The founding of a new nation - History

The founding of a new nation - History

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Creation of Israel, 1948

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion , the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

Although the United States supported the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which favored the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had assured the Arabs in 1945 that the United States would not intervene without consulting both the Jews and the Arabs in that region. The British, who held a colonial mandate for Palestine until May 1948, opposed both the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine as well as unlimited immigration of Jewish refugees to the region. Great Britain wanted to preserve good relations with the Arabs to protect its vital political and economic interests in Palestine.

Soon after President Truman took office, he appointed several experts to study the Palestinian issue. In the summer of 1946, Truman established a special cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry F. Grady, an Assistant Secretary of State, who entered into negotiations with a parallel British committee to discuss the future of Palestine. In May 1946, Truman announced his approval of a recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced persons into Palestine and in October publicly declared his support for the creation of a Jewish state. Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end. Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain a corpus separatum under international control administered by the United Nations.

Although the United States backed Resolution 181, the U.S. Department of State recommended the creation of a United Nations trusteeship with limits on Jewish immigration and a division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab provinces but not states. The State Department, concerned about the possibility of an increasing Soviet role in the Arab world and the potential for restriction by Arab oil producing nations of oil supplies to the United States, advised against U.S. intervention on behalf of the Jews. Later, as the date for British departure from Palestine drew near, the Department of State grew concerned about the possibility of an all-out war in Palestine as Arab states threatened to attack almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution.

Despite growing conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews and despite the Department of State’s endorsement of a trusteeship, Truman ultimately decided to recognize the state Israel.


The First Continental Congress met briefly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774, consisting of 56 delegates from all thirteen American colonies except Georgia. Among them was George Washington, who would soon be drawn out of military retirement to command the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Also in attendance were Patrick Henry and John Adams, who, like all delegates, were elected by their respective colonial assemblies. Other delegates included Samuel Adams from Massachusetts, John Dickinson from Pennsylvania and New York's John Jay. This congress, in addition to formulating appeals to the British crown, established the Continental Association to administer boycott actions against Britain.

When the Second Continental Congress convened on May 10, 1775, it essentially reconstituted the First Congress. Many of the same 56 delegates who attended the first meeting participated in the second. [12] New arrivals included Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, John Hancock of Massachusetts, John Witherspoon of New Jersey, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton of Maryland, who was named as a late delegate due to [ clarification needed ] his being Roman Catholic. Hancock was elected Congress president two weeks into the session when Peyton Randolph was recalled to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Thomas Jefferson replaced Randolph in the Virginia congressional delegation. [13] The second Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Witherspoon was the only active clergyman to sign the Declaration. He also signed the Articles of Confederation and attended the New Jersey (1787) convention that ratified the Federal Constitution.

The newly founded country of the United States had to create a new government to replace their governance by the British Parliament. The U.S. adopted the Articles of Confederation, a declaration that established a national government with a one-house legislature. Its ratification by all thirteen colonies gave the second Congress a new name: the Congress of the Confederation, which met from 1781 to 1789. [14] The Constitutional Convention took place during the summer of 1787, in Philadelphia. [15] Although the convention was called to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset for some including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton was to create a new frame of government rather than amending the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the convention. The result of the convention was the United States Constitution and the replacement of the Continental Congress with the United States Congress.

The Founding Fathers represented a cross-section of 18th-century U.S. leadership. According to a study of the biographies by Caroline Robbins:

The Signers came for the most part from an educated elite, were residents of older settlements, and belonged with a few exceptions to a moderately well-to-do class representing only a fraction of the population. Native or born overseas, they were of British stock and of the Protestant faith. [16] [17]

They were leaders in their communities several were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually all participated in the American Revolution at the Constitutional Convention at least 29 had served in the Continental Army, most of them in positions of command. Scholars have examined the collective biography of the Founders, including both the signers of the Declaration and of the Constitution. [18]

Education Edit

Many of the Founding Fathers attended or graduated from the colonial colleges, most notably Columbia known at the time as "King's College", Princeton originally known as "The College of New Jersey", Harvard College, the College of William and Mary, Yale College and University of Pennsylvania. Some had previously been home schooled or obtained early instruction from private tutors or academies. [19] Others had studied abroad. Ironically, Benjamin Franklin who had little formal education himself would ultimately establish the College of Philadelphia (1755) "Penn" would have the first medical school (1765) in the thirteen colonies where another Founder, Benjamin Rush would eventually teach.

With a limited number of professional schools established in the U.S., Founders also sought advanced degrees from traditional institutions in England and Scotland such as the University of Edinburgh, the University of St. Andrews, and the University of Glasgow.

Colleges attended Edit

  • College of William and Mary: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison V [20] : John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and William Williams
  • King's College (now Columbia): John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, [21] Gouverneur Morris, Robert R. Livingston and Egbert Benson. [22]
  • College of New Jersey (now Princeton): James Madison, Gunning Bedford Jr., Aaron Burr, Benjamin Rush and William Paterson
  • College of Philadelphia later merged into the University of Pennsylvania: eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and twelve signers of the U.S. Constitution[23]
  • Yale College: Oliver Wolcott, Andrew Adams
  • Queen's College (now Rutgers): James Schureman attended the University of St. Andrews, the University of Glasgow, [24]

Advanced degrees and apprenticeships Edit

Doctors of Medicine Edit

Theology Edit

  • University of Edinburgh: Witherspoon (attended, no degree)
  • University of St. Andrews: Witherspoon (honorary doctorate)

Legal apprenticeships Edit

Several like John Jay, James Wilson, John Williams and George Wythe [26] were trained as lawyers through apprenticeships in the colonies while a few trained at the Inns of Court in London. Charles Carroll of Carrollton earned his law degree at Temple in London.

Self-taught or little formal education Edit

Franklin, Washington, John Williams and Henry Wisner had little formal education and were largely self-taught or learned through apprenticeship.

Demographics Edit

The great majority were born in the Thirteen Colonies, but at least nine were born in other parts of the British Empire:

  • England: Robert Morris, Button Gwinnett : Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry and Paterson : Hamilton : Wilson and Witherspoon

Many of them had moved from one colony to another. Eighteen had already lived, studied or worked in more than one colony: Baldwin, Bassett, Bedford, Davie, Dickinson, Few, Franklin, Ingersoll, Hamilton, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mercer, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, and Williamson.

Several others had studied or traveled abroad.

Occupations Edit

The Founding Fathers practiced a wide range of high and middle-status occupations, and many pursued more than one career simultaneously. They did not differ dramatically from the Loyalists, except they were generally younger and less senior in their professions. [27]

  • As many as thirty-five including Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Jay were trained as lawyers though not all of them practiced law. Some had also been local judges. [28]
  • Washington trained as a land surveyor before he became commander of a small militia.
  • At the time of the convention, 13 men were merchants: Blount, Broom, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Shields, Gilman, Gorham, Langdon, Robert Morris, Pierce, Sherman and Wilson.
  • Broom and Few were small farmers.
  • Franklin, McHenry and Mifflin had retired from active economic endeavors.
  • Franklin and Williamson were scientists, in addition to their other activities.
  • McClurg, McHenry, Rush and Williamson were physicians.
  • Johnson and Witherspoon were college presidents.

Finances Edit

Historian Caroline Robbins in 1977 examined the status of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and concluded:

There were indeed disparities of wealth, earned or inherited: some Signers were rich, others had about enough to enable them to attend Congress. . The majority of revolutionaries were from moderately well-to-do or average income brackets. Twice as many Loyalists belonged to the wealthiest echelon. But some Signers were rich few, indigent. . The Signers were elected not for wealth or rank so much as because of the evidence they had already evinced of willingness for public service. [29]

A few of them were wealthy or had financial resources that ranged from good to excellent, but there are other founders who were less than wealthy. On the whole they were less wealthy than the Loyalists. [27]

  • Seven were major land speculators: Blount, Dayton, Fitzsimmons, Gorham, Robert Morris, Washington, and Wilson.
  • Eleven speculated in securities on a large scale: Bedford, Blair, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Franklin, King, Langdon, Robert Morris, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Sherman.
  • Many derived income from plantations or large farms which they owned or managed, which relied upon the labor of enslaved men and women particularly in the Southern colonies: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Davie, [30] Johnson, Butler, Carroll, Jefferson, Jenifer, Madison, Mason, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington.
  • Eight of the men received a substantial part of their income from public office: Baldwin, Blair, Brearly, Gilman, Livingston, Madison, and Rutledge.

Prior political experience Edit

Several of the Founding Fathers had extensive national, state, local and foreign political experience prior to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. Some had been diplomats. Several had been members of the Continental Congress or elected president of that body.

    began his political career as a city councilman and then Justice of the Peace in Philadelphia. He was next elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and was sent by them to London as a colonial agent which helped hone his diplomatic skills. , Adams, Jay and Franklin all acquired significant political experience as ministers to countries in Europe. and John Jay drafted the Constitutions of their respective states, Massachusetts and New York, and successfully navigated them through to adoption.
  • Jay, Thomas Mifflin and Nathaniel Gorham had served as president of the Continental Congress. had been a member of the New York Provincial Congress. , Franklin, Langdon, and Rutledge had been governors or presidents of their states. had been a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly and president of Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety. He was also a member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence. had served in the Connecticut House of Representatives. was a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. served in the Maryland Senate. 's first exposure to politics was as a member of Virginia's House of Burgesses. 's entry into the political arena was as a commissioner of the town of Charlestown, Maryland. was a member of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety and the Continental Congress. 's time as a member of the Continental Congress in 1776 was his introduction to colonial politics.

Nearly all of the 55 Constitutional Convention delegates had some experience in colonial and state government, and the majority had held county and local offices. [31] Those who lacked national congressional experience were Bassett, Blair, Brearly, Broom, Davie, Dayton, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mason, McClurg, Paterson, Charles Pinckney, Strong, and Yates.

Religion Edit

Franklin T. Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of some of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 28 were Anglicans (i.e. Church of England or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), 21 were other Protestant, and two were Roman Catholic (D. Carroll and Fitzsimons). [32] Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists. [32]

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical notably Jefferson. [33] [34]

Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (John Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid "theistic rationalism". [35]

Many Founders deliberately avoided public discussion of their faith. Historian David L. Holmes uses evidence gleaned from letters, government documents, and second-hand accounts to identify their religious beliefs. [36]

Ownership of slaves and position on slavery Edit

The founding fathers were not unified on the issue of slavery. Many of them were opposed to it and repeatedly attempted to end slavery in many of the colonies, but predicted that the issue would threaten to tear the country apart and had limited power to deal with it. In her study of Thomas Jefferson, historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses this topic, "Others of the founders held slaves, but no other founder drafted the charter for freedom". [37] In addition to Jefferson, George Washington, and many other of the Founding Fathers were slaveowners, but some were also conflicted by the institution, seeing it as immoral and politically divisive Washington gradually became a cautious supporter of abolitionism and freed his slaves in his will. John Jay led the successful fight, along with Alexander Hamilton, to outlaw the slave trade in New York. [38] Conversely, many founders such as Samuel Adams and John Adams were against slavery their entire lives. Benjamin Rush wrote a pamphlet in 1773 which criticized the slave trade as well as the institution of slavery. In the pamphlet, Rush argued on a scientific basis that Africans were not by nature intellectually or morally inferior, and that any apparent evidence to the contrary was only the "perverted expression" of slavery, which "is so foreign to the human mind, that the moral faculties, as well as those of the understanding are debased, and rendered torpid by it." The Continental Association of 1774 contained a clause which banned any Patriot involvement in slave trading. [39] [40] [41] [42]

Franklin, though he was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, [43] originally owned slaves whom he later manumitted. While serving in the Rhode Island Assembly, Stephen Hopkins introduced one of the earliest anti-slavery laws in the colonies, in 1769, Jefferson entered public life as a young member of the House of Burgesses, he began his career as a social reformer by an effort to secure legislation permitting the emancipation of slaves and John Jay would try unsuccessfully to abolish slavery as early as 1777 in the State of New York. [44] He nonetheless founded the New York Manumission Society in 1785, for which Hamilton became an officer. They and other members of the Society founded the African Free School in New York City, to educate the children of free blacks and slaves. When Jay was governor of New York in 1798, he helped secure and signed into law an abolition law fully ending forced labor as of 1827. He freed his own slaves in 1798. Alexander Hamilton opposed slavery, as his experiences in life left him very familiar with slavery and its effect on slaves and on slaveholders, [45] although he did negotiate slave transactions for his wife's family, the Schuylers. [46] John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Paine never owned slaves. [47]

Slaves and slavery are mentioned only indirectly in the 1787 Constitution. For example, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 prescribes that "three-fifths of all other Persons" are to be counted for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and direct taxes. Additionally, in Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3, slaves are referred to as "persons held in service or labor". [43] [48] The Founding Fathers, however, did make important efforts to contain slavery. Many Northern states had adopted legislation to end or significantly reduce slavery during and after the American Revolution. [48] In 1782 Virginia passed a manumission law that allowed slave owners to free their slaves by will or deed. [49] As a result, thousands of slaves were manumitted in Virginia. [49] Thomas Jefferson, in 1784, proposed to ban slavery in all the Western Territories, which failed to pass Congress by one vote. [48] Partially following Jefferson's plan, Congress did ban slavery in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, for lands north of the Ohio River. [48]

The international slave trade was banned in all states except South Carolina, by 1800. Finally in 1807, President Jefferson called for and signed into law a Federally-enforced ban on the international slave trade throughout the U.S. and its territories. It became a federal crime to import or export a slave. [48] However, the domestic slave trade was allowed, for expansion, or for diffusion of slavery into the Louisiana Territory. [48]

Attendance at conventions Edit

In the winter and spring of 1786–1787, twelve of the thirteen states chose a total of 74 delegates to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Nineteen delegates chose not to accept election or attend the debates. Among them was Patrick Henry of Virginia, who in response to questions about his refusal to attend was quick to reply, "I smelled a rat." He believed that the frame of government the convention organizers were intent on building would trample upon the rights of citizens. [50] Also, Rhode Island's lack of representation at the convention was due to leader's suspicions of the convention delegates' motivations. As the colony was founded by Roger Williams as a sanctuary for Baptists, Rhode Island's absence at the convention in part explains the absence of Baptist affiliation among those who did attend. Of the 55 who did attend at some point, no more than 38 delegates showed up at one time. [51]

Spouses and children Edit

Only four (Baldwin, Gilman, Jenifer, and Alexander Martin) were lifelong bachelors. Many of the Founding Fathers' wives, like Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Sarah Livingston Jay, Dolley Madison, Mary White Morris and Catherine Alexander Duer, were strong women who made significant contributions of their own to the fight for liberty. [52]

Sherman fathered the largest family: 15 children by two wives. At least nine (Bassett, Brearly, Johnson, Mason, Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) married more than once. George Washington, who became known as "The Father of His Country", [53] had no biological children, though he and his wife raised two children from her first marriage and two grandchildren.

