress had become the most dominant branch of the government . President James Garfield is assassinated (1881): replaced by Chester A. Arthur . Chinese Exclusion act (1882): Disallows Chinese immigration for 10 years. Movement to keep down “undesirables” (i.e. foreigners) . Pendleton Act (1883): eliminates spoils system . Social regulation: compulsory school attendance, Sunday laws, ect. . In this partisan period, the Democrats and Republicans were almost equal in standing. The Republicans were more focused on the expansion of business with the goal of modernization, while Democrats feared the ill-effects of doing so. . Corporate trusts emerge (1880’s): gives rise to conglomerates. . Presidency of Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) . The Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890): forbade any company union that impeded commerce. . Gold Standard (1900): (The coinage act of 1873 brought the gold standard back, but it wasn’t implemented for a while) . The government regulates the railroads . Presidency of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) . Presidency of Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) . Presidency of William McKinley (1897-1901) . Democracy’s Role The Gilded Age was not a great time for Democracy. Perhaps the less democratic methods put to use during the reconstruction caused the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age. Though the system had great problems at this point, people were still putting it to use. A very active public must have been a good thing with a system that needed so much work to improve it.
“Black Codes:” The ex-Confederate states institute laws restricting African American liberties such as the right to vote, purchase land or bear arms, and many allow blacks to be arrested for frivolous reasons. . Civil Rights Act of 1866: A response to “black codes.” Guarantees certain rights to all citizens. . 14th Amendment (1866): Guarantees citizenship and some other protections so the Civil Rights Act of 1866 must be upheld. . The First Reconstruction Act (1867): Gives congress more control of south, removes ex-Confeds from office, making it easier to pass civil rights laws. The congress also restricts the president’s rights for the same reason. . Johnson’s impeachment (1868) . Ulysses S Grant is elected (1868): Another moderate Republican holds power . 15th Amendment (1869): disallows states to deny voting rights based on race, color or past conditions of servitude. . The Civil Rights Act of (1875): guarantees equal rights to blacks in public places. . 1876 election: Rutherford B. Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden. Election was disputed. . Compromise of 1877: Southern Democrats would support Hayes in return for compliance with their demands, such as the removal of federal troops from the south. . Democracy’s Role As in the Civil War, the tenants of Democracy had to be violated to keep America on the right path. The northern members of congress had to be very forceful in order to get all those civil rights bills passed. It’s very fortunate that this precedent did not lead to any apparent negatives, because if one examines the circumstances, they were actually pretty risky.
South Carolina’s secession (1860): thinking the Lincoln administration will undermine slavery. South Carolina secedes from the union, other states follow quickly . Confederate States of America (1861): Constitution is similar to the America’s, but contains direct reference to God and slavery and has a much stronger emphasis on state’s rights. Jefferson Davis is selected to be the confederate president. . Fort Sumter (1861): Fort on Confederate land, but still controlled by America’s federal government. Confeds wanted to claim it. Lincoln doesn’t want to cause conflict, but decides it must be protected, and send supplies. Rebels found out and attacked before the supplies came. . Civil War begins (1861): After Lincoln requested that the states to provide troops, 4 more Union states seceded. Union uses “Anaconda Plan” to divide and conquer. . First Battle of Bull Run: North begins over-confident, this battle shows that the war will be long. . Emancipation Proclamation (1862): demanded that southern slaves be freed. It didn’t free many slaves, as Lincoln had no jurisdiction over the south. It was more designed to send a message. . Robert E. Lee takes command (1862): originally had been reluctant about the war/secession, brings the South a winning streak lasting until the Battle of Antietam . Homestead Act (1862) . African Americans allowed to fight (1863): Morale had fallen on both sides, so the Union instituted a draft and allowed African Americans to fight. . The 10 Percent Plan (1863): Allowed the states to return once 10% of those eligible to vote swore loyalty to the Union. . General Lee surrenders (1865): Ulysses S. Grant’s aggressive assault brings an end to the war. . Lincoln’s Assassination (1865): Shortly after victory, John Wilkes Booth assassinated the President. He was succeeded by Andrew Johnson. . The 13th Amendment (1865): prohibits slavery. . Democracy’s Role Unfortunately, America was not able to solve this problem democratically and the result was the death of 600,000 soldiers. Democracy can be difficult to sustain. In this case, a very bloody war needs to be fought before America is put back on the right path.
