Post #13: Federalists vs. Antifederalists

I learned a lot this week about the differences between Federalists and Anti-federalists, where they are generally from, and the kinds of people they are. The Federalists were generally from the North and resided in cities while the Antifederalists were generally from the South and resided in rural areas. Although Puritans lived in rural societies, they lived in the North, therefore they probably tended toward the side of Federalists. The main difference between the two is that the Federalists were Pro-Constitution while the Anti-federalists were against the Constitution. Furthermore, the Federalists believed in weak states and a strong central government while Anti-federalists believed in strong states and a weak central government. Since the Anti-federalists feared strong central government, they insisted upon a Bill of Rights so that the central government could not deprive them of their rights. While Anti-federalists were Pro-slavery, the Federalists were in between. Some of the Federalists were Pro-slavery and some were Anti-slavery. Famous Federalists include: Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and John Jay. On the other hand, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Daniel Shays were Anti-federalists. Eventually, the Federalists prevailed and the Constitution was approved by the states. However, a Bill of Rights was added in order to insure rights for the people.


Post #12: A Midwife’s Tale

I watched the interesting documentary movie A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. This is the same person who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” These highlights of Ulrich’s career emphasize her focus on the history of women. I found it interesting that in the Midwife’s Tale, Martha Ballard seems to well-behaved. It is only Martha’s diary that gives her story a place in history. If not for Ulrich analyzing the diary and sharing Martha’s story, it is (in my opinion) likely that few would even recognize Martha Ballard’s story. I found it interesting that as a midwife, Martha was able to make a substantial living compared to other women and she was well respected as a medical authority. This story captures the hardships and sorrows of living in America during the 1700s-early 1800s. Martha worked extremely hard and especially as she got older her quality of life was less not very good. It was also interesting to see the decline in manners that Martha highlighted in her diary as time went on. With a life of taking care of others Martha seemed to get little rest. She was extremely hard-working and caring as well. Martha’s account demonstrated her exceptional values and kindness towards others. Even though Martha was kind and well-behaved, Ulrich was able to highlight her story, providing a great perspective of a woman’s place in history at this time.

Post #11: Shays’s Rebellion

The Revolution brought large debts upon some of the states. While the Americans were promised payments in return for the loans of service or other valued items, they were growing impatient. Farmers feared losing their animals and fields. Daniel Shays in particular feared being thrown in debtors prison and losing his farm. After several attempts, including petitions and calling upon their state government, the farmers were not being appeased. In response, Shays began to create an army to lead a march in rebellion.With hemlock in their hats as a symbol of the new tyranny that they were fighting, the rebellion march began. On September 29th 1786 the mob marched on Springfield, the capital of Massachusetts at this time. With the goal to close the courts so that they could not be thrown in prison, the mob succeeded. This victory continued as the mob continued to close other courts around Massachusetts. Nearly every effort still caused more of a passionate uproar united in the cause of Shays’s rebellion. The rebellion pointed out the uselessness of the Articles of Confederation giving the federal government the power to ease the rebellion and govern America. Therefore, the Constitution had to be created as a fitting form of government for the United States.

Post #10: The Stamp Act of 1765


The Stamp Act of 1765 just so happens to be the most important piece of parliamentary legislature contributing to the American Revolution. The act was passed by British Parliament as a tax of 26 shillings on every piece of paper that the colonists used. This tax was included on all paper items including licenses, newspapers, and even playing cards. This tax particularly outraged the colonists because it was an act that was being used to raise money rather than regulate commerce. The colonists were also angered by the fact that they saw this act as taxation without representation. The act was created to raise money for the colonies, protect the frontier, and most importantly to help fund the British troops. The colonists reacted with the Stamp Act Congress which was the first Congress of the American Colonies. The Stamp Act Congress was created by James Otis as a conference with the colonies. Soon, the collective cry was “No taxation without representation!” and Patrick Henry came up with The Stamp Act Resolves that declared the colonists outrage with the Stamp Act. The colonists simply wanted to go back to the ways of salutary neglect when the crown would essentially leave them to their own devices yet protect them when necessary.

“The Stamp Act – March 22, 1765.” Revolutionary War and Beyond. Revolutionary War and Beyond, 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.

Post #9: Introduction to American Revolutions

The new Alan Taylor book comprises a brief recap of Taylor’s previous book in the sequence: American Colonies. The introduction begins with the use of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings that encapsulate an image of the time. The quotations from Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” create the backdrop for the beginning of Taylor’s book in order to demonstrate the essence of the colonial camaraderie of the time. As Robin’s kinsman is being humiliated by being paraded through the town after being tarred and feathered, Robin has a peculiar reaction. At first he feels pity and is terrified of what has been done to his kinsman, then he begins to laugh at the display of humiliation before him. Along with the imagery of a face painted half black and half red, the story demonstrates the division and evils during this time. To sum up Robin’s experience he is told that he should stay and try to make it in the New England colony because there is still hope for him to arise in the world without the kinsman. I interpret this story as a depiction of the time of the revolution and the division between Loyalists and Patriots. I believe Alan Taylor included this story in his introduction to preface this division and give an image of colonial life during the revolution.

Taylor, Alan. American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (p. xvii). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Post #8: Piracy and Pirates

A General History of the Pyrates. Real or Fiction produced by Daniel DeFoe? The book was written by Captain Charles Johnson, according to the print. However, it has been speculated that Daniel Defoe, most famous for being the author of the novel Robinson Crusoe. Both novels paint a spectacular image of the 1700s. This image is held in contrast to the modern idea of pirates. One such stark contrast is the modern idea that if one engaged in piracy that they identified as a pirate and were therefore outsiders in British society. This is not the case. In fact, pirates actually operated inside British society as Privateers. Privateering is essentially state sanctioned piracy. The rise of the British Empire was dependent upon these Privateers. Pirates would sail out and capture Spanish vessels and take their wealth. As the Spanish lost wealth, the British were profiting. However, once the British Empire became strong and wealthy, the Pirates were no longer needed. Pirates were then publicly executed. Pirates were hanged near the seaports. This served as a signal to the pirates that they were not welcome and if they disembarked they would be killed. As it relates to A General History of the Pyrates, the famed stories of Blackbeard and Mary Read seem to be anomalies. This is exemplified by Captain Henry Morgan who is famously known today for being a pirate when in reality he was a soldier who engaged in acts of Piracy. He was knighted and given a title after these acts. He is very different from our modern idea of pirates but nonetheless is the origin of the term “Privateer.”