Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1786 to 1787

1786. Shays' Rebellion in Massachusetts aims to thwart further farm foreclosures in the continuing U.S. economic depression.

1786. Rhode Island farmers burn their grain, dump their milk, and lave their apples to rot in the orchards in a farm strike directed against Providence and Newport merchants who have refused to accept the paper money that has depreciated to the point of being virtually worthless. The strike has little effect, since 90% of Americans raise their own food.

1786. The first U.S. golf club is founded at Charleston, S.C., by local clergyman Henry Purcell.

1786. Bridgewater, Mass., inventor Ezekiel Reed patents a nail-making machine, but nails remain so costly that houses are put together in large part with wooden pegs.

Vathek, An Arabian Tale. William Beckford. British. 1786. Gothic Novel. Caliph sells his soul to the Devil to gain the throne of the Sultan. Finds that it is a place of torture and he is doomed to remain in it forever.

The Anarchiad. Hartford Wits. American. 1786. Satiric Poetry. Attack on French philosophy, paper money, Shays' Rebellion and the attitude of Europeans toward Americans.

"The Cotter's Saturday Night." Robert Burns. British/Scottish. 1786. Poetry. Famous for the description of Scottish peasant life and for the story of Jenny.

"The Holy Fair." Robert Burns. British/Scottish. 1786. Poetry. Ridicules the Holy Fair at Mauchline. Three "sisters," Fun, Superstition, and Hypocrisy, view scenes of immorality.

1787. A Constitutional Convention that has been meeting at Philadelphia draws up a Constitution for the new United States of America.

1787. Thomas Paine travels to Europe where he will remain for the next 15 years agitating for revolution.

1787. Britain begins clearing her prisons which are overcrowded and transporting them to Australia.

1787. The Constitutional Convention adopts a "three-fifths rule" as a compromise to settle differences between Northern and Southern states over the counting of slaves for purposes of representation and taxation. Slaves are to be counted as three-fifths of a free man for both purposes.

Don Carlos. Friedrich Schiller. German. 1787. Play. Don Carlos, implicated in a plot against the king, rejects freedom to accept death by the Inquisition.

The Federalist. Hamilton, Madison and Jay. American. 1787/88. Essays. These essays urge New York voters to approve the U.S. Constitution. Great studies in the practical application of theory.

Constitution of the United States of America. U.S. Congress. American. 1787/89. Nonfiction. Establishes a republican form of government. Separates the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. 26 amendments.

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