George Mason IV was an American planter and delegate to the U. S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of three delegates who refused to sign the Constitution, his writings, including substantial portions of the Fairfax Resolves of 1774, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, his Objections to this Constitution of Government in opposition to ratification, have exercised a significant influence on American political thought and events. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason principally authored, served as a basis for the United States Bill of Rights, of which he has been deemed the father. Mason was born in 1725, most in what is now Fairfax County, Virginia, his father died when he was young, his mother managed the family estates until he came of age. He married in 1750, built Gunston Hall, lived the life of a country squire, supervising his lands and slaves, he served in the House of Burgesses and involved himself in community affairs, sometimes serving with his neighbor George Washington.
As tensions grew between Britain and the American colonies, Mason came to support the colonial side, used his knowledge and experience to help the revolutionary cause, finding ways to work around the Stamp Act of 1765 and serving in the pro-independence Fourth Virginia Convention in 1775 and the Fifth Virginia Convention in 1776. Mason prepared the first draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, his words formed much of the text adopted by the final Revolutionary Virginia Convention, he wrote a constitution for the state. During the American Revolutionary War, Mason was a member of the powerful House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly but, to the irritation of Washington and others, he refused to serve in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, citing health and family commitments. Mason was in 1787 named one of his state's delegates to the Constitutional Convention and traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia. Many clauses in the Constitution bear his stamp, as he was active in the convention for months before deciding that he could not sign it.
He cited the lack of a bill of rights most prominently in his Objections, but wanted an immediate end to the slave trade and a supermajority for navigation acts, which might force exporters of tobacco to use more expensive American ships. He failed to attain these objectives there, again at the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, but his prominent fight for a bill of rights led fellow Virginian James Madison to introduce one during the First Congress in 1789. Obscure after his death, Mason has come to be recognized in the 20th and 21st centuries for his contributions both to the early United States and to Virginia. George Mason's great-grandfather, George Mason I, had been a Cavalier: militarily defeated in the English Civil War, some of them came to America in the 1640s and 1650s, he had been born in 1629 in the English county of Worcestershire. The immigrant George Mason settled in what is now Stafford County, having obtained land as a reward for bringing his party to the colony as 50 acres were awarded for each person transported into the Colony of Virginia.
His son, George Mason II, was the first to move to what in 1742 became Fairfax County at the frontier between English and Native American areas. George Mason III served in the House of Burgesses and, like his father, was county lieutenant. George Mason IV's mother, Ann Thomson Mason, was the daughter of a former Attorney General of Virginia who had immigrated from London and was of a Yorkshire family; the Masons lived in a colonial Virginia that had few roads, as most commerce was carried on Chesapeake Bay or along the waters of its tributaries, such as the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Most settlement took place near the rivers. Thus, colonial Virginia developed few towns, since estates were self-sufficient, could get what they needed without the need to purchase locally; the capital, saw little activity when the legislature was not in session. Local politics was dominated by large landowners like the Masons; the Virginia economy rose and fell with tobacco, the main crop, raised for export to Britain.
Into this world was born George Mason, fourth of that name, on December 11, 1725. He may have been born at his father's plantation on Dogue's Neck, but this is uncertain as his parents lived on their lands across the Potomac in Maryland. On March 5, 1735, George Mason III died, his widow Ann raised their son George and two younger siblings as co-guardian with lawyer John Mercer, their uncle by marriage, having wed George Mason III's sister Catherine. Ann Mason selected property at Chopawamsic Creek as her dower house and there lived with her children and administered the lands that her elder son would control upon reaching his 21st birthday. In 1736, George began his education with a Mr. Williams, hired to teach him for the price of 1,000 pounds of tobacco per annum. George's studies began at his mother's house, but the following year, he was boarded out to a Mrs. Simpson in Maryland, with Williams continuing as teacher through 1739. By 1740, George Mason was again under the tutelage of a Dr. Bridges.
