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Chapter 3. Central government=Congress (no president, no courts) Congress replaced the role that King/Parliament had played during colonial times Each.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3. Central government=Congress (no president, no courts) Congress replaced the role that King/Parliament had played during colonial times Each."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3

2 Central government=Congress (no president, no courts) Congress replaced the role that King/Parliament had played during colonial times Each state had 1 vote: problems? Most decisions required 9 out of 13 state approval: problems? Amending the Articles required unanimous approval: problems? Could not tax, could not regulate trade Why not? Who could do these things? Had control over foreign policy, the national military, post office, western lands, Indian affairs (foreign policy)

3 Technically the government that won the war vs. the most powerful country in the world (Britain) Land Policy Got the states to cede most of their land claims to the central government Northwest Ordinance of 1785 (new states, not new colonies) State governments held most of the power (almost every law/tax of any importance was passed by the state governments not the federal government) the PEOPLE had a lot of control over the state governments

4 Foreign Problems Indian attacks on the frontier (often supplied by British/Spanish) British/Spanish occupied large parts of US territory (Northwest US, Southwest US) Spanish refused to allow Americans access to Mississippi River US government couldn’t pay back Loyalists from Revolutionary War—Treaty of Paris North African Pirates (Barbary Pirates)

5 Domestic Problems Debate about Vermont (claimed by both NY and NH) Couldn’t pay off debts from the war: why? Couldn’t regulate trade (different states had different rules, states passing trade restrictions against each other) States passing paper money (had no value [couldn’t buy anything with it], but could be used to pay off debts) Economy suffered—British imports killed US industry, US lost access to British markets (Caribbean) Shays Rebellion—indebted Massachusetts farmers closed down the state courts, stopped foreclosures— anarchy???!!!

6 Domestic Problems US/State governments not paying off loans/debts What type of person did this hurt? Problems regulating trade Who did this hurt? Worthless paper money made it easy to pay off debts Who did this hurt? Bad economy, damaged industry Who did this hurt? Shays Rebellion Who did this concern?

7 Articles of Confederation losing support (especially among the upper class/business leaders) Shays Rebellion 1786-1787 Philadelphia Convention 1787 Revise the Articles of Confederation Make changes or completely replace???

8 Basic Structure 3 Branches: legislative (congress), executive (president), judicial (supreme court) Federal System: power shared between state governments and the national (federal) government Problems Congress: How many houses 2 (Virginia Plan) or 1 (New Jersey Plan) (bicameral or unicameral) Representation based on population (VA) or equal (NJ) Slavery Allow slavery? Allow the slave trade??? How do you count slaves for the purposes of voting?

9 Connecticut Compromise 2 house congress House of Representatives (lower house) Representation based on population Elected by the people every 2 years Senate (upper house) 2 representatives per state regardless of size Elected by the state legislatures every 6 years* 3/5ths Compromise For purposes of determining population for House of Reps every 5 slaves would count as 3 people What type of precedent did this establish/what did this say about the status of African Americans in the eyes of the US govt?

10 Constitution Much Less “democratic” than Articles States had less power—less easy for the people to influence their government (Federalist #10) Senators elected by state legislatures NOT by popular vote President elected by Electoral College NOT by popular vote Supreme Court Justices appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate NOT elected by the people

11 National (federal) government now had the power to: Tax Regulate interstate and international commerce Borrow money Coin money Necessary and proper clause Art I, Sect 8, Clause 18 State governments could no longer Make paper money Make their own trade regulations/ban trade from another state Constitution was the supreme law of the land Constitution  federal laws/treaties  state laws

12 Amendment Process Amendments needed to pass both houses of Congress by a 2/3rds majority ¾ of the States needed to ratify them Presidency 1 decisive leader Had the power to veto laws, congress could override the veto with 2/3 majorities in both houses Supreme Court Justices served for life, appointed by President

13 Constitution would take effect when 9 out of 13 states ratified it What would happen to the other 4 who didn’t? Federalists in favor, antifederalists opposed Federalists: by the coast, in the big cities, merchants, factory workers, the wealthy, bankers, creditors Antifederalists: backcountry, rural, farmers, poorer, debtors September 1787 Constitution finished Dec 1787 first state ratified it (Delaware) 1788 9 states had ratified—Constitution took effect VA, NY, NC, and RI hadn’t, US needed these states (especially NY and VA) Promise to draft a national Bill of Rights won over most of the holdouts (RI didn’t ratify until after the completion of the Bill of Rights 1790)


15 Problem: How do you keep the national government from gaining too much power? Rely on people’s good nature not to abuse their power? Rely on people’s bad nature to seek as much power for themselves as they can? Solution: People will seek as much power for themselves as they can so construct the government so that in order for one branch to gain power they must take it from another Greedy individuals in all 3 branches will constantly undercut one another’s power (check) and this will result in no one branch growing too powerful (balance)


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