After declaration of independence - A new political system, the consequence of religion and many peoples with different nationality

Pre-University Paper, 2004

12 Pages, Grade: 2

Free online reading

Table of contents

1. Introduction…

2. Prehistory and Information

3. New Political System
3.1. Constitution
3.2. Political System
3.3. Task of president
3.4. Congress
3.5. Historical development of parties

4. Consequence of religion

5. Many peoples with different nationality
5.1. Opening of territory
5.2. Immigration (until 19th century)
5.3. Language (and the Muhlenberg-Legend)

6. Conclusion

7. Bibliography

1. Introduction

I would like to write about religion and nationality of people and the new constitution after 1776. In this composition I would like to show you how problematic this time was and how people live with this circumstances. At first you’ll read a small introduction in declaration of independence, then origin and events of New Political System and at least an insight into religion and nationality of people. I put the main emphasis on policy because it is the most interesting theme of declaration of independence and I knew not much about before this composition.

2. Prehistory and Information

The history of United States of America begins with the British colonial supremacy over North America in 17th century. British seafarer (or seafarer under the British crown) discovered North America. But Great Britain wasn’t the only colonial power in today’s USA. Spain owned ample territories in West and Florida and France owned the region western the British Colonies (New France). Southern the New England-Colonies Dutch captured New Sweden. The foundation of British Colonies arise religious motives. The Colony Pennsylvania was refuge for British Quaker.

Throughout the 1760s and 1770s, relations between Great Britain and thirteen of her American colonies had become increasingly strained. Fighting broke out in 1775 at Lexington and Concord[1] marking the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Although there was little initial sentiment for outright independence, the pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine[2] was able to promote the belief that total Independence was “the only possible route for the colonies”. Independence was adopted on July 2, 1776 pursuant to the "Lee Resolution" presented to the Continental Congress by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, which read: "Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

A committee consisting of John Adams from Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson from Virginia, Robert R. Livingston from New York, and Roger Sherman from Connecticut, was formed to draft a suitable declaration to frame this resolution. Jefferson made most of the writing, with input from the committee. The Declaration was then rewritten somewhat in general session prior to its adoption by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Jefferson's draft included a denunciation of the slave trade, which was edited out.[3]

The declaration of independence had gaps. Not all American People got same rights to live. Fivehoundredthousand American citizens were black and consequently they were also slaves. USA were a free state, but at the same time the nation with most slaves. Besides Indians and women also were locked out of declaration of independence.

After July 4, 1776 the Colonists have wrote a listing of sins by British King. The war of independence has begun. The first phase of war let presume that Colonists were going to loose. In November 1777 the Continental Congress has created the „Article of confederation“, in which thirteen states want to join together, the „United States of America“. The congress of confederation could give sanction to war or peace, assembly of fleet and could determine on problems between states. The American victory of Saratoga in New York in autumn 1777 induced turning point of war. The Americans have fought in an intimate surround, which they only need to defend. The Britishs have had the problem that they must conquer and secure a wide land.

1778 France has recognized USA and started a war with England in June. Dutch and Spaniards have intervened in war of liberation, too. Thus war of independence between USA and England has become an international conflict. On September 3, 1783 Great Britain has recognized US-independence with the peace treaty of Paris.[4]

3. New Political System


Before declaration of independence the Discussion about the future constitutional order has begun. Most people have rejected British model. Neither king nor aristocracy put up for discussion. Independence was managed, and now they try to become stronger the new points. At first they should unite interesting of states. It was the task of 55 delegates – among them Benjamin Franklin, James Madison und George Washington. – to create a federal state. Result was a modern design of “United States Constitution”, which introduced principle of separation of powers and confederation. On March 4, 1789 after intensive discussions the American constitution came into force. Two years later ten amendments, called „Bill of Rights“, are added. This described a catalogue of principle of human rights, for example religious freedom, opinion freedom, and freedom of assembly.[5]

The constitution is support by a conviction, which says that governments have to serve people and don’t govern them. The broad allocation of power is the main character of this republic. Works of constitution are based on principle of „Reponsible represantive goverment“. Overall colonial „Assemblies“ become provincial Congress.

Although overall principle of equality is introduced, its practice effect was restricted. Nearly in all states still existed Property Qualification and demand for eligibility was higher than right to vote. Only in Georgia and Pennsylvania all taxpayer had right to vote. One said that only landowner can get sympathy with Untied States. But the proper authorities tried to open land to the public.[6]

The constitution of United States is adored as document of foundation and rate high for many Americans. Despite serious social changes the system of government proved as flexible.

The first president of this first modern constitution state was George Washington, who succeeds in his two periods of office (1789-1797) the principles of constitution put into practice.[7]

Political System

Americans gladly show their tradition and continuity in their politic development. For two hundred years limitations of executive power has not been changing. Nevertheless delegates wouldn’t recognize their constitution: Unwritten Constitual law, power of habit, pronouncements of judgement of the highest judges, laws and dynamic of history have effected a change of Office.

