Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791: Documents and Essays (Major Problems in American History Series)

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This text delves into the many facets of the colonial uprising and its aftermath, concluding with the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The volume combines primary sources, analytical essays, chapter introductions, and headnotes to encourage students to think critically about the revolutionary era.

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1. Interpreting the American Revolution ESSAYS Barbara Clark Smith, The Revolution Preserved Social Inequality Gordon S. Wood, The Revolution Destroyed Monarchy and Paved the Way for Democracy T. H. Breen, Boycotts Made the Revolution Radical 2. Society and Politics on the Eve of the Revolution DOCUMENTS 1. Venture Smith, a Connecticut Slave, Earns His Freedom, 1729-1766 2. John Adams, a College Graduate, Views Rural Massachusetts, 1760 3. Anna Green Winslow, a Schoolgirl, Learns About Growing Up in Boston, 1771 4. Philip Vickers Fithian, a New Jersey Tutor, Admires the Tidewater Gentry, 1773 ESSAYS Jack P. Greene, The Preconditions of the American Revolution Richard R. Beeman, The Emergence of Popular Politics 3. The British Empire and the War for America DOCUMENTS 1. Franklin et al. Devise Albany Plan of Colonial Union, 1754 2. Benjamin Franklin Predicts the Plan of Union Will Fail, 1754 3. Order in Council on the Reform of the Customs Service, 1763 4. Rev. Thomas Barnard Looks to Future Glories, 1763 ESSAYS Fred Anderson, Friction Between Colonial Troops and British Regulars P. J. Marshall, Britain Defined by Its Empire 4. British Reforms and Colonial Resistance DOCUMENTS 1. Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions, 1765 2. Governor Francis Bernard Describes the Boston Riot, 1765 3. The Declarations of the Stamp Act Congress, 1765 4. "William Pym" Asserts Parliamentary Supremacy, 1765 5. The House of Commons Questions Benjamin Franklin, 1766 6. Lord Camden (Charles Pratt) Exhorts Parliament to Change Direction, 1766 7. Parliament Repeals the Stamp Act but Declares Its Authority, 1766 8. John Dickinson Exhorts the Colonists to Opposition, 1767-1768 9. Charleston Merchants Propose a Plan of Nonimportation, 1769 ESSAYS Edmund S. and Helen M. Morgan, The Assertion of Parliamentary Control and Its Significance Pauline Maier, The Townshend Acts and the Consolidation of Colonial Resistance 5. The Imperial Crisis: From the Tea Act to the Declaration of Independence DOCUMENTS 1. John Adams Reflects on the Boston Tea Party, 1773 2. Parliament Debates the Coercive Acts, 1774 3. The Coercive Acts, 1774 4. Thomas Jefferson Asserts American Rights, 1774 5. Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, 1774 6. King George Proclaims America in Rebellion, 1775 7. Thomas Paine Calls for Common Sense, 1776 8. The Declaration of Independence, 1776 ESSAYS Thomas M. Doerflinger, The Mixed Motives of Merchant Revolutionaries Pauline Maier, Declaring Independence 6. Fighting for Independence DOCUMENTS 1. John Adams Discusses Military Preparations, 1776 2. General George Washington Asks Congress for an Effective Army, 1776 3. Congress Calls on States to Support the Continental Army, 1776 4. A Soldier Views Mutiny Among American Troops, 1780 5. General George Washington Explains Army Problems and Calls for Help, 1780 6. A Veteran Remembers the Battle of Saratoga, 1777 7. Two Views of the Battle of Yorktown, 1781 ESSAYS John W. Shy, Hearts and Minds: The Case of "Long Bill" Scott Don Higginbotham, The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Militia 7. Outsiders and Enemies: Native Americans and the Loyalists DOCUMENTS 1. Oneida Indians Declare Neutrality, 1775 2. John Adams Reports Congress's Strategy Toward the Native Americans, 1775 3. Chickasaw Indians Seek Help, 1783 4. Patriots Intimidate a New Jersey Loyalist, 1775 5. A Patriot Urges Congress to Execute Loyalists, 1776 6. A Newspaper Attack on Loyalists, 1779 7. Thomas Hutchinson Criticizes the Declaration of Independence, 1776 8. Loyalists Plead Their Cause to King, Parliament, and the British People, 1782 9. Benjamin Rush Contrasts Loyalists and Patriots, 1777 ESSAYS Gregory Evans Dowd, There Was No Winning Strategy for the Indians Robert M. Calhoon, The Loyalists Confront Civil, Revolutionary, and Partisan Warfare 8. Are All Men Equal? The African-American Challenge DOCUMENTS 1. Massachusetts Slaves Argue for Freedom, 1773 2. Worcester Country, Massachusetts, Calls for the Abolition of Slavery, 1775 3. Lemuel Haynes, a Free New England Mulatto, Attacks Slavery, 1776 4. Lord Dunmore Promises Freedom to Slaves Who Fight for Britain, 1775 5. Three Virginia Counties Defend Slavery, 1785 6. Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 1863 ESSAYS Sylvia R. Frey, Slavery Attacked and Defended Ira Berlin, The Revolution in Black Life 9. Gender and Citizenship in a Revolutionary Republic DOCUMENTS 1. Thomas Paine Admits Women Have Some Rights 2. Abigail and John Adams Debate Women's Rights, 1776 3. An American Woman Asserts Women's Rights, 1780 4. The Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls Convention, 1848 ESSAYS Linda K. Kerber, The Revolution and Women's Rights Jan Lewis, Women Were Recognized in the Constitution 10. Toleration Versus Religious Freedom in a Protestant Republic DOCUMENTS 1. Toleration Can Be Joined to Religious Establishment, 1776 2. Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, 1780 3. Boston Supports Religion for the Sake of Order, 1780 4. Ashby, Massachusetts, Opposes Religious Establishment, 1780 5. Rev. Ezra Stiles, America Will Sustain Christian Truth, 1783 6. Philadelphia Jews Seek Equality Before the Law, 1783 7. James Madison Protests Religious Taxes, 1785 8. Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, 1786 9. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, 1791 ESSAYS Jon Butler, Was There a Revolutionary Millennium? William G. McLoughlin, The Role of Religion in the Revolution 11. Peacetime Government Under the Articles of Confederation DOCUMENTS 1. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, 1781 2. Congress Passes an Ordinance on Western Lands, 1785 3. The Northwest Ordinance, 1787 4. Congressman Charles Pinckney Admonishes the New Jersey Legislature, 1786 5. Delegates Report from a Demoralized Congress, 1787 6. Hampshire County, Massachusetts, Farmers Call for Help, 1786 7. Regulators Call for Popular Support, 1786 8. The Massachusetts Legislature Advises Thrift, Virtue, and Patience, 1786 ESSAYS Jack N. Rakove, American Federalism Before the Constitution John L. Brooke, In Massachusetts All Politics Was Local in the 1780s 12. Making the Constitution of 1787 DOCUMENTS 1. James Madison on the Vices of the Political System of the United States, 1787 2. Edmund Randolph Presents the Virginia Plan, 1787 3. William Patterson Proposes the New Jersey Plan, 1787 4. Congress Debates the New Jersey and Virginia Plans, 1787 5. Congress Debates the Issues, 1787: Democracy and the Lower House; Sectional Interests and Legislative Apportionment; Qualifications for Voters; Slavery and the Importation of Slaves 6. The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 ESSAYS Lance G. Banning, What Happened at the Constitutional Convention Jack N. Rakove, Ideas and Interests Drove Constitution-Making 13. Ratification Politics and the Bill of Rights DOCUMENTS 1. The Federalist Expounds the Advantages of the Constitution, 1787-1788: Factions and Their Remedy (James Madison, No. 10); The Constitution Is National and Federal (James Madison, No. 39); The System of Checks and Balances (Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, No. 51); No Bill of Rights Is Needed (Alexander Hamilton, No. 84) 2. Antifederalists Attack the Constitution, 1787-1788: Richard Henry Lee on Why a National Government Will Be Unrepresentative and Despotic; James Winthrop Explains Why a Large Republic Cannot Work; Mercy Otis Warren Offers Eighteen Reasons to Reject the Constitution 3. Proceedings in the State Ratifying Conventions, 1788: Massachusetts Proposes Amendments to the Constitution; Patrick Henry of Virginia Denounces the Constitution; Virginia's Declaration of Rights and Proposed Amendments to the Constitution 4. The Constitutional Amendments, 1791 (The Bill of Rights) ESSAYS Isaac Kramnick, The Main Themes of Constitutional Discussion Leonard W. Levy, The Politics of the Bill of Rights 14. The Consequences of the Revolution ESSAYS Rosemarie Zagarri, The Revolution Advanced Men's and Women's Rights Alfred F. Young, The Revolution Was Radical in Some Ways, Not in Others Edward Countryman, The Revolution Rearranged North America's Human Landscape