Among the state documents promulgated between 1774 and 1789 by the Continental Congress, four are paramount: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. Altogether, 145 men signed at least one of the four documents. In each instance, roughly 50% of the names signed are unique to that document. Only a few people (6) signed three of the four, and only Roger Sherman of Connecticut signed all of them. [54] The following persons signed one or more of these United States formative documents:

Name Province/state #
CA (1774) DI (1776) AC (1777) USC (1787)
Andrew Adams Connecticut 1 Yes
John Adams Massachusetts 2 Yes Yes
Samuel Adams Massachusetts 3 Yes Yes Yes
Thomas Adams Virginia 1 Yes
John Alsop New York 1 Yes
Abraham Baldwin Georgia 1 Yes
John Banister Virginia 1 Yes
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire 2 Yes Yes
Richard Bassett Delaware 1 Yes
Gunning Bedford Jr. Delaware 1 Yes
Edward Biddle Pennsylvania 1 Yes
John Blair Virginia 1 Yes
Richard Bland Virginia 1 Yes
William Blount North Carolina 1 Yes
Simon Boerum New York 1 Yes
Carter Braxton Virginia 1 Yes
David Brearley New Jersey 1 Yes
Jacob Broom Delaware 1 Yes
Pierce Butler South Carolina 1 Yes
Charles Carroll of Carrollton Maryland 1 Yes
Daniel Carroll Maryland 2 Yes Yes
Richard Caswell North Carolina 1 Yes
Samuel Chase Maryland 2 Yes Yes
Abraham Clark New Jersey 1 Yes
William Clingan Pennsylvania 1 Yes
George Clymer Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
John Collins Rhode Island 1 Yes
Stephen Crane New Jersey 1 Yes
Thomas Cushing Massachusetts 1 Yes
Francis Dana Massachusetts 1 Yes
Jonathan Dayton New Jersey 1 Yes
Silas Deane Connecticut 1 Yes
John De Hart New Jersey 1 Yes
John Dickinson Delaware 3 [a] Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
William Henry Drayton South Carolina 1 Yes
James Duane New York 2 Yes Yes
William Duer New York 1 Yes
Eliphalet Dyer Connecticut 1 Yes
William Ellery Rhode Island 2 Yes Yes
William Few Georgia 1 Yes
Thomas Fitzsimons Pennsylvania 1 Yes
William Floyd New York 2 Yes Yes
Nathaniel Folsom New Hampshire 1 Yes
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
Christopher Gadsden South Carolina 1 Yes
Joseph Galloway Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts 2 Yes Yes
Nicholas Gilman New Hampshire 1 Yes
Nathaniel Gorham Massachusetts 1 Yes
Button Gwinnett Georgia 1 Yes
Lyman Hall Georgia 1 Yes
Alexander Hamilton New York 1 Yes
John Hancock Massachusetts 2 Yes Yes
John Hanson Maryland 1 Yes
Cornelius Harnett North Carolina 1 Yes
Benjamin Harrison Virginia 2 Yes Yes
John Hart New Jersey 2 Yes
John Harvie Virginia 1 Yes
Patrick Henry Virginia 1 Yes
Joseph Hewes North Carolina 2 Yes Yes
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina 2 Yes Yes
Samuel Holten Massachusetts 1 Yes
William Hooper North Carolina 2 Yes Yes
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island 2 Yes Yes
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey 1 Yes
Titus Hosmer Connecticut 1 Yes
Charles Humphreys Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Samuel Huntington Connecticut 2 Yes Yes
Richard Hutson South Carolina 1 Yes
Jared Ingersoll Pennsylvania 1 Yes
William Jackson South Carolina 1 Yes
John Jay New York 1 Yes
Thomas Jefferson Virginia 1 Yes
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Maryland 1 Yes
Thomas Johnson Maryland 1 Yes
William Samuel Johnson Connecticut 1 Yes
Rufus King Massachusetts 1 Yes
James Kinsey New Jersey 1 Yes
John Langdon New Hampshire 1 Yes
Edward Langworthy Georgia 1 Yes
Henry Laurens South Carolina 1 Yes
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia 2 Yes Yes
Richard Henry Lee Virginia 3 Yes Yes Yes
Francis Lewis New York 2 Yes Yes
Philip Livingston New York 2 Yes Yes
William Livingston New Jersey 2 Yes Yes
James Lovell Massachusetts 1 Yes
Isaac Low New York 1 Yes
Thomas Lynch South Carolina 1 Yes
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina 1 Yes
James Madison Virginia 1 Yes
Henry Marchant Rhode Island 1 Yes
John Mathews South Carolina 1 Yes
James McHenry Maryland 1 Yes
Thomas McKean Delaware 3 Yes Yes Yes
Arthur Middleton South Carolina 1 Yes
Henry Middleton South Carolina 1 Yes
Thomas Mifflin Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
Gouverneur Morris New York 2 [b] Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
Lewis Morris New York 1 Yes
Robert Morris Pennsylvania 3 Yes Yes Yes
John Morton Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia 1 Yes
William Paca Maryland 2 Yes Yes
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts 2 Yes Yes
William Paterson New Jersey 1 Yes
Edmund Pendleton Virginia 1 Yes
John Penn North Carolina 2 Yes Yes
Charles Pinckney South Carolina 1 Yes
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney South Carolina 1 Yes
Peyton Randolph Virginia 1 Yes
George Read Delaware 3 Yes Yes Yes
Joseph Reed Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Daniel Roberdeau Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Caesar Rodney Delaware 2 Yes Yes
George Ross Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Edward Rutledge South Carolina 2 Yes Yes
John Rutledge South Carolina 2 Yes Yes
Nathaniel Scudder New Jersey 1 Yes
Roger Sherman Connecticut 4 Yes Yes Yes Yes
James Smith Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Jonathan Bayard Smith Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Richard Smith New Jersey 1 Yes
Richard Dobbs Spaight North Carolina 1 Yes
Richard Stockton New Jersey 1 Yes
Thomas Stone Maryland 1 Yes
John Sullivan New Hampshire 1 Yes
George Taylor Pennsylvania 1 Yes
Edward Telfair Georgia 1 Yes
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire 1 Yes
Matthew Tilghman Maryland 1 Yes
Nicholas Van Dyke Delaware 1 Yes
George Walton Georgia 1 Yes
John Walton Georgia 1 Yes
Samuel Ward Rhode Island 1 Yes
George Washington Virginia 2 Yes Yes
John Wentworth Jr. New Hampshire 1 Yes
William Whipple New Hampshire 1 Yes
John Williams North Carolina 1 Yes
William Williams Connecticut 1 Yes
Hugh Williamson North Carolina 1 Yes
James Wilson Pennsylvania 2 Yes Yes
Henry Wisner New York 1 Yes
John Witherspoon New Jersey 2 Yes Yes
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut 2 Yes Yes
George Wythe Virginia 1 Yes

  1. ^ Dickinson signed three of the documents, two as a delegate from Delaware and one as a delegate from Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ Morris signed two of the documents, one as a delegate from New York, and one as a delegate from Pennsylvania.

Post-constitution life Edit

Subsequent events in the lives of the Founding Fathers after the adoption of the Constitution were characterized by success or failure, reflecting the abilities of these men as well as the vagaries of fate. [55] Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe served in the highest U.S. office of President. Jay would be appointed as the first chief justice of the United States and later elected to two terms as Governor of New York. Alexander Hamilton would be appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789, and later Inspector General of the Army under President John Adams in 1798.

Seven (Fitzsimons, Gorham, Luther Martin, Mifflin, Robert Morris, Pierce, and Wilson) suffered serious financial reversals that left them in or near bankruptcy. Robert Morris spent three of the last years of his life imprisoned following bad land deals. [52] Two, Blount and Dayton, were involved in possibly treasonous activities. Yet, as they had done before the convention, most of the group continued to render public service, particularly to the new government they had helped to create.

Youth and longevity Edit

Many of the Founding Fathers were under 40 years old at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776: Aaron Burr was 20, Alexander Hamilton was 21, Gouverneur Morris was 24. The oldest were Benjamin Franklin, 70, and Samuel Whittemore, 81. [56]

A few Founding Fathers lived into their nineties, including: Paine Wingate, who died at age 98 Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who died at age 95 Charles Thomson, who died at 94 William Samuel Johnson, who died at 92 and John Adams, who died at 90. Among those who lived into their eighties were Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Whittmore, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Armstrong Jr., Hugh Williamson, and George Wythe. Approximately 16 died while in their seventies, and 21 in their sixties. Three (Alexander Hamilton, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Button Gwinnett) were killed in duels. Two, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died on the same day, July 4, 1826. [57]

The last remaining founders, also poetically called the "Last of the Romans", lived well into the nineteenth century. [58] The last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence was Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who died in 1832. [59] The last surviving member of the Continental Congress was John Armstrong Jr., who died in 1843. He gained this distinction in 1838 upon the death of the only other surviving delegate, Paine Wingate. [60]

The following men and women also advanced the new nation through their actions.

Explore by Timeline: The New Nation (1783-1860)

The Constitutional Convention convened at the Philadelphia State House (Independence Hall) in May 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. After some debate, the convention decided to instead frame an entirely new government, which would include an executive, judiciary, and legislature comprised of two houses. The Convention approved the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and it was ratified on July 2, 1788 after nine states had approved it.

American architects felt that architecture in the United States should be symbolic of the new national government, which was heavily based on the ideals of the Roman Republic. They thus rejected the British-influenced Georgian style and began looking directly to Rome for architectural inspiration.

U.S. Customs Service Established

On July 31, 1789, the Fifth Act of the First Congress created a field organization of collectors "to regulate the Collection of the Duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, and on goods, wares and merchandises imported into the United States." Fifty-nine customs districts were established in eleven states, each with a collector appointed by the president.

Custom houses were usually the earliest federal buildings constructed in cities outside of the nation&rsquos capital. In 1816, Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Maximilian Godfrey designed a custom house for Baltimore, which formed the south wing of the Exchange Building.

Act of Congress Establishing the Treasury Department

&ldquoBe it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury&hellip&rdquo

During its first session, Congress formally established the Department of the Treasury to manage the new nation&rsquos finances. Alexander Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. As part of its fiscal responsibilities, the Treasury Department administered appropriations for early public building design. A centralized program to manage federal building activities did not develop until the mid-nineteenth century.

Judiciary Act Adopted

On September 24, 1789, during its first session, Congress formally established the federal judiciary, as called for in Article III of the U.S. Constitution. The Judiciary Act of 1789 created thirteen district courts, each with one judge, in major cities, and three regional circuit courts. The Supreme Court, with one chief justice and five associate justices, sat above the inferior courts as the only court of appeals. The act also created the office of Attorney General.

On February 1, 1790, the Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City, which was then the capital of the United States, at the Royal Exchange Building. The court did not receive its own, permanent building until 1935.

Residence Act Passed

The Residence Act of 1790 designated a site on the Potomac River as the permanent capital of the United States. Philadelphia was named the temporary capital, and assumed this role until the federal government relocated to the District of Columbia in 1800. George Washington selected Pierre-Charles L&rsquoEnfant to design the new city of Washington. On August 26, 1791, L&rsquoEnfant submitted his plan, which consisted of broad, radiating avenues connecting significant focal points&mdashthe planned houses of Congress and the president&mdashat the two highest elevations. L&rsquoEnfant&rsquos design for Washington, D.C., remains largely in place today.

Competitions to Design the President&rsquos House and U.S. Capitol

In 1792, the federal government&rsquos first major architectural competitions took place. At the request of President George Washington, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced the competition to design the President&rsquos House. James Hoban, an Irish-born architect, won the commission for the house, which L&rsquoEnfant had allowed for in his 1791 plan for the capital city. The building was ready for occupancy in 1800, with John Adams being the first president to live there. Though mostly late-Georgian in style, the building had a Roman dome and temple front.

Dr. William Thornton, a physician, submitted his design for the Capitol after the competition deadline. He won first place, and the cornerstone was laid in 1793. James Hoban oversaw much of the construction, and the north wing was ready for occupancy by the Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court by 1800.

Latrobe named Surveyor of Public Buildings and Grounds

President Thomas Jefferson invited Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1819), an English immigrant, to become Surveyor of Public Buildings and Grounds for the nation&rsquos capital in 1802. In this position, Latrobe oversaw the completion of the Capitol building and the President&rsquos House, for which he designed the north and south porticos. The position ended in 1811. Although Latrobe was rehired to work on the Capital after the British burned it during the War of 1812, he resigned due an altercation with the commissioner and left Washington.

In his Bank of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Latrobe was the first American architect to incorporate a Greek Order into a design. The Greek Revival style soon grew to national prominence, largely through the work of two of his students: William Strickland and Robert Mills.

Oldest Building in GSA Inventory Constructed

In 1810, David Parish, a German financier, constructed a a simple store and warehouse in Ogdensburg, New York. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Ogdensburg was an important component of a regional distribution network for goods brought to upper New York State via the St. Lawrence River. The area around Ogdensburg was unsettled and remote there were few roads and transportation of goods was extremely difficult. When the Parish Store was built, goods were brought up the St. Lawrence River, warehoused in Ogdensburg, and distributed regionally.

In 1811, Congress established the U.S. Customs District of Oswegatchie in Ogdensburg. According to local tradition, the Parish store likely housed U.S. Customs Service functions as early as 1811 until 1870 (when a new building was constructed to house government offices). In 1928, the district headquarters of the U.S. Customs Service was moved into leased space in the Parish Store the U.S. Government subsequently purchased the building in 1936 and changed its name to the U. S. Custom House.

Capital Burned During War of 1812

The United States responded to a series of naval conflicts with the British with a declaration of war in 1812. After defeating American troops at Bladensburg, Maryland, British troops arrived in Washington on August 24, 1814. They soon set fire to major federal buildings throughout the city, including the President&rsquos House, the Capitol, and the Treasury Building. The city was in ruins.

After contemplating relocating to a more secure location, the government decided to remain in Washington. Congress met in the General Post Office (formerly Blodgett&rsquos Hotel) and the Madisons took up residence at the Tayloe family&rsquos Octagon House. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on Christmas Eve, 1814, ending the war. In 1815, Congress passed a bill that all public buildings in Washington should be rebuilt on their original sites.

Charles Bulfinch Appointed Architect of the Capitol

William Strickland Selected to Design U.S. Custom House in Philadelphia

Robert Mills Appointed Architect of Public Buildings

One of the first American-born and professionally trained architects, Robert Mills (1781-1855) studied under Benjamin Henry Latrobe and James Hoban. Mills arrived in Washington, DC, in 1830. After spending his first years in Washington altering existing public buildings, Mills won the competition for the design of the Washington Monument in 1836. The same year, President Andrew Jackson appointed Mills Architect of Public Buildings, through which role he designed the Treasury Building, Patent Office and General Post Office in Washington, DC.

In his work, Mills utilized Classical Revival architecture, most often employing the Greek Revival style. His role as public buildings architect ceased in 1842, but Mills remained in Washington until his death.

U.S. Custom House Completed in New York City

Located at 26 Wall Street, New York&rsquos City Hall housed the federal government before it moved to Philadelphia in 1789. The building, the site of George Washington&rsquos inauguration and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, was demolished in 1814. In 1833, the government held a competition for the design of a custom house on the site. First prize went to Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, who submitted a design in proportion with the Parthenon. The original plans were significantly altered during the construction phase, however, with architects William Ross and John Frazee redesigning the interior.

The building was completed and occupied in 1842. The Customs Service relocated in 1860, and the building became the U.S. Sub-Treasury. Today known as Federal Hall, the building houses a National Park Service museum dedicated to George Washington and the founding of the United States.

Texas Annexed

After declaring its independence from Mexico in 1836, Texas became an independent nation until 1845 when it was voluntarily annexed by the United States.

A border dispute soon arose between the United States and Mexico, which had refused to recognize Texas&rsquos independence. Skirmishes in South Texas led to the United States declaring war on Mexico in 1846. The Mexican-American War had begun.

When the war ended two years later, the Rio Grande River was established as the border between Mexico and the United States. The city of Laredo, formerly part of Mexico, became part of the United States as the so-called &ldquoGateway to Mexico&rdquo.

U.S. Custom House Constructed in Boston

Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848. For $15 million, the U.S. acquired 500,000 miles of land in the West and Southwest from Mexico, including New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, and portions of Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

A few years later, in 1853, the federal government began construction of a &ldquostate house&rdquo in Santa Fe. The building has housed federal courts since it was completed in 1889.

Construction Begins on U.S. Custom House in New Orleans

The U.S. Custom House was planned in the 1840s in response to increasing trade through the Mississippi Valley. In 1847, the Treasury Department chose the design of Alexander Thompson Wood, and construction began in 1848. After Wood was replaced as architect in 1850, a succession of eight architects followed, each modifying the original design concept.

The partially completed building was first occupied in 1856 when the U.S. Customs Service moved into the first floor. The post office followed in November 1860, and the building served as the city&rsquos main post office through the remainder of the nineteenth century.

U.S. Custom House Constructed in Savannah

The federal government purchased a site to house a new custom house in Savannah, Georgia in 1845. Architect John Norris designed the Greek Revival style building, which also housed the U.S. Post Office and federal courts, and construction took place between 1848 and 1852.

In 1860, the case involving the Wanderer, a ship that illegally transported African slaves to the United States in 1858, was tried in the building. None of the defendants was convicted.

Ammi B. Young Appointed First Supervising Architect

In the early 1850s, Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Corwin sent architect Ammi B. Young to inspect various federal building projects. Young&rsquos work met with the secretary&rsquos approval, and in March 1852 Corwin offered Young a permanent position with a $3000 annual salary. By late 1852, Young had assumed the title of &ldquoSupervising Architect&rdquo and was not only inspecting buildings, but also designing them. Young retained this responsibility until the Civil War brought all building projects to a standstill.

Bureau of Construction Established

After James Guthrie became Secretary of the Treasury in 1853, he reorganized the newly centralized public buildings program. He appointed Captain Alexander Hamilton Bowman as chief of the Bureau of Construction. In this role, Bowman oversaw the Office of the Supervising Architect, though Ammi Young remained the primary designer of buildings.

After many years of disjointed supervision, the Department of the Treasury had centralized system for managing the nation&rsquos federal building projects.


