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Chapter 2 – Birth of a Nation • #4 Articles of Confederation
Essential Question: • What were the long-term problems with the Articles of Confederation? • Warm-Up Question: • Now that the Americans have won the Revolutionary War, what major decisions must now be answered?
The Articles of Confederation A pure democracy would put too much power in the hands of the “uneducated mob” • When Americans declared independence in 1776, they needed to form a new government: • They wanted to form a republic where citizens vote for elected leaders to represent them • They wanted to protect citizens & individual states from a powerful national government The American republic would be a more “enlightened” version of the Roman Senate
Thirteen Independent States When independence was declared, the 13 colonies became independent states But, the USA needed a national gov’t to do things that states could not, like sign treaties & form a military Each state had its own constitution, legislature, & an elected governor; 8 states had Bills of Rights
The Articles of Confederation America’s 1st national gov’t was the Articles of Confederation (1777-1789) This “confederation” style gov’t loosely connected the states under a weak national government
Each state could send between 2-7 representatives to the national congress, but each state had only 1 vote Government Structure To pass a law, 9 of the 13 states had to agree
The national congress could make laws, settle disputes between states, negotiate treaties, handle Indian affairs, oversee a military Government Powers But all other powers were left up to the states
Americans did not want to re-create a powerful gov’t like the one they just fought the Revolutionary War to break away from Government Powers So, the national gov’t had no president & could not tax the states or citizens
The United States, 1783 Areas of Settlement, 1783 The Articles established a good system of settling western lands
Western Land Claims Ceded by the States First, states had cede (give up) their claims to lands in the west to the national gov’t
Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785 to create an orderly way to divide the west into townships & farms Selling western lands was the only way the national gov’t could generate money since it did not have the power to tax
Land Ordinance of 1785 Section 16 of the each township was set aside for a public school
The Northwest Ordinance • The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 gave government to the territories: • When a territory had 5,000 residents, it could create a self-governing legislature • When a territory had 60,000 residents, it could apply to become a U.S. state • Slavery was outlawed in the NW
Essential Question: • What were the long-term problems with the Articles of Confederation? • Warm-Up Question: • Why did U.S. leaders create such a weak national gov’t when they made the Articles of Confederation?
The Weaknesses of the Articles • The Articles of Confederation was America’s 1st form of gov’t: • The weakness the national gov’t was originally seen as good because it eliminated tyranny • Later, these same weaknesses kept the gov’t from solving serious national problems
Economic Problems • The inability of the government to collect taxes led to problems: • America could not pay off debts from the Revolutionary War • Property foreclosures led an uprising among Massachusetts farmers called Shays’ Rebellionin 1787 but the gov’t could not pay for an army to stop it
Shay’s Rebellion in western Massachusetts Shays’ Rebellion proved to be the convincing event that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 • Poor farmers in western MA were angered over high taxes & prospect of debtors jail • Daniel Shays led an uprising & closed debt courts & threatened a federal arsenal
America’s First National Government: The Articles of Confederation
Weaknesses of the Articles • After Shays’ Rebellion, people like Hamilton & Madison began callingforastrongernationalgov’t • In 1787, delegates met in Philadelphia to discuss ways to improve the Articles • Instead of revising the Articles of Confederation, the delegates replaced itwiththeConstitution