1787

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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.

See Also

References

  1. Hughes, Robert. Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding, The. Vintage. ISBN 9780099448549. “In their most sanguine moments, the authorities hoped that it would eventually swallow a whole class--the "criminal class," whose existence was one of the prime sociological beliefs of late Georgian and early Victorian England. Australia was settled to defend English property not from the frog-eating invader across the Channel but from the marauder within. [...] Jeremy Bentham, inveighing against the "thief-colony" in 1812, argued that transportation... was indeed a measure of experiment … but the subject-matter of experiment was, in this case, a peculiarly commodious one; a set of animae viles, a sort of excrementitious mass, that could be projected, and accordingly was projected--projected, and as it should seem purposely--as far out of sight as possible. 
  2. Quebec - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “The arrival of 10,000 Loyalists at Quebec in 1784 destroyed the political balance that Haldimand (and Carleton before him) had worked so hard to achieve. The swelling numbers of English encouraged them to make greater demands for recognition with the colonial government.[92] To restore stability to his largest remaining North American colony, King George III sent Carleton back to Quebec to remedy the situation.”
  3. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 364-365. 
  4. Constitutional Convention (United States) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 10 May 2016. “The Constitutional Convention:31(also known as the Philadelphia Convention,:31 the Federal Convention,:31 or the Grand Convention at Philadelphia) took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the Convention was intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the creation of the United States Constitution, placing the Convention among the most significant events in the history of the United States.”
  5. George Washington - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 May 2016. “Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which devised a new form of federal government for the United States. Following unanimous election as president in 1789, he worked to unify rival factions in the fledgling nation. He supported Alexander Hamilton's programs to satisfy all debts, federal and state, established a permanent seat of government, implemented an effective tax system, and created a national bank. In avoiding war with Great Britain, he guaranteed a decade of peace and profitable trade by securing the Jay Treaty in 1795, despite intense opposition from the Jeffersonians. Although he remained nonpartisan, never joining the Federalist Party, he largely supported its policies.”
  6. Scotching - definition of scotching (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “1. To put an abrupt end to”
  7. Ellis, Joseph J.. Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789, The. Knopf. “But for all the political, ideological, and demographic reasons already noted, the transition from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution cannot be described as natural. Quite the contrary, it represented a dramatic change in direction and in scale, in effect from a confederation of sovereign states to a nation-size republic, indeed the largest republic ever established.” 
  8. Patrick Henry - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “He declined to attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787, saying that he 'smelt a rat in Philadelphia, tending toward the monarchy.'[citation needed] An ardent supporter of state rights, Henry was an outspoken critic of the United States Constitution. He worried that the untested office of the presidency could devolve into a monarchy and became a leading opponent of James Madison.”
  9. Maier, Pauline. Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780684868547. 
  10. John Fitch (inventor) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “Fitch's idea would be turned profitable two decades later by Robert Fulton. Though Fulton was able to obtain a monopoly in the state of New York because of the powerful influence of his partner Robert Livingston, he was unable to gain a U.S. patent largely because he could not demonstrate the originality of his designs. Also, an original member of Fitch's company, William Thornton, had become head of the newly created Patent Office, and made the application process even more difficult for Fulton.”
  11. Federalist No. 1 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “Federalist No. 1 introduces a series of essays published in the Independent Journal, the New-York Packet and the Daily Advertiser as a response to Anti-Federalist opposition to the proposed US Constitution. After the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the new Constitution was sent to the various states for ratification in September 1787. Anti-Federalists essays condemning the document began to surface later that month, quickly followed by the Federalist efforts of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.”
  12. Northwest Ordinance - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 May 2016. “The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established the concept of fee simple ownership, by which ownership was in perpetuity with unlimited power to sell or give it away. This was called the 'first guarantee of freedom of contract in the United States.'”

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