The success of the Revolution gave Americans the opportunity to
give legal form to their ideals as expressed in the Declaration of
Independence, and to remedy some of their grievances through state
constitutions. As early as May 10, 1776, Congress had passed a resolution
advising the colonies to form new governments "such as shall best conduce
to the happiness and safety of their constituents." Some of them had
already done so, and within a year after the Declaration of Independence, all
but three had drawn up constitutions.
The new constitutions showed the impact of democratic ideas.
None made any drastic break with the past, since all were built on the solid
foundation of colonial experience and English practice. But each was also
animated by the spirit of republicanism, an ideal that had long been praised by
Naturally, the first objective of the framers of the state
constitutions was to secure those "unalienable rights" whose violation
had caused the former colonies to repudiate their connection with Britain.
Thus, each constitution began with a declaration or bill of rights. Virginia's,
which served as a model for all the others, included a declaration of
principles, such as popular sovereignty, rotation in office, freedom of
elections and an enumeration of fundamental liberties: moderate bail and humane
punishment, speedy trial by jury, freedom of the press and of conscience, and
the right of the majority to reform or alter the government.
Other states enlarged the list of liberties to guarantee freedom
of speech, of assembly and of petition, and frequently included such provisions
as the right to bear arms, to a writ of habeas corpus, to inviolability of
domicile and to equal protection under the law. Moreover, all the constitutions
paid allegiance to the three-branch structure of government -- executive,
legislative and judiciary -- each checked and balanced by the others.
Pennsylvania's constitution was the most radical. In that state,
Philadelphia artisans, Scots-Irish frontiersmen and German-speaking farmers had
taken control. The provincial congress adopted a constitution that permitted
every male taxpayer and his sons to vote, required rotation in office (no one
could serve as a representative more than four years out of every seven) and
set up a single-chamber legislature.
The state constitutions had some glaring limitations,
particularly by more recent standards. Constitutions established to guarantee
people their natural rights did not secure for everyone the most fundamental
natural right -- equality. The colonies south of Pennsylvania excluded their
slave populations from their inalienable rights as human beings. Women had no
political rights. No state went so far as to permit universal male suffrage,
and even in those states that permitted all taxpayers to vote (Delaware, North
Carolina and Georgia, in addition to Pennsylvania), office-holders were
required to own a certain amount of property.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
The struggle with England had done much to change colonial
attitudes. Local assemblies had rejected the Albany Plan of Union in 1754,
refusing to surrender even the smallest part of their autonomy to any other
body, even one they themselves had elected. But in the course of the
Revolution, mutual aid had proved effective, and the fear of relinquishing
individual authority had lessened to a large degree.
John Dickinson produced the "Articles of Confederation and
Perpetual Union" in 1776. The Continental Congress adopted them in
November 1777, and they went into effect in 1781, having been ratified by all
the states. The governmental framework established by the Articles had many
weaknesses. The national government lacked the authority to set up tariffs when
necessary, to regulate commerce and to levy taxes. It lacked sole control of
international relations: a number of states had begun their own negotiations
with foreign countries. Nine states had organized their own armies, and several
had their own navies. There was a curious hodgepodge of coins and a bewildering
variety of state and national paper bills, all fast depreciating in value.
Economic difficulties after the war prompted calls for change.
The end of the war had a severe effect on merchants who supplied the armies of
both sides and who had lost the advantages deriving from participation in the
British mercantile system. The states gave preference to American goods in
their tariff policies, but these tariffs were inconsistent, leading to the
demand for a stronger central government to implement a uniform policy.
Farmers probably suffered the most from economic difficulties
following the Revolution. The supply of farm produce exceeded demand, and
unrest centered chiefly among farmer-debtors who wanted strong remedies to
avoid foreclosure on their property and imprisonment for debt. Courts were
clogged with suits for debt. All through the summer of 1786, popular
conventions and informal gatherings in several states demanded reform in the
In the autumn of 1786, mobs of farmers in Massachusetts under
the leadership of a former army captain, Daniel Shays, began forcibly to
prevent the county courts from sitting and passing further judgments for debt,
pending the next state election. In January 1787 a ragtag army of 1,200
farmers moved toward the federal arsenal at Springfield. The rebels, armed
chiefly with staves and pitchforks, were repulsed by a small state militia
force; General Benjamin Lincoln then arrived with reinforcements from Boston
and routed the remaining Shaysites, whose leader escaped to Vermont. The
government captured 14 rebels and sentenced them to death, but ultimately
pardoned some and let the others off with short prison terms. After the defeat
of the rebellion, a newly elected legislature, whose majority sympathized with
the rebels, met some of their demands for debt relief.
