Vermont Republic

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Vermont Republic is a term used by historians to refer to the government of Vermont that existed from 1777 to 1791.[1] In January 1777, delegates from 28 towns met and declared independence from the jurisdictions and land claims both of the British colony of Quebec and of the American states of New Hampshire and New York. They also abolished adult slavery within their boundaries. Many people in Vermont took part in the American Revolution, although the Continental Congress did not recognize the jurisdiction as independent.[2] Because of vehement objections from New York, which had conflicting property claims, the Continental Congress declined to recognize Vermont, then known as the New Hampshire Grants.[3] Vermont's overtures to join the British Province of Quebec failed.[4] In 1791, Vermont officially joined the United States as the 14th state.

Vermont coined a currency called Vermont coppers from a mint operated by Reuben Harmon in East Rupert (1785–1788),[5] and operated a postal system. While the Vermont coppers bore the legend Vermontis. Res. Publica (Latin for "Republic of Vermont"), the constitution and other official documents used the term "State of Vermont". It referred to its chief executive as a "governor". The 1777 constitution refers to Vermont variously: the third paragraph of the preamble, for example, mentions "the State of Vermont", and in the preamble's last paragraph, the constitution refers to itself as "the Constitution of the Commonwealth".[6]

The historian Frederic F. van de Water called the Vermont Republic the "reluctant republic" because many early citizens favored political union with the United States rather than full independence. Both popular opinion and the legal construction of the government made clear that the independent State of Vermont would eventually join the original 13 states. While the Continental Congress did not allow a seat for Vermont, Vermont engaged William Samuel Johnson, representing Connecticut, to promote its interests.[7] In 1785 the Vermont General Assembly granted Johnson title to the former King's College Tract as a form of compensation for representing Vermont.[8]

After 1724, the Province of Massachusetts Bay built Fort Dummer near Brattleboro, as well as three other forts along the northern portion of the Connecticut River to protect against raids by Native Americans further south into Western Massachusetts. After 1749, Benning Wentworth, the Royal Governor of New Hampshire, granted land to anyone in a land granting scheme designed to enrich himself and his family. After 1763, settlement increased due to easing security concerns after the end of the French and Indian Wars. The Province of New York had made grants of land, often in areas overlapping similar grants made by the Province of New Hampshire; this issue had to be resolved by the King in 1764, who granted the land to New York, but the area was popularly known as the New Hampshire Grants. The "Green Mountain Boys", led by Ethan Allen, was a militia force from Vermont that supported the New Hampshire claims and fought against the British during the American Revolution.

Following controversy between the holders of the New York grants and the New Hampshire grants, Ethan Allen and his militia of "Green Mountain Boys" suppressed Loyalists. On January 15, 1777, a convention of representatives from towns in the territory declared the region independent, choosing the name the Republic of New Connecticut (although it was sometimes known colloquially as the Republic of the Green Mountains).[9] On June 2 of that year, the name of the fledgling nation was officially changed to "Vermont" (from the French, les Verts Monts, meaning the Green Mountains)[10] upon the suggestion of Dr. Thomas Young,[11] a member of the Sons of Liberty and a Boston Tea Party leader and mentor to Ethan Allen.

John Greenleaf Whittier's poem The Song of the Vermonters, 1779 describes the period in ballad form. First published anonymously, the poem had characteristics in the last stanza that were similar to Ethan Allen's prose and caused it to be attributed to Allen for nearly 60 years.[12] The last stanza reads:

Come York or come Hampshire, come traitors or knaves,
If ye rule o'er our land ye shall rule o'er our graves;
Our vow is recorded—our banner unfurled,
In the name of Vermont we defy all the world!

On August 19, 1781, the Confederation Congress of the United States passed an act saying they would recognize the secessionist state of Vermont and agreed to admit that state to the Union if Vermont would renounce its claims to territory east of the Connecticut River and west of Lake Champlain.

This page was last edited on 21 July 2018, at 02:42 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_Republic under CC BY-SA license.

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