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PLS 121: American Politics and Government The Constitution The Articles of Confederation.

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Presentation on theme: "PLS 121: American Politics and Government The Constitution The Articles of Confederation."— Presentation transcript:

1 PLS 121: American Politics and Government The Constitution The Articles of Confederation

2 2 / 17 The Articles of Confederation Confederation –Weak central government –Provinces sovereign States were sovereign and independent President was leader of Congress –Title was “President of the United States in Congress” No separation of power among the branches –No checks and balances among the branches

3 3 / 17 Historical Background What had the Founding Fathers experienced? What did the Founding Fathers know about government? What philosophers influenced them? What worked in the past? What did not? What were the colonies like? Why did they need to come together?

4 4 / 17 The Needs of the New Country The states needed to remain states –In the political science meaning The states needed to come together to protect themselves from the European countries They needed uniformity in trade to economically prosper

5 5 / 17 The Results The thirteen colonies signed it The states retained final sovereignty Came together for protection

6 6 / 17 Legislature States determine how delegates are selected Each state had one vote, but could send between 2 and 7 delegates Delegates: –could not have another government job –could serve only 3 years in any 6- year period

7 7 / 17 Executive The executive branch did not exist The executive functions of the central government were a part of the duties of the United States in Congress –Lack of separation of power here

8 8 / 17 Judicial The judicial branch did not exist The adjudicative functions were also subsumed under the duties of the legislature –They were only activated when two or more states were in conflict The judges were chosen by the delegates present –The number of justices ranged between 7 and 9

9 9 / 17 Treaties and War States could not make treaties between themselves Only the central government could act as treaty maker, not states States could not make tariff decisions All war-making capabilities were in the domain of the central government –It took 9 states (3/4 majority) to agree to go to war

10 10 / 17 Important Duties Important acts required 9 of 13 states for passage –The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque or reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same…

11 11 / 17 Miscellaneous Duties However, the minor things only required a simple majority –The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States -- fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States -- regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated -- establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office -- appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers -- appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States -- making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.

12 12 / 17 Adding to the Union Should Canada wish to join the confederation, it could with no difficulty –Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States Otherwise, it took a vote of nine states (3/4 majority)

13 13 / 17 Full Faith and Credit Rights of extradition –If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offense. Rights of land ownership and contracts –Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State

14 14 / 17 Amendments The Articles could be amended, but such amendments had to be accepted by all state legislatures –unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State

15 15 / 17 Entering into Effect Completely agreed to by Congress on 15 November 1777 –In force after ratification by Maryland (1 March 1781)

16 16 / 17 Questions How is this document a product of history? What were the major short- comings of it? Why are they short-comings?

17 17 / 17 Reading Assignment Read: SSB: Chapter 11

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