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Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Weakness No power to tax No national executive Unicameral legislature No judicial/national court No checks.

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Presentation on theme: "Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Weakness No power to tax No national executive Unicameral legislature No judicial/national court No checks."— Presentation transcript:

1 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

2 Weakness No power to tax No national executive Unicameral legislature No judicial/national court No checks & balances! Result No money No enforcement of laws One vote / state unequal representation Problems with interstate relations

3 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Weaknesses No regulation of commerce No power to maintain army Government dominated by states Need 9/13 to pass a law & unanimous consent to amend Results Economic quarrels No foreign trade No defense No unity Impossible to accomplish

4 Other Problems under Confederated Government States were issuing their own paper money but inflation soon made it worthless Post war depression hurt small businesses and lowered prices farmers received for their crops which left farmers unable to pay debts. In Mass. farmers attacked courthouses to prevent judges from foreclosing on farmers – Shays Rebellion.

5 Other Problems under Confederated Government Some of the economic elite in other states feared more attacks like Shays Rebellion where the people had taken the law into their hands and violated the property rights of others.

6 Other Problems under Confederated Government Neither Congress nor Mass. was not able to pay for a militia to stop the rebellion – privately paid forces had to do the job. All this fueled the dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation.

7 How the Constitution addressed the problems of the Articles of Confederation

8 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Weakness No power to tax No national executive Unicameral legislature No judicial/national court Solution Article I sec 8 Congress has power Article II Presidential power Article I B icameral legislature Article III National Courts

9 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Weaknesses No regulation of commerce No power to maintain army Government dominated by states Need 9/13 to pass a law & unanimous consent to amend Solutions Article I sec 8 foreign & interstate commerce Article I sec 8 army & navy Article VI Constitution & Federal Govt are supreme Articles I & V I = majority for laws V = 2/3 & ¾ to ammend

10 Motivation of the Framers Two Theories

11 MOTIVATION OF THE FRAMERS Two Theories Charles Beard : The economic elitist view oThe framers of the Constitution represented the solid, conservative, commercial and financial interests of the country. oThey were distrustful of the majority rule and sought to structure the government to prevent democratic excess and protect the interests of the propertied class. oMany framers were trained in politics, law, finance and administration and were landowners, merchants & creditors ( the economic elite)

12 Charles Beard : The economic elitist view oObjected to direct popular government – thought the representative form would check the democratic excesses of the people and the aristocratic body (Senate) of men of property would hold down the turbulence of democracy Supports for his arguments: oMany of the delegates were the economic elite oChecks & balances were built in the doctrine that one popular branch of government cannot be allowed to sway or enact laws touching on property oThere was exclusion of direct vote for President and Senate oThere was an independent judiciary

13 Supports for Beards argument (cont) oThere would have been property qualifications for voting in the Constitution but they couldnt agree on the nature & amount oFinally, ratification was not by popular vote but through the state legislatures where a more elite economic view prevailed.

14 John Roche : A democratic reform view oThe framing of the Constitution was a democratic reform process oThey were professional politicians who hammered out a series of pragmatic compromises which would strengthen the national interest but also be acceptable to the people. oFramers were a political elite that were not just dedicated to establishing an effective controlled national government that would overcome the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

15 John Roche : A democratic reform view oThe framers risked their political fortunes by opposing the established doctrines of state sovereignty because they were convinced that the existing system was leading to national impotence and probably foreign domination. oThe Constitution was not a triumph of architectonic genius, it was a patchwork sewn together under the pressure of both time and events by a group of extremely talented democratic politicians. Translation: the document was a conglomeration of compromises put together to make the Constitution saleable to the general population.

16 Supports for Roches argument oThe Va. Delegation came to the convention with a completely new plan which set the agenda from revision of the Articles to complete change. oAlthough he was against equal representation in the Senate, Madison was willing to compromise knowing that there would not be a Constitution without compromise. oThe concept of federalism was just a compromise worked out by the supporters of strong central government and state sovereignty`

17 Supports for Rochess argument oPractical compromises: o- Electoral College: a jerry-rigged improvisation that gave a bonus to the small states and settled an argument over the selection of the executive o- Three-Fifths Compromise: was a bargain between the Northern & Southern states - compromise of 3/5 representation for slaves for the South o- Trade Compromises: The South is allowed to continue slave trade for 20 years & a 20 year ban on cotton taxation in exchange for majority vote for any navigation acts that the Northern states wanted. oMotivation: Compromises to get passage of the Constitution


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