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF STATES’ ADMITTANCE TO THE UNION
From 1787 to 1959 the states were admitted to the union in the
folowing order:1 Delaware December 7, 1787 2 Pennsylvania December 12, 1787 3
New Jersey December 18, 1787 4 Georgia January 2, 1788 5 Connecticut January 9,
1788 6 Massachusetts February 6, 1788 7 Maryland April 28, 1788 8 South
Carolina May 23, 1788 9 New Hampshire June 21, 1788 10 Virginia June 25, 1788
11 New York July 26, 1788 12 North Carolina November 21, 1789 13 Rhode Island
May 29, 1790 14 Vermont March 4, 1791 15 Kentucky June 1, 1792 16 Tennessee
June 1, 1796 17 Ohio March 1, 1803 18 Louisiana April 30, 1812 19 Indiana
December 11, 1816 20 Missisipi December 10, 1817 21 Illinois Decemer 3, 1818 22
Alabama December 14, 1819 23 Maine March 15, 1820 24 Missouri August 10, 1821
25 Arkansas June 15, 1836 26 Michigan Jan 26, 1837 27 Florida March 3, 1845 28
Texas December 29, 1845 29 Iowa December 28, 1846 30 Wisconsin May 29, 1848 31
California September 9, 1850 32 Minnesota May 11, 1858 33 Oregon February 14,
1859 34 Kansas January 29, 1861 35 West Virginia June 20, 1863 36 Nevada
October 31, 1864 37 Nebraska March 1, 1867 38 Colorado August 1, 1876 39 North
Dacota November 2, 1889 40 South Dakota November 2, 1889 41 Montana November 8,
1889 42 Washington November 11, 1889 43 Idaho July 3, 1890 44 Wyoming July 10,
1890 45 Utah January 4, 1896 46 Oklahoma November 16, 1907 47 New Mexico
January 6, 1912 48 Arizona February 14, 1912 49 Alaska January 3, 1959 50
Hawaii August 21, 1959 51
America is a very huge country. It consists of 50 states. Each
state has its own government and lows. We can explore america state by state but
it will take so many time and place that our mind will refuse to accept such a
quantity of information. Let us better to explore just some states of USA so we
can receive a general image of what is a state of America.
Novelist Edna Ferber labeled Texas as a giant, and she was
right. The total wealth of its natural resources surpasses that of all the
other states. As a separate country it would rank 11th in wealth among the
nations. Texas leads the nation in total productivity, and its history retells
one of the nation's most heroic events, the defense of the Alamo. Texans are
friendly indeed, "Friendship" is their state motto.
Once the typical Texan was a frontier cowboy with a ten-gallon
hat, but today the state's symbol might more appropriately be an oil field
worker or a laboratory scientist. Texas is still a frontier state, but nowadays
the frontier is the space program. Perhaps it is typical and appropriate that
this giant state has constructed the largest of all the state capitols as a symbol
of its strength.
The shipwrecked party of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca escaped from
Indian captivity on an island off the Texas coast in 1535 and made an
incredible journey across country back to Mexico.
The renowned expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado crossed
the Rio Grande in 1541.
The first permanent European settlement in what is now Texas was
Ysleta, founded in 1682.
In the first half of the 1700s about a dozen missions became
outposts of civilization in Tem.
The Sabine and Red rivers were established as northern and
eastern boundaries in 1819.
Moses and Stephen Austin established an American foothold in
Texas before Moses died in the 1820s, and the American presence grew in the
By 1835 the Americans in Texas realized that they must seek
independence from Mexico, and they laid siege to San Antonio, which fell in
Mexican leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna arrived in February
1836 to recapture San Antonio, finding the defenders at an old mission called
the Alamo. After a long siege, his forces overwhelmed and slaughtered them on
March 6. Only one of the defenders managed to escape. Santa Ana then captured
and murdered 330 Texans at Goliad.
Texan dynamo Sam Houston led his forces eastward and lured Santa
Anna into a difficult position. Santa Anna was defeated and captured at the
decisive Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836.
Later that year, the people held an election and chose Sam
Houston as the first president of the independent Republic of Texas.
After ten years of independence, on December 29, 1845, Texas
became the 28th state.
As the divisions over slavery increased, Sam Houston became
governor in 1859.
Dallas celebrated the Texas Centennial in 1936.
An explosion at a New London school in 1937 brought death to
more than 300 pupils and teachers.
World War II called 750,000 Texans into the armed services, and
23,022 lost their lives.
