HISB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Xyz Affair, Eleventh Amendment To The United States Constitution, Daniel Shays

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Establishing revolutionary state governments, the patriots relied heavily on colonial experience. Colonial legislatures in the royal provinces consisted of two houses: upper chamber (council) and an elected lower chamber (assembly) Resembled parliament"s division into the house of lords and the house of commons, symbolized assumption that a government should represent aristocrats and commoners separately. Pennsylvania tried to establish constitution which established election districts roughly equal in population so that a minority of voters could not elect a majority of legislators. 9 states reduced property requirements for voting but none abolished it. State constitutions: written frameworks of government that defined the people as sovereign: their adoption required ratification by the people, they could be changed only by popular vote. British view of a constitution as a body of customary practices, the state commission were written compacts that defined and limited rulers powers. Revolutionary constitutions contained bills of rights outlining fundamental freedoms beyond government control.

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