New Zealand was first settled by Polynesians from Eastern Polynesia. Genetic and archaeological evidence suggests that humans emigrated from Taiwan via southeast Asia to Melanesia and then radiated eastwards into the Pacific in pulses and waves of discovery which gradually colonised islands from Samoa and Tonga all the way to Hawaii, the Marquesas, Easter Island, the Society Islands and, finally, New Zealand. [4]

In New Zealand there are no human artifacts or remains dating earlier than the Kaharoa Tephra, a layer of volcanic debris deposited by the Mount Tarawera eruption around 1314 CE. [5] The 1999 dating of some kiore (Polynesian rat) bones to as early as 100 CE [6] was later found to be an error new samples of rat bone (and also of rat-gnawed shells and woody seed cases) mostly gave dates later than the Tarawera eruption with only three samples giving slightly earlier dates. [7]

Pollen evidence of widespread forest fires a decade or two before the eruptions has been interpreted by some scientists as a possible sign of human presence, leading to a suggested first settlement period of 1280–1320 CE. [4] [8] However, the most recent synthesis of archaeological and genetic evidence concludes that, whether or not some settlers arrived before the Tarawera eruption, the main settlement period was in the decades after it, somewhere between 1320 and 1350 CE, possibly involving a coordinated mass migration. [9] This scenario is also supported by a much debated, and now largely ignored, third line of evidence – traditional genealogies which point to 1350 AD as a probable arrival date for the main founding canoes from which most Māori trace their descent. [10] [11]

The descendants of these settlers became known as the Māori, forming a distinct culture of their own. The latter settlement of the tiny Chatham Islands in the east of New Zealand about 1500 CE produced the Moriori linguistic evidence indicates that the Moriori were mainland Māori who ventured eastward. [12] There is no evidence of a pre-Māori civilisation in mainland New Zealand. [13] [14]

The original settlers quickly exploited the abundant large game in New Zealand, such as moa, which were large flightless ratites pushed to extinction by about 1500. As moa and other large game became scarce or extinct, Māori culture underwent major change, with regional differences. In areas where it was possible to grow taro and kūmara, horticulture became more important. This was not possible in the south of the South Island, but wild plants such as fernroot were often available and cabbage trees were harvested and cultivated for food. Warfare also increased in importance, reflecting increased competition for land and other resources. In this period, fortified pā became more common, although there is debate about the actual frequency of warfare. As elsewhere in the Pacific, cannibalism was part of warfare. [15]

Leadership was based on a system of chieftainship, which was often but not always hereditary, although chiefs (male or female) needed to demonstrate leadership abilities to avoid being superseded by more dynamic individuals. The most important units of pre-European Māori society were the whānau or extended family, and the hapū or group of whānau. After these came the iwi or tribe, consisting of groups of hapū. Related hapū would often trade goods and co-operate on major projects, but conflict between hapū was also relatively common. Traditional Māori society preserved history orally through narratives, songs, and chants skilled experts could recite the tribal genealogies (whakapapa) back for hundreds of years. Arts included whaikōrero (oratory), song composition in multiple genres, dance forms including haka, as well as weaving, highly developed wood carving, and tā moko (tattoo).

New Zealand has no native land mammals (apart from some rare bats) so birds, fish and sea mammals were important sources of protein. Māori cultivated food plants which they had brought with them from Polynesia, including sweet potatoes (called kūmara), taro, gourds, and yams. They also cultivated the cabbage tree, a plant endemic to New Zealand, and exploited wild foods such as fern root, which provided a starchy paste.

Early European exploration Edit

The first Europeans known to reach New Zealand were the crew of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived in his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. Tasman anchored at the northern end of the South Island in Golden Bay (he named it Murderers' Bay) in December 1642 and sailed northward to Tonga following an attack by local Māori. Tasman sketched sections of the two main islands' west coasts. Tasman called them Staten Landt, after the States General of the Netherlands, and that name appeared on his first maps of the country. In 1645 Dutch cartographers changed the name to Nova Zeelandia in Latin, from Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. [16]

Over 100 years elapsed before Europeans returned to New Zealand in 1769, British naval captain James Cook of HM Bark Endeavour visited New Zealand, and coincidentally, only two months later, Frenchman Jean-François-Marie de Surville, in command of his own expedition, reached the country. When Cook left on his first voyage, the sealed orders given to him by the British Admiralty ordered him to proceed ". to the Westward between the Latitude beforementioned and the Latitude of 35° until’ you discover it, or fall in with the Eastern side of the Land discover’d by Tasman and now called New Zeland." [17] He would return to New Zealand on both of his subsequent voyages of discovery.

Various claims have been made that New Zealand was reached by other non-Polynesian voyagers before Tasman, but these are not widely accepted. Peter Trickett, for example, argues in Beyond Capricorn that the Portuguese explorer Cristóvão de Mendonça reached New Zealand in the 1520s, and the Tamil bell [18] discovered by missionary William Colenso has given rise to a number of theories, [19] [20] but historians generally believe the bell "is not in itself proof of early Tamil contact with New Zealand". [21] [22] [23]

From the 1790s, the waters around New Zealand were visited by British, French and American whaling, sealing and trading ships. Their crews traded European goods, including guns and metal tools, for Māori food, water, wood, flax and sex. [24] Māori were reputed to be enthusiastic and canny traders, even though the levels of technology, institutions and property rights differed greatly from the standards in European societies. [25] Although there were some conflicts, such as the killing of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne in 1772 and the destruction of the Boyd in 1809, most contact between Māori and European was peaceful.

Early European settlement Edit

European (Pākehā) settlement increased through the early decades of the 19th century, with numerous trading stations established, especially in the North Island. Christianity was introduced to New Zealand in 1814 by Samuel Marsden, who travelled to the Bay of Islands where he founded a mission station on behalf of the Church of England's Church Missionary Society. [26] By 1840 over 20 stations had been established. From missionaries, the Māori learnt not just about Christianity but also about European farming practices and trades, and how to read and write. [27] Building on the work of the Church Missionary Society missionary Thomas Kendall, beginning in 1820, linguist Samuel Lee worked with Māori chief Hongi Hika to transcribe the Māori language into written form. [26] In 1835 the country's first successful printing was two books from the Bible produced by Church Missionary Society printer William Colenso, translated into Māori by the Rev. William Williams. [28] [29]

The first European settlement was at Rangihoua Pā where the first full-blooded European infant in the territory, Thomas Holloway King, was born on 21 February 1815 at the Oihi Mission Station near Hohi Bay [30] in the Bay of Islands. Kerikeri, founded in 1822, and Bluff founded in 1823, both claim to be the oldest European settlements in New Zealand. [31] Many European settlers bought land from Māori, but misunderstanding and different concepts of land ownership led to conflict and bitterness. [27]

Māori response Edit

The effect of contact on Māori varied. In some inland areas life went on more or less unchanged, although a European metal tool such as a fish-hook or hand axe might be acquired through trade with other tribes. At the other end of the scale, tribes that frequently encountered Europeans, such as Ngāpuhi in Northland, underwent major changes. [26]

Pre-European Māori had no distance weapons except for tao (spears) [32] and the introduction of the musket had an enormous impact on Māori warfare. Tribes with muskets would attack tribes without them, killing or enslaving many. [33] As a result, guns became very valuable and Māori would trade huge quantities of goods for a single musket. From 1805 to 1843 the Musket Wars raged until a new balance of power was achieved after most tribes had acquired muskets. In 1835, the peaceful Moriori of the Chatham Islands were attacked, enslaved, and nearly exterminated by mainland Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama Māori. [34] In the 1901 census, only 35 Moriori were recorded although the numbers subsequently increased. [35]

Around this time, many Māori converted to Christianity. [26] In the 1840s, there were probably a higher percentage of Christians attending services among Māori than among people in the United Kingdom, [36] and their moral practices and spiritual lives were transformed. The New Zealand Anglican Church, te Hāhi Mihinare (the missionary church), was, and is, the largest Māori denomination. Māori made Christianity their own and spread it throughout the country often before European missionaries arrived. [36] [37]

The Colony of New South Wales was founded by 1788. According to the future Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip's amended Commission, dated 25 April 1787 the colony of New South Wales included "all the islands adjacent in the Pacific Ocean within the latitudes of 10°37'S and 43°39'S" which included most of New Zealand except for the southern half of the South Island. [38] In 1825 with Van Diemen's Land becoming a separate colony, the southern boundary of New South Wales was altered [39] to the islands adjacent in the Pacific Ocean with a southern boundary of 39°12'S which included only the northern half of the North Island. However, these boundaries had no real impact as the New South Wales administration had little interest in New Zealand. [40]

New Zealand was first mentioned in British statute in the Murders Abroad Act 1817. It made it easier for a court to punish "murders or manslaughters committed in places not within His Majesty's dominions", [41] and the Governor of New South Wales was given increased legal authority over New Zealand. [42] The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales over New Zealand was initiated in the New South Wales Act 1823, and lesser offences were included at that time. [43] [44] In response to complaints from missionaries, and a petition from Māori chiefs calling for King William IV to be a "friend and guardian" of New Zealand [45] about lawless sailors and adventurers in New Zealand, the British Government appointed James Busby as British Resident in 1832. In 1834 he encouraged Māori chiefs to assert their sovereignty with the signing of the Declaration of Independence (He Whakaputanga) in 1835. The declaration was sent to King William IV and was recognised by Britain. [46] Busby was provided with neither legal authority nor military support and was thus ineffective in controlling the Pākehā (European) population. [47]

Treaty of Waitangi Edit

In 1839 the New Zealand Company announced plans to buy large tracts of land and to establish colonies in New Zealand. [48] This and the increased commercial interests of merchants in Sydney and London spurred the British Government to take stronger action. [49] Captain William Hobson was sent to New Zealand by the British government with instructions to persuade Māori to cede their sovereignty to the British Crown. [50] In reaction to the New Zealand Company's moves, on 15 June 1839 the issue of new Letters Patent expanded the territory of New South Wales to include all of New Zealand. Governor of New South Wales George Gipps was appointed governor over New Zealand. [51] This represented the first clear expression of British intent to annex New Zealand.

On 6 February 1840, Hobson and about forty Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The British subsequently took copies of the Treaty around the islands of New Zealand for signature by other chiefs. A significant number refused to sign or were not asked but, in total, more than five hundred Māori eventually signed. [51]

The Treaty gave Māori sovereignty over their lands and possessions and all of the rights of British citizens. What it gave the British in return depends on the language-version of the Treaty used. The English version can be said to give the British Crown sovereignty over New Zealand but in the Māori version, the Crown receives kāwanatanga, which, arguably, is a lesser power (see interpretations of the Treaty). [52] The dispute over the "true" meaning and the intent of the signatories remains an issue. [53]

Britain was motivated by the desire to forestall the New Zealand Company and other European powers (France established a very small settlement at Akaroa in the South Island later in 1840), to facilitate settlement by British subjects and, possibly, to end the lawlessness of European (predominantly British and American) whalers, sealers and traders. Officials and missionaries had their own positions and reputations to protect. Māori chiefs were motivated by a desire for protection from foreign powers, for the establishment of governorship over European settlers and traders in New Zealand, and for allowing wider European settlement that would increase trade and prosperity for Māori. [54]

Governor Hobson died on 10 September 1842. Robert FitzRoy, the new governor (in office: 1843–1845), took some legal steps to recognise Māori custom. [55] However, his successor, George Grey, promoted rapid cultural assimilation and reduction of the land-ownership, influence and rights of the Māori. The practical effect of the Treaty was, in the beginning, only gradually felt, especially in predominantly Māori regions, where the settler government had little or no authority. [56]

Establishing the colony Edit

At first New Zealand was administered from Australia as part of the colony of New South Wales, and from 16 June 1840 New South Wales laws were deemed to operate in New Zealand. However, this was a transitional arrangement and on 1 July 1841 New Zealand became a colony in its own right. [55]

Settlement continued under British plans, inspired by a vision of New Zealand as a new land of opportunity. In 1846, the British Parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act 1846 for self-government for the 13,000 settlers in New Zealand. The new Governor, George Grey, suspended the plans. He argued that the Pākehā could not be trusted to pass laws that would protect the interests of the Māori majority – already there had been Treaty violations – and persuaded his political superiors to postpone its introduction for five years. [57]

The Church of England sponsored the Canterbury Association colony with assisted passages from Great Britain in the early 1850s. As a result of the influx of settlers, the Pākehā population grew explosively from fewer than 1000 in 1831 to 500,000 by 1881. Some 400,000 settlers came from Britain, of whom 300,000 stayed permanently. Most were young people and 250,000 babies were born. The passage of 120,000 was paid by the colonial government. After 1880 immigration reduced, and growth was due chiefly to the excess of births over deaths. [58]

New Zealand Company Edit

The New Zealand Company was responsible for 15,500 settlers coming to New Zealand. Company prospectuses did not always tell the truth, and often colonists would only find out the reality once they had arrived in New Zealand. This private colonisation project was part of the reason that the British Colonial Office decided to speed up its plans for the annexation of New Zealand. [59] Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796–1862) exerted a far-reaching influence by helping create the New Zealand Company. Due to his conviction and three-year imprisonment for abducting an heiress, his role in forming the New Zealand Company was necessarily out of sight from the public. Wakefield's colonisation programmes were over-elaborate and operated on a much smaller scale than he hoped for, but his ideas influenced law and culture, especially his vision for the colony as the embodiment of post-Enlightenment ideals, the notion of New Zealand as a model society, and the sense of fairness in employer-employee relations. [60] [61]

New Zealand Wars Edit

Māori had welcomed Pākehā for the trading opportunities and guns they brought. However it soon became clear that they had underestimated the number of settlers that would arrive in their lands. Iwi (tribes) whose land was the base of the main settlements quickly lost much of their land and autonomy through government acts. Others prospered – until about 1860 the city of Auckland bought most of its food from Māori who grew and sold it themselves. Many iwi owned flour mills, ships and other items of European technology, some exported food to Australia for a brief period during the 1850s gold rush. Although race relations were generally peaceful in this period, there were conflicts over who had ultimate power in particular areas – the Governor or the Māori chiefs. One such conflict was the Northern or Flagstaff War of the 1840s, during which Kororareka was sacked. [63]

As the Pākehā population grew, pressure grew on Māori to sell more land. Land was used communally but under the mana of chiefs. In Māori culture, there was no such idea as selling land until the arrival of Europeans. The means of acquiring land was to defeat another hapu or iwi in battle and seize their land. Te Rauparaha seized the land of many iwi in the lower North Island and upper South Island during the musket wars. Land was usually not given up without discussion and consultation. When an iwi was divided over the question of selling this could lead to great difficulties as at Waitara. [64]

Pākehā had little understanding of Māori views on land and accused Māori of holding onto land they did not use efficiently. Competition for land was one important cause of the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, in which the Taranaki and Waikato regions were invaded by colonial troops and Māori of these regions had some of their land taken from them. The wars and confiscation left bitterness that remains to this day. After the conclusion of the wars some iwi, especially in the Waikato, such as Ngati Haua sold land freely.

Some iwi sided with the government and, later, fought with the government. They were motivated partly by the thought that an alliance with the government would benefit them, and partly by old feuds with the iwi they fought against. One result of their co-operation strategy was the establishment of the four Māori electorates in the House of Representatives, in 1867.

After the wars, some Māori began a strategy of passive resistance, most famously the ploughing campaigns at Parihaka on 26 May 1879 in Taranaki. Most, such as NgaPuhi and Arawa continued co-operating with Pākehā. For example, tourism ventures were established by Te Arawa around Rotorua. Resisting and co-operating iwi both found that Pākehā desire for land remained. In the last decades of the century, most iwi lost substantial amounts of land through the activities of the Native Land Court. Due to its Eurocentric rules, the high fees, its location remote from the lands in question, and unfair practices by some Pākehā land agents, its main effect was to allow Māori to sell their land without restraint from other tribal members.

The effects of disease, [65] as well as war, confiscations, assimilation and intermarriage, [66] land loss leading to poor housing and alcohol abuse, and general disillusionment, caused a fall in the Māori population from around 86,000 in 1769 to around 70,000 in 1840 and around 48,000 by 1874, hitting a low point of 42,000 in 1896. [67] Subsequently, their numbers began to recover.

Self-government, 1850s Edit

In response to increased petitioning for self-governance from the growing number of British settlers, the British Parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, setting up a central government with an elected General Assembly (Parliament) and six provincial governments. [68] The General Assembly did not meet until 24 May 1854, 16 months after the Constitution Act had come into force. Provinces were reorganised in 1846 and in 1853, when they acquired their own legislatures, and then abolished with effect in 1877. [69] The settlers soon won the right to responsible government (with an executive supported by a majority in the elected assembly). But the governor, and through him the Colonial Office in London, retained control of native policy until the mid-1860s. [70]

Farming and mining Edit

The Māori tribes at first sold the land to the settlers, but the government voided the sales in 1840. Now only the government was allowed to purchase land from Māori, who received cash. The government bought practically all the useful land, then resold it to the New Zealand Company, which promoted immigration, or leased it for sheep runs. The Company resold the best tracts to British settlers its profits were used to pay the travel of the immigrants from Britain. [71] [72]

Because of the vast distances involved, the first settlers were self-sufficient farmers. By the 1840s, however, large scale sheep stations were exporting large quantities of wool to the textile mills of England. Most of the early settlers were brought over by a programme operated by the New Zealand Company and were located in the central region on either side of Cook Strait, and at Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth and Nelson. These settlements had access to some of the richest plains in the country and after refrigerated ships appeared in 1882, they developed into closely settled regions of small-scale farming. Outside these compact settlements were the sheep runs. Pioneer pastoralists, often men with experience as squatters in Australia, leased lands from the government at the annual rate of £5 plus £1 for each 1,000 sheep above the first 5,000. The leases were renewed automatically, which gave the wealthy pastoralists a strong landed interest and made them a powerful political force. In all between 1856 and 1876, 8.1 million acres were sold for £7.6 million, and 2.2 million acres were given free to soldiers, sailors and settlers. [73] With an economy based on agriculture, the landscape was transformed from forest to farmland.

Gold discoveries in Otago (1861) and Westland (1865), caused a worldwide gold rush that more than doubled the population in a short period, from 71,000 in 1859 to 164,000 in 1863. The value of trade increased fivefold from £2 million to £10 million. As the gold boom ended, Colonial Treasurer and later (from 1873) Premier Julius Vogel borrowed money from British investors and launched in 1870 an ambitious programme of public works and infrastructure investment, together with a policy of assisted immigration. [74] Successive governments expanded the program with offices across Britain that enticed settlers and gave them and their families one-way tickets. [75]

From about 1865, the economy lapsed into a long depression as a result of the withdrawal of British troops, peaking of gold production in 1866 [76] and Vogel's borrowing and the associated debt burden (especially on land). Despite a brief boom in wheat, prices for farm products sagged. The market for land seized up. Hard times led to urban unemployment and sweated labour (exploitative labour conditions) in industry. [77] The country lost people through emigration, mostly to Australia.

