Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Corday

13
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-13-08: The Northwest Ordinance

Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance

On this day in 1787, Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance, structuring settlement of the Northwest Territory and creating a policy for the addition of new states to the nation. The members of Congress knew that if their new confederation were to survive intact, it had to resolve the states competing claims to western territory. In 1781, Virginia began by ceding its extensive land claims to Congress, a move that made other states more comfortable in doing the same. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson first proposed a method of incorporating these western territories into the United States. His plan effectively turned the territories into colonies of the existing states. Ten new northwestern territories would select the constitution of an existing state and then wait until its population reached 20,000 to join the confederation as a full member. Congress, however, feared that the new states–10 in the Northwest as well as Kentucky, Tennessee and Vermont–would quickly gain enough power to outvote the old ones and never passed the measure. Three years later, the Northwest Ordinance proposed that three to five new states be created from the Northwest Territory. Instead of adopting the legal constructs of an existing state, each territory would have an appointed governor and council. When the population reached 5,000, the residents could elect their own assembly, although the governor would retain absolute veto power. When 60,000 settlers resided in a territory, they could draft a constitution and petition for full statehood. The ordinance provided for civil liberties and public education within the new territories, but did not allow slavery. Pro-slavery Southerners were willing to go along with this because they hoped that the new states would be populated by white settlers from the South. They believed that although these Southerners would have no slaves of their own, they would not join the growing abolition movement of the North.

“Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Jul 2008, 10:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50376.

On This Day

1099 – The Crusaders launched their final assault on Muslims in Jerusalem.

1585 – A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reached Roanoke Island, NC.

1754 – At the beginning of the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French.

1793 – French revolutionary writer Jean Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday. She was executed four days later.

1832 – Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

1863 – Opponents of the Civil War draft began three days of rioting in New York City, which resulted in more than 1,000 casualties.

1954 – In Geneva, the United States, Great Britain and France reached an accord on Indochina which divided Vietnam into two countries, North and South, along the 17th parallel.

1967 – Race-related rioting broke out in Newark, NJ. At the end of four days of violence 27 people had been killed.

 

Battle of Corrick’s Ford

On this day, Union General George B. McClellan distinguishes himself by routing Confederates under General Robert Garnett at Corrick’s Ford in western Virginia. The battle ensured Yankee control of the region, secured the Union’s east-west railroad connections, and set in motion the events that would lead to the creation of West Virginia.

Two days before Corrick’s Ford, Union troops under General William Rosecrans flanked a Confederate force at nearby Rich Mountain. The defeat forced Garnett to retreat from his position on Laurel Hill, while part of McClellan’s force pursued him across the Cheat River. A pitched battle ensued near Corrick’s Ford, in which Garnett was killed—the first general officer to die in the war. But losses were otherwise light, with only 70 Confederate, and 10 Union, casualties.

The Battle of Corrick’s Ford was a significant victory because it cleared the region of Confederates, but it is often overlooked, particularly because it was overshadowed by the Battle of Bull Run, which occurred shortly thereafter on July 21. However, the success made McClellan a hero, even though his achievements were inflated. Two weeks later, McClellan became commander of the Army of the Potomac, the primary Federal army in the east. Unfortunately for the Union, the small campaign that climaxed at Corrick’s Ford was the zenith of McClellan’s military career.

“Battle of Corrick’s Ford.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Jul 2008, 10:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2244.

Austrian investigation into archduke’s assassination concludes

On July 13, 1914, Friedrich von Wiesner, an official of the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office, reports back to Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold the findings of an investigation into the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie the previous June 28, in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

On July 13, Wiesner reported the findings of the Austrian investigation: “There is nothing to prove or even suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparation, or the furnishing of weapons. On the contrary, there are reasons to believe that this is altogether out of the question.” The only evidence that could be found, it seemed, was that Princip and his cohorts had been aided by individuals with ties to the government, most likely members of a shadowy organization within the army, the Black Hand. Realizing he would have to go ahead without evidence of Serbian guilt, Berchtold declined to share these findings with Franz Josef, while his office continued the drafting of the Serbian ultimatum, which was to be delivered on July 23 in Belgrade.

“Austrian investigation into archduke’s assassination concludes.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Jul 2008, 10:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=813.

Democratic Party platform defends Roosevelt-Truman foreign policies

As the 1948 presidential campaign begins to heat up, the Democratic Party hammers out a platform that contains a stirring defense of the foreign policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman. The tone of the platform indicated that foreign policy, and particularly the nation’s Cold War policies, would be a significant part of the 1948 campaign.

Throughout 1948, President Truman had been put on the defensive by Republican critics who suggested that former President Roosevelt had been too “soft” in dealing with the Soviet Union during World War II. The Republicans also criticized Truman’s Cold War policies, calling them ineffective and too costly. By the time the Democratic Party met to nominate Truman for re-election and construct its platform, Truman was already an underdog to the certain Republican nominee, Governor Thomas E. Dewey. The foreign policy parts of the Democratic platform, announced on July 13, 1948, indicated that Truman was going to fight fire with fire. The platform strongly suggested that the Democratic administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was primarily responsible for America’s victory in World War II, and was entirely responsible for establishing the United Nations. After World War II, the document continued, Truman and the Democrats in Congress had rallied the nation to meet the communist threat. The Truman Doctrine, by which Greece and Turkey were saved from communist takeovers, and the Marshall Plan, which rescued Western Europe from postwar chaos, were the most notable results of the Democrats’ foreign policy.

“Democratic Party platform defends Roosevelt-Truman foreign policies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Jul 2008, 10:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2727.

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