Constitution Sunday: Letters from the “Federal Farmer” to “The Republican”

Letters from the “Federal Farmer” to “The Republican”

New York, November 8, 1787

Following are excerpts from a series of letters published in New York, supposedly from the Federal Farmer to The Republican:

“A general convention for mere commercial purposes was moved for—the authors of this measure saw that the people’s attention was turned solely to the amendment of the federal system; Read more

Constitution Sunday: “A Political Dialogue”

“A Political Dialogue”

Massachusetts Centinel (Boston), October 24, 1787

Following are excerpts from an article published in the Massachusetts Centinel, which purported to capture a conversation between “Mr. Grumble” and “Mr. Union”:

“Mr. Union. Well, but neighbour, what are your objections to the new Constitution?”

“Mr. Grumble. Why, as to the matter, I can’t say I have any, but then what vexes Read more

Taking the Wolf by the Ears

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Paul Cuffe. By: Chester Harding.

Paul Cuffe, by 1816, began making voyages across the Atlantic Ocean to Africa, transporting African-Americans who wished to make a new home in Africa. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 260.

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The Election of 1824

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William Harris Crawford.

Not long after the election of 1820, an essentially uncontested election seeing the re-election of President James Monroe, the campaigning for the election of 1824 began. President Monroe had indicated that he would not seek an unprecedented third term as president, but that did not stop others from posturing for the election. As a journalist observed in the spring of 1822, “electioneering begins to wax hot.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 203 quoting James F. Hopkins, “Election of 1824,” in History of American Presidential Elections, ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (New York, 1985), 363.

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Injury to the Cause of Christ

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Lyman Beecher. By: Mathew Brady.

The role of religion in Americans’ lives began to change not long after the War of 1812. In fact, the state of Connecticut “disestablished religion in 1818.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 165. It should be noted that the First Amendment to the Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In other words, the First Amendment “restricted the federal government only, not the states.” Id. This would change in the 20th Century when the Supreme Court “incorporated” the freedoms of the Bill of Rights, through the Fourteenth Amendment (not passed until 1868), to the states. Id.

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The New Republican Nationalism

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Chief Justice John Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. By: Cephas Thompson.

John Marshall would serve as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835 and had a lasting impact on the institution. More broadly, he shaped the development of policy in America.

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Constitution Sunday: Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “An Officer of the Late Continental Army”

Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “An Officer of the Late Continental Army”

Independent Gazetteer (Philadelphia), November 6, 1787

Following are excerpts from an article with an unknown author, published in response to James Wilson’s speech:

“That of the senate is so small that it renders its extensive powers extremely dangerous: it is to consist only of 26 members, Read more

The Last Founding Father

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James Monroe.

James Monroe was the last president who was truly part of the American Revolution generation. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 91. He crossed the Delaware River with George Washington. Id. Obvious to his contemporaries, he dressed the part of the Revolutionary gentleman, wearing knee breeches and buckled shoes, with a powdered wig and three-cornered hat. Id.

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Constitution Sunday: Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “Cincinnatus” [Arthur Lee] I

Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “Cincinnatus” [Arthur Lee] I

New York Journal, November 1, 1787

Following are excerpts from the article, published in response to James Wilson’s speech:

“Your first attempt is to apologize for so very obvious a defect as—the omission of a declaration of rights. This apology consists in a very ingenious discovery; that in the state constitutions, whatever is not reserved is given; but in the congressional constitution, whatever is not given, is reserved. Read more

Wrapping Up the War of 1812

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The Burning of the White House. 1814.

By the end of the War of 1812, President James Madison had weathered what is likely one of the tumultuous years that any president has had to endure. The British had landed a force, marched on Washington, D.C., and burned the White House. President Madison had trusted his Secretary of War John Armstrong when he doubted the possibility of a British invasion, only to be caught off guard when a scouting party, led by Secretary of State James Monroe, located just how close the British were to Washington. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 63-64.

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