A more perfect union 1771 1790
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A More Perfect Union 1771-1790. The Articles of Confederation. We Won… Now what?. Each state created their own constitution From 1776-1780, 11 of the 13 had done so Americans are cautious and don’t want to give too much power to a single ruler Legislature more powerful than the governor

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A More Perfect Union 1771-1790

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A more perfect union 1771 1790

A More Perfect Union1771-1790

The Articles of Confederation


We won now what

We Won… Now what?

  • Each state created their own constitution

    • From 1776-1780, 11 of the 13 had done so

  • Americans are cautious and don’t want to give too much power to a single ruler

    • Legislature more powerful than the governor

  • Most states established BICAMERAL (2 houses) legislature

  • Legislatures elected in frequent elections

    • White males 21+ who owned land or paid taxes

    • Some states allowed free African American men to vote


Forming a republic

Forming a Republic

  • All wanted a republic (citizens rule through elected representatives)

  • States could not agree on how that would work

  • Most favored a WEAK central government (states would function like independent countries)

  • Central government would only wage war and handle relationships with foreign countries


Planning a new government

Planning a New Government

  • 2nd Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation (needed for the Revolutionary War)

    • States gave up little power to Congress

    • “league of friendship” between states

    • The government = Congress

      • Conducts foreign affairs

      • Maintain armed forces

      • Borrow money

      • Issue currency


Articles of confederation

Articles of Confederation

  • Congress could NOT:

    • Regulate trade

    • Force citizens to join the army

    • Impose taxes

  • Had to “request” money/troops from states

  • States not required to contribute

  • Lacked a chief executive

  • Each state had one vote (states equal regardless of population)

  • ALL States had to approve the Articles and any amendments


Articles of confederation1

Articles of Confederation

  • Became the official government of the United States in 1781 (through 1789)

  • Did not provide a strong enough government

    • Congress had limited authority

    • Could not pass a law unless nine states approved

    • Any change to the Articles required all 13 to approve

  • Under the Articles, independence was gained, expanded foreign trade, and planned the settling of the western frontier


New land policies

New Land Policies

  • Settlers moved west after independence

  • New territories wanted to settle and become states

  • Needed organization and structure

  • Articles of Confederation contained no provision to add states

    • States gave up land claims to Congress

  • 1784 Congress used Jefferson’s plans to divide the territory into districts


The ordinance of 1785

The Ordinance of 1785

  • Ordinance = Law

  • The Ordinance of 1785 was a plan to survey and sell the lands west of the Ohio River

    • Divided territory into townships 6 miles x 6 miles

    • Were further divided into 36 sections of 640 acres and each sold for at least $1 an acre

    • Congress worried about lawless people buying large plots of land, created the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to protect the interests of hard-working settlers


The northwest ordinance

The Northwest Ordinance

  • Passed in 1787 and created a single Northwest Territory out of the lands north of the Ohio River and East of the Mississippi River

  • When the population of a territory reached 60,000, the people could petition for statehood

  • Included a bill of rights for settlers

    • Guaranteed freedom of religion; trial by jury

    • No slavery

  • Opened the way for settlement west in a stable and orderly manner

  • Native American response?


Financial problems

Financial Problems

  • Congress had so little power it could not deal with country’s financial problems

  • Money depreciated during the war and became worthless as it was not backed by gold/silver

  • War left the country with a huge debt

  • Congress could not tax, requested $$$ from states, but little was given

  • Department of Finance was created

    • Headed by Robert Morris

    • Proposed a 5% import tax

    • Couldn’t get approval from all 13 states


Foreign issues

Foreign Issues

  • Problems with Britain

    • Did not withdraw all troops from American lands

    • Interfered with American trade

    • British unwilling to discuss issues

  • Problems with Spain

    • Wanted to halt American expansion into their lands

    • Closed the lower Mississippi River to American shipping in 1784

    • Argued over the issues


Change needed

Change Needed

  • The Articles of Confederation were “little more than the shadow without the substance.” – George Washington

  • Americans realized that a stronger central government was needed


Convention and compromise

Conventionand Compromise


Economic depression

Economic Depression

  • Depression hit in the United States after War

  • Trade fell off after the British closed markets to U.S.

