Presentation on theme: "A Confederation of States Why It Matters : After the Revolutionary War, the Patriots feared creating another tyrannical or abusive parliament, so therefore."— Presentation transcript:
A Confederation of States Why It Matters : After the Revolutionary War, the Patriots feared creating another tyrannical or abusive parliament, so therefore they refused to entrust the new Union with too much power. As a result, most authority remained with the states. Within a short time, the powerful states and weak national government faced severe problems. So what form of national government did the Patriots create initially, and what events revealed that a new government was necessary?
Experimenting with Confederation Why would creating a new government be considered a challenge? Colonies become states Each one founded with its own governor, council, and state assembly. Americans saw their home state as the primary political unit. Their allegiance was mostly with their state. After the war, they still remained reluctant to unify these new states under a central government. They needed to BALANCE the interests of the multiple states with those of the whole country.
Republicanism Some believed too much power would be given to uneducated people. The idea that governments should be based on the consent of the people. –People interpreted this in many ways. –The good of the nation had to be placed above personal interest. –Others thought if a government allowed independent citizens to pursue their own economic and political interests, then the whole nation would benefit.
Unicameral vs. Bicameral The more democratic Patriots wanted to create state governments with strong legislatures and weak governors. These people also wanted greater rights for the people. They thought a unicameral legislature, or one with a single house, whose members were elected by the people. – Pennsylvania and Georgia adopted this. Some states chose to create more conservative state constitutions. These states had a bicameral, or double legislature, as well as a strong governor. –Bicameral included both a Senate and a House of Representatives. –Senators were wealthy, well-educated men and Representatives in the House were commoners.
State Constitutions Limited powers of the government leaders. Guaranteed specific rights for citizens: Freedom of speech Freedom of religion Freedom of the press Liberty rather than equality Feared centralized authority
Political Precedent There were not a lot of countries that could serve as models for a republic type of government. Most governments at this time were ruled by Kings or monarchies.
Continental Congress Debates States developed their own constitutions while the CC tried to draft one for the whole country. Basic questions had to be answered? Should delegates represent people or states? Should each state elect the same number of representatives regardless of population? Should states with large populations have more representatives than smaller states? The consensus was that each state would have one vote regardless of population!
Articles of Confederation People assumed government could not share supreme power with states; it was one or the other. Congress proposed a new type of government in a set of laws called the Articles of Confederation. –Alliance that said two levels of government could share fundamental power. –States were supreme in some matters, the nation government in other matters. Enlightenment thinkers hoped that the new system would reflect the order and harmony found in nature.
Western Lands: Who Gets Them? By 1779, 12 states had agreed to accept a new government –Dispute over Western land –Maryland held up the process. It feared being overpowered because of its size. –All states had to turn over their Western land. Only then would they approve the A of C. Articles went into effect in March, 1781. How should the public Western lands be governed?
Land Ordinance of 1785 Congress passed it. –They wanted a plan to survey the land. –If they knew what was out there it would be easier to govern it.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787 Congress divided land into territories. Overlooked Native American land claims. Set requirements for admission of new states into the country. Three basic stages for becoming a state: 1.Congress would appoint a territorial governor and judges. 2.When a territory had 5,000 voting residents, settlers could write a temporary constitution and elect their own government officials. 3.When a total population of a territory reached 600,000 free inhabitants,the settlers could write a state constitution which had to be approved by Congress before it granted statehood.
Problems… Americans feared giving the national government too much power. That led to the government lacking sufficient power to deal with the nation’s problems. How do you fix this??? –Constitutional Convention! Weaknesses 1.9 out of 13 states were needed to pass a law 2.All 13 states were needed to amend a law 3.Difficult to regulate trade between other states 4.Government could not tax 5.No President to carry out laws 6.No National Army Problems it created 1.Very few laws would get passed 2.Nearly impossible to amend it 3.States would fight over rivers, taxes, etc. 4.Government could not operate effectively 5.No leadership gets nothing done 6.Vulnerable attack to foreign power
Shay’s Rebellion A slowdown of trade increased unemployment. –Farmers were not making as much money because their goods were not being traded as much. In Western Massachusetts in 1786, farmers took up arms to shut down the courts to block any foreclosure hearings on their homes and farms. Daniel Shay, a veteran of the Rev. War led about 1,000 farmers to seize weapons from the Springfield Armory and attempted to shut down the courts. The state of Massachusetts raised an army to suppress the rebellion.