From the very beginning of the Revolution until recent times, the sovereignty, power and independence of the states along with the accountability of its representatives, the sanctity of constitutions and the importance of religious virtues were well-accepted and well respected in the colonies. After the breach between the colonies and Britain, the people of America were given the opportunity to forge a nation in the fires of an age where political thought and political discussions were so rampant and so universal and when virtue reigned supreme over most of the colonists as a result of the Great Awakening. The Age of Enlightenment had not quite dawned on the entire world when the Revolution broke out, but signs of it could be seen in the construction and ratification of the Articles of Confederation as well as the Constitution. The setting was ripe for the forging of a nation and the background of the colonists was perfect for the construction of a perfect government founded on principle. They were also aided by the peak upon which they were able to stand and glance retrospectively upon all previous forms of government so as to avoid the corruption those nations had faced and fallen because of. In accordance, the founders established a system of government which was officially ratified in 1781, leading to the writing of the Constitution and its presentation in 1787, followed by its complete adoption in 1789, which was the year it came into effect.
Religions other than some form of Christianity were a small minority in the colonies at this time. Quakers, Puritan, Anglicans, Unitarians, Baptists, Protestants and some Catholics took up the majority of the people. This widespread religious feeling was caused by the de-emphasizing of the clergy in the lives of individuals. People were able to read the Bible for themselves, own one, interpret one and not worry about relying on a member of the clergy. Ecclesiastical traditions were fading as more and more people realized that they were not necessary. All the great colleges of America, Yale, Harvard, William and Mary, Princeton, Georgetown and Brown University, were founded by religious organizations or members from the churches of Unitarians, Jesuits, Baptists, Puritans, Quakers and Anglicans, revealing the fact that religious feelings were intertwined with intellegencia as well as in the chapel, church or everyday life.
After the Revolutionary War was over, people began to push westward over the ‘boundless mountains’ to find free or cheap land in the vast expanses of the frontier. Trailblazers like Daniel Boone were among those striking out west. An act passed by Congress allowed for widespread expansion and homesteading which encouraged the colonists, or Americans, as we should now call them, to press westwards in an attempt to find a new and cheaper life on the frontier. Gradually, as Congress and the Chairman of the Territorial Committee, Thomas Jefferson, realized that land would be an easy way for quick revenue, surveyors were sent out by the government to survey 640 acre plots of land to be made into townships which could be sold at two dollars an acre. Homesteaders moved west faster than federal agencies were able to survey however, and hundreds of acres were obtained by the adventurous trailblazers for free. According to U.S census in the late 1700s, over 250,000 people had pushed westwards and nearly five thousand had pushed into the northwestern states of the Ohio and Indiana area. People were also beginning to realize the unity of the states with the federal government, as the federal government began managing treaties with Indians, Spanish and British. They were beginning to look like one nation.