Louisiana Purchase

LouisianaLouisiana TerritorySale of Louisiana
Although Spain aided the rebels in the American Revolutionary War, the Spanish didn't want the Americans to settle in their territory. Although the purchase was thought of by some as unjust and unconstitutional, Jefferson determined that his constitutional power to negotiate treaties allowed the purchase of what became fifteen states. In hindsight, the Louisiana Purchase could be considered one of his greatest contributions to the United States. On April 18, 1802, Jefferson penned a letter to United States Ambassador to France Robert Livingston. It was an intentional exhortation to make this supposedly mild diplomat strongly warn the French of their perilous course.

Staten Island Peace Conference

peace conferencefruitless peace conferencemet with Admiral Lord Howe
The Staten Island Peace Conference was a brief informal diplomatic conference held between representatives of the British Crown and its rebellious North American colonies in the hope of bringing a rapid end to the nascent American Revolution. The conference took place on September 11, 1776, in the days after the British capture of Long Island and less than three months after the Colonies' formal Declaration of Independence. It was held at Billop Manor, the residence of loyalist Colonel Christopher Billop, on Staten Island, New York. The participants were the British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, and members of the Second Continental Congress John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge.

New York (state)

New YorkNew York StateNY
The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19 of that year, composed of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies who set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence. This included the right to representative government. At the same time, given strong commercial, personal and sentimental links to Britain, many New York residents were Loyalists.

John Jay

Chief Justice John JayJayfirst Chief Justice of the United States
With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he worked tirelessly for the revolutionary cause and acted to suppress the Loyalists. Jay evolved into first a moderate, and then an ardent Patriot, because he had decided that all the colonies' efforts at reconciliation with Britain were fruitless and that the struggle for independence, which became the American Revolution, was inevitable. On April 28, 1774, Jay married Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, eldest daughter of the New Jersey Governor William Livingston and his wife. At the time of the marriage, Sarah was seventeen years old and John was twenty-eight.

Separation of church and state

disestablishmentchurch and stateseparation of religion and state
In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state", as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802.

Joseph Ellis

Joseph J. EllisEllis, Joseph J.Ellis, Joseph
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, 1996. Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, 1993. After the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture, 1979. School for Soldiers: West Point and the Profession of Arms, 1974. The New England Mind in Transition: Samuel Johnson of Connecticut, 1696–1772, 1973. "1776, the summer America was born", Salon.com, Jun 16, 2013. "Madison’s Radical Agenda", American Heritage, Winter 2010. "Inventing the Presidency", American Heritage, October 2004. "Intimate Enemies" (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson), American Heritage, September 2000.

South Carolina

SCState of South CarolinaS.C.
In 1719, the colony was officially made a crown colony. In 1729, North Carolina was split off into a separate colony. South Carolina prospered from the fertility of the Low Country and the harbors, such as at Charleston. It allowed religious toleration, encouraging Settlements spread, and trade in deerskin, lumber, and beef thrived. Rice cultivation was developed on a large scale. By the second half of the 1700s, South Carolina was one of the richest of the Thirteen Colonies. On March 26, 1776, the colony adopted the Constitution of South Carolina, electing John Rutledge as the state's first president.

Kingdom of Great Britain

Great BritainBritishBritain
It ended with the Treaty of Paris by which Great Britain relinquished the Thirteen Colonies and recognized the United States. The war was expensive but the British financed it successfully. The loss of the Thirteen Colonies marked the transition between the "first" and "second" empires, in which Britain shifted its attention away from the Americas to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal.

Physical history of the United States Declaration of Independence

Dunlap broadsideGoddard BroadsideDunlap broadside #23
The physical history of the United States Declaration of Independence spans from its original drafting in 1776 into the discovery of historical documents in modern time. This includes a number of drafts, handwritten copies, and published broadsides. The Declaration of Independence states that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, were no longer a part of the British Empire. The earliest known draft of the Declaration of Independence is a fragment known as the "Composition Draft". The draft, written in July 1776, is in the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration. It was discovered in 1947 by historian Julian P.

Albany, New York

AlbanyAlbany, NYCity
In 1775, with the colonies in the midst of the Revolutionary War, the Stadt Huys became home to the Albany Committee of Correspondence (the political arm of the local revolutionary movement), which took over operation of Albany's government and eventually expanded its power to control all of Albany County. Tories and prisoners of war were often jailed in the Stadt Huys alongside common criminals. In 1776, Albany native Philip Livingston signed the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. During and after the Revolutionary War, Albany County saw a great increase in real estate transactions.

John Hancock

Governor HancockHancockJohn Hancock III
The financial company passed on the name to the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the John Hancock Center in Chicago, as well as the John Hancock Student Village at Boston University. * American Revolution. List of richest Americans in history. List of wealthiest historical figures. Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. United States Declaration of Independence. Baxter, William T. The House of Hancock: Business in Boston, 1724–1775. 1945. Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell, 1965. Deals primarily with Thomas Hancock's business career. Brandes, Paul D. John Hancock’s Life and Speeches: A Personalized Vision of the American Revolution, 1763–1793.