Vogel era Edit

In 1870 Julius Vogel introduced his grand go-ahead policy to dispel the slump with increased immigration and overseas borrowing to fund new railways, roads and telegraph lines. Local banks – notably the Bank of New Zealand and the Colonial Bank of New Zealand — were "reckless" and permitted "a frenzy of private borrowing". [78] The public debt had increased from £7.8 million in 1870 to £18.6 million in 1876. But 718 miles (1,156 km) of railway had been built with 427 miles (687 km) under construction. 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of road had been opened, and electric telegraph lines increased from 699 miles (1,125 km) in 1866 to 3,170 miles (5,100 km) in 1876. A record number of immigrants arrived in 1874 (32,000 of the 44,000 were government assisted) and the population rose from 248,000 in 1870 to 399,000 in 1876. [79]

Women Edit

Although norms of masculinity were dominant, strong minded women originated a feminist movement starting in the 1860s, well before women gained the right to vote in 1893. [80] Middle-class women employed the media (especially newspapers) to communicate with each other and define their priorities. Prominent feminist writers included Mary Taylor, [81] Mary Colclough (pseud. Polly Plum), [82] and Ellen Ellis. [83] The first signs of a politicised collective female identity came in crusades to pass the Contagious Diseases Prevention Act. [84] [85]

Feminists by the 1880s were using the rhetoric of "white slavery" to reveal men's sexual and social oppression of women. By demanding that men take responsibility for the right of women to walk the streets in safety, New Zealand feminists deployed the rhetoric of white slavery to argue for women's sexual and social freedom. [86] Middle-class women successfully mobilised to stop prostitution, especially during the First World War. [87]

Māori women developed their own form of feminism, derived from Māori nationalism rather than European sources. [88] [89]

In 1893 Elizabeth Yates was elected mayor of Onehunga, making her the first woman in the British Empire to hold the office. She was an able administrator: she cut the debt, reorganised the fire brigade, and improved the roads and sanitation. Many men were hostile however, and she was defeated for re-election. [90] Hutching argues that after 1890 women were increasingly well organised through the National Council of Women, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Women's International League, and others. By 1910 they were campaigning for peace, and against compulsory military training, and conscription. They demanded arbitration and the peaceful resolution of international disputes. The women argued that women-hood (thanks to motherhood) was the repository of superior moral values and concerns and from their domestic experience they knew best how to resolve conflicts. [91]

Schools Edit

Prior to 1877 schools were operated by the provincial government, churches, or by private subscription. Education was not a requirement and many children did not attend any school, especially farm children whose labour was important to the family economy. The quality of education provided varied substantially depending on the school. The Education Act of 1877 created New Zealand's first free national system of primary education, establishing standards that educators should meet, and making education compulsory for children aged 5 to 15. [92]

Immigration Edit

From 1840 there was considerable European settlement, primarily from England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland and to a lesser extent the United States, India, China, and various parts of continental Europe, including the province of Dalmatia [93] in what is now Croatia, and Bohemia [94] in what is now the Czech Republic. Already a majority of the population by 1859, the number of Pākehā settlers increased rapidly to reach over one million by 1916. [95]

In the 1870s and 1880s, several thousand Chinese men, mostly from Guangdong, migrated to New Zealand to work on the South Island goldfields. Although the first Chinese migrants had been invited by the Otago Provincial government they quickly became the target of hostility from white settlers and laws were enacted specifically to discourage them from coming to New Zealand. [96]

Gold Rush and South Island growth Edit

In 1861 gold was discovered at Gabriel's Gully in Central Otago, sparking a gold rush. Dunedin became the wealthiest city in the country and many in the South Island resented financing the North Island's wars. In 1865 Parliament defeated a proposal to make the South Island independent by 17 to 31. [97]

The South Island was home to most of the Pākehā population until around 1911 when the North Island again took the lead, and has supported an ever-greater majority of the country's total population through the 20th century and into the 21st. [98]

Scottish immigrants dominated the South Island and evolved ways to bridge the old homeland and the new. Many local Caledonian societies were formed. They organised sports teams to entice the young and preserved an idealised Scottish national myth (based on Robert Burns) for the elderly. They gave Scots a path to assimilation and cultural integration as Scottish New Zealanders. [99] The settlement of Scots in the Deep South is reflected in the lasting predominance of Presbyterianism in the South Island. [100]

1890–1914 Edit

Politics Edit

The pre-war era saw the advent of party politics, with the establishment of the Liberal Government. The landed gentry and aristocracy ruled Britain at this time. New Zealand never had an aristocracy but it did have wealthy landowners who largely controlled politics before 1891. The Liberal Party set out to change that by a policy it called "populism". Richard Seddon had proclaimed the goal as early as 1884: "It is the rich and the poor it is the wealthy and the landowners against the middle and labouring classes. That, Sir, shows the real political position of New Zealand." [101] The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals.

To obtain land for farmers the Liberal government from 1891 to 1911 purchased 3.1 million acres of Māori land. The government also purchased 1.3 million acres from large estate holders for subdivision and closer settlement by small farmers. The Advances to Settlers Act of 1894 provided low-interest mortgages, while the Agriculture Department disseminated information on the best farming methods. [102] [103]

The 1909 Native Land Act allowed the Māori to sell land to private buyers. [104] Māori still owned five million acres by 1920 they leased three million acres and used one million acres for themselves. The Liberals proclaimed success in forging an egalitarian, anti-monopoly land policy. The policy built up support for the Liberal party in rural North Island electorates. By 1903 the Liberals were so dominant that there was no longer an organised opposition in Parliament. [105] [106]

The Liberal government laid the foundations of the later comprehensive welfare state: introducing old age pensions maximum hour regulations pioneering minimum wage laws [107] and developing a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions, to start with. [108] In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal female suffrage. [109]

New Zealand gained international attention for its reforms, especially how the state regulated labour relations. [110] The impact was especially strong on the reform movement in the United States. [111]

Coleman argues that the Liberals in 1891 lacked a clear-cut ideology to guide them. Instead they approached the nation's problems pragmatically, keeping in mind the constraints imposed by democratic public opinion. To deal with the issue of land distribution, they worked out innovative solutions to access, tenure, and a graduated tax on unimproved values. [112]

Economic developments Edit

In the 1870s Julius Vogel's grand go-ahead policy of borrowing overseas had increased the public debt from £7.8 million in 1870 to £18.6 million in 1876, but had constructed many miles of railways, roads and telegraph lines and attracted many new migrants. [113] [114]

In the 1880s, New Zealand's economy grew from one based on wool and local trade to the export of wool, cheese, butter and frozen beef and mutton to Britain. The change was enabled by the invention of refrigerated steamships in 1882 and a result of the large market demands overseas. In order to increase production, alongside a more intensive use of factor inputs a transformation of production techniques was necessary. The required capital came mainly from outside of New Zealand. [115] Refrigerated shipping remained the basis of New Zealand's economy until the 1970s. New Zealand's highly productive agriculture gave it probably the world's highest standard of living, with fewer at the rich and poor ends of the scale. [116]

New Zealand initially expressed interest in joining the proposed Federation of the Australian colonies, attending the 1891 National Australia Convention in Sydney. Interest in the proposed Australian Federation faded and New Zealand decided against joining the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. [119] New Zealand instead changed from being a colony to a separate "Dominion" in 1907, equal in status to Australia and Canada. Dominion status was a public mark of the self-governance that had evolved over half a century through responsible government. [120] Just under one million people lived in New Zealand in 1907 and cities such as Auckland and Wellington were growing rapidly. [121]

Temperance and prohibition Edit

In New Zealand, prohibition was a moralistic reform movement begun in the mid-1880s by the Protestant evangelical and Nonconformist churches and the Women's Christian Temperance Union New Zealand and after 1890 by the Prohibition League. [122] It never achieved its goal of national prohibition. It was a middle-class movement which accepted the existing economic and social order the effort to legislate morality assumed that individual redemption was all that was needed to carry the colony forward from a pioneering society to a more mature one. However, both the Church of England and the largely Irish Catholic Church rejected prohibition as an intrusion of government into the church's domain, while the growing labour movement saw capitalism rather than alcohol as the enemy. Reformers hoped that the women's vote, in which New Zealand was a pioneer, would swing the balance, but the women were not as well organised as in other countries. Prohibition had a majority in a national referendum in 1911, but needed a 60% majority to pass. [123] The movement kept trying in the 1920s, losing three more referenda by close votes it managed to keep in place a 6 pm closing hour for pubs and Sunday closing (leading to the so-called six o'clock swill). [124] The Depression and war years effectively ended the movement. [122]

First World War Edit

The country remained an enthusiastic member of the British Empire. 4 August is the date the outbreak of World War I is marked in New Zealand. [125] During the war, more than 120,000 New Zealanders enlisted to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and around 100,000 served overseas 18,000 died, 499 were taken prisoner, [126] and about 41,000 men were listed as wounded. [125] Conscription had been in force since 1909, and while it was opposed in peacetime there was less opposition during the war. The labour movement was pacifistic, opposed the war, and alleged that the rich were benefiting at the expense of the workers. It formed the New Zealand Labour Party in 1916. Māori tribes that had been close to the government sent their young men to volunteer. Unlike in Britain, relatively few women became involved. Women did serve as nurses 640 joined the services and 500 went overseas. [127] [128]

New Zealand forces captured Western Samoa from Germany in the early stages of the war, [125] and New Zealand administered the country until Samoan Independence in 1962. [129] However Samoans greatly resented the imperialism, and blamed inflation and the catastrophic 1918 flu epidemic on New Zealand rule. [130]

More than 2700 men died in the Gallipoli Campaign. [125] The heroism of the soldiers in the failed campaign made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory, and is often credited with securing the psychological independence of the nation. [131] [132]

Imperial loyalties Edit

After the war New Zealand signed the Treaty of Versailles (1919), joined the League of Nations and pursued an independent foreign policy, while its defence was still controlled by Britain. New Zealand depended on Britain's Royal Navy for its military security during the 1920s and 1930s. Officials in Wellington trusted Conservative Party governments in London, but not Labour. When the British Labour Party took power in 1924 and 1929, the New Zealand government felt threatened by Labour's foreign policy because of its reliance upon the League of Nations. The League was distrusted and Wellington did not expect to see the coming of a peaceful world order under League auspices. What had been the Empire's most loyal dominion became a dissenter as it opposed efforts the first and second British Labour governments to trust the League's framework of arbitration and collective security agreements. [133]

The governments of the Reform and United parties between 1912 and 1935 followed a "realistic" foreign policy. They made national security a high priority, were sceptical of international institutions, and showed no interest on the questions of self-determination, democracy, and human rights. However the opposition Labour Party was more idealistic and proposed a liberal internationalist outlook on international affairs. [134]

Labour movement Edit

The Labour Party emerged as a force in 1919 with a socialist platform. It won about 25% of the vote. [134] However its appeals to working class solidarity were not effective because a large fraction of the working class voted for conservative candidates of the Liberal and Reform parties. (They merged in 1936 to form the New Zealand National Party.) As a consequence the Labour party was able to jettison its support for socialism in 1927 (a policy made official in 1951), as it expanded its reach into middle class constituencies. The result was a jump in strength to 35% in 1931, 47% in 1935, and peaking at 56% in 1938. [135] From 1935 the First Labour Government showed a limited degree of idealism in foreign policy, for example opposing the appeasement of Germany and Japan. [134]

Great Depression Edit

Like many other countries, New Zealand suffered in the Great Depression of the 1930s, which affected the country via its international trade, with steep decreases in farm exports subsequently affecting the money supply and in turn consumption, investment and imports. The country was most affected around 1930–1932, when average farm incomes for a short time dipped below zero, and the unemployment rate peaked. Though actual unemployment numbers were not officially counted, the country was affected especially strongly in the North Island. [136]

Unlike in later years, there were no public benefit ("dole") payments – the unemployed were given "relief work", much of which was however not very productive, partly because the size of the problem was unprecedented. Women also increasingly registered as unemployed, while Māori received government help through other channels such as the land-development schemes organised by Sir Āpirana Ngata, who served as Minister of Native Affairs from 1928 to 1934. In 1933, 8.5% of the unemployed were organised in work camps, while the rest received work close to their homes. Typical occupations in relief work included road work (undertaken by 45% of all part-time and 19% of all full-time relief workers in 1934, with park improvement works (17%) and farm work (31%) being the other two most common types of work for part-time and full-time relief workers respectively). [136]

Building the welfare state Edit

Attempts by the United–Reform Coalition to deal with the situation with spending cuts and relief work were ineffective and unpopular. In 1935, the First Labour Government was elected, and the post-depression decade showed that average Labour support in New Zealand had roughly doubled comparable to pre-depression times. By 1935 economic conditions had improved somewhat, and the new government had more positive financial conditions. [136] Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage proclaimed that: "Social Justice must be the guiding principle and economic organization must adapt itself to social needs." [137]

The new government quickly set about implementing a number of significant reforms, including a reorganisation of the social welfare system and the creation of the state housing scheme. Labour also gained Māori votes by working closely with the Rātana movement. Savage was idolised by the working classes, and his portrait hung on the walls of many houses around the country. The newly created welfare state promised government support to individuals "from the cradle to the grave", according to the Labour slogan. It included free health care and education, and state assistance for the elderly, infirm, and unemployed. The opposition attacked the Labour Party's more left-wing policies, and accused it of undermining free enterprise and hard work. The Reform Party and the United Party merged to become the National Party, and would be Labour's main rival in future years. However the welfare state system was retained and expanded by successive National and Labour governments until the 1980s. [138]

1930s foreign policy Edit

In foreign policy, the Labour Party in power after 1935 disliked the Versailles Treaty of 1919 as too harsh on Germany, opposed militarism and arms build-ups, distrusted the political conservatism of the National Government in Britain, sympathized with the Soviet Union, and increasingly worried about threats from Japan. It denounced Italy's role in Ethiopia and sympathized with the republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. Those policies favoured the left but it also was pro-German. It consistently advocated negotiations with Nazi Germany, signed a trade agreement with it, welcomed the Munich agreement of 1938 regarding the division of Czechoslovakia, discouraged public criticism of the Nazi regime, and pursued a slow rearmament programme. When World War II broke out in September 1939, it recommended to London a negotiated peace with Berlin however after the fall of France in the spring of 1940, it did support the British war effort militarily and economically. [139]

Second World War Edit

When war broke out in 1939, New Zealanders saw their proper role as defending their proud place in the British Empire. It contributed some 120,000 troops. [140] They mostly fought in North Africa, Greece/Crete, and Italy, relying on the Royal Navy and later the United States to protect New Zealand from the Japanese forces. Japan had no interest in New Zealand in the first place it had already over-reached when it invaded New Guinea in 1942. (There were a few highly publicised but ineffective Japanese scouting incursions.) The 3rd New Zealand Division fought in the Solomons in 1943–44, but New Zealand's limited manpower meant 2 Divisions could not be maintained, and it was disbanded and its men returned to civilian life or used to reinforce the 2nd Division in Italy. The armed forces peaked at 157,000 in September 1942 135,000 served abroad, and 10,100 died. [ citation needed ]

New Zealand, with a population of 1.7 million, including 99,000 Māori, was highly mobilised during the war. [141] The Labour party was in power and promoted unionisation and the welfare state. Agriculture expanded, sending record supplies of meat, butter and wool to Britain. When American forces arrived, they were fed as well.