A border dispute with Mexico was settled in 1963.
Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeded to the presidency on the
assassination of John F. Kennedy at Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Despite Houston's objection, the state voted to secede on
January 28, 1861, and Houston resigned as governor.
During the Civil War, Texas furnished enormous quantities of
essential materials and food.
Texas was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870, and a new
constitution became law on February 15, 1876.
Between the years 1870 and 1890, 10 million cattle were shipped
from Texas to the nation's markets.
The terrible hurricane at Galveston on September 8, 1900, killed
at least 6,000 and left 8,000 homeless.
Lyndon Johnson, assuming the presidency after the assassination
The year 1986 brought the 150th anniversary celebration of the
founding of the Republic of Texas.
A highly controversial federal raid on the Branch Davidian
compound at Waco ended in a tragic fire on April 19, 1993; more than 70 cult
members were killed.
Texas even boasts some notable holes in the ground----Meteor
Crater covers 10 acres
near Odessa. The strange Hucco Tanks, where rainwater is held in natural cups
carved into the granite, welcome thirsty travelers.
California's history is unique. It has been shaped, in part, by
its geography. California has four main regions. The temperate coastal region,
the Central Valley, once an inland sea, the desert, and the mountain region.
The imposing Sierra Nevadas caused California to develop in relative isolation
from the rest of the nation. After Americans began to settle in California in
large numbers during the nineteenth century, it would usually be weeks before
news would arrive from the East.
Four flags have flown in earnest over California. Russia, Spain,
Mexico, and the United States.
The name "California" came from a knightly romance
book that was published in 1510. It was about an island paradise near the
Indies where beautiful Queen Califia ruled over a country of beautiful black
Amazons with lots of pearls and gold. Men were only allowed there one day a
year to help perpetuate the race. Cortez's men thought they found the island in
1535, because they found pearls. Later, Francisco de Ulloa found that the
island was really a peninsula.
The first settlers to arrive in California after the Native
Americans were Spanish, and later Mexican. Russia had some small settlements
for the purpose of whaling and fur trapping in Northern California, but Russia
didn't attempt to colonize the area except in very isolated areas. Spanish
priests were sent to California to covert the Indians to Christianity. Spain
hoped to make the California native population into good Spaniards, loyal to
Spain. Spain was becoming alarmed that the Russians and English were
encroaching on lands claimed by Spain.
The fight for California began almost 500 years ago with Queen
Elizabeth I. She sent Sir Francis Drake to harass and raid the Spanish
galleons. England was beginning to realize the value of California. England did
not want Spain claiming more land in the new world, upsetting the balance of
power between the super powers of the time. Tensions were already high between
Spain and England. Henry VIII, Elizabeth's father, had divorced his first wife,
Catherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess. In order to accomplish the divorce,
England severed ties with Catholicism and Henry had instituted protestantism as
the State religion. Henry and Jane Seymore's son had assumed the throne after
Henry's death and continued Henry's policies. But when Edward the IV died at
the age of 16, Mary I came to the throne. She was the daughter of Henry and his
first wife, Catherine. Her ties to both Spain and Catholicism were strong.
Elizabeth was suspected of plotting to overthrow Mary and was imprisoned in the
Tower. After "bloody Mary" died and Elizabeth I became monarch, the
power struggle between catholics and protestants did not end. Eventually,
Elizabeth had Mary, Queen of Scots, executed for treason. Mary was her greatest
threat to the throne since Mary claimed it as her right by way of England's
ties with the French throne. Even though Mary had abdicated her rights, she
still remained a threat to Elizabeth since Spain and France could use Mary as a
cause to move against England. With the death of Mary Queen of Scots, England
had secured protestantism and Elizabeth's reign, but was short on allies. In
order to build new European allies, England had to remain a power to be
reckoned with. Spanish settlement along the west coast of North America could
bolster Spanish power. This was the last thing England wanted.
Prior to the Gold Rush, settlers very slowly filtered into
California until 1848 when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. Suddenly,
people from all over the world looking to strike it rich flooded through San
Francisco. They traveled up the Sacramento River to the gold fields. The Gold
Rush was devastating to the Native Americans in the area and depleted many
natural resources. What is now San Francisco was once a redwood forest. Whole
native tribes were scattered or destroyed. In some areas there were bounties on
Indians. The California tribes still have a rich culture and heritage, but the
nineteenth century was a period of great loss for all native tribes in the
It was this discovery of gold that hastened California's
statehood. On September 9, 1850, President Fillmore officially made California
the thirty-first state.
