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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.

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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 decisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 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?

2 The Impact of the American Revolution on American Society

3 Changes to American Society
Blacks demanded the right to freedom in petitions & lawsuits States abolished “feudal” laws 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 freed some of 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 In North, slavery not economically necessary; immigrants resented competing against slave labor VT, PA slavery was abolished; in MA slavery “unconstitutional” But…freed blacks discriminated In South, some slave owners privately free slaves, but economic motives too powerful (plantations, cotton gin in 1793, & opening of AL & Miss frontier) Took greater control over family farms & businesses

4 Benjamin Banneker & Phillis Wheatley
Benjamin Banneker was a free-born descendant of slaves who became a famous 18th-century astronomer, mathematician and surveyor. He is considered by many to be the first African-American scientist. Banneker was raised on a tobacco farm in rural Maryland, where he attended school but was largely self-taught in the sciences. Although Banneker worked most of his life as a farmer, his analytical and problem-solving skills have become legendary. His achievements are indeed impressive: at age 24 he figured out how to build a clock and constructed one out of wood; he taught himself astronomy and published a popular almanac, Benjamin Banneker's Almanac, from 1792 to 1797; he was appointed to assist in surveying the Federal Territory, the plot of land that was to become Washington, D.C.; he worked on calculating the precise measurement of the meter; and he corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the issue of slavery and the intellectual equality of blacks. Banneker never married and much of his personal life is now a mystery, as his papers and belongings were destroyed in a fire that occurred on the day of his funeral. Phillis Wheatley The first black woman poet of note in the United States. Wheatley's better-known pieces include “To the University of Cambridge in New England,” “To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,” “On the Death of Rev. Dr. Sewall,” and “An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine¼George Whitefield,” the last of which was the first of her poems to be published, in She was escorted by Mr. Wheatley's son to London in 1773, and there her first book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published. Her personal qualities, even more than her literary talent, contributed to her great social success in London. She returned to Boston shortly thereafter because of the illness of her mistress. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley died soon thereafter, and Phillis was freed. In 1778 she married John Peters, an intelligent but irresponsible free black man who eventually abandoned her. At the end of her life Wheatley was working as a servant, and she died in poverty.

5 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 6

6 New State & National Governments

7 Forming New Governments
When independence was declared 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!

8 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 7

9 How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts?
The United States, 1783 How “democratic” are these new state gov’ts?

10 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? 2

11 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” 2

12 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 11

13 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 The war is still going on (will not end until 1781 with Cornwallis surrender & 1783 Treaty of Paris) Too similar to a monarch

14 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 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

15 “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.…"

16 What is the significance of the following quote:
“People do not chop off heads so readily when they can chop down trees.”

17 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 12

18 The USA in the “Critical Period”
The United States, 1783 The USA in the “Critical Period”

19 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 12


21 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 13


23 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 13

24 Prospectors poured into Kentucky & Tennessee
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

25 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

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