The nation spent £574 million on the war, of which 43% came from taxes, 41% from loans and 16% from American Lend Lease. It was an era of prosperity as the national income soared from £158 million in 1937 to £292 million in 1944. Rationing and price controls kept inflation to only 14% during 1939–45. [142]

Over £50 million was spent on defence works and military accommodation and hospitals, including 292 mi (470 km) of roads. [143]

Montgomerie shows that the war dramatically increased the roles of women, especially married women, in the labour force. Most of them took traditional female jobs. Some replaced men but the changes here were temporary and reversed in 1945. After the war, women left traditional male occupations and many women gave up paid employment to return home. There was no radical change in gender roles but the war intensified occupational trends under way since the 1920s. [144] [145]

Labour to National Edit

Labour remained in power after the Second World War and in 1945, Labour Prime Minister Peter Fraser played an important role in the establishment of the United Nations, of which New Zealand was a founding member. [146] However, domestically Labour had lost the reforming zeal of the 1930s and its electoral support ebbed after the war. After Labour lost power in 1949, the conservative National Party began an almost continuous thirty-year stint in government, interrupted by single-term Labour governments in 1957 to 60 and 1972 to 75. National Prime Minister Sidney Holland called a snap election as a result of the 1951 waterfront dispute, an incident that reinforced National's dominance and severely weakened the union movement. [147]

Cooperation with the United States set a direction of policy which resulted in the ANZUS Treaty between New Zealand, America and Australia in 1951, as well as participation in the Korean War. [148]

The British connection Edit

Fedorowich and Bridge argue that the demands of the Second World War produced long-term consequences for New Zealand's relationship with the government in London. The key component was the office of the high commissioner. By 1950 it was the main line of communications between the British and New Zealand governments. [149]

1950s New Zealand culture was deeply British and conservative, [150] with the concept of "fairness" holding a central role. [151] New immigrants, still mainly British, flooded in while New Zealand remained prosperous by exporting farm products to Britain. In 1953 New Zealanders took pride that a countryman, Edmund Hillary, gave Queen Elizabeth II a coronation gift by reaching the summit of Mount Everest. [152]

From the 1890s, the economy had been based almost entirely on the export of frozen meat and dairy products to Britain, and in 1961, the share of New Zealand exports going to the United Kingdom was still at slightly over 51%, with approximately 15% going to other European countries. [153] The 1960s was a decade of rising prosperity for most New Zealanders, but from 1965 there were also protests – in support of women's rights and the nascent ecological movement, and against the Vietnam War. [154] Irrespective of political developments, many New Zealanders still perceived themselves as a distinctive outlying branch of the United Kingdom until at least the 1970s. In 1973 Britain joined the European Community and abrogated its preferential trade agreements with New Zealand, forcing New Zealand to not only find new markets but also re-examine its national identity and place in the world. [155]

Māori urbanisation Edit

Māori always had a high birth rate that was neutralised by a high death rate until modern public health measures became effective in the 20th century when tuberculosis deaths and infant mortality declined sharply. Life expectancy grew from 49 years in 1926 to 60 years in 1961 and the total numbers grew rapidly. [156] Many Māori served in the Second World War and learned how to cope in the modern urban world others moved from their rural homes to the cities to take up jobs vacated by Pākehā servicemen. [157] The shift to the cities was also caused by their strong birth rates in the early 20th century, with the existing rural farms in Māori ownership having increasing difficulty in providing enough jobs. [157] Māori culture had meanwhile undergone a renaissance thanks in part to politician Āpirana Ngata. [158] By the 1980s 80% of the Māori population was urban, in contrast to only 20% before the Second World War. The migration led to better pay, higher standards of living and longer schooling, but also exposed problems of racism and discrimination. By the late 1960s a Māori protest movement had emerged to combat racism, promote Māori culture and seek fulfilment of the Treaty of Waitangi. [159]

Urbanisation proceeded rapidly across the land. In the late 1940s, town planners noted that the country was "possibly the third most urbanised country in the world", [160] with two-thirds of the population living in cities or towns. There was also increasing concern that this trend was badly managed, with it being noted that there was an "ill-defined urban pattern that appears to have few of the truly desirable urban qualities and yet manifests no compensating rural characteristics". [160]

The Muldoon years, 1975–1984 Edit

The country's economy suffered in the aftermath of the 1973 global energy crisis, the loss of New Zealand's biggest export market upon Britain's entry to the European Economic Community, and rampant inflation. [155] Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister from 1975 to 1984, and his Third National Government responded to the crises of the 1970s by attempting to preserve the New Zealand of the 1950s. He attempted to maintain New Zealand's "cradle to the grave" welfare state, which dated to 1935. His government sought to give retirees 80% of the current wage, which would require large-scale borrowing critics said it would bankrupt the treasury. Muldoon's response to the crisis also involved imposing a total freeze on wages, prices, interest rates and dividends across the national economy. [161]

Muldoon's conservatism and antagonistic style exacerbated an atmosphere of conflict in New Zealand, most violently expressed during the 1981 Springbok Tour. [162] In the 1984 elections Labour promised to calm down the increasing tensions, while making no specific promises it scored a landslide victory. [161]

However, Muldoon's government was not entirely backward looking. Some innovations did take place, for example the Closer Economic Relations (CER) free-trade programme with Australia to liberalise trade, starting in 1982. The aim of total free trade between the two countries was achieved in 1990, five years ahead of schedule. [163]

The radical 1980s reforms Edit

In 1984, the Fourth Labour Government, led by David Lange, was elected amid a constitutional and economic crisis. The crisis led the incoming government to review New Zealand's constitutional structures, which resulted in the Constitution Act 1986. [164] In power from 1984 to 1990, the Labour government launched a major policy of restructuring the economy, radically reducing the role of government. [165] A political scientist reports:

"Between 1984 and 1993, New Zealand underwent radical economic reform, moving from what had probably been the most protected, regulated and state-dominated system of any capitalist democracy to an extreme position at the open, competitive, free-market end of the spectrum." [166]

The economic reforms were led by finance minister Roger Douglas (1984–1988). Dubbed Rogernomics, it was a rapid programme of deregulation and public-asset sales. Subsidies were phased out to farmers and consumers. High finance was partly deregulated. Restrictions on foreign exchange were relaxed and the dollar was allowed to float and seek its natural level on the world market. The tax on high incomes was cut in half from 65% to 33%. The shares exchange entered a bubble, which then burst. Shares had a total value of $50 billion in 1987 and only $15 billion in 1991 at one point the crash was "the worst in world". [167] Overall the economic growth fell from 2% a year to 1%. [168] Douglas's reforms resembled the contemporaneous policies of Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States. [169]

Strong criticism of Rogernomics came from the left, especially from Labour's traditional trade union support-base Lange broke with Douglas's policies in 1987 both men were forced out and Labour was in confusion. [170]

In keeping with the mood of the 1980s [171] the government sponsored liberal policies and initiatives in a number of social areas this included Homosexual Law Reform, [172] the introduction of 'no-fault divorce', reduction in the gender pay gap [171] and the drafting of a Bill of Rights. [173] Immigration policy was liberalised, allowing an influx of immigrants from Asia previously most immigrants to New Zealand had been European and especially British. [171] The Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act 1985 enabled the Waitangi Tribunal to investigate claims of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi going back to 1840, and to settle grievances. [174]

The Fourth Labour Government also revolutionised New Zealand's foreign policy, making the country a nuclear-free zone and effectively leaving the ANZUS alliance. [175] The French intelligence service's sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, and the diplomatic ramifications following the incident, did much to promote the anti-nuclear stance as an important symbol of New Zealand's national identity. [176] [177]

Continuing reform under National Edit

Voters unhappy with the rapid speed and far-reaching extent of reforms elected a National government in 1990, led by Jim Bolger. However the new government continued the economic reforms of the previous Labour government, in what was known as Ruthanasia. [178] Unhappy with what seemed to be a pattern of governments failing to reflect the mood of the electorate, New Zealanders in 1992 and 1993 voted to change the electoral system to mixed-member proportional (MMP), a form of proportional representation. [179] New Zealand's first MMP election was held in 1996. Following the election National was returned to power in coalition with the New Zealand First Party. [180]

With the end of the Cold War in 1991, the nation's foreign policy turned increasingly to issues of its nuclear-free status and other military issues its adjustment to neoliberalism in international trade relations and its involvement in humanitarian, environmental, and other matters of international diplomacy. [181] [182]

In the 21st century, international tourism is a major contributor to the New Zealand economy, and the service sector more generally has grown. Meanwhile, the traditional agricultural exports of meat, dairy and wool have been supplemented by other products such as fruit, wine and timber as the economy has diversified. [183]

2000s and 2010s Edit

The Fifth Labour Government led by Helen Clark was formed following the December 1999 election. [184] In power for nine years, it maintained most of the previous governments' economic reforms – restricting government intervention in the economy much more so than previous governments – while putting more of an emphasis on social policy and outcomes. For example, employment law was modified to give more protection to workers, [185] and the student loan system was changed to eliminate interest payments for New Zealand resident students and graduates. [186]

New Zealand retains strong but informal links to Britain, with many young New Zealanders travelling to Britain for their "OE" (overseas experience) [187] due to favourable working visa arrangements with Britain. Despite New Zealand's immigration liberalisation in the 1980s, Britons are still the largest group of migrants to New Zealand, due in part to recent immigration law changes which privilege fluent speakers of English. One constitutional link to Britain remains – New Zealand's head of state, the Queen in Right of New Zealand, is a British resident. However, British imperial honours were discontinued in 1996, the governor-general has taken a more active role in representing New Zealand overseas, and appeals from the Court of Appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were replaced by a local Supreme Court of New Zealand in 2003. There is public debate about whether New Zealand should become a republic, and public sentiment is divided on the issue. [188]

Foreign policy has been essentially independent since the mid-1980s. Under Prime Minister Clark, foreign policy reflected the priorities of liberal internationalism. She stressed the promotion of democracy and human rights the strengthening of the role of the United Nations the advancement of anti-militarism and disarmament and the encouragement of free trade. [189] She sent troops to the War in Afghanistan, but did not contribute combat troops to the Iraq War although some medical and engineering units were sent. [190]

John Key led the National Party to victory in the November 2008. [191] Key became Prime Minister of the Fifth National Government which entered government at the beginning of the late-2000s recession. In February 2011, a major earthquake in Christchurch, the nation's third-largest urban area, significantly impacted the national economy and the government formed the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority in response. [192] In foreign policy, Key announced the withdrawal of New Zealand Defence Force personnel from their deployment in the war in Afghanistan, and signed the Wellington Declaration with the United States. [193]

A Labour-led coalition Government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was formed in October 2017. Among other issues, it plans to tackle a burgeoning housing shortage crisis in New Zealand. [194]

On 15 March 2019, a lone terrorist shooter attacked two mosques during Friday Prayer, killing 51 people and injuring 40 more, [195] [196] and live streamed the attack. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who referred to the attack as "one of New Zealand's darkest days", [197] led efforts to support the Muslim community [198] and ban semi-automatic rifles. [199] [200]

2020s Edit

The COVID-19 pandemic, which had originated in Wuhan, China, sometime late 2019, has seriously affected New Zealand. In March 2020, borders and entry ports of New Zealand were closed to all non-residents. [201] Later a national lockdown was imposed by the government, beginning on 25 March 2020, [202] with all restrictions (except border controls) lifted on 9 June. [203] The government's elimination approach has been praised internationally. [204] [205] The government has a planned response to the projected severe economic impact from the pandemic. [206] [207]

In November 2020, Prime Minister Ardern formed a new government after the Labour Party landslide win in the parliamentary election. It was the first single-party government since New Zealand moved to proportional representation in 1996. Women and the Maori community were also strongly represented in the cabinet. [208]


The land mass that was to become the city of New Orleans was formed around 2200 BC when the Mississippi River deposited silt creating the delta region. Before Europeans founded the settlement, the area was inhabited by Native Americans for about 1300 years. [1] The Mississippian culture peoples built mounds and earthworks in the area. Later Native Americans created a portage between the headwaters of Bayou St. John (known to the natives as Bayouk Choupique) and the Mississippi River. The bayou flowed into Lake Pontchartrain. This became an important trade route. Archaeological evidence has shown settlement here dated back to at least 400 A.D. [2]

French explorers, fur trappers and traders arrived in the area by the 1690s, some making settlements amid the Native American village of thatched huts along the Bayou. By the end of the decade, the French made an encampment called "Port Bayou St. Jean" near the head of the bayou this would later be known as the Faubourg St. John neighborhood. The French also built a small fort, "St. Jean" (known to later generations of New Orleanians as "Old Spanish Fort") at the mouth of the bayou in 1701, using as a base a large Native American shell midden dating back to the Marksville culture. [3] In 1708, land grants along the Bayou were given to French settlers from Mobile, but the majority left within the next two years due to the failure of attempts to grow wheat there. [4] These early European settlements are now within the limits of the city of New Orleans, though predating the city's official founding.

New Orleans was founded in early 1718 by the French as La Nouvelle-Orléans, under the direction of Louisiana governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. After considering several alternatives, Bienville selected the site for several strategic reasons and practical considerations, including: it was relatively high ground, along a sharp bend of the flood-prone Mississippi River, which thus created a natural levee (previously chosen as the site of an abandoned Quinipissa village) it was adjacent to the trading route and portage between the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain via Bayou St. John, offering access to the Gulf of Mexico port of Biloxi without going downriver 100 miles and it offered control of the entire Mississippi River Valley, at a safe distance from Spanish and English colonial settlements. [5] [6] [7]

From its founding, the French intended New Orleans to be an important colonial city. The city was named in honor of the then Regent of France, Philip II, Duke of Orléans. The regent allowed Scottish economist John Law to create a private bank and a financing scheme that succeeded in increasing the colonial population of New Orleans and other areas of Louisiana. The scheme, however, created an investment bubble that burst at the end of 1720. Law's Mississippi Company collapsed, stopping the flow of investment money to New Orleans. [8] Nonetheless, in 1722, New Orleans was made the capital of French Louisiana, replacing Biloxi in that role.

The priest-chronicler Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix described New Orleans in 1721 as a place of a hundred wretched hovels in a malarious wet thicket of willows and dwarf palmettos, infested by serpents and alligators he seems to have been the first, however, to predict for it an imperial future.

In September 1722, a hurricane struck the city, blowing most of the structures down. After this, the administrators enforced the grid pattern dictated by Bienville but hitherto previously mostly ignored by the colonists. This grid plan is still seen today in the streets of the city's "French Quarter" (see map).

Much of the colonial population in early days was of the wildest and, in part, of the most undesirable character: deported galley slaves, trappers, gold-hunters the colonial governors' letters were full of complaints regarding the riffraff sent as soldiers as late as Kerlerec's administration (1753–1763).

Two large lakes (in reality estuaries) in the vicinity, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, commemorate respectively Louis Phelypeaux, Count Pontchartrain, minister and chancellor of France, and Jean Frederic Phelypeaux, Count Maurepas, minister and secretary of state. A third body of water, Lake Borgne, was originally a land-locked inlet of the sea its name has reference to its incomplete or defective character.

Spanish interregnum Edit

In 1763 following Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War, the French colony west of the Mississippi River—plus New Orleans—was ceded to the Spanish Empire as a secret provision of the 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau, confirmed the following year in the Treaty of Paris. This was to compensate Spain for the loss of Florida to the British, who also took the remainder of the formerly French territory east of the River.

No Spanish governor came to take control until 1766. French and German settlers, hoping to restore New Orleans to French control, forced the Spanish governor to flee to Spain in the bloodless Rebellion of 1768. A year later, the Spanish reasserted control, executing five ringleaders and sending five plotters to a prison in Cuba, and formally instituting Spanish law. Other members of the rebellion were forgiven as long as they pledged loyalty to Spain. Although a Spanish governor was in New Orleans, it was under the jurisdiction of the Spanish garrison in Cuba.

— Thomas Kitchin, The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe, 1778 [9]

In the final third of the Spanish period, two massive fires burned the great majority of the city's buildings. The Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 destroyed 856 buildings in the city on Good Friday, March 21 of that year. [10] In December 1794 another fire destroyed 212 buildings. After the fires, the city was rebuilt with bricks, replacing the simpler wooden buildings constructed in the early colonial period. Much of the 18th-century architecture still present in the French Quarter was built during this time, including three of the most impressive structures in New Orleans—St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere. The architectural character of the French Quarter, including multi-storied buildings centered around inner courtyards, large arched doorways, and the use of decorative wrought iron, were ubiquitous in parts of Spain and the Spanish colonies, although precedents in French colonial and even Anglo-colonial America exist. Spanish influence on the urban landscape in New Orleans may be attributed to the fact that the period of Spanish rule saw a great deal of immigration from all over the Atlantic, including Spain and the Canary Islands, and the Spanish colonies. [11]

In 1795 and 1796, the sugar processing industry was first put upon a firm basis. The last twenty years of the 18th century were especially characterized by the growth of commerce on the Mississippi, and the development of those international interests, commercial and political, of which New Orleans was the center. Within the city, the Carondelet Canal, connecting the back of the city along the river levee with Lake Pontchartrain via Bayou St. John, opened in 1794, which was a boost to commerce.

Through Pinckney's Treaty signed on October 27, 1795, Spain granted the United States "Right of Deposit" in New Orleans, allowing Americans to use the city's port facilities.

Retrocession to France and Louisiana Purchase Edit

In 1800 Spain and France signed the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso stipulating that Spain give Louisiana back to France, although it had to remain under Spanish control as long as France wished to postpone the transfer of power. There was another relevant treaty in 1801, the Treaty of Aranjuez, and later a royal bill issued by King Charles IV of Spain in 1802 these confirmed and finalized the retrocession of Spanish Louisiana to France.

In April 1803, Napoleon sold Louisiana (New France) (which then included portions of more than a dozen present-day states) to the U.S. in the Louisiana Purchase. A French prefect, Pierre Clément de Laussat, who had only arrived in New Orleans on March 23, 1803, formally took control of Louisiana for France on November 30, only to hand it over to the U.S. on December 20, 1803. In the meantime he created New Orleans' first city council, abolishing the Spanish cabildo.

In 1805, a census showed a heterogeneous population of 8,500, comprising 3,551 whites, 1,556 free blacks, and 3,105 slaves. Observers at the time and historians since believe there was an undercount and the true population was about 10,000. [12]

Early 19th century: a rapidly growing commercial center Edit

The next dozen years were marked by the beginnings of self-government in city and state by the excitement attending the Aaron Burr conspiracy (in the course of which, in 1806–1807, General James Wilkinson practically put New Orleans under martial law) and by the War of 1812. From early days the city was noted for its cosmopolitan polyglot population and mixture of cultures. It grew rapidly, with influxes of Americans, African, French and Creole French (people of French descent born in the Americas) and Creoles of color (people of mixed European and African ancestry), many of the latter two groups fleeing from the violent revolution in Haiti.