Parliament of Great Britain

ParliamentBritish ParliamentGreat Britain
Reformers like William Beckford and Radicals beginning with John Wilkes called for reform of the system. In 1780, a draft programme of reform was drawn up by Charles James Fox and Thomas Brand Hollis and put forward by a sub-committee of the electors of Westminster. This included calls for the six points later adopted by the Chartists. The American Revolutionary War ended in the defeat of a foreign policy seeking to forcibly restore the thirteen American colonies to British rule which King George III had fervently advocated, and in March 1782 the king was forced to appoint an administration led by his opponents which sought to curb royal patronage.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Charles CarrollCarrollAmerican Declaration of Independence
He was joined in the commission by Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase and his cousin John Carroll. The commission did not accomplish its mission, primarily because of the failure of the concurrent Invasion of Canada. Carroll was elected to the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and remained a delegate until 1778. He arrived too late to vote in favor of the Declaration of Independence, but was present to sign the official document that survives today. After both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, Carroll became the last living signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

Dutch Republic

United ProvincesDutchNetherlands
Apart from this, the American Declaration of Independence is similar to the Act of Abjuration, essentially the declaration of independence of the United Provinces, but concrete evidence that the latter directly influenced the former is absent. In the Union of Utrecht of 20 January 1579, Holland and Zeeland were granted the right to accept only one religion (in practice, Calvinism). Every other province had the freedom to regulate the religious question as it wished, although the Union stated every person should be free in the choice of personal religion and that no person should be prosecuted based on religious choice.

Black Loyalist

Black LoyalistsothersAfrican descent
." - Draft Declaration of Independence, 1776 After the war began, a number of British generals issued proclamations calling for Loyalists to free their slaves so that they could join the undermanned British army and bolster its numbers. Among those issuing proclamations were John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, and Sir Henry Clinton. Jamaica's Governor John Dalling drafted a proposal in 1779 for the enlistment of a regiment of mulattoes and another regiment of free Negroes. With the arrival of 30,000 Hessian mercenary troops, the British did not have as much need of former slaves. Sir William Howe banned the formation of new Black regiments and disbanded his own.

Residence Act

Residence Act of 1790Residence BillAn Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States
Congress passed the Residence Act as part of a compromise brokered among James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. Madison and Jefferson favored a southerly site for the capital on the Potomac River, but they lacked a majority to pass the measure through Congress. Meanwhile, Hamilton was pushing for Congress to pass the Assumption Bill, to allow the Federal government to assume debts accumulated by the states during the American Revolutionary War.

Siege of Fort Ticonderoga (1777)

Siege of Fort TiconderogaFort TiconderogaSiege of Ticonderoga
*List of American Revolutionary War battles * * * Fort Ticonderoga official web site


PatriotsPatriotPatriot party
The stadtholder was not the only one reminded by the American Declaration of Independence of its Dutch equivalent of 1581. Many others saw an analogy between the American Revolution and the Dutch Revolt, and this helped engender much sympathy for the American cause in Dutch public opinion. When John Adams arrived in the Netherlands from Paris in 1780, in search of Dutch loans for the financing of the American struggle, he came armed with a long list of Dutch contacts. At first, however, it was an uphill struggle to interest the Dutch elite.

Richard Price

Dr PriceDr. PricePrice
The support Price gave to the colonies of British North America in the American War of Independence made him famous. In early 1776 he published Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government, and the Justice and Policy of the War with America. Sixty thousand copies of this pamphlet were sold within days; and a cheap edition was issued which sold twice as many copies. It commended Shelburne's proposals for the colonies, and attacked the Declaratory Act. Amongst its critics were Adam Ferguson, William Markham, John Wesley, and Edmund Burke; and Price rapidly became one of the best known men in England.

United States

In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence. This draft of the document did not surface until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation. The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States".

1776 (musical)

17761776'' (musical)1969 Broadway musical of the same name
You knew immediately that John Adams and the others were not going to be treated as gods or cardboard characters, chopping down cherry trees and flying kites with strings and keys on them. It had this very affectionate familiarity; it wasn't reverential. Adams, the outspoken delegate from Massachusetts, was chosen as the central character, and his quest to persuade all 13 colonies to vote for independence became the central conflict. Stone confined nearly all of the action to Independence Hall and the debate among the delegates, featuring only two female characters, Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson, in the entire musical.

History of the United States Constitution

ratification of the United States ConstitutionratificationConstitutional Convention
The era of the Declaration of Independence is sometimes called the "Continental Congress" period. John Adams famously estimated as many as one-third of those resident in the original thirteen colonies were patriots. Scholars such as Gordon Wood describe how Americans were caught up in the Revolutionary fervor and excitement of creating governments, societies, a new nation on the face of the earth by rational choice as Thomas Paine declared in Common Sense. Republican government and personal liberty for "the people" were to overspread the New World continents and to last forever, a gift to posterity. These goals were influenced by Enlightenment philosophy.

William Henry Harrison

William H. HarrisonHarrisonWilliam Harrison
His father was a Virginia planter who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1774–1777) and who signed the Declaration of Independence. His father also served in the Virginia legislature and as the fifth governor of Virginia (1781–1784) in the years during and after the American Revolutionary War. Harrison's older brother Carter Bassett Harrison represented Virginia in the House of Representatives (1793–1799). Harrison was tutored at home until age 14 when he entered Hampden–Sydney College, a Presbyterian college in Virginia. He studied there for three years, receiving a classical education which included Latin, Greek, French, logic, and debate.

War of 1812

The War of 1812American War of 1812war
But the Americans thought that the possibility of local support suggested an easy conquest, as Thomas Jefferson believed: "The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent." Some American border businessmen supported annexation because they wanted to gain control of Great Lakes trade.

Diplomacy in the American Revolutionary War

American CommissionersAmerican Revolutioninternational diplomacy
The resolution proved to be "too little, too late", and the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington, on April 19, 1775. The Continental Congress released a report, (written by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Richard Henry Lee), dated July 31, 1775, rejecting it. When the Second Continental Congress convened in May 1775, most delegates followed John Dickinson in his quest to reconcile with George III of Great Britain. However, a smaller group of delegates led by John Adams believed that war was inevitable (or had already started), but remained quiet.