HIST 1301: American History I Reflection Paper
HIST 1301: American History I Reflection Paper
Patriots had been known as the members of the 13 British Colonies who had rebelled against the British colonists during the American Revolution. They opposed the British Colonists law which was against having colonists' representatives in the European Monarch. The patriots were also against the high taxes imposed on colonies by the colonists who used the taxes to fund the army and widen their territories. The American Revolution hence was brought up by patriots fighting against the laws implemented by the British colonists against the people of America without benefiting Americans but benefiting English men. Being a patriot meant that one was ready and willing to take part In the War of Independence. However, I could not fight during the war.
After gaining independence, there was no government formed yet as the influence of Britain had been taken off leaving American independent without a government. During the formation of a government, there was a need to form a constitution to guide the American leadership and their care for the people in the nation. During this process, the articles of confederation were formed to set agreements on what powers, responsibilities, and limitations were held by the federal and state governments. There was a plan to avoid a powerful central government in an attempt to stop any powerful monarch as Britain had been from emerging. This was because the taxpayers did not trust a powerful central government based on their experience with the British government that had colonized them. Also, it was because the articles of confederation aimed at ensuring all laws and amendments made should benefit the majority of the citizens in the government.
The articles of confederation had given the state's power to operate and make their laws to govern them. however, this was not working as there came to problems where the state's power was limited and thus the federal government was needed to step in. one of the problems that led to the need for a constitution was the voting rights. This was made by states and each defined what made one qualify to be a voter. However, the segregation regarding voting rights was clear in states, and also the qualifications for a voter varied within the states. The defining qualities of a voter like age, gender, race, or property ownership were defined differently which brought about a varying definition of what makes one a voter. This raised challenges especially from women who had been locked out in some states from voting and some upper-class women like First Lady Abigail Adams challenged the law. This called for the federal government to step in and make a uniform qualification for voters to be applicable in all states.
The second event that led to the need for a constitution was the piling of the debts on funding used during the war of independence. States could not stand on their own and have their bargaining regarding payment of the debt hence they needed the federal government to help them bargain as one economic entity. After the independence, America needed to pay off her debts which had been piling after the war; foreign governments had started demanding their pay, soldiers were yet to be paid and citizens had not received their compensation. The debt piling had even led to challenges within the country like Shay's rebellion where some veterans from the war had protested demanding their pay from the State of Massachusetts government. The states lacked strength, unity, and finances to represent themselves as one economic entity hence they needed a federal government which led to the formation of the constitution.
During the revolutionary war, the main goals of the patriots were to gain independence from Britain's rule and form their government with their laws called the united states of America. This is the year 1796, was gained partially as they had gained independence from Britain as they wished but were yet to establish their own country called United States of American and their laws. This was because the states had not agreed on making a central government for fear of having a powerful monarch arise again which failed in uniting the colonies to form the United States of America. Also, they were still paying their debts to the British government which meant that Britain still had some control over them until the debt plus interest is fully paid. They were yet to form their constitution to govern them making them fulfill their desire for making their laws to govern them although the articles of confederation were in place as they were not as effective as a constitution would be.
However, progress has been made where there is hope for meeting this solution in society. The fight for equality and having a voice to be heard in society equally is progressing and women are fighting for their equal rights too with the likes of Frist Lady Abigail Adams and Judith Murray have stepped up to speak for the women. Also, the government of Americans with their leader George Washington and other leaders has been formed. They dreamed of a peaceful society which has been shown when George Washington left the office of president in peace without bloodshed after two terms as it had been agreed before. The heavy taxation that was imposed on Americans by the British government has been eased and now the states are deciding on the taxation that will not oppress their citizens.
The philosophies change have changed is that before under the British rule, we had a monarch form of government, and the representatives of each colony were not allowed in the European Monarch. However, the representatives of the 13 states which were once colonies have been allowed in congress both in the Senate and House of Representatives. Also, they are led by a president who is voted in office at a specified period and they have their constitution formed to guide their governance. Women have also fought for their equality and are being heard the society is changing to accommodate the needs and desires of women. The aspect of taxation has changed where the states and the federal government have agreed on a taxation system that does not oppress the citizens as it had been during colonialism. The federal government and states have placed a taxation system in place that ensures the taxes imposed on the citizens can be paid comfortably without oppressing the citizens. In addition, the laws placed in place are accommodating and are meant to serve and satisfy the needs of the majority of the citizens. Before, all laws made by the British government were to benefit England and her people with few loyalists who existed in American society while others like patriots suffered but now the government of America places the needs of her citizens before making laws so that they are well served.
What has not changed is how society views people of color. There still is discrimination and segregation that exists in society against the former slaves and the people of color where they are denied certain needs and rights as each state has its laws about them. During the British colonization, the people of color and slaves were seen as non-existent in society and were mainly required for labor. This is still witnessed in most states as slaves are not fully free and some people of color cannot express their grievances to the government freely. Although America is independent, they do not enjoy their freedom and are still suffering as they were under the British colonization. Most are still doing hard labor and manual jobs as before with meager pay.
Discrimination against women has not yet been fully addressed and changed as they are still fighting for their rights especially in the political arena. Women have not been fully accepted to participate in the political arena and some especially educated women are fighting to have this spot in the politics of society. The American society still has a long way to go in making laws that enhance equality in society whether for women or people of color in all aspects; the social, economic, and political sectors of the society.
In conclusion, the 1796 period was significant in American society where they ended up understanding what they have to do to make a better American society free from British influence. They understand that independence does not mean a government has been formed but they had to work out to make a government to be fully independent and running on their own. Also, the making of the constitution became very paramount in stabilizing the American society and uniting all the thirteen states which were formally the British colonies. The constitution which had been formed starting with the articles of confederation came to accommodate the Bill of rights formed from the 10 amendments and runs the current United States of America.
Scott C., Volker J., John M. L., Todd P., Sylvie W., and Paul V. (2014). U.S. History. OpenStax: Houston, Texas.