Missouri Compromise (1820): Determines slave and free states . Annexation of Texas (1845) . Mexican-American War (1846-1846) . Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) . Taylor's Presidency (1849-1850) . California incident (1849): Taylor urges Cali to apply as a free state, would upset free/slave balance . Millard Fillmore's Presidency (1850-1853) . The Compromise of (1850): California free state, popular sovereignty in Utah and New Mexico, Nebraska divided into Nebraska and Kansas, ends D.C. slave trade, stronger fugitive laws . Presidency of Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) . Kansas Nebraska Act (1854): Kansas, free or slave state? Repeals Missouri Compromise. Leaves decision up to popular sovereignty. . Bleeding Kansas (1854): (the John Brown incident happens 1856-1859) Abolitionists come to Kansas for the upcoming vote, fighting with the local slave owners . Election in 1855: Kansas voted to be a slave state. Voter fraud was committed, but no actions were taken. . Buchanan's Presidency (1857-1861) . Election of 1860: Lincoln is elected on a moderate platform of only halting slavery’s advance. The country vote on territory lines and not party lines, country is divided . Democracy’s Role In many instances during this era, democracy is not carried out. The election of Kansas’s status as a slave state was rigged, and people knew about it and did nothing. There was legislation that laid out a democratic groundwork, but people ended up going against the agreements. Democracy was put to good use, however, in the election of Lincoln.
Increase in voter participation: White male suffrage was extended (depression in 1819 increased call for abolition of property requirements), the process of voting was improved, and people became passionately partisan. . Election of 1824: The vote would be split between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay (National Republicans), so Clay asked his supporters to vote for Adams. Adams won, made Clay Secretary of State. Adams was not too well liked, because of this “Corrupt Bargain,” and the fact that he won without being the most popular candidate. . Expansion of government programs: Under Adams, taxes were raised to fund more government programs that were meant to forward America’s progress. Jeffersonians were upset about the expansion of the federal government. . Respect for Native Americans: Adams considered Native tribes to have rights over their land, many did not like this approach . Tariff of Abominations (1828): A protective tariff that the South especially disliked, also thought to have damaged the north . Jackson vs. Adams (1828): This election is one in which the two party system becomes more important to people. Voter turn-out increased dramatically, very heated rhetoric. Jackson (Democrat): wanted smaller government, was very focused on classism, helped by his military background, “Old Hickory” . Trail of Tears (1831): Jackson believed in the coerced migration of Native American Tribes. This led to the walking of the “Trail of Tears,” the westward path that tribes were forced to take to new lands . Tariff of Abominations revision (1832): Jackson reduced the taxes of the Tariff of Abominations, but southerners were still not satisfied. South Caroline declared it unconstitutional. Violence in this conflict was narrowly averted. . National Bank Incidents (1832): Jackson, who was not only against the National Bank, but of bank notes of any kind, diverted funds from it. His opponents deemed these actions to be completely arbitrary and called him “King Andrew I” or “King Mob.” . Texas Revolution (1835) . Martin Van Buren is elected (1836): Van Buren was another important figure in Jacksonian Democracy. His presidency was defined by the economic crisis which may or may not have been caused by Jackson’s policies. . Rise of the Whigs (1830’s): During Jackson’s presidency, the Whig party began to establish itself. Whigs were opposed to Jackson, a Democrat. Party politics were on the rise at this time. . William Harrison is elected (1840): Harrison, a Whig candidate is elected but dies shortly afterwards, and is replaced by Democrat John Taylor . Seneca Falls Convention (1848): The birth of the Women’s Rights movement . Democracy’s Role During the Jacksonian Era, Democracy began to more closely resemble what it does today. Voting restrictions on white males were loosened, the process of voting became more convenient, and people became more passionate about political parties, causing voter participation to increase dramatically. Party politics are very relevant today, and whether that is good or bad, that is what our Democratic process is like now.
