Articles of Confederation are approved

Articles of Confederation are approved

 

On This Day in history, November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation are approved by the Continental Congress for distribution to the states. All 13 states would have to ratify the Articles in order for them to become the first governing document of the new United States of America.

 

A Confederation of states was first called for in Congress on June 7, 1776 by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia when he submitted what became known as the "Lee Resolution." The Resolution called for three things, 1) a declaration of independence from Great Britain, 2) that foreign alliances should be sought and 3) that a plan of confederation between the colonies should be prepared.

 

On June 12, 1776, one day after appointing a committee to prepare a declaration of independence from Great Britain, Congress also created a committee to prepare a plan of confederation between the states. The committee, chaired by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania, submitted its plan to Congress one month later. Congress then began a long and tedious process of debating the final form of the Confederation that lasted an entire year. The final form of the Articles was determined during the summer of 1777 and the final document was approved on November 15 for distribution to the states. Three and half years later, the final state approved the Articles and it became law on March 1, 1781.

 

The Articles of Confederation created a weak central government due to fears of creating another too-powerful government like the one they had just overthrown. They are the source of the name "the United States of America." The Articles created a single body where each state had one vote. Changes to the Articles had to be agreed upon unanimously in order to become law. Congress had power to declare war, establish foreign treaties, settle disputes between the states and to settle maritime disputes.

 

The Articles did not, however, give Congress authority to tax, to control commerce between the states or even to compel its own members to attend sessions. These weaknesses made it virtually impossible for the new federal government to function and before long, calls were made for a new convention to create a new Constitution. The Articles lasted until March 4, 1789 when it was replaced with the United States Constitution.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"It is the manners and spirit of a people, which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
Thomas Jefferson (1787)

 

 


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Mercy Otis and James Warren are married

Mercy Otis and James Warren are married

 

On this day in history, November 14, 1754, Mercy Otis and James Warren are married. Both of them were direct descendants of pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower. Mercy Otis Warren became one of the first female authors in the United States. She was an advisor on politics and a correspondent with such people as John Hancock, Patrick Henry, George Washington and John Adams. Mercy’s 3 volume "History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution" became one of the first published works about the American Revolution and also one of the first works published by a woman in America.

 

James Warren was highly involved in politics before and during the American Revolution as well. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty and was one of the first Presidents of the Massachusetts Provincial Assembly, the independent government formed by the citizens of Massachusetts after Great Britain dissolved its Assembly. James Warren fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was a Paymaster General of the Continental Army for a time.

 

Mercy Otis Warren and James Warren were central figures during the Revolutionary War era, knowing many of the key leaders personally, even though their names are not so familiar to people today. James and Mercy often hosted meetings of Massachusetts patriots in their home. They formed the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence, which was responsible for coordinating the information, tactics and plans of the patriots, along with Samuel Adams and others in their own living room. Mercy’s brother, James Otis, is often called the "Father of the American Revolution" for his fiery patriotic rhetoric.

 

Mercy published liberty and anti-British themed poems and plays during the years leading up to and including the American Revolution, but never under her own name, which would have been highly unusual for a woman at the time. Instead, she used pen names. Her understanding and insight into politics was unusual for a woman in that day as well, since politics was considered to be the realm of men only. In 1790, she published her first book using her own name, "Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous." In 1788, Mercy published "Observations on the new Constitution," under the pen name "A Columbian Patriot." This work was critical of the new Constitution. Both she and her husband were anti-Federalists and did not trust centralized power in the new government.

 

Mercy’s final work, "History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution" caused a breach in her relationship with one of her most important mentors, John Adams, because the work portrayed him in a bad light. Adams and Warren had exchanged letters frequently and he often critiqued her early works at her request. Later, he seemed to move away from the idea that there was nothing wrong with a woman sharing her political views publicly, in favor of the more socially acceptable view that politics was a subject properly discussed by men only and not by women, and this offended Mercy. Their friendship and political partnership was almost lost, but was restored in 1812 through the intervention of mutual friends and shortly before her death in 1814.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

“The rights of the individual should be the primary object of all governments.”
Mercy Otis Warren


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General Richard Montgomery takes Montreal

General Richard Montgomery takes Montreal

 

On this day in history, November 13, 1775, American General Richard Montgomery takes Montreal without a fight. The Americans had decided to try to take British Quebec in the fall of 1775. This was the first military offensive of the new Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Their goal was to take Quebec and convince the French speaking citizens to join them in their rebellion against England.

 

General Guy Carleton was the Royal Governor of Quebec. Carleton had focused his efforts against Ethan Allen of Vermont, who tried to take Montreal in September. Carleton’s distraction with Allen allowed General Montgomery to take Fort St. Jean, the main British defense post south of Montreal. The fort was surrendered to Montgomery on November 3.

 

Montgomery continued on to Montreal and Carleton, whose forces were depleted from the fight with Allen, fled north to Quebec City. This allowed Montgomery to march into Montreal without opposition. Montgomery left Brigadier General David Wooster in charge of Montreal and continued on to Quebec where he met with Colonel Benedict Arnold’s battalions of New England militia. They had braved an arduous journey across the forests of Maine to meet Montgomery in December. Many had died along the way of starvation or illness and many had deserted.

