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The First American Government The Articles of Confederation.

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Presentation on theme: "The First American Government The Articles of Confederation."— Presentation transcript:

1 The First American Government The Articles of Confederation

2 After the Revolution After the Revolution, many colonists did not trust government very much and wanted to be left alone. Typically, they were loyal to their state rather than the nation. Each state had its own constitution. Constitution: a document that sets out laws and principles of a government.

3 The Articles of Confederation The newly independent states decided to set up a government that was more or less a very loose connection of 13 independent states. They called it the Articles of Confederation. ·Each state had one vote in Congress ·Congress was given four powers: 1) to declare war 2) to appoint military officers 3) to coin money 4) to deal with foreign affairs (issues with other countries) ·States had final authority - for Congress to act, 9 out of 13 states had to approve the action. ·Congress COULD NOT regulate trade between the states or pass laws regarding money (Each state could make its own money and refuse to accept money from other states).

4 The Articles of Confederation ·Three major weaknesses: 1) No president 2) No court system (when states didn't get along Congresswas powerless to do anything) 3) No way to raise money

5 In 1781 the Articles went into effect. There were immediate problems. - Britain refused to remove troops from the Ohio River Valley - Spain closed the port of New Orleans to American farmers - Continental dollars worthless - states printed their own money - trade between states stopped The Articles of Confederation

6 2 Successes 1. Land Ordinance of 1785 - divided up new lands and put them up for sale. 2. Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - set up a government in the Northwest Territory established a process for the area to gain statehood (become states). Needed 60,000 free citizens


8 Failure of the Articles of Confederation Farmers experienced an economic depression after the Revolutionary War. They became upset with state taxes that were created to pay off the war debt. This led to: Shays' Rebellion - A group of Massachusetts farmers led by Daniel Shays tried to capture an armory full of guns. - They were stopped by local militia because the national government was powerless to stop them. - This showed many that there was a NEED FOR CHANGE with the new national government. - Several months later, in May of 1787, delegates met in Philadelphia to try to fix the Articles of Confederation.


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