Presentation on theme: " Experimenting with the Confederation Chapter 5 Section 1 Mr. Clifford US 1."— Presentation transcript:
Experimenting with the Confederation Chapter 5 Section 1 Mr. Clifford US 1
Republic or Democracy REPUBLIC: government in which citizens rule through their elected representatives. DEMOCRACY: government directly by the people
Republic Empower Virtuous Leaders Many believed that a democracy would place too much power in the hands of ‘uneducated people’. ‘Virtuous people’ who put the good of the nation above their own self interests in charge of the nation.
Self Interest Adam Smith, philosopher & economist believed that a republic would benefit from self-interest. A government that allows independent citizens to pursue their own economic & political interests will succeed!
State Constitutions Many state constitutions shared certain similarities. Limiting the power of government leaders Guaranteed specific rights for citizens like: freedom of speech freedom of religion freedom of press State Constitutions emphasized LIBERTY rather than EQUALITY. States FEARED a STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
Political Precedents Continental Congress could not base their new government on any previous government institution. England had a short lived Republic after the execution of King Charles I During the Middle Ages, Italian cities like Florence, Pisa, Genoa, & Venice became ‘self governing’ city states. Swiss communities also resisted royal control Republics & various democratic systems had existed in Greece & Rome.
Continental Congress Debates Should states with greater populations have more delegates in Congress than states with smaller populations? RESULT: Each state was represented by 1 delegate ONE Representative per state
Articles of Confederation State governments & federal government would share fundamental powers. Confederation: State governments were in charge in certain areas while the federal government was in charge of other areas.
National vs. State Powers NATIONAL GOVERNMENT power to declare war make peace sign treaties borrow money set standards for (coins, weights, measures ), establish a postal service deal with Native Americans govern Western Lands STATE GOVERNMENT power to tax its citizens trade with states and foreign nations
Western Lands By 1781, the states gave up their western claims to the Confederation Congress and the Articles of Confederation went into effect in M arch 1781.
Governing Western Lands o Land Ordinance of 1785: The government would survey the land, dividing it into townships of 36 square miles. Each township would be divided into 36 sections of 1 square mile (640 acres) A person/family could purchase a section and divide it into farms or smaller units. (Typical farm was equal to one section, or 160 acres. 1 acre = 1 dollar. Government hoped that buyers would occupy their lands, develop farms, and establish democratic communities. o Northwest Ordinance of 1787 First, Congress would appoint a territorial governor and judges. Second, when a territory had 5000 voting residents, the settlers could write a temporary constitution and elect their own government. Third, when the total population of a territory reached 60,000 the settlers could write a state constitution, which had to be approved by Congress before it was granted statehood.
The Confederation Encounters Problems Political & Economic Problems Problem 1: The United States lacked ‘national unity’. o States functioned ‘independently by pursuing their own interests. (SECTIONALISM) Problem 2: Confederation Congress did not recognize the differences in population among the states. o Each state, regardless of population had only one vote in Congress. Population of Georgia: 25,000 & Massachusetts population: 270,000 Problem 3: Articles could not be amended without the consent of all the states.(13 out of 13) Nearly impossible to amend government. Problem 4: Congress was in enormous debt which was amassed during the Revolutionary War. ($160 million) Continental money was worthless. Problem 5: Congress had no control over interstate or foreign trade. States taxed each other and made alliances with foreign nations.
Borrowers vs. Lenders WEALTHY CREDITORS Creditors: After the Revolution, wealthy people who lent money to the states favored high taxes so the state governments could pay back their loan. Creditors wanted to keep the supply of money low so that it would keep its full value. POOR BORROWERS Debtors: High taxes sent many citizens (farmers) into debt. If farmers couldn’t pay back their loan the state would seize their land and animals and sell them at auction. Debtors wanted the state to print more paper money to lessen its value and enable them to pay off their debts with cheap currency.
Foreign-Relations Problems - 1.) United States could not repay its debts to British merchants and would not compensate Loyalists for property losses. Britain refused to evacuate its military forts on the Great Lakes. - 2.) Spain’s presence on the western boarder of US posed a threat to US western expansion. Spain eventually closed the Mississippi River to American navigation. (This paralyzed western farmers from shipping crops to markets in the east. American citizens fear of giving the national government too much power had resulted in a government that lacked power to deal with the nation’s problems.
WEAKNESSES OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION Congress could not enact and collect taxes Congress could not regulate interstate or foreign trade Each state had only one vote in Congress, regardless of population One out of 13 states needed to agree to pass any law Articles could be amended only if all states approved There was no executive branch to enforce laws of Congress There were 13 separate states that lacked national unity There was no national court system to settle legal disputes