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A New Nation. A Confederation of States. In 1781 the Americans had secured victory in the revolution and were now faced with starting a new nation. When declaring independence the convention had each state write their own constitutions Each state became its own nation

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a confederation of states
A Confederation of States
  • In 1781 the Americans had secured victory in the revolution and were now faced with starting a new nation.
  • When declaring independence the convention had each state write their own constitutions
    • Each state became its own nation
    • Each state had its own government and its own laws
    • Most states included a bill of rights in their constitutions
      • A list of freedoms guaranteed by the state.
the articles of confederation
The Articles of Confederation
  • In 1781 the 13 nation-states adopted the first federal constitution which united them
    • The Articles of Confederation
      • Basically became a group of nations that had a government to over see them
      • Federal government was only allowed to declare war for the group and regulate trade between foreign countries and Indian territory.
states powers
States powers
  • Each state set its own trade policy.
    • Tried to protect themselves, hurt their neighbors
    • Set taxes lower on other states to discourage them from trading, and encourage others to come to them
  • National government couldn’t do anything
    • Too weak!!
    • Couldn’t levy taxes.
      • States could contribute money but it wasn’t required
      • Couldn’t pay off debt
articles too weak
Articles too weak
  • No structure or organization
    • No president
    • Unicameral Congress
      • One House
      • Each state, no matter the size, got only 1 vote
      • Declaring war took a vote of 9 states
      • Amending the articles took a unanimous vote
articles first duty
Articles first Duty
  • Northwest territory
    • Gained post war
    • From Pennsylvania to Mississippi River
    • Congress controlled it.
      • Passed 2 laws to control it
        • Land Ordinance
          • Created a system to survey the land and sell to settlers
        • Northwest ordinance
          • Created government in territory, and how they become states
          • Also banned slavery in the territory
problems start
Problems start
  • No ability to defend the territory
    • Congress cant raise an army
      • Can request, but can be denied by each state
  • Spain, England, and France wont cooperate
    • Spain closes port of New Orleans
    • England wont leave forts by great lakes
    • French encourage native movement into territory
  • Cant raise an army to stop it.
shays rebellion
Shays Rebellion
  • Debt
    • Congress cant pay war debt and country is entering a depression
    • Farmers faced losing farms and homes
    • Courts in Massachusetts start taking farms of people who cant pay state debt
  • Daniel Shays
    • Led armed farmers to shut down the courts
  • Congress couldn’t do anything!
  • Highlighted that the national government was too weak.
fix the articles
Fix the Articles
  • 1787 most understood the articles needed to be fixed.
    • States sent delegates to Philadelphia in May to work on fixing the articles
  • Quickly figured out that they needed some MAJOR CHANGES!
  • Couldn’t decide how to change it
two plans
Two Plans


Virginia Plan

  • Favored by the Small States
  • Kept the confederation
  • Federal government would regulate commerce and taxes
  • Kept Unicameral legislature where states were equally represented (no matter the size)
  • States kept all other powers
  • Created by James Madison
  • Creates a National Union based on a republic
    • Large republic provides natural checks and balances.
  • Two House Legislature (Bicameral)
    • House and senate
    • Both based in population
  • Also featured a President
the great compromise
The Great Compromise
  • Small States didn’t want to be overpowered
  • Big states know that the articles are not strong enough
  • Compromise!
    • Stronger national government
    • House – based on population
    • Senate – based on equal representation
  • 3/5 compromise to help population numbers in the south.
ratification passing the constitution
Ratification (Passing the Constitution)



  • Supported the Constitution
  • Wanted a strong federal government
  • Lead by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay
  • Created the Federalist Papers to spread the word to get peoples support
    • Explained the American Government to the people
  • Opponents of the proposed Constitution
  • Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams
  • Thought it made the federal government too strong
    • Didn’t protect state rights
  • President too powerful
  • No protection of Rights
the bill of rights
The Bill of Rights
  • To Help get the Constitution ratified the Federalists promised to add the bill of rights as soon as the new government convened.
    • In 1789 the constitution was approved and the ne congress approved the first 10 amendments to the constitution.
  • Granted freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, bear arms.
government under washington
Government under Washington
  • First Election was a landslide as George Washington was chosen as president
    • Set a Precedent that is still followed today
      • Established a Cabinet
        • Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State
        • Alexander Hamilton- secretary of Treasury
      • Worked for the Good of the Nation
        • Hamilton wanted to cut debt by creating a national bank
          • Not in the Constitution
      • Left after two terms
national bank
National Bank

Loose Interpretation

Strict Interpretation

  • Hamilton believed that the national bank was necessary
    • Congress could pass it because it was for the general welfare of the nation
  • Necessary and proper clause
  • Jefferson felt that government would be too powerful if we allow a national bank
  • Congress can only do what is specifically stated in the constitution
  • In 1791 congress passed the national bank program, much to the frustration of Jefferson
foreign policy
Foreign Policy
  • The main policy of the Early United States was Neutrality
    • This was tested by the British
    • Jays Treaty - Britain gave up forts, kept shipping restrictions
    • Pinckney’s Treaty – Spanish allowed US to use New Orleans
alien and sedition acts
Alien and Sedition Acts
  • Jays treaty angered the French
    • In response John Adams passed two acts
      • Alien Act
        • Made it more difficult for immigrants to become citizens
        • President can arrest and deport immigrants who criticize the federal government
      • Sedition Act
        • Made it a crime for citizens to publicly discredit federal leaders.
    • Thomas Jefferson removed these acts
judicial review
Judicial Review
  • In 1801 John Marshall became chief Justice of the Supreme Court
    • Marbury v Madison
      • Gave supreme court the power of Judicial Review
        • Review acts of the president and congress and declare them unconstitutional
      • Gave more power to the Supreme Court.
louisiana purchase
Louisiana Purchase
  • 1803
    • Napoleon Bonaparte agreed to sell the Louisiana territory to the US for $15 million dollars
      • Needed money to conquer Europe.
    • Jefferson sent Louis and Clark to explore the new territory.
war of 1812
War of 1812
  • British troops were practicing Impressments
  • Jefferson persuaded congress to pass an embargo
    • American ships wouldn’t trade with England
      • Hurt us more than them
  • James Madison became president and realized there was no other option but war with the British
  • British invaded from Canada and burned down Washington DC
    • After 2 years of back and forth they reached a peace agreement
      • Didn’t change anything, but the new government survived it all.
industrialization and cotton boom
Industrialization and Cotton Boom



  • With the end of the war technology from England came to America
    • Factories sprung up in the northern states
    • Immigrants came from Europe to get jobs
  • Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin lead to a re-emergence of slave labor and increased the production of cotton
  • Cotton output went from 1.5 million pounds to 167 million pounds
  • Took land from Native Americans to grow more cotton
  • Created separation between the North and the South
the monroe doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine
  • 1817 James Monroe became president
  • Spain had lost control of its holdings in the New world
  • John Quincy Adams and James Monroe declared that European monarchies had no business in the Americas, and in return the US will stay out of European Affairs
  • Does little at first, US cant back it up, but will be significant later in history.
jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian Democracy
  • Andrew Jackson started to rise in power when the country was becoming more democratic
    • This time period is now called Jacksonian Democracy
  • States changed voting laws and participation in elections grew.
    • Too bad Jackson didn’t win his first election
      • Corrupt Bargain gives John Quincy Adams a win
      • The next election Jackson wins by a landslide
spoils system
Spoils System
  • Jackson rewarded his supporters by giving them government jobs.
    • To the victor go the spoils.
indian removal
Indian Removal
  • In order to win support from the south Jackson was to help remove the natives off their land
    • Treaties had been made to remove them but they wouldn’t leave.
  • Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to remove the natives off their land
  • Jackson said, let them enforce it…
    • Urged congress to pass the Indian Removal Act
      • Moved natives to the Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma
trail of tears
Trail of Tears
  • 1836 majority of Natives fought to stay but were forcibly removed to the Indian territory.
  • In 1838 soldiers forced 15,000 Cherokees to move 1,000 miles
  • All so Americans could get land where gold was discovered earlier.
nullification crisis
Nullification Crisis
  • In 1828 congress put a high tax on imported goods.
    • Favored the north, hurt the south
  • Vice president John C Calhoun, from South Carolina, pushed for his state to nullify the tariff
    • Make the law void if they didn’t agree with it
  • Jackson passed the tariff and Calhoun resigned
    • Encouraged south to ceded from union.
  • Jackson got permission to use force to enforce law, but also reduced the tariff, saving the union (for now.)
economic problems
Economic Problems
  • Jackson didn’t like the second bank of the United States
    • Thought it favored the wealthy and punished others
      • Vetoed its renewal
  • Lead the creation of a New Political party
    • Whigs
      • Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.
      • Federal government should manage the economy
  • Jackson still won and divided the funds to other banks
panic of 1837
Panic of 1837
  • Van Buren became president right as the economy collapsed
    • Andrew Jackson stopped accepting paper money for land deals with the government causing the market to collapse.
  • This was a huge problem all through Van Buren’s presidency and ultimately lead to the victory for the Whig party with William Henry Harrison.
    • Who died of Pneumonia a month into his presidency
    • John Tyler becomes president and does nothing the whigs wanted.