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A New Nation 

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Shays Rebellion

    • Shays' Rebellion (1786-87) and the Constitution 
      Shays' Rebellion, the post-Revolutionary clash between New England farmers and merchants that tested the precarious institutions of the new republic, threatened to plunge the "disunited states" into a civil war.

    • Shays’ Rebellion 
      Daniel Shays (1747?-1825, born Hopkinton, MA), a former Revolutionary Army captain, led a rebellion by farmers against unsettled economic conditions and against politicians and laws which were grossly unfair to farmers and working people in general.

    • Shay's Rebellion: Letters of Generals William Shepard and Benjamin Lincoln to Governor James Bowdoin of Massachusetts (1787)
      The unhappy time is come in which we have been obliged to shed blood.                    Shays, who was at the head of about twelve hundred men, marched yesterday afternoon about four o'clock, towards the public buildings in battle array. He marched his men in an open column by platoons.

    • Radicalism in the American Revolution 

    • Practicing Law in Nineteenth-Century Rural Massachusetts

    • History of Militia in America
      The concept of the militia to remember is that it was a SYSTEM to create organized armed forces for the colony.    The militia could be called out by local officials for defense purposes or called out by the colonial leadership. There was also fighting and killing done by groups that were not militia units.

    •  ;Hamilton’s Financial Plan

      • Biography of Alexander Hamilton
        Hamilton was born in 1757 on the island of Nevis, in the Leeward group, British West Indies.  He was the illegitimate son of a common-law marriage between a poor itinerant Scottish merchant of aristocratic descent and an English-French Huguenot mother who was a planter's daughter. 

      • The Federalists Papers
        All eighty-five of the  Federalist Papers.

      • The Rise and Fall of Alexander Hamilton
        Alexander Hamilton was born in 1755 in the British West Indies and mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804, in Weehawken, New Jersey. The trajectory of his life over those 49 years included remarkable accomplishments. He served in the Revolutionary army as lieutenant-colonel and aide to George Washington, fought tirelessly for ratification of the Constitution, and played a pivotal role in defining the governmental mechanisms for managing the national economy. Yet Hamilton's image in the American consciousness, the memory that the public retains of him, remains cloudy and vaguely negative. 

      • The Duel
        One of America's most influential early citizens and Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law, Schuyler was defeated in one of the earliest clashes                between Hamilton and Aaron Burr -- the 1791 battle for one of New York's seats in the U.S. Senate.

      • Alexander Hamilton
        This Founding Father came to America alone at age 15. He fought at Washington's side in the Revolution, helped ensure the ratification of the Constitution, and saved the fledgling United States from financial ruin. He died in a tragic duel                 with his political rival, Aaron Burr.

      • The Formation of National Government
        Discussion of the first cabinet departments and particularly the Department of the Treasury.

      • Bank of the United States
        The Secretary of the Treasury having perused with attention the papers containing the opinions of the Secretary of State and Attorney General, concerning the constitutionality of the bill for establishing a National Bank, proceeds, according to the order of the President, to submit the reasons which have     induced him to entertain a different opinion.

      • The First Bank of the United States
        The First Bank of the United States was needed because the government had          a debt from the Revolutionary War, and each state had a different form of             currency. It was built while Philadelphia was still the nation's capital. Alexander    Hamilton conceived of the bank to handle the colossal war debt -- and to create a   standard form of currency.

      • Washington D.C. Trip
        Slide show of the capital.

      • Money and Banking
        Banking institutions, paper money, and paper speculation are capable of undermining the nation's stability and could be a danger in time of war. The Constitution does not empower the Congress to establish a National Bank. Rather than trust the nation's currency to private hands, the circulating  medium should be restored to the nation itself to whom it belongs.

      • Debates on the Constitutionality of the Bank
        As the conflict with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton intensified,    Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, could not take a public role in           opposition to Hamilton and the President who supported him. Thus James Madison, who had started in 1789 as the President Washington's floor leader, had no choice but to become the leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives and the nation. 

      • Brief Biography of James Madison
        James Madison, then James Madison, Jr., was born March 16, 1751, the first of ten  children born to a slave owning family in Orange County, Virginia.  He was born at   the home of his mother's parents in Port Conway, Virginia, but was raised on the     family estate, later to be named Montpelier, in Orange.

      • The City of Washington D. C.
        Conflicting reports place the birth and founding of the nation's capital in both 1790 and 1791. The blocks of 10 square miles which both Maryland and Virginia ceded in 1791 were melded into the tiled square which sits astride the Potomac River.

      • The Whiskey Rebellion
        On August 1, 1794, there occurred in this country the "Whiskey Rebellion," which offers a few lessons on taxation (especially of the "sin tax" variety), political deal making, George Washington and the advancement of civilization.

      • The Whiskey Rebellion
        In 1790, the new national government of the United States was attempting to establish itself.  Because the government had assumed the debts incurred by the colonies during the Revolution the government was deep in debt. During the 1791 winter session of Congress both houses approved a bill that put an excise tax on all distilled spirits. United States Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, proposed the bill to help prevent the national debt from growing. Loud protests from all districts of the new nation soon followed. These protests were loudest in the western counties of Pennsylvania.

      • Reasons for Insurrection
        The United States had been just born. Indian attacks such as the attack on Massy White and her children and the Russ massacre were common in western Pennsylvania. Local battles had been going on with the Indians with no support from the eastern peoples who also were busy with the British until the late 1770's and then had a government to put together. The Scott's/Irish background of many of the settler's may have led to their apparent lack of respect for authority.

      • The Whiskey Insurrection
        Washington's brief journal for 30 Sept.-20 Oct. 1794 records his journey from Philadelphia to western Pennsylvania with the militia raised to suppress the so-called Whiskey Insurrection that erupted in the fall of 1794 in the Pennsylvania counties of Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, and Allegheny.

      • Federalist Papers
        AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice.

This page was updated on:  04/10/02