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The Confederation Period. From Revolutionary War through 1787 –the Articles of Confederation is our first national constitution !. 13 Separate Governments. “Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, and independence. But most of all. Freedom. Weak Central Government.

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The Confederation Period

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the confederation period
The Confederation Period

From Revolutionary War through 1787 –the Articles of Confederation is our first national constitution!

13 separate governments
13 Separate Governments

“Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, and independence

But most of all


weak central government
Weak Central Government
  • Unicameral legislature (no executive or judicial branches)
  • Each state had one vote in Congress
  • 7 votes needed to pass a law
  • all 13 votes needed to amend it
weaknesses of articles
Weaknesses of Articles


  • Congress could not --
  • levy or collect taxe$
  • maintain army or navy
  • control foreign or interstate trade
  • establi$h a $ound economy
  • enforce its own laws
  • effectively settle disputes between states
successes of articles
Successes of Articles
  • Kept states together during Revolutionary War
  • Established relations w/ foreign nations
successes of articles1
Successes of Articles
  • guaranteed religious freedom
  • prohibited slavery
  • established rules for entering new states into Union
economic troubles
Economic Troubles
  • States issued their own money, led to inflation
  • Post-war depression hurt farmers
  • Protests against higher state taxes
  • Govt led by wealthy, ignored common people’s problems
shay s rebellion
Shay’s Rebellion

Daniel Shays -- veteran of Rev. War, led rebellion of farmers, laborers -- wanted state govts to help them pay their taxes and debts -- seized court-houses, freed debtors from jails, led abortive attempt to loot US arsenal.

the constitutional convention
The Constitutional Convention
  • Delegates
  • 74 delegates were appointed
  • 55 actually attended
  • 39 signed the finished document
the constitutional convention1
The Constitutional Convention
  • Characteristics of the delegates
  • Relatively young (average age 42)
  • ½ attended college
  • ½ trained in the law
  • Others  merchants, doctors, landowners
the constitutional convention2
The Constitutional Convention

Characteristics of the delegates

  • Most had political experience in colonial legislatures
  • 7 were state governors
  • Many were former military
the constitutional convention3
The Constitutional Convention

Organizing the Convention

  • G. Washington named presiding officer (president)
  • Each state got one vote, regardless of its population
i never told a lie
I Never Told A Lie!
  • Did Someone say my name?
the constitutional convention4
The Constitutional Convention
  • Quorum (minimum number of states in attendance to do official business) was 7 of 13
  • To pass proposals a simple majority of those present was required
the constitutional convention5
The Constitutional Convention


Delegates decided all proceedings would be kept secret from press and non-delegates (allowed delegates to speak freely)

the virginia plan
The Virginia Plan
  • 3 separate branches of govt
  • Legislature would select executive & judicial branch officials
  • Bicameral legislature (2 houses)
the virginia plan1
The Virginia Plan

Main objection came from smaller states – they felt the Virginia Plan favored states with larger populations

the new jersey plan
The New Jersey Plan
  • One-house legislature w/ reps selected by state legislators
  • Each state would cast 1 vote in the national legislature
the new jersey plan1
The New Jersey Plan

Main objection came from states with large populations, felt it short-changed their citizens and gave too much power to smaller states.

the great compromise
The Great Compromise
  • Membership in lower house of Congress would be based on population of each state & elected by the people

“Connecticut Compromise”

the great compromise1
The Great Compromise
  • Upper house of Congress would represent the states, each state to have 2 senators who were chosen by the state’s legislators
the great compromise2
The Great Compromise
  • House of Reps would favor states with large populations
  • House given power to write all bills to raise & spend money
  • State govts would have a friend in the U.S. Senate
what about slaves
What About Slaves?
  • Southern delegates wanted to count slave population to figure how many reps each state would have in House of Reps
the three fifth s compromise
The Three - Fifth’s Compromise

The “Three-Fifths Compromise”

  • Northerners agreed that 3/5 of slave population would be counted to determine how many reps. they could send to Congress AND to figure taxes
powers of congress
Powers of Congress
  • Congress given power to regulate foreign trade and interstate commerce.
  • President given power to negotiate treaties w/ foreign nations
  • Treaties had to be approved
  • by 2/3 of Senate
struggle for ratification
Struggle for Ratification
  • 9 of 13 states had to ratify for the Constitution to become “law”
  • There was significant opposition among powerful groups
  • This led to the creation of the second political party in U.S., the Anti-Federalists
struggle for ratification1
Struggle for Ratification
  • Federalists supported a stronger national government, and wanted ratification of the new Constitution
  • Anti-Federalists were strongly opposed to both
more arguments
More Arguments

George Mason

argued forcefully

against ratification

of new Constitution

– and insisted on

adding a Bill of Rights.

the federalists
The Federalists
  • Ratifying conventions were selected by voters in each state
  • Federalist Papers were written by Hamilton, Jay and Madison in support of ratification, published in newspapers of day under pen-name Publius
the federalists1
The Federalists

We’re Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, and WE WROTE THE FEDERALIST PAPERS!

the federalists2
The Federalists
  • Federalists promised to make creation of a Bill of Rights the first order of business for the new Congress to try and get support from Anti-Federalists such as George Mason

The Constitution became law on June 21, 1788 after 2/3 of the states ratified it.


The End

El Fin