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue established the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first led by blacks. Refugees, both white and free people of color (affranchis or gens de couleur libres), arrived in New Orleans, often bringing slaves with them. [13] While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out additional free black men, French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. As more refugees were allowed into the Territory of Orleans, Haitian émigrés who had gone to Cuba also arrived. Nearly 90 percent of the new immigrants settled in New Orleans. The 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites 3,102 free persons of African descent and 3,226 additional enslaved individuals to the city, doubling its French-speaking population. [14] An 1809-1810 migration brought thousands of white francophone refugees (deported by officials in Cuba in response to Bonapartist schemes in Spain). [15]

Plantation slaves' rebellion Edit

The Haitian Revolution also increased ideas of resistance among the slave population in the vicinity of New Orleans. Early in 1811, hundreds of slaves revolted in what became known as the German Coast Uprising. The revolt occurred on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist and St. Charles Parishes, Territory of Orleans. [16] While the slave insurgency was the largest in U.S. history, the rebels killed only two white men. Confrontations with militia and executions after locally-held tribunals killed ninety-five black people.

Between 64 and 125 enslaved men marched from sugar plantations near present-day LaPlace on the German Coast toward the city of New Orleans. They collected more men along the way. Some accounts claimed a total of 200 to 500 slaves participated. During their two-day, twenty-mile march, the men burned five plantation houses (three completely), several sugar houses (small sugar cane mills), and crops. They were armed mostly with hand tools. [17]

White men led by officials of the territory formed militia companies to hunt down and kill the insurgents, backed up by the United States Army under the command of Brigadier General Wade Hampton I, a slave owner himself, and by the United States Navy under Commodore John Shaw. Over the next two weeks, white planters and officials interrogated, sentenced, and carried out summary executions of an additional 44 insurgents who had been captured. The tribunals were held in three locations, in the two parishes involved and in Orleans Parish (New Orleans). Executions were by hanging, decapitation, or firing squad (St. Charles Parish). Whites displayed the bodies as a warning to intimidate the enslaved. The heads of some were put on pikes and displayed along the River Road and at the Place d'Armes in New Orleans.

Since 1995 the African American History Alliance of Louisiana has led an annual commemoration in January of the uprising, in which they have been joined by some descendants of participants in the revolt. [18]

War of 1812 Edit

During the War of 1812, the British sent a large force to conquer the city, but they were defeated early in 1815 by Andrew Jackson's combined forces some miles downriver from the city at Chalmette's plantation, during the Battle of New Orleans. The American government managed to obtain early information of the enterprise and prepared to meet it with forces (regular, militia, and naval) under the command of Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson. Privateers led by Jean Lafitte were also recruited for the battle.

The British advance was made by way of Lake Borgne, and the troops landed at a fisherman's village on December 23, 1814, Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham taking command there two days later (Christmas). An immediate advance on the still insufficiently-prepared defenses of the Americans might have led to the capture of the city but this was not attempted, and both sides limited themselves to relatively small skirmishes and a naval battle while awaiting reinforcements. At last in the early morning of January 8, 1815 (after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed but before the news had reached across the Atlantic), a direct attack was made on the now strongly-entrenched line of defenders at Chalmette, near the Mississippi River. It failed disastrously with a loss of 2,000 out of 9,000 British troops engaged, among the dead being Pakenham and Major-General Gibbs. The expedition was soon afterwards abandoned and the troops embarked, under the command of John Lambert. Another engagement followed: a ten-day artillery battle at Fort St. Philip on the lower Mississippi River. The British fleet set sail on January 18 and went on to capture Fort Bowyer at the entrance to Mobile Bay.

General Jackson had arrived in New Orleans in early December 1814, having marched overland from Mobile in the Mississippi Territory. His final departure was not until mid-March 1815. Martial law was maintained in the city throughout the period of three and a half months. [19]

Antebellum New Orleans Edit

The population of the city doubled in the 1830s with an influx of settlers. A few newcomers to the city were friends of the Marquis de Lafayette who had settled in the newly founded city of Tallahassee, Florida, but due to legalities had lost their deeds. One new settler who was not displaced but chose to move to New Orleans to practice law was Prince Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. According to historian Paul Lachance, "the addition of white immigrants to the white creole population enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population until almost 1830. If a substantial proportion of free persons of color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic community would have become a minority of the total population as early as 1820." [20] Large numbers of German and Irish immigrants began arriving at this time. The population of the city doubled in the 1830s and by 1840 New Orleans had become the wealthiest and third-most populous city in the nation. [21]

By 1840, the city's population was approximately 102,000 and it was now the third-largest in the U.S, the largest city away from the Atlantic seaboard as well as the largest in the South. [22]

The introduction of natural gas (about 1830) the building of the Pontchartrain Rail-Road (1830–31), one of the earliest in the United States the introduction of the first steam-powered cotton press (1832), and the beginning of the public school system (1840) marked these years foreign exports more than doubled in the period 1831–1833. In 1838 the commercially-important New Basin Canal opened a shipping route from the Lake to uptown New Orleans. Travelers in this decade have left pictures of the animation of the river trade more congested in those days of river boats, steamers, and ocean-sailing craft than today of the institution of slavery, the quadroon balls, the medley of Latin tongues, the disorder and carousing of the river-men and adventurers that filled the city. Altogether there was much of the wildness of a frontier town, and a seemingly boundless promise of prosperity. The crisis of 1837, indeed, was severely felt, but did not greatly retard the city's advancement, which continued unchecked until the Civil War. In 1849 Baton Rouge replaced New Orleans as the capital of the state. In 1850 telegraphic communication was established with St. Louis and New York City in 1851 the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern railway, the first railway outlet northward, later part of the Illinois Central, and in 1854 the western outlet, now the Southern Pacific, were begun.

In 1836 the city was divided into three municipalities: the first being the French Quarter and Faubourg Tremé, the second being Uptown (then meaning all settled areas upriver from Canal Street), and the third being Downtown (the rest of the city from Esplanade Avenue on, downriver). For two decades the three Municipalities were essentially governed as separate cities, with the office of Mayor of New Orleans having only a minor role in facilitating discussions between municipal governments.

The importance of New Orleans as a commercial center was reinforced when the United States Federal Government established a branch of the United States Mint there in 1838, along with two other Southern branch mints at Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dahlonega, Georgia. Although there was an existing coin shortage, the situation became much worse because in 1836 President Andrew Jackson had issued an executive order, called a specie circular, which demanded that all land transactions in the United States be conducted in cash, thus increasing the need for minted money. In contrast to the other two Southern branch mints, which only minted gold coins, the New Orleans Mint produced both gold and silver coinage, which perhaps marked it as the most important branch mint in the country.

The mint produced coins from 1838 until 1861, when Confederate forces occupied the building and used it briefly as their own coinage facility until it was recaptured by Union forces the following year.

On May 3, 1849, a Mississippi River levee breach upriver from the city (around modern River Ridge, Louisiana) created the worst flooding the city had ever seen. The flood, known as at Sauvé's Crevasse, left 12,000 people homeless. While New Orleans has experienced numerous floods large and small in its history, the flood of 1849 was of a more disastrous scale than any save the flooding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans has not experienced flooding from the Mississippi River since Sauvé's Crevasse, although it came dangerously close during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

The slave trade Edit

New Orleans was the biggest slave trading center in the country. In the 1840s, there were about 50 people-selling companies. Some whites went to the slave auctions for entertainment. Especially for travelers, the markets were a rival to the French Opera House and the Théâtre d’Orléans. The St. Louis Hotel#slave market and New Orleans Exchange held important markets. There was great demand for "fancy girls": young, light-skinned, good looking, sexual toys for well-to-do gentlemen. [24]

The Civil War Edit

Early in the American Civil War New Orleans was captured by the Union without a battle in the city itself, and hence was spared the destruction suffered by many other cities of the American South. It retains a historical flavor with a wealth of 19th century structures far beyond the early colonial city boundaries of the French Quarter. [25] : 1–6

The political and commercial importance of New Orleans, as well as its strategic position, marked it out as the objective of a Union expedition soon after the opening of the Civil War. Elements of the Union Blockade fleet arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi on 27 May 1861. An effort to drive them off lead to the Battle of the Head of Passes on 12 October 1861. Captain D.G. Farragut and the Western Gulf squadron sailed for New Orleans in January 1862. The main defenses of the Mississippi consisted of the two permanent forts, Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. On April 16, after elaborate reconnaissances, the Union fleet steamed up into position below the forts and opened fire two days later. Within days, the fleet had bypassed the forts in what was known as the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. At noon on the 25th, Farragut anchored in front of New Orleans. Forts Jackson and St. Philip, isolated and continuously bombarded by Farragut's mortar boats, surrendered on the 28th, and soon afterwards the military portion of the expedition occupied the city resulting in the Capture of New Orleans. [26]

The commander, General Benjamin Butler, subjected New Orleans to a rigorous martial law so tactlessly administered as greatly to intensify the hostility of South and North. Butler's administration did have benefits to the city, which was kept both orderly and due to his massive cleanup efforts unusually healthy by 19th century standards. Towards the end of the war General Nathaniel Banks held the command at New Orleans. [27]

Late 19th century: Reconstruction and conflict Edit

The city again served as capital of Louisiana from 1865 to 1880. Throughout the years of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period the history of the city is inseparable from that of the state. All the constitutional conventions were held here, the seat of government again was here (in 1864–1882) and New Orleans was the center of dispute and organization in the struggle between political and ethnic blocks for the control of government.

There was a major street riot of July 30, 1866, at the time of the meeting of the radical constitutional convention. Businessman Charles T. Howard began the Louisiana State Lottery Company in an arrangement which involved bribing state legislators and governors for permission to operate the highly lucrative outfit, as well as legal manipulations that at one point interfered with the passing of one version of the state constitution. [28]

During Reconstruction, New Orleans was within the Fifth Military District of the United States. Louisiana was readmitted to the Union in 1868, and its Constitution of 1868 granted universal manhood suffrage. Both blacks and whites were elected to local and state offices. In 1872, then-lieutenant governor P.B.S. Pinchback succeeded Henry Clay Warmouth as governor of Louisiana, becoming the first non-white governor of a U.S. state, and the last African American to lead a U.S. state until Douglas Wilder's election in Virginia, 117 years later. In New Orleans, Reconstruction was marked by the Mechanics Institute race riot (1866). The city operated successfully a racially integrated public school system. Damage to levees and cities along the Mississippi River adversely affected southern crops and trade for the port city for some time, as the government tried to restore infrastructure. The nationwide Panic of 1873 also slowed economic recovery.

In the 1850s white Francophones had remained an intact and vibrant community, maintaining instruction in French in two of the city's four school districts. [29] As the Creole elite feared, during the war, their world changed. In 1862, the Union general Ben Butler abolished French instruction in schools, and statewide measures in 1864 and 1868 further cemented the policy. [30] By the end of the 19th century, French usage in the city had faded significantly. [31]

New Orleans annexed the city of Algiers, Louisiana, across the Mississippi River, in 1870. The city also continued to expand upriver, annexing the town of Carrollton, Louisiana in 1874.

On September 14, 1874 armed forces led by the White League defeated the integrated Republican metropolitan police and their allies in pitched battle in the French Quarter and along Canal Street. The White League forced the temporary flight of the William P. Kellogg government, installing John McEnery as Governor of Louisiana. Kellogg and the Republican administration were reinstated in power 3 days later by United States troops. Early 20th century segregationists would celebrate the short-lived triumph of the White League as a victory for "white supremacy" and dubbed the conflict "The Battle of Liberty Place". A monument commemorating the event was built near the foot of Canal Street, to the side of the Aquarium near the trolley tracks. This monument was removed on April 24, 2017. The removal fell on the same day that three states—Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—observed what's known as Confederate Memorial Day.

U.S. troops also blocked the White League Democrats in January 1875, after they had wrested from the Republicans the organization of the state legislature. Nevertheless, the revolution of 1874 is generally regarded as the independence day of Reconstruction, although not until President Hayes withdrew the troops in 1877 and the Packard government fell did the Democrats actually hold control of the state and city. The financial condition of the city when the whites gained control was very bad. The tax-rate had risen in 1873 to 3%. The city defaulted in 1874. On the interest of its bonded debt, it later refunded this ($22,000,000 in 1875) at a lower rate, to decrease the annual charge from $1,416,000 to $307,500.

The New Orleans Mint was reopened in 1879, minting mainly silver coinage, including the famed Morgan silver dollar from 1879 to 1904.

The city suffered flooding in 1882.

The city hosted the 1884 World's Fair, called the World Cotton Centennial. A financial failure, the event is notable as the beginnings of the city's tourist economy.

An electric lighting system was introduced to the city in 1886 limited use of electric lights in a few areas of town had preceded this by a few years.

1890s Edit

On October 15, 1890, Chief-of-Police David C. Hennessy was shot, and reportedly his dying words informed a colleague that he was shot by "Dagos", an insulting term for Italians. On March 13, 1891, a group of Italian Americans on trial for the shooting were acquitted. However, a mob stormed the jail and lynched eleven Italian-Americans. Local historians still debate whether some of those lynched were connected to the Mafia, but most agree that a number of innocent people were lynched during the Chief Hennessy Riot. The government of Italy protested, as some of those lynched were still Italian citizens, and the government of the U.S. eventually paid reparations to Italy. [32]

In the 1890s much of the city's public transportation system, hitherto relying on mule-drawn streetcars on most routes supplemented by a few steam locomotives on longer routes, was electrified.

With a relatively large educated black (including a self-described "Creole" or mixed-race) population that had long interacted with the white population, racial attitudes were comparatively liberal for the Deep South. For example there was the 1892 New Orleans general strike that began on November 8, 1892. But, like other southern cities and towns, African Americans were barred from a range of employment possibilities, including police officers, and firefighters. No black child was allowed an education at a public high school in the city. From hotels, parks, museums and restaurants, black citizens were denied access through a rigid system of Jim Crow, but some in the city objected to the State of Louisiana's attempt to enforce strict racial segregation, and hoped to overturn the law with a test case in 1892. The case found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 as Plessy v. Ferguson. This resulted in upholding segregation, which would be enforced with ever-growing strictness for more than half a century.

In 1892, the New Orleans political machine, "the Ring," won a sweeping victory over the incumbent reformers. John Fitzpatrick, leader of the working class Irish, became mayor. [33] In 1896 Mayor Fitzpatrick proposed combining existing library resources to create the city's first free public library, the Fisk Free and Public Library. This entity later became known as the New Orleans Public Library.

In the spring of 1896 Mayor Fitzpatrick, leader of the city's Bourbon Democratic organization, left office after a scandal-ridden administration, his chosen successor badly defeated by reform candidate Walter C. Flower. But Fitzpatrick and his associates quickly regrouped, organizing themselves on 29 December into the Choctaw Club, which soon received considerable patronage from Louisiana governor and Fitzpatrick ally Murphy Foster. Fitzpatrick, a power at the 1898 Louisiana Constitutional Convention, was instrumental in exempting immigrants from the new educational and property requirements designed to disenfranchise blacks. In 1899 he managed the successful mayoral campaign of Bourbon candidate Paul Capdevielle. [34]

In 1897 the quasi-legal red light district called Storyville opened and soon became a famous attraction of the city.

The Robert Charles Riots occurred in July 1900. Well-armed African-American Robert Charles held off a group of policemen who came to arrest him for days, killing several of them. A White mob started a race riot, terrorizing and killing a number of African Americans unconnected with Charles. The riots were stopped when a group of White businessmen quickly printed and nailed up flyers saying that if the rioting continued they would start passing out firearms to the black population for their self-defense.

The population of New Orleans and other settlements in south Louisiana suffered from epidemics of yellow fever, malaria, cholera, and smallpox, beginning in the late 18th century and periodically throughout the 19th century. Doctors did not understand how the diseases were transmitted primitive sanitation and lack of a public water system contributed to public health problems, as did the highly transient population of sailors and immigrants. The city successfully suppressed a final outbreak of yellow fever in 1905. (See below, 20th century.)

Until the early 20th century, construction was largely limited to the slightly higher ground along old natural river levees and bayous the largest section of this being near the Mississippi River front. This gave the 19th-century city the shape of a crescent along a bend of the Mississippi, the origin of the nickname The Crescent City. Between the developed higher ground near the Mississippi and the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, most of the area was wetlands only slightly above the level of Lake Pontchartrain and sea level. This area was commonly referred to as the "back swamp," or areas of cypress groves as "the back woods." While there had been some use of this land for cow pasture and agriculture, the land was subject to frequent flooding, making what would otherwise be valuable land on the edge of a growing city unsuitable for development. The levees protecting the city from high water events on the Mississippi and Lake compounded this problem, as they also kept rainwater in, which tended to concentrate in the lower areas. 19th century steam pumps were set up on canals to push the water out, but these early efforts proved inadequate to the task.

Following studies begun by the Drainage Advisory Board and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in the 1890s, in the 1900s and 1910s engineer and inventor A. Baldwin Wood enacted his ambitious plan to drain the city, including large pumps of his own design that are still used when heavy rains hit the city. Wood's pumps and drainage allowed the city to expand greatly in area.

It only became clear decades later that the problem of subsidence had been underestimated. Much of the land in what had been the old back swamp has continued to slowly sink, and many of the neighborhoods developed after 1900 are now below sea level.

