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George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights: June 1776

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George Mason's "Virginia Declaration of Rights," June 1776- Mason laid out what Virginia's self government plan would like in this document. Said that all men were "born equally free and independent." Included that all men had basic inherent rights to the enjoyment of Life, Liberty, Means to possess and acquire property, and the ability to pursue and maintain Happiness. Said that God and Nature bestowed these rights upon them. Called for the abolition of privilege, separation of legislative and executive power, a bill of rights, free press, free religion etc. To them the Brits were trampling all over these.

Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence,' July 1776- basically Jefferson jacked all of Mason's ideas and tried to put them down on paper in his own words. When you heard something that was moving it was mostly Mason's words and the rest was considered by Jefferson's peers to be kinda crappy. They edited it and worked it into the Declaration as we know it today. The big difference is that the Declaration went out to every one and got them fired up whereas Mason's publication was meant just for Virginia.

Importance of George Washington and The Continental Army- This was a large part of the colonies' defense and most men willingly joined under Washington in a romantic and emotional response of basically hating the Brit's guts initially at least. Washington had wised up a lot since Fort Dusquesne and was a better tactician, he also was very good with public affairs being very careful not to make anyone mad. Camps were made outside of towns and miscreant soldiers in the towns were flogged. Washington was very good at training officers who then in turn drilled the regular soldiers into shape and got them fighting fit.

Articles of Confederation and Congress- Ratified in York in November of 1777, it did not allow an executive branch. Did not allow the government to levy taxes, make state assessments, or have any traditional powers. Each state had one vote and for major acts and amendments to pass, they had to be agreed upon unanimously so anyone could block something if they wanted to.

Loyalty Oaths and Patriot Party- After a plot to assassinate George Washington originating from the Tories or Loyalists to the crown was discovered, Congress instructed each state to define treason and have Tories commit to loyalty oaths that made them swear to the rising republic and not the King. They were persecuted largely by the Patriot Party who would not buy/sell to them, nor would they trade with them, and sometimes they took their land and sold it to pay off war debts forcing them to relocate outside of the states.

1. A) Puritan's War (1775-76)



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