The success of the Revolution gave Americans the opportunity to give legal form to their ideals as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and to remedy some of their grievances through state constitutions. As early as May 10, 1776, Congress had passed a resolution advising the colonies to form new governments "such as shall best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents." Some of them had already done so, and within a year after the Declaration of Independence, all but three had drawn up constitutions.
The new constitutions showed the impact of democratic ideas. None made any drastic break with the past, since all were built on the solid foundation of colonial experience and English practice. But each was also animated by the spirit of republicanism, an ideal that had long been praised by Enlightenment philosophers.
Naturally, the first objective of the framers of the state constitutions was to secure those "unalienable rights" whose violation had caused the former colonies to repudiate their connection with Britain. Thus, each constitution began with a declaration or bill of rights. Virginia's, which served as a model for all the others, included a declaration of principles, such as popular sovereignty, rotation in office, freedom of elections and an enumeration of fundamental liberties: moderate bail and humane punishment, speedy trial by jury, freedom of the press and of conscience, and the right of the majority to reform or alter the government.
Other states enlarged the list of liberties to guarantee freedom of speech, of assembly and of petition, and frequently included such provisions as the right to bear arms, to a writ of habeas corpus, to inviolability of domicile and to equal protection under the law. Moreover, all the constitutions paid allegiance to the three-branch structure of government -- executive, legislative and judiciary -- each checked and balanced by the others.
Pennsylvania's constitution was the most radical. In that state, Philadelphia artisans, Scots-Irish frontiersmen and German-speaking farmers had taken control. The provincial congress adopted a constitution that permitted every male taxpayer and his sons to vote, required rotation in office (no one could serve as a representative more than four years out of every seven) and set up a single-chamber legislature.
The state constitutions had some glaring limitations, particularly by more recent standards. Constitutions established to guarantee people their natural rights did not secure for everyone the most fundamental natural right -- equality. The colonies south of Pennsylvania excluded their slave populations from their inalienable rights as human beings. Women had no political rights. No state went so far as to permit universal male suffrage, and even in those states that permitted all taxpayers to vote (Delaware, North Carolina and Georgia, in addition to Pennsylvania), office-holders were required to own a certain amount of property.
The struggle with England had done much to change colonial attitudes. Local assemblies had rejected the Albany Plan of Union in 1754, refusing to surrender even the smallest part of their autonomy to any other body, even one they themselves had elected. But in the course of the Revolution, mutual aid had proved effective, and the fear of relinquishing individual authority had lessened to a large degree.
John Dickinson produced the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" in 1776. The Continental Congress adopted them in November 1777, and they went into effect in 1781, having been ratified by all the states. The governmental framework established by the Articles had many weaknesses. The national government lacked the authority to set up tariffs when necessary, to regulate commerce and to levy taxes. It lacked sole control of international relations: a number of states had begun their own negotiations with foreign countries. Nine states had organized their own armies, and several had their own navies. There was a curious hodgepodge of coins and a bewildering variety of state and national paper bills, all fast depreciating in value.
Economic difficulties after the war prompted calls for change. The end of the war had a severe effect on merchants who supplied the armies of both sides and who had lost the advantages deriving from participation in the British mercantile system. The states gave preference to American goods in their tariff policies, but these tariffs were inconsistent, leading to the demand for a stronger central government to implement a uniform policy.
Farmers probably suffered the most from economic difficulties following the Revolution. The supply of farm produce exceeded demand, and unrest centered chiefly among farmer-debtors who wanted strong remedies to avoid foreclosure on their property and imprisonment for debt. Courts were clogged with suits for debt. All through the summer of 1786, popular conventions and informal gatherings in several states demanded reform in the state administrations.
In the autumn of 1786, mobs of farmers in Massachusetts under the leadership of a former army captain, Daniel Shays, began forcibly to prevent the county courts from sitting and passing further judgments for debt, pending the next state election. In January 1787 a ragtag army of 1,200 farmers moved toward the federal arsenal at Springfield. The rebels, armed chiefly with staves and pitchforks, were repulsed by a small state militia force; General Benjamin Lincoln then arrived with reinforcements from Boston and routed the remaining Shaysites, whose leader escaped to Vermont. The government captured 14 rebels and sentenced them to death, but ultimately pardoned some and let the others off with short prison terms. After the defeat of the rebellion, a newly elected legislature, whose majority sympathized with the rebels, met some of their demands for debt relief.
