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Articles of Confederation. Aim: How were governments organized after independence?. Articles of Confederation (1781 – 1787). First constitution (plan for government) of the United States. Created a loose union of thirteen republics. The states retained the most important powers.

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Articles of confederation

Articles of Confederation

Aim: How were governments organized after independence?

Articles of confederation 1781 1787
Articles of Confederation (1781 – 1787)

  • First constitution (plan for government) of the United States.

  • Created a loose union of thirteen republics.

  • The states retained the most important powers.

    • Each state had one vote in Congress.

      • 9 out of 13 states had to agree to any decision (bills to be passed).

      • All 13 states would have to agree in order to amend the Articles.

Structure of government
Structure of Government

  • Unicameral (single house) legislative body

  • Each state had one vote regardless of population size

  • Congress given sole authority to govern the country

  • An executive committee oversaw government when Congress was not in session

  • Congress would establish temporary courts to hear disputes among the states

Powers granted to government under the articles of confederation
Powers Granted to Government under the Articles of Confederation

  • Declare war and make peace

  • Make treaties with foreign countries

  • Establish an army and navy

  • Appoint high-ranking military officials

  • Requisition, print, and borrow money

  • Establish weights and measures

  • Hear disputes among the states related to trade or boundaries

Powers denied to the central government
Powers Denied to the Central Government

  • Congress

    • Had no executive power to enforce laws.

    • Had no power to make laws.

    • Had no power to tax, impose tariffs, or collect duties.

    • Had no power to regulate trade and there was no uniform currency.

    • No power to force states to honor obligations

    • Had no power to draft for war.

  • Congress

    • Could “recommend” laws.

    • Could ask the states for money.

    • Could ask the states to supply soldiers for the army.

Accomplishments under the articles of confederation
Accomplishments Under the Articles of Confederation

  • Victory over Britain in the Revolutionary War.

  • Negotiated the Treaty of Paris with Britain in 1783

  • Organization of the Western Lands.

    • Established the Land Ordinance (1785) and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Map of the land settled in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Land ordinance of 1785
Land Ordinance of 1785

  • Divided the Northwest Territory into “townships” to be offered for sale.

  • Each township consisted of 36 lots of 640 acres each.

  • A lot was the smallest unit that could be bought and couldn’t be sold for less than $1 an acre.

  • The proceeds from the sale of one lot in each township would be used for public education.

Northwest ordinance of 1787
Northwest Ordinance of 1787

  • Provided a government for the Northwest Territory and admission to the United States.

  • No less than 3 states and no more than 5 states would be created as soon as the population in an area reached 60,000.

  • Each state would have a Bill of Rights.

  • Slavery was forbidden.

  • The new states would be equal to the original 13 states.

  • Education was provided.

Problems facing the new nation
Problems Facing the New Nation

  • Trade with foreign nations

  • Financing the nation

  • Foreign relations

  • Interstate relations

  • You decide!!!

A 1783 cartoon satirizing relations between Britain and America

Annapolis convention 1786
Annapolis Convention (1786)

  • Originally called to discuss British trade restrictions and the problems of inter-state trade.

  • The delegates arranged to meet the next year to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation.

  • U.S. no longer the favorite trading partner of Great Britain

  • U.S. exports to British ports had to be on British ships

  • Many U.S.-produced goods were barred from British ports

  • Britain sent vast amounts of cheap goods to U.S.

  • Potential Remedy

  • Establish a tariff on British goods

  • Weakness in Articles of Confederation preventing this solution

Shay s rebellion 1786
Shay’s Rebellion (1786)

  • A revolt led by Daniel Shays, of the farmers in western Massachusetts against the state government.

  • The farmers were protesting high taxes, underrepresentation in the state legislature and the foreclosure of their farms for debts.

  • This showed the weakness of the national government and the need to change the Articles of Confederation