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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

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

  • 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
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 with1
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 Vs. National government

State government

Central or national government

Articles of confederation
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 government1
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 – 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 constitutions basic ideas of government
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
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
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 confederation best thing
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
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?

After the war the birth of a nation the nation s first governments

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
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
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 confederation1
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
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 rebellion1
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 rebellion2
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
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-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 poem 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