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Flashcards in Ch. 6 IDs Deck (24)
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Radical and cautious revolutionaries

Radical revolutionaries believed that citizens could govern themselves and not abuse their public privileges for private advantages. Radicals like Sam Adams championed the most democratic government systems. Cautious revolutionaries did not believe that the masses were capable of making decisions that would benefit everyone and therefore thought they could not govern themselves. They adopted an elitist view that the more renowned citizens (wealthy, educated, “natural aristocrats”) should be entrusted with guiding the people. Cautious revolutionaries wanted a strong central government.


National domain:

Belonging to all the people of the country for future development. Dickinson named the land west of the Appalachian Mountains as national domain instead of as the property of specific states.


Newburg Conspiracy

The soldiers in the Continental army rarely recieved the pay or benefits they were frequently promised by Congress. Congress was very much in debt to these soldiers and officers. When Washington moved his troops to Newburg NY after Yorktown, the peace negotiations kept dragging on, so the soldiers worried that they were about to be demobilized without any of the pay they had been promised. Rhode Island’s refusal to ratify the Impost Plan (which would allow for a trade duty to pay back war debts) confirmed their fears, so they sent a petition to Congress. Nationalists used the army’s anger to form a conspiracy: Horatio Gates, who wanted Washington’s job, urged soldiers to meet up and vent grievances, but in the end, they were placated by Washinton’s heartfelt words of empathy.


John Jay

A Paris peace commissioner named by Congress to be its secretary for foreign affairs. He negotiated with Gardoqui, although this failed. Also a member of the Constitutional Convention and co-author of the Federalist Papers.


James Madison

A strong nationalist/Federalist, AKA the father of the Constitution thanks to his plan for national government. He became the 4th president of the US. He, Hamilton, and Dickinson were some of the delegates who met in Maryland and had the goal of revising the AoC. He was a framer of the Constitution. He drafted the Virginia Plan of national government.


Electoral College

The delegates decided to make the electoral system for president indirectly elective so that the president would not be swayed by public opinion. They did so through the electoral college: Each state would have as many electors as representatives and senators in Congress. In states that permitted popular voting for president, citizens would cast ballots for electors who favored particular candidates. The electors would then meet and vote for the one they favored. The candidate with the most electoral votes would win. If there was a tie, the House would decide.


John Dickinson

A cautious revolutionary who proposed a government with little state power and great national power- the Articles of Confederation. His Articles of Confederation were completely rewritten by Congress in the interest of radical revolutionaries. Also a framer of the Constitution.



States that had a claim to land in the west because their colonial charters had no fixed western boundary. Dickinson’s AoC draft left the western lands in the hands of states with a sea-to-sea clause in their colonial charters, which was a logical extension of the principle of state sovereignty.


Alexander Hamilton

One of Robert Morris’ helpers who was a nationalist/Federalist who advocated for strong central government and helped with the financial crisis remaining from the war. He was a framer of the Consitution in the Constitutional Convention, and he helped write the Federalist Papers.



Don Diego de Gardoqui was Spain’s first minister to the US. He described to John Jay that his government was worried about Americans encroaching on Spanish land west of the Mississippi as they started to expand, and therefore Spain decided that they would not allow the Americans to use the Mississippi as an outlet for western agricultural goods. However, he also offered a treaty saying that any colonists who became Spanish citizens would be allowed to use the Mississippi, but this only stirred up resentment. In the end, the Jay-Gardoqui negotiations failed.


Virginia Plan

A plan of national government proposed by Madison in which the government was made up of three tiers: two houses of Congress and an executive branch. The number of representatives each state had would be based on population.



As a tactic to persuade more states to ratify the Consitution, the nationalists in favor of a strong central government started calling themselves Federalists and their opponents Anti-Federalists as a strategy to disarm their opposition. This was a misnomer because Federalists did not want to continue the strong power of the confederation of sovereign states.



Those who opposed the nationalists/ Federalists and wanted the governmental power to reside with the states, aka closer to the people. They were actually the true federalists because they sought to continue the confederation of sovereign states, but they were labeled anti-federalists by the nationalists as a persuasive tactic. They criticized the Constitution, saying that the Federalists were trying to create an aristocracy.


Articles of Confederation

A system of government in which the central government had very little power and the power rested in the states. It left Congress broke and powerless because states could choose whether or not to send money to Congress in order to pay back war debts. Congress could not tax citizens and could only coordinate state activities. The AoC pleased radicals because it lacked a strong central government and was centered on the belief that people would be virtuous and selfless with their state power, but it displeased cautious revolutionaries who did not trust the will of individuals or states.



States that were blocked by their fixed western border (in their colonial charter) from claiming land in the national domain west of the Appalachian Mountains; states that had no land claims in the west. Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware had fixed western boundaries and were therefore landless.


Horatio Gates

A nationalist, the second in command at Newburg who took part in the Newburg Conspiracy because he wanted to replace Washington as head of the continental army. He authorized Newburg addresses to be given to the soldiers that sowed distrust towards Washington and called for a meeting for the soldiers to vent their grievances.


Daniel Shays

Shay was a revolutionary war veteran whose property was seized as the increasing tax rates created a postwar depression. He resented having his land taken from him, so he organized his fellow farmers to revolt against the state government of Massachusetts. They started with petitions but then shut down the county court. Citizens of Boston grew scared and raised money for a Massachusetts army under Benjamin Lincoln, and the army effectively shut down the Shaysite farmer rebels when they tried to steal weapons from the federal arsenal. The rebellion also ended because the rebels were granted amnesty and tax relief.


New Jersey Plan

A counter to the Madison's Virginia Plan proposed by William Patterson of New Jersey. The government would have equal voting (same number of representatives per state) in a unicameral national legislature. It also greatly empowered the strength of the national government, allowing it taxation rights and government regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. His plan was more in-line with the original goals of the delegation.



AKA federalists/cautious revolutionaries. Congressmen of the 2nd Continental Congress who informally allied together because they all advocated a strong central government. They were frustrated with the Articles of Confederation, and they finally successfully persuaded Congress to adopt a new form of government in 1787. They wanted a strong central government instead of a highly democratic government.


Robert Morris

A wealthy Philadelphia merchant who was the leader of the nationalists, AKA the Financer of the Revolution, who became Congress’ superintendent of finance when the financial crisis grew. He also took part in the Newburg Conspiracy, and he was a framer of the Constitution.


John Adams

He was sent as the first minister of the US to Britain in order to get the British to back off from their Orders in Council of 1783 that ended American trade to the West Indies, but he failed. He was also a Federalist and a framer of the Constitution.


Benjamin Lincoln

He was nominated by the frightened Bostonians to be the head of the eastern Massachusetts army. He was to march into the west part of the state and subdue the Shaysites. He successfully helped end the rebellion by firing a few cannon shots and pursuing and capturing the farmers when they tried to steal weapons.


The Great Compromise

A compromise between the Virginia and New Jersey Plans of government in which the lower house (House) of the legislature would have proportional representation (favoring the populated states) and the upper house (Senate) would have equal representation with two senators per state who could work together if they so chose (this favored less populous states).


Federalist Papers

A series of 85 essays written by Hamiton, James Madison, and John Jay (under pseudonym “Publius”) on behalf of ratification in New York. They explained the Constitution in order to defend it and demonstrated that it would ensure political stability and enlightened legislation. They argued that the three branches provided checks and balances and that much decision-making authority still resided in the states.