What was the sequence of events that lead from the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth rock to the Declaration of Independence?
"The_Foundation_of_Colonial_America">The Foundation of Colonial
I can only answer with two chapter summaries of my book The Never
Realized Republic: Political Economy and Republican Virtue. These
two chapter summaries appear on Amazon.com and are inclusive of
footnotes. If you link to my book on Amazon more chapter summaries
will be appearing. Here is the link, just copy and paste into
Chapter II: European Heritage and Civil Government:The Virtues
of Custom, Law, and Liberty, would be a great help to your question
but I can't get the footnotes in because I have to copy them one at
a time. Good Luck!
The Foundation of Colonial America:
Perpetuating Freedom and Justice
Introducing the reader to concepts of law and liberty brought to
the mainland American Colonies, Chapter I introduces principles of
liberty and justice that were peculiarly English . It provides an
overview of demographics for the colonies, i.e., North and South
being essentially English with the middle colonies representing
Chapter I also references colonial charters as legal and binding
documents, that were the recognition not the source of English
liberty. By the time the colonies had been established, with their
civil government, and societies, there was a foundation of law.
English laws were English, but the colonists were immersed in
classical education, and "learning was respected by many of those
who wanted no part of it themselves."1
It is here we introduce Hamilton�s views referencing colonial
charters as he began to enter the world�s stage as an advocate for
(colonial) Americans. "...besides the clear voice of natural
justice in this respect, the fundamental principles of the English
Constitution are in our favor."2 "In British North America,
however, Englishmen ruled over Englishmen according to English
principles, and this fact helps to explain the unique political,
social, and economic developments that shaped the future American
1Marvin Meyers, eds., et al., Sources of the American Republic:
A Documentary History of Politics, Society, and Thought; rev.ed.,
(Glenview, Ill: Scott Foresman and Co., 1967), Vol. 1, Doc. #37,
108. Hereinafter cited as Meyers, eds., et al., Sources of the
2Alexander Hamilton,, A Full Vindication of the Measures of the
Congress, &c. New-York [December 15] 1774, in Harold C. Syrett
and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, (New
York: Columbia University Press, 1961), I, 47. Hereinafter cited as
Syrett and Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton.
3Meyers, eds., et al., Sources of the American Republic. Vol. 1,
Revolution, Confederation and the Constitution:
Social Progress and Civil Government
Chapter III does not by-pass the American Revolution. It is here
we turn from foundation and principle to introducing polity. The
Revolution is central to the theme as a cause and motivation, not
an historical event. The reader is brought directly to the
Constitutional Convention as means to explain in Montesquieu�s
words, "There is this difference between the nature and principle
of government, that the former is that by which it is constituted,
the latter that by which it is made to act. One is its particular
structure, and the other the human passions which set it into
The foundation of the federal Constitution is demonstrated as an
on-going development, attempting to preserve the principles of
European heritage, the Declaration of Independence, and the
Articles of the Confederation. Here we begin to demonstrate
Alexander Hamilton�s private and public vision for the American
Empire that was intended to replace England�s supremacy.
America�s revolution was a lawful and legitimate one. As the
Articles of Confederation and its central government failed to
maintain the requisite fiscal policies that would maintain
government which maintains liberty, taxation and other "extraction
policies" were imperative in strengthening the "central state
What was the "traditional republican heritage that Hamilton had
so successfully discarded."? Why was the traditional republican
heritage credited as "so heavily [influencing] the Revolutionary
mind."?3 Liberty was central to that republican heritage and
central to the purpose of government as well. Moreover, increased
political participation was central to the colonists� perception of
active citizenship and it was this participation that refused to
allow them to become, in Hamilton�s words, "vassals of their fellow
subjects in Great Britain."4
In the Constitutional Convention, classical and modern wisdom
prevailed. The foundation of this wisdom, as discussed earlier,
rested upon a faith in heritage, law, and education that clothed
its principles in the dire hopes for a fully realized and hybrid
republic. Inasmuch as Hamilton�s and others� educations were cut
short by the war,5 there were sages present at Philadelphia. The
Revolutionary generation was certainly represented in those
hallowed halls when Hamilton spoke eloquently of "our Country" and
"that we owed it to our Country, to do on this emergency whatever
we should deem essential to its happiness... The great question" he
asked "is what provision shall make for the happiness of our
Country?"6 It is an all too familiar maxim of Hamilton�s
biographers that, to him, the British government was the best in
the world. This Madison notes, was Hamilton�s "private
Hamilton was certainly a part of one of these groups. "Early
interested in finance, he worked to secure from the states the
power for Congress to levy an impost in order to secure a national
income. The effort failed by 1783 and he then began working for a
stronger union."7 Beard recognized Hamilton�s organizing ability
and, though "he had little part in the formation of the
Constitution, it was his organizing ability that made it a real
instrument bottomed on all the substantial economic interests of
Yet the goals of the Revolution were still wanting. There were
two major arenas in which political thought moved: the Age of
Enlightenment and a growing sense of nationalism. British practices
served more to reinforce this nationalism than to create a threat
requiring protection.9 This growing nationalism was "inseparable
from preserving the gains of the Revolution,"10 of which republican
virtue; the desire to do good for the public good � was clearly an
intended gain. "Happily for America, happily we trust for the whole
human race, they [the Revolutionary generation] pursued a new and
The means of this social progress, born of the potential of
human progress of the founding father�s heritage and classical
education, to the hopes of virtuous statesman for economic and
social development, was realistic expectations accompanying the
Revolutionary generation and their nearly realized republic.
The aggrandizing of government and the increase of a central
authority to utilize and exploit those interests that were most
"constant and active," seeking "attachment," through "the
dispensation of those regular honors & emoluments,"12 is the
subject of the remaining chapters.
1Charles De Secondat, Baron De Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws,
ed., Robert Maynard Hutchins, trans. Thomas Nugent, (Chicago:
William Benton, 1748, 1952), Book III, sec. 1, 9.
2Dall Forsythe, Taxation and Political Change in the Young
Nation, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 14.
3Drew R. McCoy, The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in
Jeffersonian America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 1980), 132.
4[Alexander Hamilton], A Full Vindication of the Measures of
Congress...(N.Y., 1774), in Syrett and Cooke, eds., The Papers of
Alexander Hamilton, I, 53.
5Carl J. Richard, The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome,
and the American Enlightenment, (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard
University Press, 1994), 26.
6Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, Reported by
James Madison, with an Introduction by Adrienne Koch, (N.Y.: W.W.
Norton & Co.), 130. 7Stanley D. Rose, "Alexander Hamilton and
the Historians," Vanderbilt Law Review, II, (1958), 854.
8 Charles Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution,
(New York: MacMillan, 1946), 100.
9Robert E. Brown, Charles Beard and the Constitution,
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956), 59.
10Frank Bourgin, The Great Challenge: The Myth of Laissez-faire
in the Early Republic, (N.Y.: George Braziller), 33.
11The Federalist Papers, Clinton Rossiter, ed., (New York: Nal
Penguin Inc., 1961), No. 14, 104.
12See Hamilton�s statements during the Constitutional
Convention. One was a list of five "great & essential
principles necessary for the support of government," and that
number two was "the love of power. Men love power." Madison, Notes
of the Debates in the Federal Convention, 131.