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 sh 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.
2. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
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.
3. CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF STATES’ ADMITTANCE TO THE UNION
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.