What are the Articles of Confederation? • Congress was looking for a way to unite the states through government • November 15, 1777 the Articles of Confederation were approved • Established “a firm league of friendship” among the States • Each of the 13 states needed to approve the Articles • Eleven approved within the first year • Delaware (1779) & Maryland (1781)
The Powers of the Articles • Congress was given the power to declare war • Deal with national finance issues • Settle disputes among the States.
The Obligations of the Articles • The States promised to obey Congress and to respect the laws of the other States. • Provide funds and troops requested by Congress • Treat citizens from other states fairly (full faith and credit to the public acts) • Most other powers were retained by each State.
Problems after the Revolutionary War • British Navy had destroyed many American trade ships (Disrupting trade) • Both armies stole crops from farms to feed themselves • After the war, British law prohibit trade with their sugar colonies (the Caribbean) • British manufactured goods were sold cheaper than what could be produced in the colonies • War cost money!!!!!
Problems in Massachusetts • Many states provided relief (loans & postponed payment on taxes) • Massachusetts refused to give relief and that all state debts were to be paid in full • When farmers could not pay, the state foreclosed on their property • Daniel Shay & other farmers took up arms to close the courts • 500 farmers took up arms & headed to Springfield
Shay’s Rebellion • Gov. James Bowdoin issues proclamation of unlawful assembly • Orders state militia to enforce it • After a long standoff, the militia withdraws, leaving the rebels in charge (courts could not meet) • Governor sends more troops from Boston • Shay’s Rebellion is put down
Why is Shay’s Rebellion Important? • It showed the dangers of ineffective state governments • Popular democracy was out of control (unchecked by strong national government) • “If government cannot check these disorders, what security has a man?” • George Washington
Others Look for Stronger Government • Property owners, merchants, traders & creditors look for change • Maryland & Virginia met at Mount Vernon to resolve their trade problems • So successful, the Virginia General Assembly called for a joint meeting of all states
Meeting of the States Annapolis, Maryland Philadelphia, PA