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New State Governments

Colonies had had self-government for the past 150 years by 1775 Not much change was needed
Only certain features so that government could never became tyrannical in America

Believed that power to govern came from the governed


Consent of the governed had to be secured in each state and in the whole nation

Ways of Constitution Making


1776- former colonies began to create new governments Most state legislatures drew up new constitutions
Most were put to vote by the people of the new state Rejected or accepted by the people through voting process

Americans had found a way to make government by consent of the governed into actual reality

Written Constitutions
All new state governments created

written constitutions

Americans believed that their right to govern themselves would be safer if these constitutions were stated in plain language so that government officials could see them and citizens would never forget them

The New State Constitutions


Most followed this pattern:
1) a brief declaration of independence 2) a list of citizens rights 3) a framework similar to that of the old colonial governments

The New State Constitutions


State Governments
All but one state had a governor, an upper house, and a lower house of the legislature All were now elected by the people or by the elected representatives Most tried to reduce the power of the governor because he was a symbol of the kings power Other government positions that were formerly appointive became elected through the people

Inequality in the Colonies


All men are created equal ???????????? Men were able to vote if they owned land or earned a certain income Women were not allowed to vote or participate in politics Slaves were not given citizenship statusthey were property and could not vote or hold political office Settlers in the West were not as well represented in their assemblies as were the settlers in the East

Semi-Equality in the States

Changes in Equality
Property restrictions were reduced Redistribution of wealth occurred after the War for Independence (Loyalists lands were broken up and sold to other Americans)

First Moves Against Slavery


1774- Rhode Island passed a law that stated if you bring a slave into the colony from that time on they would be free 1775- Continental Congress passes a law that no slaves were to be imported after December 1, 1775 1780- Pennsylvania began the process of abolition of slavery 1783- Massachusetts slave sues for his freedom and wins- outlawing slavery in that state 1787- Northwest Ordinance outlaws slavery in the Northwest Territory- but allows for the return of fugitive slaves to the South