Mason's biographers have speculated that this was Charles Bridges, who helped develop the sc
The Thirteen Colonies known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. They formed the United States of America; the Thirteen Colonies had similar political and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which included colonies in Canada, the Caribbean, the Floridas. Between 1625 and 1775, the colonial population grew from 2,000 to over 2.5 million, displacing American Indians. This population included people subject to a system of slavery, legal in all of the colonies prior to the American Revolutionary War. In the 18th century, the British government operated its colonies under a policy of mercantilism, in which the central government administered its possessions for the economic benefit of the mother country; the Thirteen Colonies had a high degree of self-governance and active local elections, they resisted London's demands for more control.
The French and Indian War against France and its Indian allies led to growing tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. In the 1750s, the colonies began collaborating with one another instead of dealing directly with Britain; these inter-colonial activities cultivated a sense of shared American identity and led to calls for protection of the colonists' "Rights as Englishmen" the principle of "no taxation without representation". Grievances with the British government led to the American Revolution, in which the colonies collaborated in forming the Continental Congress; the colonists fought the American Revolutionary War with the aid of France and, to a smaller degree, the Dutch Republic and Spain. In 1606, King James I of England granted charters to both the Plymouth Company and the London Company for the purpose of establishing permanent settlements in America; the London Company established the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1607, the first permanently settled English colony on the continent.
The Plymouth Company founded the Popham Colony on the Kennebec River. The Plymouth Council for New England sponsored several colonization projects, culminating with Plymouth Colony in 1620, settled by English Puritan separatists, known today as the Pilgrims; the Dutch and French established successful American colonies at the same time as the English, but they came under the English crown. The Thirteen Colonies were complete with the establishment of the Province of Georgia in 1732, although the term "Thirteen Colonies" became current only in the context of the American Revolution. In London beginning in 1660, all colonies were governed through a state department known as the Southern Department, a committee of the Privy Council called the Board of Trade and Plantations. In 1768, a specific state department was created for America, but it was disbanded in 1782 when the Home Office took responsibility. Province of New Hampshire, established in the 1620s, chartered as crown colony in 1679 Province of Massachusetts Bay, established in the 1620s, a crown colony 1692 Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, established 1636, chartered as crown colony in 1663 Connecticut Colony, established 1636, chartered as crown colony in 1662 Province of New York, proprietary colony 1664–1685, crown colony from 1686 Province of New Jersey, proprietary colony from 1664, crown colony from 1702 Province of Pennsylvania, a proprietary colony established 1681 Delaware Colony, a proprietary colony established 1664 Province of Maryland, a proprietary colony established 1632 Colony and Dominion of Virginia, proprietary colony established 1607, a crown colony from 1624 Province of Carolina, a proprietary colony established 1663 Divided into the Province of North-Carolina and Province of South Carolina in 1712, each became a crown colony in 1729 Province of Georgia, proprietary colony established 1732, crown colony from 1752.
The first successful English colony was Jamestown, established May 1607 near Chesapeake Bay. The business venture was financed and coordinated by the London Virginia Company, a joint stock company looking for gold, its first years were difficult, with high death rates from disease and starvation, wars with local Indians, little gold. The colony flourished by turning to tobacco as a cash crop. In 1632, King Charles I granted the charter for Province of Maryland to Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Calvert's father had been a prominent Catholic official who encouraged Catholic immigration to the English colonies; the charter offered no guidelines on religion. The Province of Carolina was the second attempted English settlement south of Virginia, the first being the failed attempt at Roanoke, it was a private venture, financed by a group of English Lords Proprietors who obtained a Royal Charter to the Carolinas in 1663, hoping that a new colony in the south would become profitable like Jamestown.