One thing that helped ease California's isolation was the
telegraph. By 1861, telegraph lines stretched across the country.
Unfortunately, buffalo on the plains often knocked down the poles, leaving
California isolated again until the line was fixed.
California offered a lot to the nation. The rich Central Valley
eventually became known as the breadbasket of the world. California's mild
climate allowed for year-round farming and fruits and vegetables could be grown
in California that would grow in very few other places. The Chinese eventually
prospered, despite extreme prejudice and jealousy over their success, by
growing fruits and vegetables, which were an important part of their diet. The
Chinese eventually started their own town in the Central Valley which remains
to this day. The town has some descendants of these original Chinese
Eventually, the railroads carried California produce to the
East. California's exotic produce was in great demand in the East. Ice cars,
the precursors to the refrigerated cars of today, began in response to the
demand for California produce. Agriculture was responsible for generating great
wealth in the state. Agriculture is still a major industry today.
New Jersey gave the world both football and baseball, as well as
Thomas Nast's Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, and Santa Claus. It
was the home to at least three of the most important inventors in American
It was here that Thomas A. Edison invented the electric light
bulb, Samuel F. B. Morse the electric telegraph, and John P. Holland the
Washington's famed crossing of the Delaware brought his forces
to the Jersey shore. The state became the "pathway of the Revolution"
and suffered through four major battles. New Jersey leads the nation in many
areas of manufacture and science and has long proven it is more than a
convenient route from North to South. Here is the brif history of the
Claims greatest variety of manufactured products.
Major glass manufacturing center.
Leader in flag manufacture.
Chemistry industry leader.
The national jewelry center-Newark.
World's first four-lane highway, constructed between Elizabeth
First U.S. charter for a railroad.
Explorers John Cabot in 1497 and Giovanni de Verrizano in 1524
sailed past what is now the Jersey shore.
The first record of a European on New Jersey soil belongs to
Henry Hudson, in 1609.
By 1618 the Dutch had set up a trading post at Bergen.
New Sweden was organized on the lower Delaware in 1638.
Federal Writers' Project, New Jersey
Johan Printz ("Big Tub"), a 7-foot giant of 400 pounds, took control
of the Swedish settlement in 1643.
In 1664, England took over the colony and the city of Elizabeth
New Jersey became a crown colony in 1702, under the governor of
In 1738, New Jersey got its own government.
William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, became governor in
Dissatisfaction with the crown led to the little-known New
Jersey "tea party" on December 22, 1774.
After the Declaration of Independence, a provincial Congress
took control and arrested Governor Franklin.
After the Revolution reached New Jersey, the state endured four
major battles and 90 minor skirmishes, becoming known as the .pathway of the
General George Washington and his armies crossed and re-crossed
New Jersey flour times.
Washington made his famed crossing of the Delaware River to the
Jersey shore, and his victory at the Battle of Trenton at Christmas time, 1776,
gave hope to the American cause.
By the close of the Revolution, 17,000 New Jersey men had fought
for the new country, and New Jersey became known as the Garden State for
supplying war provisions.
In 1783, Princeton was the temporary capital of the new country.
New Jersey became the third state on December 18, 1787.
The new state constitution of 1844 granted many new rights, and
slaves gained a degree of freedom in 1846.
The nation's first intercollegiate football game was played at
New Brunswick in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won.
Opposition to the power of big business brought reforms in the
period 1911-1913, under Governor Woodrow Wilson.
Spurred by the inventions of Thomas Edison in New Jersey, the
state reigned as motion picture capital of the world until about 1916.
During World War I, the state led in shipbuilding and production
of artillery shells, and Hoboken became the major embarkation point of the war.
The Miss America contest began at Atlantic City in 1921.
The great George Washington Bridge was opened in 1931, and
Bergen County became "the bedroom of New York.
The days of the passenger dirigible came to an end at Lakehurst
with the spectacular destruction of the Hindenburg in 1937.
In World War 11, New Jersey was predominant in production of
airplane engines and warships, among other war material; and Camp Gilmer was a
major debarkation center.
During the 1940s and 1950s, a series of hurricanes -induding
Diane, Donna, and Hazel-took many lives and destroyed hundreds of millions of
dollars' worth of property.
The great Meadowlands development opened in 1976 with games of
major league teams.
The 1980s were notable for the resumption of large-scale
gambling at Atlantic City.
In 1991, New Jersey terminated ocean dumping.
There are alot of other interesting and exciting states of
America but as there is a limint of place we explored just a few of them.
A Pioneer's Search for an Ideal Home, Judson, Phoebe Goodell,