2 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation No power to taxNo national executiveUnicameral legislatureNo judicial/national courtNo checks & balances!ResultNo moneyNo enforcement of lawsOne vote / stateunequal representationProblems with interstaterelations
3 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation No regulation of commerceNo power to maintain armyGovernment dominated bystatesNeed 9/13 to pass a law &unanimous consent to amendResultsEconomic quarrelsNo foreign tradeNo defenseNo unityImpossible to accomplish
4 Other Problems under Confederated Government States were issuing their own paper money but inflation soon made it worthlessPost 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 –Shay’s Rebellion.
5 Other Problems under Confederated Government Some of the economic elite in other states feared more attacks like Shay’s 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 No power to taxNo national executiveUnicameral legislatureNo judicial/national courtSolutionArticle I sec 8Congress has powerArticle IIPresidential powerArticle IBicameral legislatureArticle IIINational Courts
9 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation No regulation of commerceNo power to maintain armyGovernment dominated by statesNeed 9/13 to pass a law & unanimous consent to amendSolutionsArticle I sec 8foreign & interstate commercearmy & navyArticle VIConstitution & FederalGovt are supremeArticles I & VI = majority for lawsV = 2/3 & ¾ to ammend
11 MOTIVATION OF THE FRAMERS Two Theories Charles Beard : The economic elitist viewThe framers of the Constitution represented the “solid, conservative, commercial and financial interests of the country.”They were distrustful of the majority rule and sought to structure the government to prevent democratic excess and protect the interests of the propertied class.Many framers were trained in politics, law, finance and administration and were landowners, merchants & creditors (the economic elite)
12 Charles Beard : The economic elitist view Objected 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 democracySupports for his arguments:Many of the delegates were the economic eliteChecks & balances were built in the doctrine that one popular branch of government cannot be allowed to sway or enact laws touching on propertyThere was exclusion of direct vote for President and SenateThere was an independent judiciary
13 Supports for Beard’s argument (cont’) There would have been property qualifications for voting in the Constitution but they couldn’t agree on the nature & amountFinally, 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 The framing of the Constitution was a democratic reform processThey were professional politicians who hammered out a series of pragmatic compromises which would strengthen the national interest but also be acceptable to the people.Framers 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 The 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.“The 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 Roche’s argument The Va. Delegation came to the convention with a completely new plan which set the agenda from revision of the Articles to complete change.Although he was against equal representation in the Senate, Madison was willing to compromise knowing that there would not be a Constitution without compromise.The concept of federalism was just a compromise worked out by the supporters of strong central government and state sovereignty `
17 Supports for Roche’s’s argument Practical compromises:- Electoral College: a “jerry-rigged improvisation” that gave a bonus to the small states and settled an argument over the selection of the executive- Three-Fifths Compromise: was a bargain between the Northern & Southern states - compromise of 3/5 representation for slaves for the South- 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.Motivation: Compromises to get passage of the Constitution