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Essential Question: Why did the Americans create the Articles of Confederation & what problems did the Articles present? Warm-Up Question: What major decisions did the new American nation have to answer after winning the war for independence?.

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Presentation Transcript
Essential Question:
    • Why did the Americans create the Articles of Confederation & what problems did the Articles present?
  • Warm-Up Question:
    • What major decisions did the new American nation have to answer after winning the war for independence?
changes to american society
Changes to American Society

Blacks demanded the right to freedom in petitions & lawsuits

States abolished “feudal” laws of primogeniture & entail

  • The American Revolution led to unintended social changes by forcing many Americans to question the meaning of “equality”
    • Many wanted to eliminate the idea of an American aristocracy
    • Fighting British tyranny made slavery seem hypocritical; Abolitionist sentiment grew
    • Women gained increased status

Many states lowered property qualifications to vote; but none offered universal male suffrage

Franklin, Jay, Hamilton founded abolition societies; Washington manumitted his slaves

Most states clearly separated church & state

VT, PA, MA abolished slavery

Some Southern slave owners privately freed their slaves

“Republican Motherhood”—mothers should instill virtue in their children

Took greater control over family farms & businesses

postponing full liberty
Postponing Full Liberty
  • The Revolution was limited in its extension of rights & failed to abolish slavery, grant universal male suffrage, or apply equality to women; But…
  • …it introduced the ideal of freedom and equality that future generations would use to make these ideals a reality

Lots of references to the “Spirit of ‘76”

World War I propaganda poster

forming new governments
Forming New Governments
  • Whenindependencewasdeclared from England in 1776, colonists considered themselves a new nation & needed a new gov’t:
    • Colonies became individually sovereign states governed by written state constitutions
    • A national gov’t was needed to provide basic services like sign treaties & develop a military

In 1776, the American Revolution has just started; The colonists did not wait to gain British recognition of their independence before creating new governments!

states constitutions
States Constitutions
  • In 1776, the new states created written constitutions which:
    • Clearly defined the citizens’ rights & the limits of government
    • Guaranteed natural rights; Eight states had bills of rights
    • Almost all states reduced the powers of the governor & kept most power in the hands of the people via state legislatures
the united states 1783
The United States, 1783

How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts?

defining republican culture
Defining Republican Culture
  • But, creating a national gov’t that met everyone’s needs was hard:
    • How to balance individual liberty with maintaining order?
    • How to balance property rights with equality?
    • How to create a centralized gov’t without creating a new tyrannical authority?
defining republican culture1
Defining Republican Culture

Civic virtue is now a necessity

  • Americans set out to create a republican form of government after independence was declared:
    • Gov’t with no king or aristocracy
    • With power held by the citizens
  • Even though all previous republics had failed, Americans were optimistic this would be an “uncompromising commitment to liberty & equality”
the articles of confederation
The Articles of Confederation
  • In 1775, three committees were formed to sever ties with England:
    • Thomas Jefferson headed the committee to draft a declaration of independence
    • John Adams headed committee to establish foreign alliances
    • John Dickinson headed a committee to draft a new central government
articles of confederation
Articles of Confederation
  • The Articles of Confederation was adopted as America’s 1st national gov’t in 1777 (but ratified in 1781)
    • The Articles established an intentionally weak central gov’t in order to protect state power
    • The confederation-style gov’t gave all 13 states 1 vote in a unicameral congress
    • There was no national president

Each states was treated as a pseudo-nation

Too similar to a monarch

the articles of confederation1
The Articles of Confederation

The Articles were created to loosely tie the states together

  • The only powers granted to the national government were to
    • Settle disputes between states, negotiate treaties, handle Indian affairs, oversee an military
  • It could not tax citizens or states; could only request contributions
  • Laws required 9 of the 13 states
  • Amending the gov’t required agreement by all 13 states
a firm league of friendship
“A firm league of friendship”

The colonies were loosely joined to address common problems

"each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power...which is not... expressly delegated to the United States.…"

What is the significance of the following quote:
    • “People do not chop off heads so readily when they can chop down trees.”
western lands
Western Lands
  • The “West” presented a problem:
    • Many states had overlapping land claims in the West
    • Some “landless” states (MD, NJ, DE) wanted part of West & refused to ratify the Articles without this issue resolved
    • The US gov’t negotiated treaties with Indians to gain land in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky
the united states 17831
The United States, 1783

The USA in the “Critical Period”

western lands1
Western Lands
  • Virginia took the lead to solve the “West problem” by ceding its westernclaimstothenationalgov’t
    • Other states, especially NY, ceded their western lands too
    • By 1781, Congress (not the states) gained control over all lands west of the Appalachians
  • With dispute over, Maryland was the last state to ratify the Articles

With the new gov’t finally ratified in 1781, Congress created the Departments of War, Foreign Affairs, & Finance

the land ordinance of 1785
The Land Ordinance of 1785
  • The U.S. gov’t was eager to sell off Western lands to settlers to gain revenue (since the gov’t did not have the power to tax)
    • The Land Ordinance of 1785 established an orderly process for laying out western townships
    • Section 16 of the each township was dedicated to public schools
the northwest ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance
  • The Northwest Ordinance (1787) gave structure to the NW territory:
    • Created new territories, ruled by a governor, & whose citizens were protected by a bill of rights
    • Residents could create a legislative assembly when the population reached 5,000
    • Residents could apply for statehood with 60,000 people
    • Slavery outlawed in NW lands
the united states 17832
The United States, 1783

Because of the 1785 & 1787 ordinances, the Northwest territories were well organized & orderly

Prospectors poured into Kentucky & Tennessee

By 1790, the region was plagued by land claims & counterclaims that generated lawsuits for years

The USA in 1787

Territories south of the Ohio River received less attention from Congress

  • The Articles of Confederation accomplished exactly what its framers intended:
    • By creating a weak central gov’t, the power of the states was preserved & no tyrants emerged
    • The weaknesses of the central gov’t failed to meet the long-term needs of the new USA