Survey of American History
October 10, 2011
Republicans: Transforming Late 18th and Early 19th Century America
Many different forms of government can be put into place that will dramatically influence the culture and lifestyle of a particular society. The influence of republicans was significant in helping to shape colonial America. Republicans grew and helped to transform colonial America exponentially in the years 1764 through 1812.
In present-day America one simply views a republican as a member of a political party. In contrast, “the term republican no longer possesses the evocative power it did for eighteenth-century Americans. For them, it defined an entire political culture” (TAS 141). In order for republicanism to be held in such high regard in the eighteenth-century republicans had to have done something extremely significant. Republican’s significance lies in the fact that they, “had done something that no other people had achieved for a very long time. They founded a national government without a monarch or aristocracy, in other words, a genuine republic” (TAS 141). Founding the United States of America based on republican values was an incredible feat. However, there was great opposition and many tribulations that would be encountered on the way to founding America based on a republican form of government. Many colonial Americans would understandably doubt many of the ideas of republicans. For example, “in the early 1780s, no one could have predicted that the Constitution as we know it would have been written, much less ratified” (TAS 141). In order for something as highly doubted as the Constitution to succeed a group of well-educated people must work together to accomplish what is best for the people. In “the 1780s, the country’s intellectual leaders Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams, among others focused their creative energies on the problem of how republicans ought to govern themselves” (TAS 142).
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