Carolina was not settled until 1670, then the first attempt failed because there was no incentive for emigration to that area. However, the Lords combined their remaining capital and financed a settlement mission to the area led by Sir John Colleton; the expedition located fertile and defensible ground at what became Charleston Charles Town for Charles II of England. The Pilgrims were a small group of Puritan separatists who felt that they needed to physically distance themselves from the corrupt Church of England. After moving to the Netherlands, they decided to re-establish themselves in America; the initi
The Sheffield Declaration known as the Sheffield Resolves, was a Colonial American petition against British tyranny and manifesto for individual rights, drawn up as a series of resolves approved by the Town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, on January 12, 1773 and printed in The Massachusetts Spy, Or, Thomas's Boston Journal on February 18, 1773. The meeting took place in the Colonel John Ashley House, a registered National Historic Landmark in Ashley Falls, a neighborhood of Sheffield, Massachusetts; the resolves were debated and approved by a committee of eleven local citizens: Deacon Silas Kellog, Col. John Ashley, Dr. Lemuel Bernard, Aaron Root, Major John Fellows, Philip Callender, Capt. William Day, Deacon Ebenezer Smith, Capt. Daniel Austin, Capt. Stephen Dewey, Theodore Sedgwick, who wrote the text; the Declaration's first resolution was that "Mankind in a state of nature are equal and independent of each other, have a right to the undisturbed enjoyment of their lives, their liberty and property," These words are echoed in the most famous line of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence three years later: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and the pursuit of Happiness."
Brown, Richard D. "Massachusetts Towns Reply to the Boston Committee of Correspondence, 1773". The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 22–39. Brown, Richard D. Revolutionary politics in Massachusetts: the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the towns, 1772–1774. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970
The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D. C, it was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media societal influence. According to the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, Cato is number 15 in the "Top Think Tanks Worldwide" and number 10 in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States"; the Cato Institute is libertarian in its political philosophy, advocates a limited role for government in domestic and foreign affairs. This includes support for abolishing minimum wage laws; the institute was founded in December 1974 in Wichita, Kansas as the Charles Koch Foundation and funded by Charles Koch. The other members of the first board of directors included co-founder Murray Rothbard, libertarian scholar Earl Ravenal, businessmen Sam H. Husbands Jr. and David H. Padden.
At the suggestion of Rothbard, the institute changed its name in 1976 to Cato Institute after Cato's Letters, a series of British essays penned in the early 18th century by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon. Cato relocated first to San Francisco, California in 1977 to Washington, D. C. in 1981, settling in a historic house on Capitol Hill. The Institute moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue in 1993. Cato Institute was named the fifth-ranked think tank in the world for 2009 in a study of think tanks by James G. McGann, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania, based on a criterion of excellence in "producing rigorous and relevant research and programs in one or more substantive areas of research". Various Cato programs were favorably ranked in a survey published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2012; the Cato Institute publishes numerous policy studies, briefing papers and books. Peer-reviewed academic journals include the Cato Regulation. Other periodicals include Cato's Letter, Cato Supreme Court Review, Cato Policy Report.
Cato published Inquiry Magazine from 1977 to 1982 and Literature of Liberty from 1978 to 1979. Notable books from Cato and Cato scholars include: Human Freedom Index In Defense of Global Capitalism The Improving State of the World Restoring the Lost Constitution In addition to maintaining its own website in English and Spanish, Cato maintains websites focused on particular topics: "Downsizing the Federal Government" contains essays on the size of the U. S. federal government and recommendations for decreasing various programs. Libertarianism.org is a website focused on the practice of libertarianism. Cato Unbound, a web-only publication that features a monthly open debate among four people; the conversation begins with one lead essay, followed by three response essays by separate people. After that, all four participants can write as many responses and counter-responses as they want for the duration of that month. PoliceMisconduct.net contains reports and stories from Cato's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project and the National Police Misconduct News Feed.
Overlawyered is a law blog on the subject of tort reform run by author Walter Olson. HumanProgress.org is an interactive data web project that catalogs increases in prosperity driven by the free market. "Public Schooling Battle Map" illustrates different moral conflicts that result from public schooling. Social media sponsored by Cato includes "Daily Podcasts", plus pages on Facebook, Google+, YouTube. Speakers at Cato have included Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato. In 2009 Czech Republic President Václav Klaus spoke at a conference. Many Cato scholars advocate support for civil liberties, liberal immigration policies, drug liberalization, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and laws restricting consensual sexual activity; the Cato Institute resists being labeled as part of the conservative movement because "'conservative' smacks of an unwillingness to change, of a desire to preserve the status quo". In 2006, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos proposed the term "Libertarian Democrat" to describe his particular liberal position, suggesting that libertarians should be allies of the Democratic Party.