From 1787 to 1959 the states were admitted to the union in the folowing order:1 Delaware December 7, 1787 2 Pennsylvania December 12, 1787 3 New Jersey December 18, 1787 4 Georgia January 2, 1788 5 Connecticut January 9, 1788 6 Massachusetts February 6, 1788 7 Maryland April 28, 1788 8 South Carolina May 23, 1788 9 New Hampshire June 21, 1788 10 Virginia June 25, 1788 11 New York July 26, 1788 12 North Carolina November 21, 1789 13 Rhode Island May 29, 1790 14 Vermont March 4, 1791 15 Kentucky June 1, 1792 16 Tennessee June 1, 1796 17 Ohio March 1, 1803 18 Louisiana April 30, 1812 19 Indiana December 11, 1816 20 Missisipi December 10, 1817 21 Illinois Decemer 3, 1818 22 Alabama December 14, 1819 23 Maine March 15, 1820 24 Missouri August 10, 1821 25 Arkansas June 15, 1836 26 Michigan Jan 26, 1837 27 Florida March 3, 1845 28 Texas December 29, 1845 29 Iowa December 28, 1846 30 Wisconsin May 29, 1848 31 California September 9, 1850 32 Minnesota May 11, 1858 33 Oregon February 14, 1859 34 Kansas January 29, 1861 35 West Virginia June 20, 1863 36 Nevada October 31, 1864 37 Nebraska March 1, 1867 38 Colorado August 1, 1876 39 North Dacota November 2, 1889 40 South Dakota November 2, 1889 41 Montana November 8, 1889 42 Washington November 11, 1889 43 Idaho July 3, 1890 44 Wyoming July 10, 1890 45 Utah January 4, 1896 46 Oklahoma November 16, 1907 47 New Mexico January 6, 1912 48 Arizona February 14, 1912 49 Alaska January 3, 1959 50 Hawaii August 21, 1959 51
America is a very huge country. It consists of 50 states. Each state has its own government and lows. We can explore america state by state but it will take so many time and place that our mind will refuse to accept such a quantity of information. Let us better to explore just some states of USA so we can receive a general image of what is a state of America.
Novelist Edna Ferber labeled Texas as a giant, and she was right. The total wealth of its natural resources surpasses that of all the other states. As a separate country it would rank 11th in wealth among the nations. Texas leads the nation in total productivity, and its history retells one of the nation's most heroic events, the defense of the Alamo. Texans are friendly indeed, "Friendship" is their state motto.
Once the typical Texan was a frontier cowboy with a ten-gallon hat, but today the state's symbol might more appropriately be an oil field worker or a laboratory scientist. Texas is still a frontier state, but nowadays the frontier is the space program. Perhaps it is typical and appropriate that this giant state has constructed the largest of all the state capitols as a symbol of its strength.
The shipwrecked party of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca escaped from Indian captivity on an island off the Texas coast in 1535 and made an incredible journey across country back to Mexico.
The renowned expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado crossed the Rio Grande in 1541.
The first permanent European settlement in what is now Texas was Ysleta, founded in 1682.
In the first half of the 1700s about a dozen missions became outposts of civilization in Tem.
The Sabine and Red rivers were established as northern and eastern boundaries in 1819.
Moses and Stephen Austin established an American foothold in Texas before Moses died in the 1820s, and the American presence grew in the early 1830s.
By 1835 the Americans in Texas realized that they must seek independence from Mexico, and they laid siege to San Antonio, which fell in December.
Mexican leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna arrived in February 1836 to recapture San Antonio, finding the defenders at an old mission called the Alamo. After a long siege, his forces overwhelmed and slaughtered them on March 6. Only one of the defenders managed to escape. Santa Ana then captured and murdered 330 Texans at Goliad.
Texan dynamo Sam Houston led his forces eastward and lured Santa Anna into a difficult position. Santa Anna was defeated and captured at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836.
Later that year, the people held an election and chose Sam Houston as the first president of the independent Republic of Texas.
After ten years of independence, on December 29, 1845, Texas became the 28th state.
As the divisions over slavery increased, Sam Houston became governor in 1859.
Dallas celebrated the Texas Centennial in 1936.
An explosion at a New London school in 1937 brought death to more than 300 pupils and teachers.
World War II called 750,000 Texans into the armed services, and 23,022 lost their lives.
A border dispute with Mexico was settled in 1963.
Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeded to the presidency on the assassination of John F. Kennedy at Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Despite Houston's objection, the state voted to secede on January 28, 1861, and Houston resigned as governor.
During the Civil War, Texas furnished enormous quantities of essential materials and food.
Texas was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870, and a new constitution became law on February 15, 1876.
Between the years 1870 and 1890, 10 million cattle were shipped from Texas to the nation's markets.
The terrible hurricane at Galveston on September 8, 1900, killed at least 6,000 and left 8,000 homeless.
Lyndon Johnson, assuming the presidency after the assassination
The year 1986 brought the 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Republic of Texas.
A highly controversial federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco ended in a tragic fire on April 19, 1993; more than 70 cult members were killed.
Texas even boasts some notable holes in the ground----Meteor Crater covers 10 acres near Odessa. The strange Hucco Tanks, where rainwater is held in natural cups carved into the granite, welcome thirsty travelers.
California's history is unique. It has been shaped, in part, by its geography. California has four main regions. The temperate coastal region, the Central Valley, once an inland sea, the desert, and the mountain region. The imposing Sierra Nevadas caused California to develop in relative isolation from the rest of the nation. After Americans began to settle in California in large numbers during the nineteenth century, it would usually be weeks before news would arrive from the East.
Four flags have flown in earnest over California. Russia, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.
The name "California" came from a knightly romance book that was published in 1510. It was about an island paradise near the Indies where beautiful Queen Califia ruled over a country of beautiful black Amazons with lots of pearls and gold. Men were only allowed there one day a year to help perpetuate the race. Cortez's men thought they found the island in 1535, because they found pearls. Later, Francisco de Ulloa found that the island was really a peninsula.
The first settlers to arrive in California after the Native Americans were Spanish, and later Mexican. Russia had some small settlements for the purpose of whaling and fur trapping in Northern California, but Russia didn't attempt to colonize the area except in very isolated areas. Spanish priests were sent to California to covert the Indians to Christianity. Spain hoped to make the California native population into good Spaniards, loyal to Spain. Spain was becoming alarmed that the Russians and English were encroaching on lands claimed by Spain.
The fight for California began almost 500 years ago with Queen Elizabeth I. She sent Sir Francis Drake to harass and raid the Spanish galleons. England was beginning to realize the value of California. England did not want Spain claiming more land in the new world, upsetting the balance of power between the super powers of the time. Tensions were already high between Spain and England. Henry VIII, Elizabeth's father, had divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess. In order to accomplish the divorce, England severed ties with Catholicism and Henry had instituted protestantism as the State religion. Henry and Jane Seymore's son had assumed the throne after Henry's death and continued Henry's policies. But when Edward the IV died at the age of 16, Mary I came to the throne. She was the daughter of Henry and his first wife, Catherine. Her ties to both Spain and Catholicism were strong. Elizabeth was suspected of plotting to overthrow Mary and was imprisoned in the Tower. After "bloody Mary" died and Elizabeth I became monarch, the power struggle between catholics and protestants did not end. Eventually, Elizabeth had Mary, Queen of Scots, executed for treason. Mary was her greatest threat to the throne since Mary claimed it as her right by way of England's ties with the French throne. Even though Mary had abdicated her rights, she still remained a threat to Elizabeth since Spain and France could use Mary as a cause to move against England. With the death of Mary Queen of Scots, England had secured protestantism and Elizabeth's reign, but was short on allies. In order to build new European allies, England had to remain a power to be reckoned with. Spanish settlement along the west coast of North America could bolster Spanish power. This was the last thing England wanted.
Prior to the Gold Rush, settlers very slowly filtered into California until 1848 when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. Suddenly, people from all over the world looking to strike it rich flooded through San Francisco. They traveled up the Sacramento River to the gold fields. The Gold Rush was devastating to the Native Americans in the area and depleted many natural resources. What is now San Francisco was once a redwood forest. Whole native tribes were scattered or destroyed. In some areas there were bounties on Indians. The California tribes still have a rich culture and heritage, but the nineteenth century was a period of great loss for all native tribes in the area.
It was this discovery of gold that hastened California's statehood. On September 9, 1850, President Fillmore officially made California the thirty-first state.
One thing that helped ease California's isolation was the telegraph. By 1861, telegraph lines stretched across the country. Unfortunately, buffalo on the plains often knocked down the poles, leaving California isolated again until the line was fixed.
