Confederation and Constitution

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Confederation. By the end of the Revolutionary War, the colonies had become a loose confederation of states ? with a heavy emphasis on looseThe main thing that had held them together was their common enemy, Britain; that was no longer the case. Articles of Confederation. Ratified in 1781No presid

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Confederation and Constitution

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1. Chapter 6 Confederation and Constitution

2. Confederation By the end of the Revolutionary War, the colonies had become a loose confederation of states – with a heavy emphasis on loose The main thing that had held them together was their common enemy, Britain; that was no longer the case

3. Articles of Confederation Ratified in 1781 No president Unicameral legislature with each state having 1 vote Congress could wage war and make peace Congress could conduct foreign relations, including with the Indians Congress could set up a postal system

4. Congress could coin money, issue paper money, and borrow money Congress could set uniform weights and measures Congress could not tax

5. Problems with the Articles States could ignore these standard weights and measures They could also: - make their own money - declare their own wars - make their own money The Articles joined the states in a league of friendship, and the states had much more power than the central government

6. States retained sovereignty and their freedoms Some saw the Articles of Confederation as a weak document; however, these weaknesses were deliberately written into the document Americans had a strong aversion to a powerful central government after their experiences with Britain

7. 2 Major Problems with the Articles of Confederation Monetary Wartime inflation No backing for paper money States could not agree on how the government could make money

8. Diplomatic Government couldn’t make Americans pay off their debts to Britain – those acquired before the war It had no power to keep Loyalists from recovering their confiscated property It had no power to establish a commercial policy

9. Accomplishments of the Articles of Confederation It created an efficient bureaucracy to administer the day-to-day affairs of the government The government was able to get the states to contribute to the Confederation treasury – albeit reluctantly

10. A Question - Concerning Lands Between the Mississippi and the Appalachians Who held the title to these lands? This was a question that kept states like Maryland from ratifying the Articles of Confederation until 1781 Maryland was afraid of the power wielded by landed states More land gave these states more wealth, so they wouldn’t have to tax their people as much as in the smaller states

11. If these states ever needed more money, they could just sell off some of their land The solution was to get these states to grant their western territories over to the Confederation government, so all states could share the wealth For the sake of hard-won freedoms, states like Virginia, did so; Georgia held out until 1802

12. Northwest Ordinances From the Northwest Territories would be created equal, self-governing states (Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin) As soon as the population in a designated district equaled that of the smallest state in the Confederation, that territory would be an equal partner in the Union

13. This was declared in the Northwest Ordinances of 1784 and 1787 Outlined how land could be sold to settlers and how to organize a formal government Talked about the surveying of towns 6 miles square Divided into 36 sections of 1 square mile or 640 acres Sold at $1 per acre

14. The revenue from the 16th section was to be used to support a public school (1st aid to education) Proceeds from the sale of land went to the central government (1st income for the government) Bill of Rights for citizens would be the same as those in original states: freedom of religion, fair trial by jury, prohibition of cruel punishments,& abolition of slavery It was fairly theoretical because the Indians prevented the actual settlement of the Northwest

15. States had power Had constitutions ratified by the people Officials were elected annually and had term limits New state governors had little power and Pennsylvania had no governor; it only had a unicameral legislature Had separation of church and state

16. Right to vote extended to more people Some states had a property requirement Some allowed every adult male taxpayer New Jersey gave women who met qualifications the right to vote until 1807 when it was thought that too many women were voting In North Carolina, free blacks who met qualifications could vote but it didn’t last North Carolina Catholics couldn’t vote until 1835

17. Each state had a Bill of Rights The Articles of Confederation didn’t seem to be answering all the needs of the new United States. Because of this, Virginia asked for a states’ conference to be held in Annapolis in 1786 to discuss the weaknesses of the Confederation. - only 5 states sent delegations - they adjourned with a call for a Philadelphia Convention in 1787 to improve the national government

18. Shays’ Rebellion Farmers in western Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays rebelled against high taxes and a low money supply Farmers couldn’t provide for their families They tried to draw a link between what had happened with the British and themselves –Taxation They symbolically questioned the existence of U.S.

19. The rebellion was put down This hastened the movement to revise the Articles of Confederation so that the government had the power to deal with these types of situations Delegates were sent to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia It began 25 May 1787

20. James Madison was one of the most important delegates in attendance He was young, well-read, well-prepared, and respected In preparation, he read over 200 books on history, government, confederacies, and republics He is known as the Father of the Constitution

21. Madison felt the United States needed a national government with a system of checks and balances (idea of Baron de Montesquieu of the Enlightenment) Madison’s plan was known as the Virginia Plan

22. Virginia Plan of James Madison

23. Called for a 2-house legislature with proportional representation in both houses Voters would elect the lower house Lower house would choose the upper house National executive would be elected by Congress

24. National Judiciary would be appointed by Congress There would be a Congressional veto over states’ laws and they would have authority to use military force against states This would have created a government in which national authority reigned unchallenged, and state power was greatly diminished

25. The New Jersey Plan The Virginia plan was challenged by William Paterson and others He called for modifications to the Articles of Confederation rather than a complete overhaul of government This would all be settled through a compromise

26. The Connecticut Compromise It discussed the structure and function of government They agreed on a 2-house legislature It was decided that one house should be directly elected by the people The other house should be chosen by state legislatures There was lengthy debate over determining proportional representation

27. In the Senate there would be 2 Senators from each state, each voting individually House of Representatives would be based on population, and for this they came up with the 3/5 Compromise for states with slaves 3/5 of the slave population would be counted in with the white population to reach the total population of the state This determined how many white representatives to send to Congress

28. However, the slave trade would be outlawed after 1808 – the importation of slaves anyway Congressional powers were enumerated Laws could be reviewed by the courts The president would primarily be responsible for foreign affairs The president would be the commander-in chief of the armed forces

29. The electoral college would be used to select the president Members of the electoral college would be elected from all states The final document was based on, yet weaker than, the Virginia Plan

30. The key to the Constitution was the distribution of powers Separation of powers: executive, legislative, and judicial branches Division of powers between the states and the national government

31. Opposition and Ratification Ratification was to take place through special conventions elected by the people in each state The Constitution would rest directly on popular authority

32. Anti-Federalists Were critics of the Constitution Fell into 2 groups: Those who emphasized the threat to the states embodied in the new national government Those who stressed the dangers to individuals posed by a lack of a Bill of Rights As the months passed, Anti-Federalists focused more on the lack of a Bill of Rights

33. Ratification Nine states were needed to ratify the Constitution It had won the approval of 9 states before the larger states of Virginia and New York voted People realized the country needed the approval of those 2 states or the Constitution would not work We needed unity

34. Those 2 states finally ratified the Constitution after a Bill of Rights was promised to come The Publication of the Federalist Papers by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton helped to explain the theory behind the Constitution

36. This helped with the approval vote So the Constitution was approved and George Washington was named our first president in 1789 The Bill of Rights passed both houses of Congress on 25 September 1789 By 15 December 1791, the amendments had been ratified by ľ of the states

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