 

Montgomery and Arnold attacked Quebec City at 4 am on December 31, 1775, but were badly defeated. Carleton was waiting for them and began firing when they were in range of the city’s walls. General Montgomery was killed in the first fusillade. Benedict Arnold was wounded in the leg. Arnold tried to keep up the siege but was forced to give up. Over 60 Americans died and more than 400 were captured in the Continental Army’s first defeat. The Americans stayed at their posts in Montreal and surrounding Quebec City until the spring, still hoping to take the city. When newly appointed General John Thomas decided continuing the siege was pointless, the Americans fell back to Fort Ticonderoga in New York, never again to fight on Canadian soil.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

“I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.”
George Washington

 

 


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Abigail Adams reveals anger toward Great Britain

Abigail Adams reveals anger toward Great Britain

 

On this day in history, November 12, 1775, Abigail Adams pens a letter to her husband John Adams who is in Philadelphia at the Continental Congress. Abigail’s letter is a response to Great Britain’s refusing to receive Congress’ "Olive Branch Petition," a last effort by Congress expressing a wish for reconciliation if the King will right the wrongs done to them.

 

The insult was that the King would not even receive their petition. When word got back to America, the mood quickly changed. Many had hoped for reconciliation right up to the end, but with the King’s refusal to even receive their petition, they knew it was too late.

 

Abigail’s letter reveals the bitter and hostile response that many Americans had at the news. She wrote, "Let us seperate, they are unworthy to be our Breathren. Let us renounce them and instead of suplications as formorly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseach the almighty to blast their counsels and bring to Nought all their devices."

 

Even as Congress was writing the Olive Branch Petition to the King in June of 1775, they were already preparing for war, even though the majority was not yet at the place of wanting to declare independence. If their letter was rejected, they knew that war was inevitable. News of the King’s refusal pushed enough in the Continental Congress over the line to make a majority and a Declaration of Independence was made within seven months of the news.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.
Abigail Adams


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Abigail Adams reveals anger toward Great Britain

Abigail Adams reveals anger toward Great Britain

 

On this day in history, November 12, 1775, Abigail Adams pens a letter to her husband John Adams who is in Philadelphia at the Continental Congress. Abigail’s letter is a response to Great Britain’s refusing to receive Congress’ "Olive Branch Petition," a last effort by Congress expressing a wish for reconciliation if the King will right the wrongs done to them.

 

The insult was that the King would not even receive their petition. When word got back to America, the mood quickly changed. Many had hoped for reconciliation right up to the end, but with the King’s refusal to even receive their petition, they knew it was too late.

 

Abigail’s letter reveals the bitter and hostile response that many Americans had at the news. She wrote, "Let us seperate, they are unworthy to be our Breathren. Let us renounce them and instead of suplications as formorly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseach the almighty to blast their counsels and bring to Nought all their devices."

 

Even as Congress was writing the Olive Branch Petition to the King in June of 1775, they were already preparing for war, even though the majority was not yet at the place of wanting to declare independence. If their letter was rejected, they knew that war was inevitable. News of the King’s refusal pushed enough in the Continental Congress over the line to make a majority and a Declaration of Independence was made within seven months of the news.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.
Abigail Adams


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Joseph Hewes funeral at Christ Church

Joseph Hewes funeral at Christ Church

 

On this day in history, November 11, 1779, the funeral for Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia and "Father of the US Navy," was held at Christ Church in Philadelphia. Hewes was a very successful shipping magnate with a fleet of his own ships from Edenton, North Carolina. He was only 44 years old when he was first elected to the Continental Congress.

 

Because of his shipping experience, Hewes was appointed as head of the Naval Committee by Congress. His first responsibility was to oversee the arming of four ships Congress voted to arm. Hewes turned his own ships over for the Navy’s use and also helped General George Washington draw up his initial plans for the war.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty … Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.
Elbridge Gerry


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Last battle of the American Revolution is fought

Last battle of the American Revolution is fought

 

On this day in history, November 10, 1782, the last battle of the American Revolution is fought as American militiamen attacked Shawnee villages near Chillicothe, Ohio in retaliation for attacks by Loyalists and Indians against Sandusky, Ohio, Lexington, Kentucky and other places. General George Rogers Clark and over a thousand militiamen on horseback attacked and burned several Shawnee villages and defeated them decisively.

 

Contrary to the understanding of many Americans, the surrender of British General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in October, 1781 did not end the Revolutionary War. It was a pivotal point, but hostilities continued for two more years and a preliminary peace treaty was not signed until November 20, 1782, more than a year after Cornwallis’ surrender.

 

When Cornwallis surrendered, the British still had tens of thousands of soldiers on the continent, in New York, the Carolinas, Georgia, the West Indies, Canada and on the western frontier. There were numerous conflicts with the British after Cornwallis’ surrender, but even more so with their Indian allies on the frontier and in the back country civil war between patriots and Loyalists in the south. In fact, more Americans died in the fighting after Cornwallis’ surrender than in the whole first year of the war, including the Battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill and Quebec.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com  

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent."
John Jay

 


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