Task of president

Substantial differences will leap already with selection and choice of the candidates for the highest office to the eye, if one compares the procedures at the exit 18th century with today's habits. Remained is only restriction of the office period at four years and George Washington brought guiding principle into being that no citizen of country is longer than eight years the head of state.

The president is elected by electors. In each state at least three electors (two senators and at least one representative) are elected, who sent by state into the congress. Together there are 538 electors, 100 (for the senators), 435 (for the members of the House of Representatives) and three electors for the District of Columbia, the capital of Washington, which is not represented in the congress.

All voices of electors of a state are delivered for the presidency candidate, who received the majority of voices in this state. For each candidate it is importantly, those states to “conquer”, which many delegates send into the House of Representatives and many electors place, thus California with 54, Texas with 32, New York with 33 or Illinois with 22. The numbers will change every ten years, if population is going to higher.

The fathers of condition justified the political background of the complicated procedure in the Federalist [8] : The choice of the highest official leave directly to people is just as well, if one assigns a blind one to select colors. It is better, if you assign prudent men within the visible range of member states to select the head of the state.

The progressive democratization of the political process in USA changed the character of the presidency election in combine with the organizing party nature crucially: Today parties in the member states present elector lists. The electors carry a party label, are selected by the people as republicans or democrats and are actually obligated to confirm the presidency candidates of their party. Some member states fixed this rule also in the constitutional law.


The congress is the legislative in the political system of United States. It consists of two chambers, the senate and the House of Representatives. Each of 50 member states sends two representatives into senate, who are elected by the voter population of these states. The senate is not elected in its whole in regular intervals again, but must place itself every two years per a third of the senators of a re-election.

The house of representatives has 435 delegates, who are elected for two years. The member states send about so many members, as it appropriate to its portion of the total population.

Historical Development of parties

Similarly as in parliamentary systems of government the individual parties and the party system altogether in America came out from groupings in the parliament, thus in the congress. In the first decade of republic the Federalists, supported from George Washington and John of Adam, around Alexander Hamilton stand opposite to the Jeffersonian-Republicans around Thomas Jefferson, which was called frequently also Democratic Republicans and is regarded as forerunners of the today's democrats. While the Federalists represented interests of trade and land owner of north and occurred for stabilization of the federal power as well as with regard to foreign policy for the maintenance of special connections to Great Britain, the Jeffersonian Republicans represented rather the farmers and owners of plantations in south. They stressed the rights of the member states and pleaded rather with regard to foreign policy for a support at France.

Relatively well organized broader voter layers of integrating parties developed after the turn from 18th to 19th Century, when the Jefferson republicans, who called themselves soon as democrats, became the majority party. They stressed political equality and fought - their opposition, the Federalists or Whigs thereby attacking - against "aristocratic" privileges. They appealed to the "small man" in nation and implemented important reforms of the political process of foundation of intention like the democratization of the procedures for nominating and choice of president.

4. Consequence of Religion

An important aspect of the general democratization tendency formed the expansion of freedom of religion and thereby equalization of the religion liberties. The separation from state and church succeeded best, where already strong free-church or mundane opposition was present against the "Established Church". Nevertheless the arguments extended over long years. From 1776 the "Disestablishment" - movement was particularly in Virginia alive. The "Bill introduced for establishing religious freedom" (1779) by Jefferson is admitted on January 1786 to law. Briefly before Anglican Church (popular under the name "protestant Episcopal Church") had assembled as free-church Denomination. In new states of England the fight for the "Disestablishment" lasted still longer than in south.

It was led mainly by the Baptists and Methodists. The united church resisted however the attacks amazingly for a long time, and the complete abolishment of its privileges could reach only in 19th century. On the other hand the absolute separation from church and state is practiced in states, which joined in union after 1783.

The higher educational establishments carried by the churches had been broked by the war of independence (like educational system at all). Some colleges had lost their students and must organized and developed. Again the crucial initiative came of churches. They re-established existing institutions and managed new foundations. The Presbyterians was particularly successful in these efforts.

If one regards the percentage at church memberships, the number of service visitors as well as survey data for the relationship of the Americans to religion, then the call is confirmed that USA are most religious country of the western industrial nations. The human right catalogue, which was added the condition as "Bill of Rights", guarantees in its first point the freedom of religion. Americans have more than 250 predominantly Christian-Protestant and catholic religions, but also many other religious communities decentralized, which are financed almost exclusively by their members. A nationally church tax as in Germany, would be inconceivable in USA. In religion history of United States it came again and again to arousing and renewal movements. This recurring phenomenon was expression of conservative return flows to forces of the modernization. Connected with a revival of individual God experience these movements were a protest against practices and hierarchies in church. Often they were released by preacher, which won fast at popularity and inlet.[9]

5. Many people with different nationality

USA is a country without fatherland or mother country. Rather they are a „Nation of Nationalities“. Since their formation USA are characterized by a powerful immigration and have many different Nationalities, languages, cultures and religions.