In the early part of the 20th century the Francophone character of the city was still much in evidence, with one 1902 report describing "one-fourth of the population of the city speaks French in ordinary daily intercourse, while another two-fourths is able to understand the language perfectly." [35] As late as 1945, one still encountered elderly Creole women who spoke no English. [36] The last major French language newspaper in New Orleans, L'Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans, ceased publication on December 27, 1923, after ninety-six years [37] according to some sources Le Courrier de la Nouvelle Orleans continued until 1955. [38]

In 1905, yellow fever was reported in the city, which had suffered under repeated epidemics of the disease in the previous century. As the role of mosquitoes in spreading the disease was newly understood, the city embarked on a massive campaign to drain, screen, or oil all cisterns and standing water (breeding ground for mosquitoes) in the city and educate the public on their vital role in preventing mosquitoes. The effort was a success and the disease was stopped before reaching epidemic proportions. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the city to demonstrate the safety of New Orleans. It has had no cases of Yellow Fever since.

In 1909, the New Orleans Mint ceased coinage, with active coining equipment shipped to Philadelphia.

New Orleans was hit by major storms in the 1909 Atlantic hurricane season and again in the 1915 Atlantic hurricane season.

In 1917 the Department of the Navy ordered the Storyville District closed, over the opposition of Mayor Martin Behrman.

In 1923 the Industrial Canal opened, providing a direct shipping link between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.

In the 1920s an effort to "modernize" the look of the city removed the old cast-iron balconies from Canal Street, the city's commercial hub. In the 1960s another "modernization" effort replaced the Canal Streetcar Line with buses. Both of these moves came to be regarded as mistakes long after the fact, and the streetcars returned to a portion of Canal Street at the end of the 1990s, and construction to restore the entire line was completed in April 2004.

The city's river levees narrowly escaped being topped in the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

In 1927 a project was begun to fill in the shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain and create levees along the lake side of the city. Previously areas along the lakefront like Milneburg were built up on stilts, often over water of the constantly shifting shallow shores of the Lake.

There have often been tensions between the city, with its desire to run its own affairs, and the government of the State of Louisiana wishing to control the city. Perhaps the situation was never worse than in the early 1930s between Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long and New Orleans Mayor T. Semmes Walmsley, when armed city police and state troopers faced off at the Orleans Parish line and armed conflict was only narrowly avoided.

During World War II, New Orleans was the site of the development and construction of Higgins boats under the direction of Andrew Higgins. General Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed these landing craft vital to the Allied victory in the war.

The suburbs saw great growth in the second half of the 20th century, and it was only in the post-World War II period that a truly metropolitan New Orleans comprising the New Orleans center city and surrounding suburbs developed. The largest suburb today is Metairie, an unincorporated subdivision of Jefferson Parish that borders New Orleans to the west. In a somewhat different postwar developmental pattern than that experienced by other older American cities, New Orleans' center city population grew for the first two decades after the war. This was due to the city's ability to accommodate large amounts of new, suburban-style development within the existing city limits, in such neighborhoods as Lakeview, Gentilly, Algiers and New Orleans East. Unlike some other municipalities, notably many in Texas, New Orleans is unable to annex adjacent suburban development.

Mayor DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison was elected as a reform candidate in 1946. He served as mayor of New Orleans until 1961, shaping the city's post-World War II trajectory. His energetic administration accomplished much and received considerable national acclaim. By the end of his mayoralty, however, his political fortunes were dwindling, and he failed to effectively respond to the growing Civil Rights Movement.

The 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane hit the city in September 1947. The levees & pumping system succeeded in protecting the city proper from major flooding, but many areas of the new suburbs in Jefferson Parish were deluged, and Moisant Airport was shut down under 2 feet (0.61 m) of water.

In January 1961 a meeting of the city's white business leaders publicly endorsed desegregation of the city's public schools. That same year Victor H. Schiro became the city's first mayor of Italian-American ancestry.

In 1965 the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal ("MR GO", pronounced mister go) was completed, connecting the Intracoastal Waterway with the Gulf of Mexico. The Canal was expected to be an economic boom that would eventually lead to the replacement of the Mississippi Riverfront as the metro area's main commercial harbor. "MR GO" failed to live up to commercial expectations, and from its early days it was blamed for freshwater marsh-killing saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion, increasing the area's risk of hurricane storm surge.

In September 1965 the city was hit by Hurricane Betsy. Windows blew out of television station WWL while it was broadcasting. In an effort to prevent panic, mayor Vic Schiro memorably told TV and radio audiences "Don't believe any false rumors, unless you hear them from me." A breach in the Industrial Canal produced catastrophic flooding of the city's Lower 9th Ward as well as the neighboring towns of Arabi and Chalmette in St. Bernard parish. President Lyndon Johnson quickly flew to the city to promise federal aid.

In 1978, City Councilman Ernest N. Morial became the first person of African-American ancestry to be elected mayor of New Orleans.

While long one of the United States' most visited cities, tourism boomed in the last quarter of the 20th century, becoming a major force in the local economy. Areas of the French Quarter and Central Business District, which were long oriented towards local residential and business uses, increasingly catered to the tourist industry.

A century after the Cotton Centennial Exhibition, New Orleans hosted another World's Fair, the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition.

In 1986, Sidney Barthelemy was elected mayor of the Crescent City he was re-elected in spring of 1990, serving two terms.

In 1994 and 1998, Marc Morial, the son of "Dutch" Morial, was elected to two consecutive terms as mayor.

The city experienced severe flooding in the May 8, 1995, Louisiana Flood when heavy rains suddenly dumped over a foot of water on parts of town faster than the pumps could remove the water. Water filled up the streets, especially in lower-lying parts of the city. Insurance companies declared more automobiles totaled than in any other U.S. incident up to that time. (See May 8th 1995 Louisiana Flood.)

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 14, 1996, the M/V Bright Field freightliner/bulk cargo vessel slammed into the Riverwalk mall and hotel complex on the Poydras Street Wharf along the Mississippi River. Amazingly, nobody died in the accident, although about 66 were injured. Fifteen shops and 456 hotel rooms were demolished. The freightliner was unable to be removed from the crash site until January 6, 1997, by which time the site had become something of a "must-see" tourist attraction.

In May 2002, businessman Ray Nagin was elected mayor. A former cable television executive, Nagin was unaligned with any of the city's traditional political blocks, and many voters were attracted to his pledges to fight corruption and run the city on a more business-like basis. In 2014 Nagin was convicted on charges that he had taken more than $500,000 in payouts from businessmen in exchange for millions of dollars' worth of city contracts. He received a 10-year sentence. [39]

Hurricane Katrina Edit

On August 29, 2005, an estimated 600,000 people were temporarily evacuated from Greater New Orleans when projected tracks of Hurricane Katrina included a possible major hit of the city. It missed, although Katrina wreaked considerable havoc on the Gulf Coast east of Louisiana.

The city suffered from the effects of a major hurricane on and after August 29, 2005, as Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the gulf coast near the city. In the aftermath of the storm, what has been called "the largest civil engineering disaster in the history of the United States" flooded the majority of the city when the levee and floodwall system protecting New Orleans failed. [40]

On August 26, tracks which had previously indicated the hurricane was heading towards the Florida Panhandle shifted 150 miles (240 km) westward, initially centering on Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi and later shifted further westward to the Mississippi/Louisiana state line. The city became aware that a major hurricane hit was possible and issued voluntary evacuations on Saturday, August 27. Interstate 10 in New Orleans East and Jefferson and St. Charles parishes was converted to all-outbound lanes heading out of the city as well as Interstates 55 and 59 in the surrounding area, a maneuver known as "contraflow."

In the Gulf of Mexico, Katrina continued to gain strength as it turned northwest, then north towards southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. On the morning of Sunday, August 28, Katrina was upgraded to a top-notched Category 5 hurricane. Around 10 am, Mayor Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation of the entire city, the first such order ever issued in the city's history. An estimated 1 million people evacuated from Greater New Orleans and nearby areas before the storm. However, some 20% of New Orleans residents were still in the city when the storm hit. This included people who refused to leave home, those who felt their homes were adequate shelter from the storm, and people without cars or without financial means to leave. Some took refuge in the Superdome, which was designated as a "shelter of last resort" for those who could not leave.

The eye of the storm missed the heart of the city by only 20–30 miles, and strong winds ravaged the city, shattering windows, spreading debris in many areas, and bringing heavy rains and flooding to many areas of the city.

The situation worsened when levees on four of the city's canals were breached. Storm surge was funneled in via the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, which breached in multiple places. This surge also filled the Industrial Canal which breached either from the surge or the effects of being hit by a loose barge (the ING 4727). The London Avenue Canal and the 17th Street Canal were breached by the elevated waters of Lake Pontchartrain. Some areas that initially seemed to suffer little from the storm found themselves flooded by rapidly rising water on August 30. As much as 80% of the city—parts of which are below sea level and much of which is only a few feet above—was flooded, with water reaching a depth of 25 feet (7.6 m) in some areas. Water levels were similar to those of the 1909 hurricane but since many areas that were swamp or farmland in 1909 had become heavily settled, the effects were massively worse. The most recent estimates of the damage from the storm, by several insurance companies, are $10 to 25 billion, [ needs update ] [41] while the total economic loss from the disaster has been estimated at $100 billion. Hurricane Katrina surpassed Hurricane Andrew as the costliest hurricane in United States history. [42]

The final death toll of Hurricane Katrina was 1,836 lives lost, primarily from Louisiana (1,577). Half of these were senior citizens.

On September 22, already devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Industrial Canal in New Orleans was again flooded by Hurricane Rita as the recently-and-hurriedly-repaired levees were breached once more. Residents of Cameron Parish, Calcasieu Parish, and parts of Jefferson Davis Parish, Acadia Parish, Iberia Parish, Beauregard Parish, and Vermillion Parish were told to evacuate ahead of the storm. Cameron Parish was hit the hardest with the towns of Creole, Cameron, Grand Chenier, Johnson Bayou, and Holly Beach being totally demolished. Records around the Hackberry area show that wind gusts reached over 180 mph at a boat tied up to a dock. The people were told to be evacuated by Thursday, September 22, 2005 by 6:00 pm. Two days later, parish officials returned to the Gibbstown Bridge that crosses the Intracoastal Canal into Lower Cameron Parish. No one was known to be left in the parish as of that time on Thursday, September 22, 2005.

[ needs update ] It only became clear with investigations in the months after Katrina that flooding in the majority of the city was not directly due to the storm being more powerful than the city's defenses. Rather, it was caused by what investigators termed "the costliest engineering mistake in American history". The United States Army Corps of Engineers designed the levee and floodwall system incorrectly, and contractors failed to build the system in places to the requirements of the Corps of Engineers' contracts. The Orleans Levee Board made only minimal perfunctory efforts in their assigned task of inspecting the city's vital defenses. Legal investigations of criminal negligence are pending. [ needs update ]

Since 2005 Edit

While many residents and businesses returned to the task of rebuilding the city, the effects of the hurricane on the economy and demographics of the city are expected to be dramatic and long term. As of March 2006, more than half of New Orleanians had yet to return to the city, and there were doubts as to how many more would. By 2008, estimated repopulation had topped 330,000. [43] [ needs update ]

The New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV in the 2009 NFL season, bringing hope and joy to the city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

In 2010 Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu won the mayor's race over ten other candidates with some 66% of the vote on the first round, with widespread support across racial, demographic, and neighborhood boundaries. [44]

The 2017 New Orleans tornado touched down in New Orleans East and left approximately 10,000 homes without electric power. [45] John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. [46]

In 2018 LaToya Cantrell took office as Mayor of New Orleans, the first woman to do so.

On the morning of October 12, 2019, a portion of the Hard Rock Hotel building at 1031 Canal Street collapsed during construction. [47]

Genealogical and family history of northern New York : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation

The book is a photocopy,some pages skewed, faded text.

Addeddate 2009-12-10 16:17:23 Bookplateleaf 0004 Call number 31833008260181 Camera Canon 5D External-identifier urn:oclc:record:1045535958 Foldoutcount 0 Identifier genealogicalfami02incutt Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t6c25h52v Ocr ABBYY FineReader 8.0 Openlibrary_edition OL25452676M Openlibrary_work OL16825830W Page-progression lr Pages 994 Ppi 500 Scandate 20091211165315 Scanner Scanningcenter indiana

Text is difficult to read as contrast is marginal at best.
Apparent that photography of the text was not performed correctly resulting is a loss of crispness.
Suggest that it be re-done. Could be the processing.

The book itself is valuable, just a shame that this copy is sub-standard.

The founding of a new nation - History

A New Nation
1784 to 1790

January 14, 1784 - Th e Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress. The Revolutionary War officially ends.

March 1, 1784 - A congressional committee led by Thomas Jefferson proposes to divide up sprawling western territories into states, to be considered equal with the original 13. Jefferson also proposes a ban on slavery everywhere in the U.S. after 1800. This proposal is narrowly defeated.

August 30, 1784 - Beginning of the China Trade , as the American Ship Empress of China , sailing from New York, arrives at Canton, China. The ship will return with exotic goods, including silks and tea, spurring large numbers of American merchants to enter the trade.

September 22, 1784 - Russians establish their first settlement in Alaska, on Kodiak Island.

January 11, 1785 - Congress relocates to New York City, temporary capital of the U.S.

February 24, 1785 - Although England refuses to send an ambassador to the U.S., John Adams is sent as the American ambassador to Britain. He will spend the next three years trying without success to settle problems regarding the existence of a string of British forts along the Canadian border, pre-war debts owed to British creditors, post-war American treatment of Loyalists, and the closing of the West Indian colonies to American trade.

May 8, 1785 - Congress passes the Land Ordinance of 1785 which divides the northwest territories into townships, each set at 6 square miles, subdivided into 36 lots of 640 acres each, with each lot selling for no less than $640.

January 16, 1786 - The Virginia legislature passes Jefferson's Ordinance of Religious Freedom guaranteeing that no man may be forced to attend or support any church or be discriminated against because of his religious preference. This will later serve as the model for the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Summer of 1786 - Americans suffer from post-war economic depression including a shortage of currency, high taxes, nagging creditors, farm foreclosures and bankruptcies.

August 8, 1786 - Congress adopts a monetary system based on the Spanish dollar, with a gold piece valued at $10, silver pieces at $1, one-tenth of $1 also in silver, and copper pennies.

August 22-25, 1786 - Angry representatives from 50 towns in Massachusetts meet to discuss money problems including the rising number of foreclosures, the high cost of lawsuits, heavy land and poll taxes, high salaries for state officials, and demands for new paper money as a means of credit.

August 31, 1786 - In Massachusetts, to prevent debtors from being tried and put in prison, ex-Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays , who is now a bankrupt farmer, leads an armed mob and prevents the Northampton Court from holding a session.

September 20, 1786 - In New Hampshire, an armed mob marches on the state assembly and demands enactment of an issue of paper money.

September 26, 1786 - Shays' rebels, f earing they might be charged with treason, confront 600 militiamen protecting the state Massachusetts Supreme Court session in Springfield and force the court to adjourn.

October 16, 1786 - Congress establishes the United States mint.

October 20, 1786 - Congress authorizes Secretary of War Henry Knox to raise a an army of 1340 men over concerns of the safety of the federal arsenal at Springfield, Mass.

December 26, 1786 - Shays assembles 1200 men near Worcester, Mass. and heads toward Springfield. Massachusetts Governor, Bowdoin, then orders mobilization of a 4400 man force.

January 26, 1787 - Shays' rebels attack the federal arsenal at Springfield but are unsuccessful. Revolutionary War hero, Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, then arrives with reinforcements from Boston to pursue the rebels.

February 4, 1787 - Gen. Lincoln's troops attack Shays' rebels at Petersham, Massachusetts, and capture 150 rebels. Shays flees north to Vermont.

February 21, 1787 - Amid calls for a stronger central government, due in part to Shays' Rebellion, Congress endorses a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to be held in Philadelphia, beginning in May.

May 25, 1787 - With 29 delegates from nine states present, the constitutional convention begins in the state house (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. A total of 73 delegates have been chosen by the states (excluding Rhode Island) although only 55 will actually attend. There are 21 veterans of the Revolutionary War and 8 signers of the Declaration of Independence. The delegates are farmers, merchants, lawyers and bankers, with an average age of 42, and include the brilliant 36 year old James Madison, the central figure at the convention, and 81 year old Ben Franklin. Thomas Jefferson, serving abroad as ambassador to France, does not attend.

The delegates first vote is to keep the proceedings absolutely secret. George Washington is then nominated as president of the constitutional convention.

June 19, 1787 - Rather than revise the Articles of Confederation, delegates at the constitutional convention vote to create an entirely new form of national government separated into three branches - the legislative, executive and judicial - thus dispersing power with checks and balances, and competing factions, as a measure of protection against tyranny by a controlling majority.

July 13, 1787 - Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance which establishes formal procedures for transforming territories into states. It provides for the eventual establishment of three to five states in the area north of the Ohio River, to be considered equal with the original 13. The Ordinance includes a Bill of Rights that guarantees freedom of religion, the right to trial by jury, public education and a ban on slavery in the Northwest.

