Presentation on theme: "Essential Question: –Why did the Americans create the Articles of Confederation & what problems did the Articles present? Warm-Up Question: –What major."— 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?
The Impact of the American Revolution on American Society
Changes to American Society The American Revolution led to unintended social changes by forcing many Americans to question the meaning of “equality” aristocracy –Many wanted to eliminate the idea of an American aristocracy –Fighting British tyranny made slavery seem hypocritical; Abolitionist sentiment grew –Women gained increased status States abolished “feudal” laws universal male suffrage Many states lowered property qualifications to vote; but none offered universal male suffrage Most states clearly separated church & state Blacks demanded the right to freedom in petitions & lawsuits freed some of his slaves Franklin, Jay, Hamilton founded abolition societies; Washington freed some of his slaves VT, PA, MA abolished slavery Some Southern slave owners privately freed their slaves Republican Motherhood “Republican Motherhood”—mothers should instill virtue in their children Took greater control over family farms & businesses
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 When independence was declared from England in 1776, colonists considered themselves a new nation & needed a new gov’t: states –Colonies became individually sovereign states governed by written state constitutions national gov’t –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 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 How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts?
Defining Republican Culture But, creating a national gov’t that met everyone’s needs was hard: individual liberty maintaining order – How to balance individual liberty with maintaining order? property rights equality – How to balance property rights with equality? centralized gov’t tyrannical authority – How to create a centralized gov’t without creating a new tyrannical authority?
Defining Republican Culture republican 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” virtue Civic virtue is now a necessity
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 The Articles of Confederation was adopted as America’s 1 st 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 Confederation The only powers granted to the national government were to –Settle disputes between states, negotiate treaties, handle Indian affairs, oversee 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 The Articles were created to loosely tie the states together
“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 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, 1783 The USA in the “Critical Period”
Western Lands Virginia took the lead to solve the “West problem” by ceding its western claims to the national gov’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 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) Land Ordinance of 1785 –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 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, 1783 Because of the 1785 & 1787 ordinances, the Northwest territories were well organized & orderly Territories south of the Ohio River received less attention from Congress Prospectors poured into Kentucky & Tennessee By 1790, the region was plagued by land claims & counterclaims that generated lawsuits for years The USA in 1787
Conclusions 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