  • Farmers could not sell goods

    • Some farmers’ lands were seized to pay off debts


Shay s rebellion

Farmers protest the Government

Daniel Shays led a group of farmers in MA

Forced courts to close so farmers’ lands weren’t taken

Led 1,000 farmers to Springfield to get guns and ammunition, which led to a fight between militia and farmers

Frightened many Americans that the government couldn’t stop unrest and violence

Shay’s Rebellion


The issue of slavery

Between 1776-86, 11 of the 13 states outlawed slavery or heavily taxed importation of enslaved people

Northern states passed laws ending slavery

Free African Americans still faced discrimination everywhere and in most places could not vote

Manumission=freeing of individual slaves

As the Articles of Confederation are amended, slavery was a major issue that needed to be addressed

The Issue of Slavery


A call for change

A Call for Change

  • Alexander Hamilton – New York lawyer who called for a convention to discuss the problems with the Articles of Confederation

James Madison – Virginia planter who called for change to make a fair, effective central government


The constitutional convention

The Constitutional Convention

  • Met in Philadelphia in May 1787

  • 55 delegates, many college educated

  • GW and Franklin attended and were influential

  • Organization –

    • GW chosen to preside over the meetings

    • Each state = one vote; majority rule

    • Meetings held in private


The virginia plan

The Virginia Plan

  • Many of the ideas of James Madison

  • Plan called for:

    • Two house legislature (# of representatives proportional to population)

      • Lower house = elected by the people

      • Upper house = elected by the lower house

      • Chief executive chosen by the legislature

      • Court system

  • Smaller states immediately object, because the bigger states would have all of the power


The new jersey plan

The New Jersey Plan

  • A revision of the Articles of Confederation favored by the smaller states

  • Plan called for:

    • Kept Confederation’s one-house legislature

    • One vote for each state

    • Congress could set taxes and regulate trade (which it couldn’t do before)

    • Congress would elect a weak executive branch

  • Larger states felt that they deserved more power than the smaller states


Discussion and compromise

Discussion and Compromise

  • Throughout the summer there was debate, but issues were not resolved

  • The Great Compromise – Suggested by Roger Sherman of Connecticut

    • Proposed a two-house legislature

      • Lower house = House of Representatives

        • # of representatives based on population

      • Upper House = Senate

        • Each state has two senators


Three fifths compromise

Three-Fifths Compromise

  • Issue of whether slaves should count as population

    • North said No

    • South said Yes

    • Higher population = more representatives

  • Solution – Each slave would count as three-fifths of a person

    • Northern states also wanted to ban slave trade throughout the nation

    • Southern states considered it essential to their economy

  • Solution – Congress would wait until 1808 to limit the slave trade if they chose


Bill of rights

Bill of Rights

  • George Mason proposed that a bill of rights be included in the Constitution

    • Worried that without it, the government could abuse their power

  • Most felt that the Constitution was good enough, and defeated his proposal


Approving the constitution

Approving the Constitution

  • September 1787, delegates sign the Constitution

    • Three refused to sign (including Mason, who wanted a bill of rights included)

  • Draft sent to the states for approval

    • Once 9 of the 13 states approved, the new government would come into existence


A new plan of government

A New Plan of Government


Roots of the constitution

Roots of the Constitution

  • Republic = system of government in which the people elect representatives to exercise power for them

    • Requires citizens to take an active role

  • Based on other civilizations

    • Greece and democracy

    • European governments and thinkers – Especially Britain

  • Value of individual rights guaranteed by law


The british system of government

The British System of Government

  • Magna Carta (1215) – placed limits on power of king

    • Parliament emerged as a law making body

    • Colonial assemblies modeled after Parliament

    • English Bill of Rights (1689) – many Americans felt the Constitution needed a similar Bill of Rights

    • Enlightenment Period (1700s) – promoted knowledge, reason and science

      • John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu


Thinkers

Thinkers

John Locke

  • John Locke – English Philosopher

    • Believed all had natural rights (life, liberty, property)

    • Two Treatises of Government

      • Government is based on an agreement with the citizens. Government protected the people’s rights.