July 16, 1787 - At the constitutional convention, Roger Sherman proposes a compromise which allows for representation in the House of Representatives based on each state's population and equal representation for all of the states in the Senate. The numerous black slaves in the South are to counted at only three fifths of their total number. A rough draft of the constitution is then drawn up.

August 6-10, 1787 - Items in the draft constitution are debated including the length of terms for the president and legislators, the power of Congress to regulate commerce, and a proposed 20 year ban on any Congressional action concerning slavery.

September 17, 1787 - Thirty nine delegates vote to approve and then sign the final draft of the new Constitution.

The Legislative Branch will consist of two houses. The upper house (Senate) to be composed of nominees selected by state assemblies for six year terms the lower house (House of Representatives) to be elected every two years by popular vote.

The Executive Branch is to be headed by a chief executive (President) elected every four years by presidential electors from the states. The President is granted sweeping powers including: veto power over Congress which can be overridden by a two-thirds vote in each house commander in chief of the armies power to make treaties with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate power to appoint judges, diplomats and other officers with the consent of the Senate power to recommend legislation and responsibility for execution of the laws.

The President is required to report each year to the legislative branch on the state of the nation. The legislative branch has the power to remove the President from office. The House can impeach the President for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors with actual removal from office occurring by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

The Judicial Branch consists of a Supreme Court headed by a chief justice. The court has the implied power to review laws that conflict with the Constitution.

September 19, 1787 - For the first time the proposed Constitution is made public as printed copies of the text are distributed. A storm of controversy soon arises as most people had only expected a revision of the Articles of Confederation, not a new central government with similarities to the British system they had just overthrown.

September 28, 1787 - Congress votes to send the Constitution to the state legislatures for ratification, needing the approval of nine states.

October 27, 1787 - The Federalists , who advocate a strong central government and approval of the new Constitution, begin publishing essays in favor of ratification. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, the total number of articles will eventually reach 85 and be compiled and published as the Federalist Papers .

December 7, 1787 - Delaware is the first of the nine states needed to ratify the Constitution. To be followed by: Pennsylvania (Dec. 12) New Jersey (Dec. 18) Georgia (Jan. 2, 1788) Connecticut (Jan. 9) Massachusetts (Feb. 7) Maryland (April 28) South Carolina (May 23) and New Hampshire (June 21).

February 6, 1788 - Anti-Federalists in Massachusetts, led by Sam Adams and John Hancock, favor a more decentralized system of government and give their support to ratification of the Constitution only after a compromise is reached that amendments will be included which guarantee civil liberties.

February 27, 1788 - In Massachusetts, following an incident in which free blacks were kidnapped and transported to the island of Martinique, the Massachusetts legislature declares the slavery trade illegal and provides for monetary damages to victims of kidnappings.

March 24, 1788 - In Rhode Island, the Constitution is rejected by a popular referendum. The state, fearful of consolidated federal power, had refused to send a delegation to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia and had subsequently rejected a state convention to consider ratification.

June 2, 1788 - In Virginia, anti-Federalist forces, led by Patrick Henry and George Mason, oppose ratification of the Constitution. They are joined by Richard Henry Lee who calls for a bill of rights and a lower house set up on a more democratic basis.

June 25, 1788 - In Virginia, the Federalists, led by James Madison, finally prevail as ratification of the Constitution (with a proposed bill of rights and 20 other changes) is endorsed by a close vote of 89 to 75.

July 2, 1788 - A formal announcement is made by the president of Congress that the Constitution of the United States is now in effect, having been ratified by the required nine states.

July 8, 1788 - A committee in the old Congress (still under the Articles of Confederation) is established to prepare for an orderly transfer of power, including procedures for electing representatives to the first Congress under the new Constitution and procedures for choosing the electors of the first president.

July 26, 1788 - The state of New York votes 30 to 27 to endorse ratification while also recommending a bill of rights be included.

September 13, 1788 - New York City is chosen by Congress to be the temporary seat of the new U.S. government.

October-December - Commodity prices stabilize, spurring economic recovery and a gradual return to pre-war levels of prosperity.

November 1, 1788 - The old Congress, operating under the Articles of Confederation, adjourns. The U.S. is temporarily without a central government.

November 21, 1788 - North Carolina endorses the Constitution by a vote of 194 to 77.

December 23, 1788 - Maryland proposes giving a 10 square-mile area along the Potomac River for the establishment of a federal town to be the new seat of the U.S. government.

January 7, 1789 - Presidential electors are chosen in the 11 ratifying states, except New York.

January 23, 1789 - Georgetown University, the first Catholic college in the U.S., is founded by Father John Carroll.

February 4, 1789 - Ballots are cast in the first presidential election, to be counted on April 6.

March 4, 1789 - The first Congress convenes in New York City, but is unable to achieve a quorum, since most members are still traveling there.

April 1, 1789 - A quorum is reached in Congress with 30 of 59 members present and the House of Representatives begins to function. Of the 59 members, 54 had also been delegates to the constitutional convention.

April 6, 1789 - In the Senate, with 9 of 22 senators present, the presidential ballots cast on Feb. 4 are counted. George Washington is the unanimous choice for President with 69 votes. John Adams is elected Vice President with 34 votes. Messengers are then sent to inform Washington and Adams.

April 14, 1789 - Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress, arrives at Mount Vernon and informs George Washington of his election as President. Two days later, Washington leaves for New York City.

April 21, 1789 - John Adams arrives in New York and is sworn in as Vice President, then takes his seat as presiding officer of the Senate.

April 23, 1789 - After an eight day triumphal journey, Washington arrives in New York City.

April 30, 1789 - On the balcony of New York's Federal Hall, George Washington, at age 57, is sworn in as the first President of the United States. He then enters the Senate chamber to deliver his inaugural address.

May 7, 1789 - The first inaugural ball occurs in honor of President Washington.

June 1, 1789 - In its first act, Congress establishes the procedure for administering oaths of office.

July 4, 1789 - Congress passes its first tax, an 8.5 percent protective tax on 30 different items, with items arriving on American ships charged at a lower rate than foreign ships.

July 14, 1789 - In France, the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille in Paris, an event witnessed by the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson.

July 20, 1789 - Congress passes the Tonnage Act of 1789 levying a 50 cents per ton tax on foreign ships entering American ports, 30 cents per ton on American built but foreign owned ships, and 6 cents per ton on American ships.

July 27, 1789 - Congress begins organization of the departments of government with the establishment of the Department of Foreign Affairs, later renamed the Department of State. Followed by the War Department (Aug. 7) Treasury Dept. (Sept. 2) and Postmaster General under the Treasury Dept. (Sept. 2).

September 22, 1789 - The Federal Judiciary Act passed by Congress establishes a six-man Supreme Court, attorney general, 13 federal district courts and 3 circuit courts. All federal cases would originate in the district court and, if appealed, would go to the circuit court and from there to the Supreme Court.

September 25, 1789 - Congress submits 12 proposed constitutional amendments to the states for ratification. The first ten will be ratified and added to the Constitution in 1791 as the Bill of Rights.

September 29, 1789 - The U.S. Army is established by Congress. Totaling 1000 men, it consists of one regiment of eight infantry companies and one battalion of four artillery companies.

November 26, 1789 - A Day of Thanksgiving is established by a congressional resolution and a proclamation by George Washington.

March 1, 1790 - A Census Act is passed by Congress. The first census, finished on Aug. 1, indicates a total population of nearly 4 million persons in the U.S. and western territories. African Americans make up 19 percent of the population, with 90 percent living in the South. Native Americans were not counted, although there were likely over 80 tribes with 150,000 persons. For white Americans, the average age is under 16. Most white families are large, with an average of eight children born. The white population will double every 22 years.

The largest American city is Philadelphia, with 42,000 persons, followed by New York (33,000) Boston (18,000) Charleston (16,000) and Baltimore (13,000). The majority of Americans are involved in agricultural pursuits, with little industrial activity occurring at this time.

April 17, 1790 - Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at age 84. His funeral four days later draws over 20,000 mourners.

July 10, 1790 - The House of Representatives votes to locate the national capital on a 10 square-mile site along the Potomac, with President George Washington choosing the exact location.

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The Founding Fathers

When the Founding Fathers embarked on a grand experiment to create a government for a fledgling nation, they likely never anticipated how successful their experiment would be.

Social Studies, Civics, U.S. History

Washington at the Constitutional Convention

Before becoming the the United States' first president, George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention, which established the nation's Constitution. "Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention" was painted by Junius Brutus Stearn.

Photograph by Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo

In the 1760s and 1770s, growing discontent with British rule caused its American colonists to begin to discuss their options. In 1774, leaders of the various colonies came together in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at what has since become known as the First Continental Congress. Shortly after hostilities broke out between British troops and American colonists at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, these men met once again. The Second Continental Congress declared independence from Britain and later drafted the Articles of Confederation, which would dictate how the newly independent states were to be governed. Many of these same men were sent to Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. In early discussions, the delegates determined that the Articles needed more than just revisions and set about writing a new Constitution&mdashthe Constitution that continues to rule the United States to this day. These men were responsible for forging a new nation. Collectively, they are often referred to as the Founding Fathers.

Who Were the Founding Fathers?

Historians have varied opinions about exactly who should be included on the list of Founding Fathers, or how large this list should be. Some names&mdashGeorge Washington, James Madison, and John Adams&mdashare obvious, but others may be more debatable. Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention, each of whom had an important part to play. There were also men&mdashThomas Jefferson, most notably&mdashwho were not at the Constitutional Convention but who nonetheless played a critical role in the foundation of the country. Jefferson not only wrote the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, but also provided counsel to the Constitutional Convention from Paris, France, where he was serving as the minister to France.

The Founding Fathers were, relatively speaking, a diverse group. They were doctors and lawyers, merchants and farmers. Each brought his own unique knowledge, experiences, and ideas. Most of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had experience in politics and/or government. With the Revolutionary War behind them, they looked to the future. They agreed that they wanted liberty, but they did not all agree on the best course of action for the country, the appropriate role of government, or the optimal governmental structure that would balance liberty with order.

Roles and Responsibilities

By definition, the Founding Fathers played key roles in the founding of the country, but some played particularly critical parts. As with any group, their strength was often gained from their differences. Without the fiery tempers of Bostonians John Adams and Samuel Adams, the colonies may have decided to appease Parliament and back down from demanding their rights. Instead, the persuasive voices of patriots like journalist Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry gave credence to their cause and contributed to a sense of patriotism that swept the colonies. John Hancock, best remembered for his large looping signature as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, also served as the president of the Continental Congress.

The Founding Fathers served one another well during these challenging and unstable times. During the American Revolution, George Washington led the Continental Army to victory over a much larger and better equipped British army. As president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was instrumental in ensuring that all opinions were heard and in keeping discussions on track. As Washington presided, fellow Virginian James Madison took copious notes on the proceedings. Not just any Founding Father, Madison is often called the Father of the Constitution.

At 81 years of age, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was hampered by ill health, yet missed just a few sessions&mdasheven when he was so weak he had to be carried in the sessions. By then, Franklin had already earned a name in the history books for his role in drafting the Declaration of Independence and negotiating the 1783 Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War.

The Founding Fathers did not just craft the new government, they also ensured its success. After the Constitutional Convention, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays under the pseudonym &ldquoPublius&rdquo to urge states to ratify the historic document. In what were later published as the &ldquoFederalist Papers,&rdquo these three Founding Fathers painstakingly set about describing the features of the government and explaining its advantages. To address concerns that a strong national government might encroach on the rights of citizens, Madison also wrote a series of amendments outlining the rights of the people, which were added to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights in 1791.

The Grand Experiment

The Founding Fathers often viewed their new government as an experiment, but this was an experiment they desperately wanted to succeed. Where differences arose, the Founding Fathers hammered out compromises, working together for more than four months to &ldquoform a more perfect union,&rdquo as described in the preamble to the Constitution.

Their experiment resulted in a constitutional republican form of government that has withstood both internal and external threats, including a bloody Civil War, and has led the United States to become the most powerful country in the world. In the end, the legacy of the Founding Fathers is the promise of liberty and justice, not only for Americans, but for any people willing to invest in democratic self-government.

Before becoming the the United States' first president, George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention, which established the nation's Constitution. "Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention" was painted by Junius Brutus Stearn.

America Dedicated to God

On April 30 th , 1789, America had a Constitution and a newly formed government. On that day, the government, the House, and the Senate gathered for the Inauguration of our first president, George Washington. In his Inauguration Address, Washington gave a prophetic warning: “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and the right which heaven itself has ordained.” Washington’s warning was, if we would begin to depart from God, He would remove His blessings, His prosperity and His protection from our nation.

After Washington’s address, the government, the House, the Senate, and America’s first president traveled on foot to Saint Paul’s Chapel. No one knows exactly what was said inside but we do know the entire government was on their knees praying and consecrating this nation to God. In the chapel there is also a plaque above Washington’s pew with the words “Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection.” Saint Paul’s Chapel is located at the corner of Ground Zero and is the spiritual birthplace of America.

America’s first Presidential Inauguration – that of President George Washington – incorporated seven specific religious activities, including[1] the use of the Bible to administer the oath[2] affirming the religious nature of the oath by the adding the prayer “So help me God!” to the oath[3] inaugural prayers offered by the president[4] religious content in the inaugural address[5] civil leaders calling the people to prayer or acknowledgement of God[6] inaugural worship services attended en masse by Congress as an official part of congressional activities[7] and clergy-led inaugural prayers.[8]

[1] See, for example, The Federal and State Constitutions: Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America, compiled and edited under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1908, by Francis Newton Thorpe (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909), 7 volumes see also

[2] See, for example, The History of the Centennial Celebration of George Washington as First President of the United States,Clarence Winthrop Bowen, editor (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892), p. 51 Benson J. Lossing, Washington and the American Republic (New York: Virtue & Yorston, 1870), Vol. III, p. 93 and numerous others.

[3] See, for example, The History of the Centennial Celebration of George Washington as First President of the United States, Clarence Winthrop Bowen, editor (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892), p. 52 Benson J. Lossing, Washington and the American Republic (New York: Virtue & Yorston, 1870), Vol. III, p. 93 and numerous others.

[4] James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (Published by Authority of Congress, 1897), George Washington, Vol. 1, p.44, April 30th, 1789.

[5] James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (Published by Authority of Congress, 1897), George Washington, Vol. 1, pp. 44-45, April 30th, 1789.

[6] The Daily Advertiser, New York, Thursday, April 23, 1789, p. 2 see also The History of the Centennial Celebration of George Washington as First President of the United States, Clarence Winthrop Bowen, editor (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892), p. 41, and many other sources.

[7] Senate: Annals of Congress (1834), Vol. I, p. 25, April 27, 1789 House: Annals of Congress (1834), Vol. I, p. 241, April 29, 1789.

[8] George Bancroft, History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States of America (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1882), Vol. II, p. 363 see also The History of the Centennial Celebration of George Washington as First President of the United States, Clarence Winthrop Bowen, editor (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892), p. 54, and many other sources.

Mao Zedong declares a new nation (1949)

On October 1st 1949, Mao Zedong addressed a large crowd in Tiananmen Square, Beijing and declared the formation of a new nation: The People’s Republic of China. This text, which appeared in the People’s Daily the following day, purports to be a transcript of Mao’s speech:

“The people throughout China have been plunged into bitter suffering and tribulations since the Jiang Jieshi Kuomintang reactionary government betrayed the fatherland, colluded with imperialists and launched the counter-revolutionary war.

Fortunately our People’s Liberation Army, backed by the whole nation, has been fighting heroically and selflessly to defend the territorial sovereignty of our homeland, to protect the people’s lives and property, to relieve the people of their sufferings, and to struggle for their rights, and it eventually wiped out the reactionary troops and overthrew the reactionary rule of the Nationalist government.

Now, the People’s War of Liberation has been basically won and the majority of the people in the country have been liberated. On this foundation, the first session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference , composed of delegates of all the democratic parties and people’s organisations of China, the People’s Liberation Army, the various regions and nationalities of the country, and the overseas Chinese and other patriotic elements, has been convened.

Representing the will of the whole nation [this session of the conference] has enacted the organic law of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, elected Mao Zedong as chairman of the Central People’s Government and Zhu De, Lui Shaoqi, Song Qingling, Li Jishen, Zhang Lan, and Gao Gang as vice chairmen [of the Central People’s Government]… It has proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China and decided on Beijing as the capital of the People’s Republic of China.

The Central People’s Government Council of the People’s Republic of China took office today in the capital and unanimously made the following decisions:

1. To proclaim the establishment of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

2. To adopt the Common Program of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference as the policy of the government

3. To elect Lin Boqu from among the council members as secretary general of the Central People’s Government Council.

4. To appoint Zhou Enlai as premier of the Government Adminstration Council of the Central People’s Government and concurrently minister of Foreign Affairs, Mao Zedong as chairman of the People’s Revolutionary Military Commission of the Central People’s Government, Zhu De as commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army… and to charge them with the task of the speedy formation of the various organs of the government to carry out the work of the government.

At the same time, the Central People’s Government Council decided to declare to the governments of all other countries that this government is the sole legal government representing all the people of the People’s Republic of China. This government is willing to establish diplomatic relations with any foreign government that is willing to observe the principles of equality, mutual benefit, and mutual respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

Watch the video: Chapter 6: A New Nation (September 2022).

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