California offered a lot to the nation. The rich Central Valley eventually became known as the breadbasket of the world. California's mild climate allowed for year-round farming and fruits and vegetables could be grown in California that would grow in very few other places. The Chinese eventually prospered, despite extreme prejudice and jealousy over their success, by growing fruits and vegetables, which were an important part of their diet. The Chinese eventually started their own town in the Central Valley which remains to this day. The town has some descendants of these original Chinese immigrants.
Eventually, the railroads carried California produce to the East. California's exotic produce was in great demand in the East. Ice cars, the precursors to the refrigerated cars of today, began in response to the demand for California produce. Agriculture was responsible for generating great wealth in the state. Agriculture is still a major industry today.
New Jersey gave the world both football and baseball, as well as Thomas Nast's Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, and Santa Claus. It was the home to at least three of the most important inventors in American history.
It was here that Thomas A. Edison invented the electric light bulb, Samuel F. B. Morse the electric telegraph, and John P. Holland the submarine.
Washington's famed crossing of the Delaware brought his forces to the Jersey shore. The state became the "pathway of the Revolution" and suffered through four major battles. New Jersey leads the nation in many areas of manufacture and science and has long proven it is more than a convenient route from North to South. Here is the brif history of the state:
Claims greatest variety of manufactured products.
Major glass manufacturing center.
Leader in flag manufacture.
Chemistry industry leader.
The national jewelry center-Newark.
World's first four-lane highway, constructed between Elizabeth and Newark.
First U.S. charter for a railroad.
Explorers John Cabot in 1497 and Giovanni de Verrizano in 1524 sailed past what is now the Jersey shore.
The first record of a European on New Jersey soil belongs to Henry Hudson, in 1609.
By 1618 the Dutch had set up a trading post at Bergen.
New Sweden was organized on the lower Delaware in 1638.
Federal Writers' Project, New Jersey
Johan Printz ("Big Tub"), a 7-foot giant of 400 pounds, took control of the Swedish settlement in 1643.
In 1664, England took over the colony and the city of Elizabeth was founded.
New Jersey became a crown colony in 1702, under the governor of New York.
In 1738, New Jersey got its own government.
William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, became governor in 1763.
Dissatisfaction with the crown led to the little-known New Jersey "tea party" on December 22, 1774.
After the Declaration of Independence, a provincial Congress took control and arrested Governor Franklin.
After the Revolution reached New Jersey, the state endured four major battles and 90 minor skirmishes, becoming known as the .pathway of the Revolution."
General George Washington and his armies crossed and re-crossed New Jersey flour times.
Washington made his famed crossing of the Delaware River to the Jersey shore, and his victory at the Battle of Trenton at Christmas time, 1776, gave hope to the American cause.
By the close of the Revolution, 17,000 New Jersey men had fought for the new country, and New Jersey became known as the Garden State for supplying war provisions.
In 1783, Princeton was the temporary capital of the new country.
New Jersey became the third state on December 18, 1787.
The new state constitution of 1844 granted many new rights, and slaves gained a degree of freedom in 1846.
The nation's first intercollegiate football game was played at New Brunswick in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won.
Opposition to the power of big business brought reforms in the period 1911-1913, under Governor Woodrow Wilson.
Spurred by the inventions of Thomas Edison in New Jersey, the state reigned as motion picture capital of the world until about 1916.
During World War I, the state led in shipbuilding and production of artillery shells, and Hoboken became the major embarkation point of the war.
The Miss America contest began at Atlantic City in 1921.
The great George Washington Bridge was opened in 1931, and Bergen County became "the bedroom of New York.
The days of the passenger dirigible came to an end at Lakehurst with the spectacular destruction of the Hindenburg in 1937.
In World War 11, New Jersey was predominant in production of airplane engines and warships, among other war material; and Camp Gilmer was a major debarkation center.
During the 1940s and 1950s, a series of hurricanes -induding Diane, Donna, and Hazel-took many lives and destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property.
The great Meadowlands development opened in 1976 with games of major league teams.
The 1980s were notable for the resumption of large-scale gambling at Atlantic City.
In 1991, New Jersey terminated ocean dumping.
There are alot of other interesting and exciting states of America but as there is a limint of place we explored just a few of them.
A Pioneer's Search for an Ideal Home, Judson, Phoebe Goodell,
Understanding USA, Jack Williams
History USA, Daniel Boorstin