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Problem-Based History The Constitutional Convention (c) 2010 AIHE.

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1 Problem-Based History The Constitutional Convention (c) 2010 AIHE

2 This power point presentation is for educational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material. Please do not post, redistribute or copy without the permission of the author or Dr. Kevin Brady at the American Institute for History Education. (c) 2010 AIHE

3 “The Plan” Background InformationBackground Information Introduce DocumentsIntroduce Documents A.R.T.I.S.T.A.R.T.I.S.T. Document Conclusion and BIG PictureDocument Conclusion and BIG Picture Introduce the ProblemIntroduce the Problem Avenues of DiscussionAvenues of Discussion Historical ResultHistorical Result Impact(s)Impact(s) ConclusionConclusion (c) 2010 AIHE

4 Post-Revolution America as a Separate Nation (c) 2010 AIHE

5 Introduction The Articles of Confederation was the United States' first constitution. Proposed by the Continental Congress in 1777, it was not ratified until The Articles represented a victory for those who favored state sovereignty. Article 2 stated that "each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power...which is not...expressly delegated to the United States.…" Any amendment required unanimous consent of the states. The Articles of Confederation created a national government composed of a Congress, which had the power to declare war, appoint military officers, sign treaties, make alliances, appoint foreign ambassadors, and manage relations with Indians. All states were represented equally in Congress, and nine of the 13 states had to approve a bill before it became law. From – The Critical Period: American in 1780’swww.digitalhistory.uh.edu

6 Under the Articles, the states, not Congress, had the power to tax. Congress could raise money only by asking the states for funds, borrowing from foreign governments, or selling western lands. In addition, Congress could not draft soldiers or regulate trade. There was no provision for national courts. The Articles of Confederation did not include a president. The states feared another George III might threaten their liberties. The new framework of government also barred delegates from serving more than three years in any six year period. The Articles of Confederation created a very weak central government. It is noteworthy that the Confederation Congress could not muster a quorum to ratify on time the treaty that guaranteed American independence, nor could it pay the expense of sending the ratified treaty back to Europe. From – The Critical Period: American in 1780’swww.digitalhistory.uh.edu

7 The Articles' framers assumed that republican virtue would lead to states to carry out their duties and obey congressional decisions. But the states refused to make their contributions to the central government. Its acts were "as little heeded as the cries of an oysterman." As a result, Congress had to stop paying interest on the public debt. The Continental army threatened to mutiny over lack of pay. A series of events during the 1780s convinced a group of national leaders that the Articles of Confederation provided a wholly inadequate framework of government. From – The Critical Period: American in 1780’swww.digitalhistory.uh.edu

8 Following the British surrender at Yorktown, Washington moved 11,000 Continental Army soldiers to Newburgh, N.Y. By 1783, the army was near the point of mutiny over Congress' failure to pay them. In March, Continental Army officers, camped at Newburgh, N.Y., considered military action against the Confederation Congress. On Mar. 15, Washington strode in. "Do not open the flood gates of civil discord," he told them, "and deluge our rising empire in blood." Washington strongly believed that the military needed to be subordinate to civilian authority. On a 90-degree June day in 1783, former Revolutionary War soldiers, carrying muskets, marched on the Philadelphia statehouse where Congress was meeting. They threatened to hold the members hostage until they were paid back wages. When Congress asked Pennsylvania to send a detachment of militia to protect them, the state refused, and the humiliated Congress temporarily relocated, first in Princeton, N.J., and later in Annapolis, Md., and New York City, N.Y. Threat of a Coup From – The Critical Period: American in 1780’swww.digitalhistory.uh.edu

9 Economic Problems Abound The Revolution was followed by a severe economic depression in 1784 and To raise revenue, many states imposed charges on goods from other states. The national government was on the verge of bankruptcy. Interest rates were astronomical Foreign nations wouldn’t lend America money Paper money was inflated and virtually worthless South lost 60,000 slaves hurting agricultural production Britain enforced the Navigation Acts limiting access to markets States waged economic warfare on each other

10 Foreign Policy Issues Four majors issues that plagued America during this period: 1.Britain refused to abide by the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783) 2.North African pirates abducted American sailors 3.Spain closed the Mississippi River to American navigation 4.Nations of Europe were reticent to show any respect for America

11 Lighting the Fuse In 1786, nearly 2,000 debtor farmers in western Massachusetts were threatened with foreclosure of their mortgaged property. The state legislature had voted to pay off the state's Revolutionary War debt in three years; between 1783 and 1786, taxes on land rose more than 60 percent. When lower courts started to seize the property of farmers such as Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary War veteran, western Massachusetts farmers temporarily closed the courts and threatened a federal arsenal.

12 Primary Sources History in the Raw! (c) 2010 AIHE

13 Why Use Primary Sources Primary sources provide a window into the past—unfiltered access to the record of artistic, social, scientific and political thought and achievement during the specific period under study, produced by people who lived during that period. Bringing young people into close contact with these unique, often profoundly personal, documents and objects can give them a very real sense of what it was like to be alive during a long-past era. Three major outcomes of working with primary sources: 1.Engage Students 2.Develop Critical Thinking Skills 3.Construct Knowledge From the Library of Congress, teacher resources.

