Life Before The Constitution
By Sophia Amis
Life as a Shoemaker
I work in a small shop, paid depending on the amount of shoes I make. I am in debt for $50 for tools, thinking that it would be easy to repay the money. Paper money was in circulation, making it easier for common people to buy things. Things aren't going as I expected. The state voted to stop paper money; there is less money and it is worth more than before, so I cannot charge much for shoes because many can't afford it. The man who lent me the money for tools threatens to send me the court because I am unable to get the money. People have gone up with guns and clubs demanding lower taxes and paper money. It is the duty of the people to destroy an unfair government. They say that there will be a new government, "The Constitution". I wonder if it will deal with war debt and rebellions.
$Life as a Banker (or Merchant)$
$$$I am a memer of a rich banker and merchant family in New York. I make my money from giving loans to people and getting paid an interest on the loans. But many states have passed laws letting people pay debts with corn, tobacco, or anything with value. I could loan $100 and get cows and corn back! No one has respect for property! The states have had too much power. If poor people couldn't vote, maybe we wouldn't have these problems. But I have bought thousands of dollars of government bonds from people. I pay them ten cents for each dollar in bonds. There is a proposal to pay the bonds back in cash. I would make a lot of money. $$$
Life as a Slave
Me and my whole family are enslaved, working and living on a tobacco plantation in Virginia. The Declaration of Independence states that " all men are created equal." And yet the man who wrote that, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves himself. From early dawn to late night, I work on the fields. Me and my family try to be there for each other, but if our master wishes to, he could sell us to different states and we would never meet again. But there is hope; Slavery could be outlawed. Some Northern states already have, and I heard that the slave trade will be stopped. Maybe if we escaped to a free state we would keep our freedom. But we would be left with nothing, starting anew. We'd probably be poor farmers, not much better than working on the plantation. We want real freedom: That means land and tools.