Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 7 >> Connective Tissue to Cooke >> Conventions_2


government, convention and revolution

CONVENTIONS, Revolutionary. Where the legal governments of countries have be come the very grievances against which people rebel, the latter have no organ of expression save tumultuous or representative Popular assemblies. The latter are usually called con ventions. Thus, in England, the convention parliament of 1399 deposed Richard. II and gave, the crown to Henry IV; that of after the downfall of Richard Crotnwell, pro claimed Charles II; that of 1689, after the flight of James II, proclaimed him abdicated and William III king. These were simply parlia ments, except that there was no royal authority to call them. In Massachusetts, the convention of May 1689, at the same time as that in Eng land, superseded the Andros government by one of the people. That of South Carolina in 1718, to form a provisional government in place of the proprietary government, is another in-. stance. Of a similar character was the conven tion by which the first French Republic was declared in 1792, and under which the Revolu tion was carried on till the establishment of the Directory in 1795. In all these cases, the con-.

ventions were administrative bodies, govern ments pro tern. So during the Revolution, when the royal governors proclaimed the colonial assemblies dissolved, they were in the habit of reassembling as conventions, and they consti tuted the provincial government until regular constitutions were in force, which in fact they themselves often framed and adopted. The later constitutional conventions, creatures of State law, and limited to the preparation of a plan of government to be afterward voted on, have nothing whatever' in common with the above, and are in fact only enlarged consulting boards, representative enough to imply fairly the entire public feeling. Of the first sort were the nullification convention in South Carolina in 1832 (see COMPROMISE OF 1833), and the secession conventions of 1860 and 1861. See CONVENTIONS, CONSTITUTIONAL; UNITED STATES - STATE CONSTITUTIONS; VIRGINIA CONVEN TIONS OF THE REVOLUTION.