North Carolina in an Age of Revolution
The introduction provides a summary of North Carolina’s history from roughly 1763 to 1789, the nation’s Founding Era. America’s federal system made state leaders critical to the outcome of the American Revolution. Radicalized by controversies such as the debate over foreign attachments, which involved the jurisdiction of colonial courts, North Carolina in the Halifax Resolves became the first state to endorse independence. Although the state was plagued by internal unrest, typified by the pre-Revolutionary Regulator movement, most of North Carolina’s political elite supported the Revolution. On the question of further reform, however, they split into conservative and radical factions. During the debate over ratification of the Constitution, pro-ratification Federalists battled Anti-Federalists, who opposed ratification. While North Carolina eventually ratified the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists’ small-government ideology ultimately proved more congenial to the state’s voters.
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