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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFDERATION. “From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government.” Using the documents and your knowledge of the period, evaluate this statement.

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the dbq the articles of confderation
THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFDERATION
  • “From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government.”
    • Using the documents and your knowledge of the period, evaluate this statement.
    • **WHAT IS THE QUESTION ASKING? WHAT IS THE KEY TO WRITING THIS DBQ?
the dbq the articles of confederation1
THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • Essay Prompt: The prompt makes the statement that the Articles provided an effective government from 1781 to 1789. It asks you to evaluate the statement.
  • KEY: What constitutes an effective government? What is an ineffective government? How do we define “effective”?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • How do we define effective?
    • For most people it means strong.
    • But if the government was having trouble getting its own way during the 1780s, then it was not effective.
    • IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT “EFFECTIVE?”
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • This poses another question: Was the central government able to provide the US with the kind of government the people wanted?
  • If we answer yes, then the government under the Articles was effective.
  • Did the Congress intentionally set up a weak government under the Articles?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • Yes, they did! Why?
  • Having learned hard lessons of a strong govt., under the British, the Congress intentionally set up a weak one under the Articles, in hopes that such a government would be less threatening to their rights and liberties.
  • So was it an effective government?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • Effective in this sense means “protective of individual rights and liberties,” and we need to see at least the possibility that this definition may be compatible with (or even require) a weak national government.
  • If effective means the ability to tax, then no the govt., was ineffective.
  • Any other ways it can be seen as effective or ineffective?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • NEXT STEP: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE 1780s?
    • War and revolution still going on.
    • A peace treaty needed to be negotiated.
    • Hostile foreign powers to be confronted.
    • Interstate land disputes had to be settled.
    • Trade and business had to be rejuvenated.
    • Native Americans had to be dealt with.
    • The Constitutional Convention
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?
the dbq the articles of confederation8
First written Const.

Ratified in 1777.

13 states retained sovereignty.

“Firm League of Friendship.”

Poorly written.

Central govt. could not levy taxes.

Central govt., could negotiate treaties.

Unicameral legislature.

No executive.

9 of 13 votes needed to pass legislation.

13 votes needed for any changes.

Land Ordinances.

Shays’s Rebellion

THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
the dbq the articles of confederation9
THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • CAN WE WRITE A THESIS STATEMENT FOR ALL THIS INFORMATION?
    • Remember you should write your thesis before reading the documents.
    • THE THESIS IS ALL YOURS!
    • NOW WE CAN READ THE DOCUMENTS.
the dbq the articles of confederation10
THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT A:
  • Source: Rhode Island Assembly.
  • RI refuses to go along with a protective tariff.
  • Under the Articles the central govt., could not levy taxes. Changing this required all 13 votes. Because RI refused the tariff did not go through.
  • Is this an effective government? Ineffective?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT B:
  • Source: Chart
  • The chart shows exports to GB between 1770 and 1792 (any significance to this timeframe?).
  • A strong govt., would promote exports.
  • Does the chart show this?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT B:
  • 1784 exports declined from their pre-war high and rose slightly between 1784 and 1789.
  • What the chart does not show is trade with non-British countries and territories.
  • WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE?
the dbq the articles of confederation13
THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT B:
  • Remember the states no longer were confined by the rules of mercantilism.
  • So it is at least possible that foreign trade improved between 1784 and 1789.
  • The first years under the new Constitution do not exactly show a boom in foreign trade (1787-1792).
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT C:
  • Source: Joseph Jones letter to GW (outside info?)
  • Letter warns of the implications of the national govt’s failure to pay its troops.
  • Effective government?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT D:
  • Source: John Jay letter to US Minister in GB (outside info? Is the date 1785 important?)
  • Document should remind you that GB had not vacated its forts on the frontier as required by the Treaty of Paris of 1783.
  • There was a real fear that GB was not willing to accept the verdict of the Treaty as final and were plotting a return, (DID THEY RETURN?)
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT D:
  • Jay deals with this issue as well as the issue of GB’s exclusion of American trade from the empire and with British demands that American merchants pay their pre-war debts.
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT?
  • ANY CONNCECTIONS TO OTHER DOCUMENTS?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT E:
  • Source: Map of Northwest Ordinance of 1787
  • At first glance, the map shows a host of internal disputes.
  • Outside info: These disputes were solved peacefully, that a plan for territories to achieve statehood was put into effect, and that slavery was abolished/banned in the territories.
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT F:
  • Source: John Jay’s speech to Congress on negotiations with Spain (Jay’s Treaty)
  • Shows Jay giving into foreign pressures and proposing that Congress ratify the treaty and give up navigation rights on the Mississippi for a generation.
  • First analysis: Difficult to defend govt., but Congress rejected Jay’s advice and the treaty. GW was also attacked.
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT G:
  • Source: John Jay Letter to GW (1786?)
  • Jay expresses fear that once chaos reigns, even solid citizens will turn to a tyrant in their search for order (radicalism of the Am. Rev?)
  • Were Jay’s fears unfounded?
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT?
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • DOCUMENT H:
  • Source: Rawlin Lowndes speech.
  • What is significant about the date of the speech?
  • Not everyone was persuaded that a proposed change was needed.
  • Lowndes was only one of many who continued to speak on behalf of the Articles (the Anti-Federalists).
  • Only when the Federalists agreed to add a Bill of Rights were they able to swing even a narrow majority in important states.
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • KEY POINT:
    • The narrowness of the ratification victory, combined with a thoughtful consideration of the documents, suggests that the questions of the national government’s effectiveness must not be treated as an open and shut case. Many still favored the Articles.
    • Historians continue to wrestle with the question of the effectiveness of the Articles of Confederation.
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THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
  • THESIS:
    • Despite its inherent weaknesses, the Articles of Confederation provided the new states with an effective government conducive to the times and relative to the experiences the new nation had under the British.
    • WHAT DOCUMENTS TO YOU USE TO SUPPORT THIS THESIS?
    • WHAT DO I HAVE DO IN THIS ESSAY TO PROOF MY THESIS?
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EFFECTIVE:

A, B, D, E, F, H

INEFFECTIVE:

C, D, G

THE DBQ: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION