22 July 2009

A Blackstone timeline

--Commentaries were first published between 1765 and 1769 in Oxford, England.

March 22 The Stamp Act
March 24 The Quartering Act of 1765
May 29 Patrick Henry's "If This Be Treason" speech
May 30 The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions
Oct. 7-25 The Stamp Act Congress
March 18 The Declaratory Act
June 29 The Townshend Revenue Act
August 1 Boston Non-Importation Agreement
March 5 The Boston Massacre

--Commentaries on the Laws of England first issued in an American edition.

May 10 The Tea Act
Dec. 16 The Boston Tea Party
March 31 Boston Port Act, one of the "Intolerable Acts"
May 20 Administration of Justice Act, one of the "Intolerable Acts"
May 20 Massachusetts Government Act, one of the "Intolerable Acts"
June 2 Quartering Act of 1774, one of the "Intolerable Acts"
June 22 Quebec Act, one of the "Intolerable Acts"
Sept. 5-Oct. 26 The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia and issues Declaration and Resolves
Oct. 10 Battle of Point Pleasant, Virginia (disputed as to whether it was a battle of the American Revolution or the culmination of Lord Dunmore's War)
Oct. 20 The Association (prohibition of trade with Great Britain)

Apr. 18 The Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes
Apr. 19 Minutemen and redcoats clash at Lexington and Concord "The shot heard 'round the world."
May 10 Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys seize Fort Ticonderoga
May 10 The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
June 15 George Washington named Commander in Chief
June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill: The British drive the Americans from Breed's Hill
July 3 Washington assumes command of the Continental Army
Jan. 15 Paine's "Common Sense" published
March 17 The British evacuate Boston; British Navy moves to Halifax, Canada
June 12 The Virginia Declaration of Rights
June 29 The First Virginia Constitution
June 28 Patriots decisively defeat the British Navy at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina
July 1-4 Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence. See Chronology of the Declaration
July 4 Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence; it's sent to the printer
July 8 The Declaration of Independence is read publicly

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly referred to as the Articles of Confederation, was the first constitution of the thirteen United States of America. The Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft the 'Articles' in June 1776 and proposed the draft to the States for ratification in November 1777. The ratification process was completed in March 1781, legally federating the sovereign and independent states, allied under the Articles of Association, into a new federation styled the "United States of America". Under the Articles the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the central government.

--Sir William Blackstone dies on 14 February 1780

Jan. 1 Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers
Sept. 15 French fleet drives British naval force from Chesapeake Bay
Oct. 19 Cornwallis surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrenders at Yorktown, VA

Nov. 30 British and Americans sign preliminary Articles of Peace

April 19 Congress ratifies preliminary peace treaty

The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended hostilities with Great Britain, languished in Congress for months because state representatives failed to attend sessions of the national legislature. Yet Congress had no power to enforce attendance under the Articles of Confederation.

Sept. 3 The United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris officially ending the War of American Independence (AKA American Revolution)
Nov. 25 British troops leave New York City
Dec. 23 Washington resigns as Commander

September--Commissioners from five states met in the Annapolis Convention to discuss adjustments to the Articles of Confederation that would improve commerce.

May 25 to September 17, 1787: delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was from the outset to create a new government rather than "fix" the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the convention. The result of the Convention was the United States Constitution.
September 20, 1787 The proposed Constitution is read in Congress
September 26, 1787 Congress takes up debate on the proposed Constitution
September 28, 1787 Congress refers the proposed Constitution to the states
December 7, 1787 Constitution is ratified by the first state – Delaware


August 2, 1788 First North Carolina convention refuses to ratify Constitution without amendments


March 4, 1789 First United States Congress is seated
September 26, 1789 Congress sends twelve amendments to the Constitution to the states for ratification. The last ten were eventually enacted as the Bill of Rights.

December 15, 1791 Bill of Rights comes into force on ratification by Virginia

Get my point?


Then to clarify it for you. When Blackstone died, the Colonies were still colonies with the War for Independence raging on, The Treaty of Paris was 3 years in the future, there were the Articles of Confederation, but no US Constitution. Wouldn't be for another 7 years. The Bill of Rights was 9 years in the future and wasn't in effect for another 11 years. How could he have known about the Second Amendment, let alone the Constitution unless he was psychic.

For all Blackstone knew, the Colonies could repent their ways and become good little colonies again (there's still hope).