Replying, Cato vice president for research Brink Lindsey agreed that libertarians and liberals should view each other as natural ideological allies, noted continuing differences between mainstream liberal views on economic policy and Cato's "Jeffersonian philosophy". Cato has stated on its "About Cato" page: "The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has come to be called'libertarianism' or'market liberalism.' It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism."Some Cato scholars disagree with conservatives on neo-conservative foreign policy, albeit that this has not always been uniform. The relationship between Cato and the Ayn Rand Institute improved with the nomination of Cato's new president John A. Allison IV in 2012, he is a former ARI board member and is
Province of New York
The Province of New York was a British proprietary colony and royal colony on the northeast coast of North America. As one of the Thirteen Colonies, New York achieved independence and worked with the others to found the United States. In 1664, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch Province of New Netherland in America was awarded by Charles II of England to his brother James, Duke of York. James raised a fleet to take it from the Dutch and the Governor surrendered to the English fleet without recognition from the Dutch West Indies Company; the province was renamed as its proprietor. England seized de facto control of the colony from the Dutch in 1664, was given de jure sovereign control in 1667 in the Treaty of Breda and again in the Treaty of Westminster, it wasn't until 1674. The colony was one of the Middle Colonies, ruled at first directly from England; when James ascended to the throne of England as James II, the province became a royal colony. When the English arrived, the colony somewhat vaguely included claims to all of the present U.
S. states of New York, New Jersey and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut and Maine in addition to eastern Pennsylvania. Much of this land was soon reassigned by the crown, leaving the territory of the modern State of New York, including the valleys of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, future Vermont; the territory of western New York was disputed with the Iroquois Indian nation, disputed between the English and the French from their northern colonial province of New France. Vermont was disputed with the Province of New Hampshire to the east; the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress of local representatives assumed the government on May 22, 1775, declared the province the "State of New York" in 1776, ratified the first New York Constitution in 1777. During the ensuing American Revolutionary War the British regained and occupied New York Town in September 1776, using it as its military and political base of operations in British North America, Though a British governor was technically in office, much of the remainder of the upper part of the colony was held by the rebel Patriots.
British claims in New York were ended by the Treaty of Paris of 1783, with New York establishing its independence from the crown. The final evacuation of all of New York by the British Army was followed by the return of General George Washington's Continental Army on November 25, 1783 in a grand parade and celebration; this British crown colony was established upon the former Dutch colony of New Netherland, with its core being York Shire, in what today is known as Downstate New York. The Province of New York was divided into twelve counties on November 1, 1683, by New York Governor Thomas Dongan: Albany County: all of the region, now northern and western New York. Claimed the area disputed, now Vermont. In addition, as there was no fixed western border to the colony, Albany County technically extended to the Pacific Ocean. Most of this land, Indian land for most of the province's history, has now been ceded to other states and most of the land within New York has been divided into new counties.
Cornwall County: that part of Maine between the Kennebec River and the St. Croix River from the Atlantic Ocean to the St. Lawrence River. Ceded to the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1692. Dukes County: the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island east of Long Island. Ceded to Massachusetts in 1692. Dutchess County: now Dutchess and Putnam counties. Kings County: the current Kings County. New York County: the current New York County. Orange County: now Orange and Rockland counties. Queens County: now Queens and Nassau counties. Richmond County: the current Richmond County. Suffolk County: the current Suffolk County. Ulster County: now Ulster and Sullivan counties and part of what is now Delaware and Greene counties. Westchester County: now Westchester and Bronx counties. On March 24, 1772: Tryon County was formed out of Albany County, it was renamed Montgomery County in 1784, with a division to Herkimer County around Little Falls. Charlotte County was formed out of Albany County, it was renamed Washington County in 1784.
