After the war the birth of a nation the nation s first governments
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After the War The Birth of a Nation The Nation’s First Governments. Articles of Confederation Chapter 8. Revolutionary War & Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary War & Declaration of Independence- Destroyed British government in the American colonies

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After the War The Birth of a Nation The Nation’s First Governments

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After the War The Birth of a NationThe Nation’s First Governments

Articles of Confederation

Chapter 8

Revolutionary War & Declaration of Independence

  • Revolutionary War & Declaration of Independence- Destroyed British government in the American colonies

  • Social Contract was broken – needed to be replaced

  • What to replace it with?

  • America needed a new plan of government

  • British government

  • Destroyed government

  • Needed to rebuilt a new government

What to replace it with?

  • The Declaration of Independence did not declare America to be a single country.

  • The 13 colonies became 13 separate “countries” each with its own set of laws and government.

  • They called themselves “states.”


  • There were some things that a state could not do on its own

    • It could not raise and maintain an army


  • For this and other reason, the Second Continental Congress made plans for a “firm league of friendship” among states

  • They were called the Articles of Confederation


  • A confederation is a group of individuals (in this case governments) who band together for a common purpose.

  • The Articles of Confederation established a system by which states could work with each other

What to replace it with?

  • At the time, the idea of separate, independent states appealed to most Americans.

  • They were uninterested in creating a large central government of their own.

State Vs. National government

State government

Central or national government

State V. National Government

  • Atlas Activity

Articles of Confederation

  • 1781-1789

  • America’s First Constitution

  • Strong State or local government

  • Weak central or national government

    • Opposite of what they had with England

    • Mistrust of central government

    • No power to tax

    • 1 branch of governemt

State V. National government

State government

National/ Central government

1 branch of government

legislative( representatives- create the laws)

  • 3 branches of government

    • Legislative ( representatives- create the laws)

    • Executive( president- enforce the laws)

    • Judicial( courts – judge or interpret the laws)

Think – Pair- Share

  • Think & Answer in your notebook:

    Why were the Americans afraid to set up a strong national or central government?


  • State Constitutions- Each new American state immediately confirmed its independence by writing its own constitution.

  • These documents were different from Britain’s because they were detailed and written down.


  • Each state had set up a government similar to the colonial government that had come before it.

  • Republic = representatives

  • Popular sovereignty –common people rule

  • Separation of Powers ( 3 branches of government)

  • Each had:

    • Governor-elected by citizens or chosen by legislature

    • System of Courts- interpret laws

    • Legislature- passes laws


  • Many state constitutions also included a Bill of Rights which guaranteed certain basic rights.

    • Freedom of speech

    • Press

    • Religion

    • education

State ConstitutionsBasic Ideas of Government

Natural Rights

Check & Balances

Social Contract


Separation of Powers

Popular Sovereignty




Bill of Rights


What freedoms should people have?

Speech, press, religion, education, voting, slavery

National government under The Articles of Confederation

  • 1. Congress was one house, unicameral and each state got one vote

  • 2. Congress was given few powers

  • 3. Congress had no power to tax or enforce laws

Accepted! Ratification!

  • By 1781, all 13 states had ratified, or voted in favor of the Articles of Confederation

  • We had a new official government.

    Ratification= official approval

Articles of ConfederationBest thing 

  • Best thing Congress did under the Articles of Confederation was the Northwest Ordinances

    • Creation of Northwest Territory

    • Decided how to governed those western land

      • Basic rights

      • No slavery

      • education

Achievements of the Articles of Confederation 

  • Statesclaiming for themselves western land

  • Problem – not all states equal access to the land

  • Solution – National government ( for all) takes control of western land

  • Question – What to do with the western land?

  • What to do with the western land?

    • New laws or ordinances ( ordinances = laws)

      • on what to do with

      • how to divide it

      • how to govern these lands

How to divide it

Divided western land

  • Creating Northwest Territory & possibility of new states

    • Ohio

    • Indiana

    • Michigan

    • Illinois

    • Wisconsin

    • Minnesota

      What to do with it ?

      Sell it to help pay war debts some land for schools – promoted public education

Northwest Ordinances

  • Described how to governed western territory

  • Created the process in which territories would become equal states

  • Included a bill of rights

    • Freedom of religion, speech, habeas corpus, trial by jury

    • Free education

    • Prohibited slavery in Northwest Territory ( no slavery allowed)

    • “ good faith” with Indians

Weaknesses of the Articles

  • The Articles had serious problems:

    • Congress could not levy/ collect taxes

    • Congress could not pass laws unless nine states voted in favor of it

      • Amend= to change (in this case there needed to be a unanimous vote)

    • Congress could not enforce laws, so if a state ignored a law, nothing could be done


  • Congress could not collect or levy taxes

  • **The government had to borrow money to pay for war against Britain**

  • Congress allowed the states to fall into debt and taxed trade between states.

Articles of Confederation


  • Governed the nation during the Revolutionary War

  • Negotiated the Treaty of Paris of 1783 at the end of the war

  • Northwest Territory Passed the Land Ordinances of 1785 Passed the Northwest Ordinances 1787


  • Lacked power to enforce laws

  • Lacked power to levy/collect taxes

  • Lacked power to regulate trade among the states

  • Required all 13 states to approved changes in the Articles.

Shays’s Rebellion

  • The burden of taxes fell upon American citizens

  • Daniel Shays decided he had enough

    • He was a farmer who had fallen into heavy debt

    • The Massachusetts courts were threatening to take his farm away as payment for his debts.

Shays’s Rebellion

  • He thought that the state had no right to punish him for a problem the state had created

  • A group of 1200 farmers marched to the courthouse.

  • The governor ordered state troops to break up the march

Shays’s Rebellion

  • Shays was defeated

  • American began to fear that there would be more violent incidents.

  • It was now clear that the states needed to set up a stronger central government.

  • Now they had reason for action. If government couldn’t control their own people how could they control or defend/protect from other countries

Shays’s Rebellion Outcome

  • In 1787, 12 of the states sent delegates to a meeting in Philadelphia

  • The purpose of the meeting was to revise the Articles of Confederation.

Think-Pair-Share:Articles of Confederation

  • Think & Answer in your notebook:

    1.Who had most powers under the Articles of Confederation?

    2.Why were the Americans afraid to set up a strong national or central government?

    3.Mention 2-5 weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

Process : Acrostic PoemArticles of Confederation

Print the word “Articles” or “Confederation” vertically - letter by letter, along the left margin of the page. Each letter then becomes the starting point for a word, phrase, or sentence that describes the topic.










Articles of Confederation

After the war- the new 13 states

Recreated a new government

That gave more power to the states

Independent states working on their own



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