The American States during and after the Revolution, 1775-1789

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview
Save to active project

THE AMERICAN STATES 1775-1789

CHAPTER ONE THE COLONIES BEFORE THEIR UNION

"On their late revolution," wrote Jefferson of the States when the war was safely over, "the changes which their new form of government rendered necessary were easily made. It was only necessary to say that the powers of legislation, the judiciary and the executive powers, hitherto exercised by persons of such and such descriptions, should henceforth be exercised by persons appointed in such and such a manner." This is not the exaggeration it may seem. Ile student of early State institutions is struck by the fact that almost all of them descend directly from Colonial institutions. From the national point of view a true revolution occurred between 1776 and 1789. That noble china vase, the British Empire, to use Franklin's image, was broken; and a new nation was established. But from the point of view of each separate State there was not so much a revolution as an evolution.

Governmentally the Colonies were a diverse family before they cut their mother's apron strings, and the new States showed the same diversity. In Pennsylvania the pre-Revolutionary government had only one legislative chamber, and so had the post-Revolutionary government. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the highly prized Charters of Colonial days were preserved to be used as Constitutions in independence, and the faults and merits of the olden time were transmitted side by side to the new. In South Carolina and Virginia there were glaring inequalities in the legislative representation of the different sections, and both States after 1783 presented these same inequalities. In Colonies where the King's Governor was weak, like North Carolina, as the people's Governor he was weaker than ever, and in one where he had been strong, New York, he retained a comparatively large part of his strength. Some inhabitants of New

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American States during and after the Revolution, 1775-1789
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 734

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?