THE CRITICAL PERIOD CHAPTER 2 SECTION 3 “We are one nation today and 13 tomorrow. Who will treat with us on such terms?” -George Washington commenting on state of nation following the Revolutionary War
QUESTION OF THE DAY • Would you expect a new, revolutionary computer software program to run free of glitches? Do you think the first government of the United States ran without any glitches?
OBJECTIVES • Describe the structure of the government set up under the Articles of Confederation • Explain why the weakness of the Articles led to a critical period for the government in the 1780’s • Describe how a growing need for a stronger national government led to plans for a Constitutional Convention
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION • The Articles of Confederation established “a firm league of friendship” among the States. • Approved by 2nd Continental Congress on Nov. 15, 1777. • Ratified (formal approval) by all 13 states by March 1, 1781 and declared effective on that date.
The Articles of Confederation Powers Congress was given the power to declare war, borrow money, coin money, raise military, and settle disputes among States. Obligations The States promised to obey Congress, return fugitives, allow open travel, and to respect the laws of the other States. States kept sovereignty.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation 1 2 4 5 Chapter 2, Section 3
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION • Governmental Structure – simple form of government • Unicameral(one house) congress created (sole governmental body). No executive or judicial branch – these functions handled by committees of congress. • Each state had one vote in congress, regardless of size. • Each year congress chose one member to be its president, or presiding officer, but NOT president of the US.
Other Powers • Powers of Congress – several important powers • Make treaties • Establish post offices • Build a navy • Raise an army by asking the states for troops • Fix uniform standards of weights and measures
Other Weaknesses of the Articles • Powerless central government, State fighting • States made agreements with foreign countries • Some States created armies • States taxed each other's goods, and printed their own money • prices soared, debts grew = economic chaos
A Call for a Stronger Government Picture of Mt. Vernon • Need for Stronger Government – As problems worsened, demand grew for a stronger central government. Leading the charge – large property owners, merchants, traders, creditors. • Representatives from Maryland and Virginia met at Mount Vernon, Virginia in 1785 to discuss trade issues. • The meeting was so successful that the Virginia General Assembly requested a meeting of all thirteen States, which eventually became the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia
Section 3 Review 1. The government set up by the Articles of Confederation had (a) the power to make treaties and build a navy. (b) a bicameral congress. (c) separation of powers. (d) a President to carry out its laws. 2. Which of the following was a weakness of the Articles of Confederation? (a) Congress could not make treaties. (b) Congress could not borrow money. (c) The States did not agree to obey the Articles. (d) Congress could not lay or collect taxes or duties.
ASSIGNMENT • Pretend that you're living during the critical period of the 1780's. You realize that the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation are creating difficult times for the government. • Write an editorial to a local newspaper identifying the problems of the Articles, explaining how these problems are affecting the nation's government, and • offering suggestions for change.
Assignment Rubric Write an editorial for a newspaper, identifying problems with the Articles of Confederation. Editorials must offer the following: 1. A title, the author, and date of publication. (3 pts) 2. Identify any 3 problems with the Articles and an example of how each problem is affecting the government. (6 pts) 3. 3 suggestions for change to the Articles of Conf. (3 pts) 4. An illustration (drawing) for the editorial. (3 pts) 5. Have an intro paragraph, a body paragraph for each of the 3 problems, a paragraph for each suggestion for change, and a conclusion 8 Total. (8 pts) Total=23 pts