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The Articles of Confederation How America changed from being divided colonies to the United States of America.

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Presentation on theme: "The Articles of Confederation How America changed from being divided colonies to the United States of America."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Articles of Confederation How America changed from being divided colonies to the United States of America

2 Articles of Confederation The nation's first Constitution, it defined the former colonies as a confederation of 13 sovereign states The nation's first Constitution, it defined the former colonies as a confederation of 13 sovereign states –bound loosely in a "league of friendship" Consisted of six sheets of parchment stitched together Consisted of six sheets of parchment stitched together The last sheet bears the signatures of delegates from all 13 states The last sheet bears the signatures of delegates from all 13 states

3 Articles of Confederation Adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 Adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 It could not regulate trade, draft troops, or levy taxes on the people It could not regulate trade, draft troops, or levy taxes on the people Lasted from Lasted from Had little stature in the eyes of the world Had little stature in the eyes of the world

4 Diplomatic Failures Confederation held at low esteem because of difficulties w/ Britain Confederation held at low esteem because of difficulties w/ Britain –Failed to live up to the terms of Treaty of Paris, 1783 Congress sent John Adams to London in 1784 to work out things out Congress sent John Adams to London in 1784 to work out things out Throughout the 1780s, Britain refused to send a diplomatic minister to the American capital Throughout the 1780s, Britain refused to send a diplomatic minister to the American capital Confederation diplomats agreed to a treaty with Spain in 1786 Confederation diplomats agreed to a treaty with Spain in 1786

5 The Confederation and the Northwest A of C most important accomplishment was resolution of controversies involving western land A of C most important accomplishment was resolution of controversies involving western land By 1784, confederation had enough land to permit Congress to begin making policy for national domain By 1784, confederation had enough land to permit Congress to begin making policy for national domain Ordinance of 1784 divided western territory into ten self governing districts Ordinance of 1784 divided western territory into ten self governing districts Could petition Congress for statehood when population was equal to that of the smallest state Could petition Congress for statehood when population was equal to that of the smallest state

6 A of C & the Northwest (cont.) Congress created system for surveying & selling western lands in Ordinance of 1785 Congress created system for surveying & selling western lands in Ordinance of 1785 Grid was applied in 1785 to the NW Territory Grid was applied in 1785 to the NW Territory Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787 Northwest Ordinance was passed in Abandoned the ten districts & created a NW Territory - Specified a 60,000 min. for statehood - Greatest achievement under A of C!!!

7 Debts and Lack of Taxes Postwar depression lasted from 1784 to 1787 Postwar depression lasted from 1784 to 1787 Confederation was in great debt & couldnt tax the people Confederation was in great debt & couldnt tax the people Received less than 20% needed Received less than 20% needed Nationalists sought to increase powers of central govt. to meet its financial obligations Nationalists sought to increase powers of central govt. to meet its financial obligations Continental impost: 5% duty on all imported goods Continental impost: 5% duty on all imported goods –to be levied by Congress –used to fund the debt

8 Daniel Shays Led the rebels, known as the "Regulators Led the rebels, known as the "Regulators Shays' compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes Shays' compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes Wanted debt relief through the issuance of paper currency and lower taxes Wanted debt relief through the issuance of paper currency and lower taxes Stopped the seizing of farmers property by forcing the closure of courts in western Mass. Stopped the seizing of farmers property by forcing the closure of courts in western Mass.

9 Shays Rebellion Most riots rallied behind Daniel Shays Most riots rallied behind Daniel Shays Shays issued demands including: Shays issued demands including: –paper money, –tax relief, –moratorium on debts, –move state capital from Boston to interior, –abolition of imprisonment for debt As a military enterprise, Shays Rebellion was a failure As a military enterprise, Shays Rebellion was a failure

10 Consequences of Shays Rebellion National govt. needed to be stronger National govt. needed to be stronger –to create uniform economic policies –protect property owners Rebellion proved the A of C was not working Rebellion proved the A of C was not working Shays Rebellion helped start a movement produced in states Shays Rebellion helped start a movement produced in states –a new national Constitution !

11 Thomas Jeffersons letter to James Madison I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical, I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical, Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

12 Pros and Cons of the Articles of Confederation Strengths Strengths Victorious in Rev. War Victorious in Rev. War Independence recognized by Euro countries Independence recognized by Euro countries Power left to states Power left to states NW Ordinance was greatest piece NW Ordinance was greatest piece –Defined territory –Plan for govt. –No slavery in NW –Power to add new states 60,000 required for statehood 60,000 required for statehood Weaknesses Weaknesses Couldnt levy taxes or coin $ Couldnt levy taxes or coin $ Couldnt regulate trade Couldnt regulate trade No judicial / executive branch No judicial / executive branch Inability to enforce treaties Inability to enforce treaties Congress couldnt raise an army Congress couldnt raise an army States acted as individual countries and seldom agreed –All 13 needed to pass laws

13 The Northwest Ordinance The Northwest Ordinance

14 Northwest Ordinance an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787 it established the precedent by which the federal government would be sovereign and expand westward across North America with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation. it established the precedent by which the federal government would be sovereign and expand westward across North America with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation.

15 Republicanism Americans were in agreement Americans were in agreement All power should come from the people! All power should come from the people! - sturdy, independent, property owners Equal opportunity for all Equal opportunity for all –Truly???

16 State Governments Had written constitutions Had written constitutions Executive separate from legislative Executive separate from legislative - governor w/ limited powers - later changed to give more powers Property requirements to vote Property requirements to vote - not completely direct rule

17 QUESTIONS?


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