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Chapter 5: Creating A New Government

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1 Chapter 5: Creating A New Government
The Big Picture: The Articles of Confederation, under which the thirteen colonies had united to win independence, proved insufficient to govern the new nation. Delegates from 12 states met at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and fashioned a newer, stronger form of government, which has endured for more than 200 years.

2 Chapter 5 Section 1: The Articles of Confederation
Main Idea: In order to carry on the war and build a new nation, Americans had to create a framework of government, but their first attempt had many weaknesses.

3 The American Republic New State Governments Republican Motherhood
During the war, all 13 colonies wrote state constitutions that included rights like representative government, rule of law, limits on gov’t power, and individual liberties All of the constitutions also set up three branches: legislative: wrote laws; executive: (governor) carried out laws; judicial: interpreted laws The elected legislature held the most power They all also agreed on republicanism: rule with consent of the governed (i.e. elected officials) Republican Motherhood Women had played a significant role in the war, running farms and businesses, collecting supplies, and being politically active in boycotts and protests Women were viewed as the first teachers for their children in ideas of civic virtue and responsibility Republican motherhood encouraged women to raise their children to be patriotic; to that end, they were encouraged to learn to read and write (only for upper class)

4 A New National Government
The Articles of Confederation The states realized they needed a central government to conduct the war and make alliances with foreign nations 1776: John Dickinson heads a committee to create a new national government Articles of Confederation was adopted November 1777 but was not official until March 1781 when the last of the 13 states ratified it Powers of the New Government States retained most of the power The central government had only one branch, the Continental Congress where every state had one vote regardless of population It did have the power to negotiate with foreign nation and Native American tribes It had the power to borrow and coin money; it could also establish an army and declare war

5 The Confederation Faces Problems
Financial Problems Hard to pass laws because 9 of 13 states had to agree (took a unanimous vote to amend the Articles) They did not have the power to collect taxes to repay war debt Congress asked states for money but didn’t receive nearly enough to pay debt and run the government Problems with the States States often acted against each other, refusing to honor contracts and printing their own money With no national court system, there was no way to mediate conflicts between states or enforcing laws if criminals crossed state lines Problems with Foreign Nations Because it was weak, Congress could not address British occupation of forts it had agreed to abandon They also couldn’t negotiate with Spain to use the Mississippi River vital for trade Economic Problems Trade in New England collapsed after the war (Britain was its primary trading partner) because they had to pay high fees to continue trading The Southern indigo and naval stores industries were also hurt All paper money issued during the war was practically worthless and states often demanded taxes be paid in gold, which many did not had, leading to high numbers in debtors prison

6 The Northwest Territory
There were two major successes of the Articles of Confederation The new nation had a large tract of western land that was not controlled by any state Land Ordinance of 1785: set up a plan to survey, divide, and sell land in the Northwest Territory Northwest Ordinance of 1787: created a system for the formation of new states; granted settlers religious freedom and civil rights and banned slavery in the territory 5,000 men  territory; 60,000 men  write a constitution and apply to be a state

7 Chapter 5 Section 2: Drafting the Constitution
Main Idea: The Constitutional Convention tried to write a document that would address the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and make compromises between large and small states and between the North and South.

8 The Constitutional Convention
Shays’ Rebellion High taxes in MA that had to be paid in gold led many farmers in western MA to loose their farms or be thrown in debtors prison Sept 1786: Daniel Shays leads farmers east to shut down the courts that were putting people in prison While it was put down, it alarmed many across the nation because the federal government was powerless They agreed to meet in Philadelphia, May to amend the Articles of Confederation A historic meeting Delegates from every state but RI attended; each state had one vote and they agreed to keep their meetings secret All decisions would be made by simple majority Controversial Plans All delegates were well-educated, wealthy, white men Washington was chosen to lead They quickly decided to form a new government rather and amend the old one Two plans were introduced: Virginia Plan: introduced by Edmund Randolph Gov’t would have 3 branches with a bicameral legislature; both houses would base representation population; lower house would vote on upper house New Jersey Plan: addressed concerns of small states Proposed a unicameral legislature with equal representation Also wanted a ‘plural executive’- 2-3 top executives chosen by Congress

9 Compromises at the Convention
The Great Compromise After several days of argument over the two plans, Roger Sherman proposed what was called the Connecticut Compromise or the Great Compromise: a bicameral legislature with the lower house based on population and the upper house having 2 members per state Other Compromises Three-Fifths Compromise: slave states wanted to count slaves when determining population for representation, free states did not; they agreed to count 3 of every 5 slaves; they also agreed to end the slave trade after 20 years and return runaway slaves

10 Checks and Balances Delegates agreed on a single executive (president) selected by electors chosen by state legislatures The final document also included checks and balances to keep any one branch from dominating over the other two It was signed September 17, 1787 and went to the states for ratification

11 Chapter 5 Section 3: Ratifying the Constitution
Main Idea: Federalists and Antifederalists struggled over the principles of the new Constitution. But the promise of adding a Bill of Rights brought about ratification.

12 Federalists and Antifederalists
When the Constitution was published, the public was shocked and angry (delegates had been sent to amend, not re-write, the government) Supporters of the new constitution were called Federalists They were led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and argued this new government was strong enough to survive and included checks on abuses of power Those against the constitution were called Antifederalists They were led by Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry and worried that the new government was too strong and would be no better than being under a monarchy in Britain Essays arguing both positions circulated widely among the states The major demand of Antifederalists was the inclusion of a Bill of Rights

13 Adding a Bill of Rights Federalists were better organized than the Antifederalists and began organizing state conventions- Delaware was the first to ratify the Constitution on Dec 7, 1787 Within 2 weeks, PA, NJ, GA, and CT ratified; ratification was much harder in MA, where their vote included a demand for a bill of rights Gradually the other states joined, although NC and RI ratified after the first Congress went into session (only 9 were required to make it law) The first goal of the new Congress was to amend the Constitution to add a Bill of Rights Most of these amendments addressed individual rights (free speech, due process, etc.) and the final one addressed rights of the states

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