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The Republican Experiment

Americans tried to construct practicing governments based on republican principles, after the Revolution. Americans feared their Revolution could still fail if not grounded in a virtuous government steeped in republicanism.  The Revolution caused Americans to consider the role of equality in their society. Republicans insisted on the appearance of equality and some social and political reforms. They changed electoral patterns in part by lowering property requirements, and moved toward separation of church and state. African Americans issued claims for eqiality based on that glaring inconsistency and the achievements of their people. Northerners attacked and abolished the institution, but refused to accept freedmen as their equals. Women began to demand more of their husbands and society by the 1770s, and to claim special responsibility for raising their children. Republicans made few achievements of equality, but established ideas and assumptions that would influence later generations. New state constitutions resulted from political changes that reflected the American distrust of power that followed the revolution against the British government. The Constitutional Reform movement grew stronger because of fear aroused by the Shays' Rebellion. Madison's Virginia Plan called for a strong central government and the New Jersey Plan gave each state one vote in the federal government and thus favoreed small states.  The slavery issue threatened to disrupt the convention, Federalist were organized, financed, and led than the Anti-federalist. Anti-federalist views, especially their aversion to centralized power, had wide appeal

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