Monday, May 16, 2016

History: The Year is 1787

I've uploaded year 1787 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Botany Bay: The Undesirable Colony -- In order to create a paradise in London, criminals are now sent to Botany Bay, Australia (now part of Sydney).

The Constitutional Convention -- Amazingly what was thought to be a failed convention, turns out a Constitution ready for ratification.

And Other Massively Important Stuff -- the first American steamboat was not invented by Fulton.

Botany Bay: The Undesirable Colony

17 years ago, Admiral Cook discovered Botany Bay, but now the largest single colonial effort has been launched to create a Shangri-La... in Great Britain by shipping off every undesirable man, woman and child they can find to Botany Bay (now part of Metropolitan Sydney, Australia). With the USA no longer available as a dumping ground for miscreants and ne'er-do-wells, the British have turned Australia into a penal colony. (Pardon me, but the British are dumping their "excrement" there and they think of it EXACTLY that way if they think of it at all. I wish I was kidding.) By early next year, 11 vessels carrying 1,030 people will arrive at Sydney Harbor. They will be greeted by sandstone, scrub brush, but also birds, gum trees, streams and an area they will describe favorably as a "deer park". The farming will begin there. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
So... why didn't the British dump their undesirables into Quebec, Canada? Well... the French had given it up to the British by treaty in 1763, but most of the residents remained French. After the American Revolution, about 10,000 Crown royalists were encouraged to move to Quebec. Frankly, where else could the British put them? Botany Bay? No. The Crown royalists had done nothing wrong, but the sudden influx of non-French into Quebec created political instability which became worse over time. Anyone could see that dumping more British subjects into Quebec would only aggravate the problem, so Botany Bay seemed like a reasonable alternative.... out of sight, out of mind. [2]

The Constitutional Convention

After Shays' Rebellion, the States are nervous. The Congress needs more power to put down rebellions and to handle the war debt. That will require taxing the states, but everyone is worried about secret monarchists imposing another kingship. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton want a central government with the power to tax, but if they propose a radical change to the Articles of Confederation, they might get no change at all. George Washington supports a central government but he wants to remain in retirement. Madison convinces him to put his name on the list of participants to lend legitimacy to the Convention. People naturally assume Washington is leading the Convention, so as the time approaches, Washington cannot withdraw. Madison has forced Washington out of retirement. The Convention is a secret negotiation but once the Constitution is sent to the states for ratification, Madison is sure he has failed in his main goals. Nevertheless, after thinking about it, he realizes that they have created something they can work with. [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Philadelphia Convention was a competition between the Virginia Plan (Federal veto power over the states), Hamilton's Plan (no state sovereignty at all), or the New Jersey Plan (a state-appointed Senate that protects state sovereignty). They compromised between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan, but with no federal power to veto state laws. So... what happened to opposition to ANY Constitution? The main opposition leader, Patrick Henry, didn't show up for the Convention. His strategy was to stand aloof, so that when the "monarchists" failed, he could save the day. Instead, he was sidelined when the debate turned toward ratification of the Constitution. The debate on ratification was impressive. I suggest reading "Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution" by Pauline Maier. Citizens had a baseline education that included how to think. Today, we are given facts to memorize without the skills necessary to evaluate what those facts imply. A person who can think is very difficult to manage because he is always asking intelligent questions. An ignorant person cannot be free. [7] [8] [9]

And Other Massively Important Stuff

  • The first steamboat in America is built by... JOHN FITCH! Robert Fulton will make the steamboat profitable 20 years later. [10]
  • The First of the Federalist Papers is published by Alexander Hamilton to answer the anti-Federalist criticisms. [11]
  • The Northwest Ordinance grants an individual's right to own land in perpetuity, defines how a state can be established and limits slavery in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1787, Wikipedia.

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