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Background to the Constitution Asaro/ Rasmussen 6 th Grade.

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Presentation on theme: "Background to the Constitution Asaro/ Rasmussen 6 th Grade."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background to the Constitution Asaro/ Rasmussen 6 th Grade

2 Setting the stage The US has just won the war. -Massive expansion in land -Unparalleled freedom But what to do with it? -What type of government should our new nation have? -That is the question we are occupied with after the Revolution

3 Up to this point in time Up to this point in time, colonies have been ruled by Great Britain. But remember: before the end of Salutary Neglect, colonies were very independent. The independence of each individual colony will be the starting point at which most states will naturally default to.

4 Government by the States 11 of the 13 states created constitutions (document stating rules under which a government will function). Rhode Island and Connecticut continued to use colonial charters-removed references to king Power of governors reduced-state legislatures (elected by people) given most power

5 Government by the States Governors served as state executives (those who run the government and see that laws are carried out) More people allowed to vote under state constitutions-most states still barred African Americans NJ allowed some women to vote until 1807

6 Protecting Rights To prevent violation of rights (as Britain had done to the colonists), states set up bills of rights 1776-Virginia was the first state to add a bill of rights to its constitution-included freedom of press, trial by jury, freedom of religion

7 Articles of Confederation-VideoVideo 1777-Continental Congress set up Articles of Confederation to create a national government One branch-legislature called Congress No courts, no executive States had one vote a piece-nine votes needed to pass a law

8 Articles of Confederation Articles wanted to limit the power of the central gov’t Power remained in the hands of the states-Congress could not regulate trade or collect taxes. Money voluntarily given by states Congress could deal with foreign nations and Native American groups, make laws, declare war, print money, run a postal service Could not enforce laws

9 Settling Western lands Articles had to be approved by all 13 states Not all would agree until issue of western lands was settled (some states claimed these areas) 1781-Virginia gave up western claims-Maryland agrees to Articles. Land given to federal government Land Ordinance of Townships set up & divided into 36 squares. Squares were then sold One section set aside for schools-reflected nation’s leaders belief that democracy depended on education

10 Northwest Ordinance of 1787 Set up a process for admitting new states in the Northwest Territory-present day states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio Congress appointed governor, three judges, and a secretary When an areas population reached 5,000 adult males-they could elect a legislature When it reached 60,000-it could request statehood Slavery outlawed

11 Problems with Articles- VideoVideo Economic -State taxes and currencies made trade between state difficult -Federal government could not tax-had little money (had to be voluntarily given by states) Foreign -America seemed weak-Britain kept troops in Northwest Territory, Spain refused to let Americans use Mississippi River

12 Shays’ Rebellion- VideoVideo 1780’s-economic depression hit United States Many farmers could not pay taxes. State governments began seizing farms Massachusetts farmers demanded legislators stop seizing land and print more money-they did not August 1786-Daniel Shays and 1,000 farmers rebelled and tried to seize arms from a state warehouse. State militia put down rebellion, arrested Shays

13 Effect of Shays’ Rebellion-VideoVideo Shays’ Rebellion showed weakness of government under Articles of Confederation Many feared future rebellions and called for a stronger central government 1787-Congress sent delegates to a convention in Philadelphia to revise Articles of Confederation Enlightenment influence in what they come up with…

14 Enlightenment Background Video – (FLOCABULARY) Video What is the Enlightenment? – a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition – Movement away from Monarchy and religion – Toward Democracy/ Individual rights and science


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