Adams vs. Jefferson (1800): A tied election, exposed a flaw in voting system (fixed by 12th amendment), Federalists vote for Jefferson over Burr (fellow Federalist) because Burr is seen as unscrupulous, power shifts from Federalist to Anti-Federalist (Republican) . 12th Amendment (1804): requires distinct choice in voting between president and vice president . Beginning of Jefferson’s presidency (1801): Jefferson lays out his principles. Small government, reduction of the debt, strong states’ rights, promotion of agriculture and limited government involvement in the lives of citizens. When Jefferson arrived, the government was full of Federalists. . Louisiana Purchase (1803): As a big supporter of agriculture, the acquisition of land was important for Jefferson . Federalists fear that the addition of new states will dilute their power, some conspire to secede. . Aaron Burr Scandal (1804): Burr is asked to join the secessionists and refuses. Burr late duels Hamilton and kills him. Burr is suspected of later being involved in a power-grab scheme and is tried for treason, he is acquitted. . African Slave Trade is banned (1808) . British and French attack US ships: The USA gets mixed up in British/French Naval War Jefferson enacts an embargo as response . Madison becomes President (1809): The government is now filled with Republicans. Power has shifted away from the Federalists . Madison administration removes the embargo, and says the whichever country, Britain or France, recognizes America’s neutral rights will gain exclusive trading rights over the other country. France claims to respect America’s sovereignty first. . War of 1812 begins (1812): Congress declares war on Britain . Washington D.C. is burnt down (1814) . Treaty ends war (1815) . Decline of Federalism: By the end of Madison’s term, Federalism had greatly fallen out of favor and began to disappear. . Democracy’s Role The Federalist worried the too much democracy would cause chaos, but the Republican Jefferson had a successful presidency. This era shows the success of the young Democratic system because: Power peacefully transferred from the Federalists to the Republicans The country was able to expand America was able to fend off the British Army
George Washington becomes president; first congress meets (1789) . ~ Government’s current dilemmas ~ Developing the specifics of governing Paying war debt French and British conflicts Native American conflicts . Fed vs. Anti-Fed debate continues . Bill of Rights (1791): The Anti-Federalists wanted rights to be explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution, and they’re able to make it happen with the Bill of Rights . Hamilton institutes debt reduction plan (1791): Hamilton designs a successful plan to reduce the national debt, one part of the plan increases taxes on whiskey. . Whiskey Rebellion (1794): Farmers rebel against the whiskey tax, Washington puts the rebellion down, showing the congressional law will be enforced. . Conflict with Britain: British soldiers refuse to leave forts in the Northwest Territory, and are suspected of providing Native Americans with weapons, and interfered with American ships to France . John Jay negotiates: The British agree to leave and respect American sovereignty on the seas, and repay some of the damages. Many were very upset with Jay’s leniency. . Washington retires (1796): Washington sets the precedent for a limit of two terms for a president . Adams vs. Jefferson (1796): The Fed vs. Anti-Fed conflict is replaced by Fed vs. Republican Adams (winner): Federalist, powerful national government, wanted a force to balance out democracy Jefferson: Small government, less involvement, lower taxes . XYZ Affair: In response to John Jay’s lenient agreement with England, France feels betrayed and attacks American ships. A negotiator is sent, and three French officials (X, Y, and Z) demand money. The negotiators deny the demand. . Undeclared naval war on France: After the XYZ affair there is a battle between France and the US which the US wins. . Creation of the Navy Department and Army Bill . Alien and Sedition Acts (1798): Designed by Federalists to silence opposition Naturalization Act: residency requirement raised from 5 to 14 years Alien Act: President could deport aliens he decides are “dangerous to the peace and safety of the US” Sedition Act: Makes it illegal to give a negative image to the federal government . Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: Declares Alien and Sedition Acts to be unconstitional, establishing important precedent, an Anti-Federalist move . Democracy’s Role This period in time is another example of the difficulties of translating democracy into a working system. The government worked within the Democratic/Republican system to establish policy, with plenty of debate along the way. Also the Bill of Rights was very important Democratic step.