Social Contract Theory


A more perfect union 1771 1790

  • Baron Montesquieu – French writer

    • Powers of government should be separated and balanced against each other

    • Separation keeps one person from too much power

    • Powers of government should be clearly defined


Shared powers

Shared Powers

  • Constitution created a federal system of government that divided powers

  • States gave up some of their powers to the government

  • Federalism – sharing powers between state and federal government

    • Federal government – could tax, regulate trade, control currency, raise an army, declare war, pass laws

    • State government – could pass and enforce laws, regulate trade within their borders (intrastate as opposed to interstate trade), establish local governments, schools, tax, build roads


Supreme law of the land

Supreme Law of the Land

  • Constitution – supreme law of the country, above all other laws.

  • No state could make laws or take actions against the Constitution

  • Federal courts would settle disputes between states

  • Constitution=final and supreme authority


Legislative branch

Legislative Branch

  • Article I of the Constitution establishes Congress

  • Congress = Legislative Branch = Law Making Branch

    • Contains the House of Representatives and Senate

      • HoR = representatives based on population

      • Senate = equal representation (2 senators per state)

  • Congress can make laws, collect taxes, coin money, regulate trade, declare war, raise and support armies


Executive branch

Executive Branch

  • Article II of the Constitution created executive branch

  • President = Executive Branch = Carries out laws

  • President = Commander in Chief of armed forces and conducts relations with foreign countries

  • President and Vice President are ELECTED by the Electoral College

    • Electoral College = selected #of electors based on the number of members of Congress

    • President and Vice President both serve four year terms


Executive branch1

Executive Branch


Judicial branch

Judicial Branch

  • Article III of Constitution established the judicial branch

    • Court system = Judicial Branch = interprets laws

  • Supreme Court (9 members) top of judicial branch

    • All lower federal courts are included in this branch

  • Hear cases involving Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and disputes between states


A more perfect union 1771 1790

Stephen Breyer

Sonia Sotomayor

Samuel Alito

Elena Kagan

Antonin Scalia

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Chief Justice – John Roberts

Clarence Thomas

Anthony Kennedy


System of checks and balances included to ensure that branches are equal

System of Checks and BalancesIncluded to ensure that branches are equal


National citizens

National Citizens

  • Constitution created citizens of the United States

  • Set up a government in which the people choose their officials

  • New government pledged to protect its citizens

  • Created a new government without war or chaos


The constitutional debate

The Constitutional Debate

  • Constitution now had to be approved by the people

    • NINE states had to ratify (approve)

      • State legislatures created special ratifying conventions to discuss the document

      • Rhode Island opposed the Constitution from the start, never met


Federalists

Federalists

  • Supporters of the Constitution included GW, Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay

    • Wrote essays explaining and defending the Constitution (the Federalist Papers)


Anti federalists

Anti- Federalists

  • Opposed ratification of the Constitution

  • Anti-federalist Papers

    • Main argument: Constitution would take away the liberties that Americans fought to win

      • Argued that the government would ignore the rights of the people and the states and favor the wealthy

      • Preferred local government close to the people

  • Patrick Henry a supporter


Protecting rights

Protecting Rights

  • Strongest criticism = lack of a bill of rights

    • Several states announced they would not ratify the Constitution without it

  • Federalists feared chaos and disorder without a strong central government (more Shays rebellions)

  • Anti-federalists feared oppression more than disorder


Adopting the constitution

Adopting the Constitution

  • 1787 Deleware is the first to ratify

  • By 1788, 9 states had ratified, making the Constitution the government of the United States

  • Two states (NY and VA) had not ratified

    • In VA, Patrick Henry gave persuasive speeches against the Constitution

    • Virginia finally ratified after a promise that there would be a Bill of Rights included

  • By May, 1790, all 13 states ratified (celebrations, parades, etc.)

  • Bill of Rights added in 1791

    • Now the government was ready to work and elect leaders


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