A history of american politics the constitution and the declaration of independence

Of note are the insights into the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution in the two centuries.

A history of american politics the constitution and the declaration of independence

A unique case[ edit ] Southern Rhodesia or Rhodesiahighlighted in red on a map of Africa The southern African territory of Rhodesiaofficially Southern Rhodesia[n 1] was a unique case in the British Empire and Commonwealth —though a colony in name, it was internally self-governing and constitutionally not unlike a dominion.

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These reserved powers were intended to protect the indigenous black Africans from discriminatory legislation and to safeguard British commercial interests in the colony, [4] but as Claire Palley comments in her constitutional history of the country, it would have been extremely difficult for Whitehall to enforce such actions, and attempting to do so would have probably caused a crisis.

A generally co-operative relationship developed between Whitehall and the colonial government and civil service in Salisburyand dispute was rare. The black population grew from 1, to 3, over the same period. The idea of " no independence before majority rule ", commonly abbreviated to "NIBMAR", gained considerable ground in British political circles.

The opposition Dominion Party responded by repeatedly calling for a Federal unilateral declaration of independence UDI over the next few years.

A history of american politics the constitution and the declaration of independence

This effectively negated the relinquishment of British powers described elsewhere in the document, but the Southern Rhodesians did not initially notice it. A few days later, he horrified Welensky by telling him that "we British have lost the will to govern".

Field could therefore potentially hamstring the British by refusing to attend the conference until they pledged to grant his country full independence. While no date was set for Northern Rhodesian statehood, it was generally surmised that it was going to follow shortly thereafter.

Fearing what the Labour Party might do if it won the next British general election which was projected for latethe Southern Rhodesians stepped up their efforts, hoping to win independence before Britain went to the polls, and preferably not after Nyasaland.

Statehood for Salisbury without majority rule would split the Commonwealth and perhaps cause it to break up, a disastrous prospect for British foreign policy. The Liberal Partyholding a handful of parliament seats, took a similar stance. The principle of majority rule, the basis for this apparent inconsistency, was considered irrelevant by the Southern Rhodesians.

When it did not prove forthcoming they felt cheated. Influenced strongly by the white refugees who had fled south from the Congoit presented chaotic doomsday scenarios of what black Rhodesian rule in Southern Rhodesia might mean, particularly for the white community.

This would both remove the possibility of British legislative interference and pave the way for an attempted assumption of independence by Order in Council. This decision, taken by Britain to preempt the possibility of open confrontation with Asian and black African leaders at the conference, deeply insulted Smith.

At 10 Downing Street in early Septemberimpasse developed between Douglas-Home and Smith over the best way to measure black public opinion in Southern Rhodesia. Douglas-Home told Smith that although this proposal satisfied him personally, he could not accept it as he did not believe the Commonwealth, the United Nations or the Labour Party would also do so.

Smith accepted this argument. Douglas-Home assured Smith that a Conservative government would settle with him and grant independence within a year.

Spurred on by this success, Smith organised the indaba for 22 October, and called a general independence referendum for 5 November Labour defeated the Conservatives by four seats in the British general election on 15 Octoberand formed a government the next day.

Smith pressed on, telling parliament that he would ask the tribal chiefs and headmen "to consult their people in the traditional manner", then hold the indaba as planned. Reasoning that it was no longer necessary to refer to itself as "Southern" in the absence of a northern counterpart, Southern Rhodesia began calling itself simply Rhodesia.

Interpreting this as a sign that Smith intended to declare independence if a majority backed it in the referendum, Wilson wrote a stiff letter to Smith on 25 October, warning him of the consequences of UDI, and demanding "a categorical assurance forthwith that no attempt at a unilateral declaration of independence on your part will be made".

Wilson replied that Smith should instead come to London. It would appear that any undertakings given by the British government are worthless They differed on most matters, but agreed on a visit to Rhodesia the next month by Bottomley and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Gardinerto gauge public opinion and meet political and commercial figures.

Too much is at stake Is it not incredible that the British government has allowed our case to deteriorate into this fantastic position?

A history of american politics the constitution and the declaration of independence

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US Constitution Web Sites; Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides, Activities, and more; US Constitution Web Sites. Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention (Library of Congress).

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Not only did the Declaration announce the entry of the United States onto the world stage. American Revolution leader John Hancock () was a signer of the Declaration of Independence in and a governor of Massachusetts.

The .

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