The Declaration of Independence (1776): An important precursor to the Constitution which contains the same democratic ideals. . Articles of Confederation ratified (1781) . War officially ends (1783) . Federalist/Anti-Federalist Debate (1786): The Federalists believes the Articles did not have a strong enough national government to function, and the Anti-Federalists fear the possible tyranny of a strong central government . Constitutional Convention (1787): Constitution is drafted . Ratification of the Constitution (1788) . ~ Differences between the Constitution and the Articles ~ • Election of Congress. Appointed by state legislature in Articles, elected by popular vote in Constitution • Articles: weak federal government, Constitution: stronger federal government • Legislature differences. Articles: Unicameral, not representative of population, term limits. Constitution: Bicameral, House representative of population, Senate not representative, no term limits. • In Articles, congress cannot laws or levy/collect taxes without states’ approval • No federal trade regulation in Articles • No executive branch in the Articles • Amendments must be approved unanimously by states in Articles, 3/4 states in Constitution. • In Articles, states may create their own currency • No Federal Court system in the Articles . Democracy’s Role The creation of the American Constitution solidified and protected democratic ideals, through democratic means. The transition from the idea of democracy to the Articles to the Constitution is important in showing the relationship between democracy and republicanism, and the difficulty in reconciling the two systems. The leaders learned how to more effectively translate democratic ideals into a functioning system as they developed the Constitution.
~ 1600’s ~ Bacon’s Rebellion (1676) . Salem Witch Trials (1692) . Tension from trying to bring English society into the wilderness, the Age of Enlightenment begins . ~ Pre-1765 ~ British mandates that protected English interests over colonial interests: Molasses Act (1733), Iron Act (1750), Sugar Act (1764), . ~ 1765 and onward ~ Stamp Act (1765): Mandate that requires colonists to buy an absurd amount of stamps, violators would be tried without jury. The first direct tax on the colonies. Only the colony’s legislation was supposed to impose taxes. Taxation without representation and trial without jury went against natural rights/democratic principles. . The Declaratory Act (1765): Officially states England’s right to determine policy in the colonies. A response to the Stamp Act’s rejection. . The Quartering Act (1765): Forces Americans to keep British soldiers in their homes, making the colonists more beholden to the Britain and its army. . The Townshend Acts (1767): Further taxation to pay salaries of colonial governors. Salaries paid by Britain takes the financial leverage the colonists have over the governors. . Boston Massacre (1770): The colonists had become more rebellious, so soldiers were sent to enforce the law. An altercation between colonists and soldiers led the soldiers to fire on a crowd, killing 5. . Samuel Adams and Committees of Correspondence (1772): Reaction to Britain taking colonial power, a forum to state the rights of colonists. . The Tea Act (1773): A remnant of the removed Townshend Acts left for the sole purpose of showing Britain’s authority . The Boston Tea Party (1773): Rebelling against the Tea Act, disguised men threw British tea into the harbor. . Coercive Act (1774; Intolerable Acts): Britain’s harsh response to the Tea Party. The port was closed until Britain received compensation, local government was restricted, General Thomas Gage was made governor of Massachusetts. . The response of the Boston Committee of Correspondence: Told colonists to boycott British imports. . Second Continental Congress (1774): Members chosen by state legislature, a response to the Coercive Act . ~ The real fighting begins ~ Lexington and Concord (1775): General Gage is sent to destroy a rebel stock of weapons in Concord. Paul Revere and William Dawes warn people, a militia assembles and clashes with the British soldiers. . Bunker Hill (1775): The British attempt to fortify their position around Boston, leading to the Battle of Bunker Hill . Proclamation of Rebellion (1775): George III responds to the violence and the colony’s establishment of leadership, denouncing them as rebels. . Declaration of Independence (1776) . Battle of Saratoga (1776) . French Alliance (1776): The French ally themselves with the colonies, providing much-need financial and naval support. France’s allies quietly support by attempting to take over other British colonies, spreading England’s forces. . Low-point (1780): supplies are running low, late pay prompts Benedict Arnold to switch sides. America has to come back with guerilla warfare. . Adoption of Articles of Confederation (1781) . Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown (1781) . Final treaty of peace signed (1783) . Democracy’s Role The American Revolutionary War was a true war of democracy. The colonies were very prosperous and free compared to the rest of the world, so it was not the functional impact of the British rule that was the problem. Throughout history, many people have tolerated small injustices because they were small. The rebels responded to relatively small injustices in a manner that disregarded their size. The small practical effect of these injustices would not have been enough to motivate a rebellion. A breach in the tenants of democracy cannot be small or large however. The colonists’ response is a measure of how seriously they felt about the importance of democratic ideals.