14 …an opinion begins to prevail that a general convention for revising the articles of Confederation would be expedient. - George Washington to John Jay, 1786 (c) 2010 AIHE ARTISTARTISTARTISTARTIST

15 So far as I have yet seen, they do not appear to threaten serious consequences. They may conclude too hastily that nature has formed man insusceptible of any other government but that of force, a conclusion not founded in truth or experience … - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787 (c) 2010 AIHE ARTISTARTISTARTISTARTIST

16 ARTISTARTISTARTISTARTIST

17 Two Additions R and B R&B is the logical extension of the ARTIST analysis. R&B stand for Reliability and Big picture ideas respectively. It is absolutely imperative that students have a grasp of the reliability of historical documents as well as the big picture ideas contained in them. (c) 2010 AIHE

18 Analysis of R & B Historical ActorReliabilityBig Picture George Washington Thomas Jefferson Annapolis Committee (c) 2010 AIHE

19 Initial conclusion Do these documents have a general theme?Do these documents have a general theme? What themes may (or may not) be represented by the documents and the painting?What themes may (or may not) be represented by the documents and the painting? What is the BIG picture of history that these documents represent?What is the BIG picture of history that these documents represent? Is there anything “between the lines” that should be read into these documents?Is there anything “between the lines” that should be read into these documents? (c) 2010 AIHE

20 Big Picture? Come on, what does ALL of this really mean to us? (c) 2010 AIHE

21 John Jay as Case Study (c) 2010 AIHE Until our Affairs shall be more perfectly arranged, we shall treat under Disadvantages, and therefore I am not surprised that our Negociations with Britain and Barbary are unpromising. To be respectable abroad it is necessary to be so at Home, and that will not be the Case until our public Faith acquires more Confidence, and our Government more strength. - Jay to Jefferson, July 14, 1786 The more we are ill-treated abroad the more we shall unite and consolidate at home. - Jay to Richard Henry Lee, 1785 Justice must have a sword as well as a balance - Jay to Edward Rutledge, 1786 It is my first wish to see the United States assume and merit the character of one great nation, whose territory is divided into different States merely for more convenient government and the more easy and prompt administration of justice, just as our several States are divided into counties and townships for the like purpose. - Jay to John Lowell, 1785

22 Just a bit more Jay (c) 2010 AIHE

23 How would you “solve” the problem of the strength of the national government? How would you “solve” the problem of the strength of the national government? (c) 2010 AIHE

24 Not Support expansion of Federal Power One course of action would be to actively oppose any expansion of federal power on a variety of grounds.One course of action would be to actively oppose any expansion of federal power on a variety of grounds. What problems could arise from such a course of action?What problems could arise from such a course of action? What could be the possible benefits of opposing expansionWhat could be the possible benefits of opposing expansion (c) 2010 AIHE

25 Support Expansion of federal power Another course of action would be to support redrawing the framework of government of America.Another course of action would be to support redrawing the framework of government of America. What problems could arise from such a course of action?What problems could arise from such a course of action? What could be the possible benefits of supporting expansion?What could be the possible benefits of supporting expansion? (c) 2010 AIHE

26 Have no opinion and do nothing There is always the possibility of doing absolutely nothing at all, sitting on your hands, and keeping your mouth shut.There is always the possibility of doing absolutely nothing at all, sitting on your hands, and keeping your mouth shut. What problems could arise from such a course of action?What problems could arise from such a course of action? What could be the possible benefits of doing nothing?What could be the possible benefits of doing nothing? (c) 2010 AIHE

27 What America Actually did The route that was actually taken and shaped the course of the nation. (c) 2010 AIHE

28 Some answers 1.12 states sent delegates to Philadelphia in Through compromise developed a plan of government that was tacitly acceptable 3.Created a government that embodied the philosophies of Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau 4.Used a system of popular vote to ratify the document (c) 2010 AIHE

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30 The Delegates Delegates who attended – “An assembly of demi-gods!” - TJDelegates who attended – “An assembly of demi-gods!” - TJ Qualifications and experienceQualifications and experience Military experience and in Continental CongressMilitary experience and in Continental Congress OccupationsOccupations Most were very wealthyMost were very wealthy George Washington Benjamin Franklin James Madison

31 The Delegates (continued) Collective beliefs and philosophies of the delegatesCollective beliefs and philosophies of the delegates Importance of those who weren’t thereImportance of those who weren’t there Not there by choice or by fiat Patrick HenryThomas JeffersonSamuel Adams

32 Competing Plans for Government NJ PlanVA Plan Rep. by Population Three Branches Strong Gov’t Equal Representation Single House (c) 2010 AIHE

33 Compromises The Constitution becomes a document based on a series of compromises on many different levels. (c) 2010 AIHE

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