Opening of territory

Since beginning of 17th century more European conquerors came at the coast of North America. They founded towns and colonies. At first colonists orientate political and economic to their old native country, later the attempts to independence increase. After declaration of independence inhabitants of British colonies gave themselves a constitution, which make the United States of America to freest country of earth. The problematic social situations in Europe and new possibilities in USA caused for a huge wave of immigration. Million of people have come to USA and claim land for themselves. So border of settlement („frontier) is moved over the Appalachen, into the wide West. But the Land behind the Mississippi belong to Indians. This people are more and more repressed. Soon it comes to bloody arguments with the legitimate owners of land. The colonists try to stamp out the Indians. In California they found gold. The „Gold Rush“ let population in West make progress.

Immigrants (until 19th century)

The United States has long been the world’s chief receiving nation for immigrants and refugees. The country has had periods of immigration. The first wave began in today’s United States with the colonists of the 1600′s and reached a peak just before the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775. The second major flow of immigrants started in the 1820′s and lasted until a depression in the early 1870′s.

Many colonists came from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, and Wales. Some colonists came from Denmark, Finland, and what is now Ukraine and sometimes they sought adventure in America. Others fled religious persecution. Many were convicts transported from English jails. But most immigrants by far hoped for economic opportunity. Many could not afford the passage to America and came as indentured servants. Such a servant signed an indenture (contract) to work for a master for four to seven years to repay the cost of the ticket. Blacks from West Africa came to the colonies involuntarily. The first Africans were brought as indentured servants, but most blacks arrived as slaves. West African blacks captured most of the slaves in wars and traded them for European goods. By 1700, the colonists in America numbered about 250,000. Approximately 450,000 immigrants arrived between 1700 and the start of the Revolutionary War. During that period, fewer English immigrants have come, while the number from Germany, Ireland, and Scotland rose sharply. Most immigrants arrived in Philadelphia, the main port in the colonies. Wars in Europe and America slowed immigration during the late 1700′s and early 1800′s. Newcomers included Irish fleeing English rule and French escaping revolution. Congress made it illegal to bring in slaves as of 1808. By that time, about 450,000 black Africans had been imported as slaves.

Language (and the Muhlenberg-Legend)

For more than 200 years, Americans have got by without declaring English official language. Notwithstanding a persistent legend that German missed becoming our official language by a single vote, American English has never been in jeopardy. In 1795, the 3rd Congress did consider and reject a petition by German Americans in Virginia to translate all federal laws into their language. A tie vote in the House of Representatives appears to have been broken by Speaker Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, a Pennsylvania German with budgetary concerns and assimilationist tendencies. Poor recordkeeping leaves much uncertainty about what role he may have played. But the Muhlenberg legend is certainly false: German was never seriously considered as an official language – despite a century of claims by the likes of Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not, the German-American Bund, and Parade magazine .

Americans have traditionally resisted language legislation, beginning in 1780, when John Adams porpoise to establish an official Language Academy to set standards for English. This idea was rejected by the Continental Congress as an improper role for government and a threat to individual liberties. A century later President Teddy Roosevelt's attempt to "reform" English spelling met a similar fate. There was no English proficiency requirement to become naturalized as a U.S. citizen until 1906 – the first major language restriction to be enacted at the federal level.

6. Conclusion

The real meaning of American Revolution was more inside the head as inside the bellies of Americans, when they began to understand. They won free, they won their right of self-determination and their identity. USA is the freest nation of earth and many people speak about the “American way of life”.

7. Bibliography

Informationen zur politischen Bildung, USA – Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 268, München 2000

Geschichte der USA, Hans G. Guggisberg, Verlag Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2002

Chronik Handbuch Amerika, Dr. Hays A. Steilberg, Chronik Verlag im Bertelsmann Lexikon, Gütersloh/München 1998

Geschichte der USA, Horst Dippel, Verlag C.H. Beck/WISSEN, Beck’sche Reihe, München 1996

Diercke Geographie, Westermann Schulbuchverlag GmbH, Braunschweig 2002

Informationen zur politischen Bildung, Politisches System der USA, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 199, München 2000


[1] Surprise attack by general Thomas Gage to colonists

[2] British-American writer


[4] Informationen zur politischen Bildung, USA – Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 268, Page 11

[5] Informationen zur politischen Bildung, USA – Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 268, Page 12

[6] Geschichte der USA, Hans G. Guggisberg, Verlag Kohlhammer, Page 49

[7] Informationen zur politischen Bildung, USA – Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 268, Page 13

[8] political leaflet

[9] Informationen zur politischen Bildung, USA – Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Edition 268, Page 61; 62

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After declaration of independence - A new political system, the consequence of religion and many peoples with different nationality
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Maxi Kraft (Author), 2004, After declaration of independence - A new political system, the consequence of religion and many peoples with different nationality, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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