In 1617 officials of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland created a settlement at present-day Albany, in 1624 founded New Amsterdam, on Manhattan Island. New Amsterdam surrendered to Colonel Richard Nicholls on August 27, 1664. On September 24 Sir George Carteret accepted the capitulation of the garrison at Fort Orange, which he called Albany, after another of the Duke of York's titles; the capture was confirmed by the Treaty of Breda in July 1667. Easing the transition to British rule, the Articles of Capitulation guaranteed certain rights to the Dutch. In 1664, Duke of York was granted a proprietary colony which included New Netherland and present-day Maine; the New Netherland claim included western parts of present-day Massachusetts putting the new province in conflict with the Massachusetts charter. In general terms, the charter was equivalent to a conveyance of land conferring on him the right of possession, con
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. American Patriots opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, they threw the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution; the Tea Party became an iconic event of American history, since other political protests such as the Tea Party movement have referred to themselves as historical successors to the Boston protest of 1773. The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1773.
Colonists objected to the Tea Act because they believed that it violated their rights as Englishmen to "no taxation without representation", that is, to be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a British parliament in which they were not represented. In addition, the well-connected East India Company had been granted competitive advantages over colonial tea importers, who resented the move and feared additional infringement on their business. Protesters had prevented the unloading of tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain; the Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce. Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies in turn responded to the Intolerable Acts with additional acts of protest, by convening the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them.
The crisis escalated, the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775. The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues confronting the British Empire in 1765: the financial problems of the British East India Company; the North Ministry's attempt to resolve these issues produced a showdown that would result in revolution. As Europeans developed a taste for tea in the 17th century, rival companies were formed to import the product from China. In England, Parliament gave the East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea in 1698; when tea became popular in the British colonies, Parliament sought to eliminate foreign competition by passing an act in 1721 that required colonists to import their tea only from Great Britain. The East India Company did not export tea to the colonies. British firms bought this tea and exported it to the colonies, where they resold it to merchants in Boston, New York and Charleston; until 1767, the East India Company paid an ad valorem tax of about 25% on tea that it imported into Great Britain.
Parliament laid additional taxes on tea sold for consumption in Britain. These high taxes, combined with the fact that tea imported into the Dutch Republic was not taxed by the Dutch government, meant that Britons and British Americans could buy smuggled Dutch tea at much cheaper prices; the biggest market for illicit tea was England—by the 1760s the East India Company was losing £400,000 per year to smugglers in Great Britain—but Dutch tea was smuggled into British America in significant quantities. In 1767, to help the East India Company compete with smuggled Dutch tea, Parliament passed the Indemnity Act, which lowered the tax on tea consumed in Great Britain, gave the East India Company a refund of the 25% duty on tea, re-exported to the colonies. To help offset this loss of government revenue, Parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, which levied new taxes, including one on tea, in the colonies. Instead of solving the smuggling problem, the Townshend duties renewed a controversy about Parliament's right to tax the colonies.
Controversy between Great Britain and the colonies arose in the 1760s when Parliament sought, for the first time, to impose a direct tax on the colonies for the purpose of raising revenue. Some colonists, known in the colonies as Whigs, objected to the new tax program, arguing that it was a violation of the British Constitution. Britons and British Americans agreed that, according to the constitution, British subjects could not be taxed without the consent of their elected representatives. In Great Britain, this meant. Colonists, did not elect members of Parliament, so American Whigs argued that the colonies could not be taxed by that body. According to Whigs, colonists could only be taxed by their own colonial assemblies. Colonial protests resulted in the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766, but in the 1766 Declaratory Act, Parliament continued to insist that it had the right to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever"; when new taxes were levied in the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, Whig colonists again responded with protests and boycotts.
Merchants organized a non-importation agreement, many colonists pledged to abstain from drinking British tea, with activists in New England promoting alternatives, su