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The Forgotten Years of the American History (1783 to 1787)

  • Sep 16, 2012 · 1:30 PM
  • Laura's residence

The Forgotten Years: The Aftermath of the American Revolution to the Constitutional
Convention (1783 to 1787)

This will be our fourth meeting dedicated to American history. We have already
discussed the Industrial Revolution in America, and spent two meetings talking about the
history of the U.S. Supreme Court and some of its landmark decisions. This time, we’ll
focus on the years from the end of American Revolution to the Constitutional Convention

Most history courses tend to ignore this period, jumping from the moment the Treaty
of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783 (officially ending the American Revolution)
to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787.
Surely some important events happened in between!

For instance, slavery was officially ended in Massachusetts in 1783, in Connecticut and
Rhode Island in 1784, in New York in 1785, and in New Jersey in 1786. In 1785, there
was a conflict between Maryland and Virginia, known as the “Oyster War” that James
Madison unsuccessfully tried to mediate. I’m sure Brian can find some pearls of wisdom
to share about that particular conflict. In August of 1786, Shays’ rebellion broke out in
Massachusetts and was suppressed in February 1787.

Transportation was making advances during this period. Regular stage routes started to
run between the cities of New York, Albany, Boston, and Philadelphia in 1785, making
traveling a bit easier. Also in 1785, Virginia built a state-financed road, known as the
Little River Turnpike. In 1786, the first steamboat in America sailed on the Delaware

And here is a bit of juicy trivia: the expression “facing the music” entered popular
talk in 1785. Find out where it originated, along with other fascinating facts about
this “forgotten” time in American history.

Come and join us and add your thoughts to the discussion. Hopefully, you’ll go home
with an appreciation of this important and undeservedly obscure period of American

You know the rules by now. Be courteous to others. Bring a snack to share. (Fruits,
veggies and other healthy snacks are especially appreciated). Kindly put $2 in the
donation can to cover the cost of running this group.

I look forward to seeing you on September 16th!

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