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Chapter 7 A More Perfect Union ( )

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1 Chapter 7 A More Perfect Union (1777-1790)
Section 1 The Articles of Confederation

2 Second Continental Congress
Needed a plan of government that met the needs of all 13 states The states joined to fight against the British, but would they be able to work together and maintain their independence? The states’ first task was to establish their own political institutions.

3 State Constitutions May 1776, Congress asked the states to organize their governments. Each state adopted a constitution (Plan of government) Each learned from British rule and did not want too much power for a single ruler. Pennsylvania even had an elected council with 12 members. Each had limited power for the governor.

4 Limiting Power States also divided government functions between the governor and the legislature Most states established bicameral (two-house) legislatures to divide power even further The writers of the constitutions wanted to keep the power in the hands of the people.

5 Limiting Power (cont.) Elections were frequent .
In order to vote (in most states) you had to be a white male, 21 years old or older, and own property. Some states allowed free African Americans to vote.

6 Forming a Republic Americans agreed that they should be a republic
Citizens rule through elected representatives. Disagreements arose on organization of the powers. Most Americans wanted a weak central government.

7 Forming a Republic (cont.)
Each state would be like independent countries. States would act independently on most issues. The central government would only wage war and handle relations with other nations.

8 Planning a New Government
1776- Congress appointed a committee to draw a constitution November The Articles of Confederation was adopted Was America’s first constitution Central government in which the states kept most of their power Under the Articles Congress had the power to conduct foreign affairs, maintain armed forces, borrow money, and issue currency John Hanson- 1st President of the United States under the Articles of Confederation

9 Weaknesses of the Articles
Congress could not regulate trade Or force citizens to join the army Or impose taxes If Congress needed money they had to ask the state legislatures- but they were NOT required to contribute Congress lacked a chief executive

10 The Confederation Government
Did not provide a strong enough government To pass a law 9 states had to agree Despite weaknesses it made some important achievements Under the Confederation government, Americans won independence and expanded foreign trade Also helped with the governing if western territories

11 Moving West 1790- About 120,000 lived west of the Appalachian Mountains Settlers hoped to organize lands as states and join the union Land claims were given up and Congress took control of these lands 1784- Congress divided the western territory into self-governing districts When the number of people in a district reached the population of the smallest existing state, that district could petition for statehood

12 The Ordinance of 1785 1785- Congress passed an ordinance (law) that established a procedure for surveying and selling western lands north of the Ohio River Divided the massive territory into 6 miles by 6 miles townships Townships were divided into 36 sections (640 acres) Each would be sold at public auction To govern the territory, a new ordinance was needed

13 The Northwest Ordinance
1787- Created a single Northwest Territory North of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River Divided into 3 to 5 smaller territories When the population reached 60,000 the people could petition for statehood Each new state would have the same rights as the original 13 states

14 More of the Northwest Ordinance
Had a bill of rights for settlers Guaranteed freedom of religion and trial by jury Slavery was outlawed This clause (condition added to a document) marked the first attempt to stop the spread of slavery in the US The Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance opened the way for settlement of the Northwest Territory in a stable and orderly manner

15 Financial Problems By The money printed during the Revolutionary War depreciated (fell in value) so far that it was almost worthless. Taxes could not be collected so Congress and the states printed their own paper money. Not backed in silver or gold, so it had no real value. War for independence left Congress with a huge debt. Congress owned money to American soldiers, citizens, and foreign nations. Did not have the money to send.


17 Robert Morris’s Import Tax
1781- The finances were collapsing. Congress created a department of finance led by Philadelphia merchant Robert Morris. Morris proposed a 5% tax on imported goods to help pay the debt. The plan called for a change to the Articles to give Congress the power to tax. Rhode Island refused so it did not pass. The financial crisis continued to worsen.

18 Problems With Britain The British did not leave the forts they were supposed to according to the Treaty of Paris (1783) Americans complained that the British were keeping them out of the West Indies and other British markets 1785- John Adams was sent to London to discuss the problems The British responded that the United States did not live up to their side of the Treaty. The states never paid the loyalists that lost their land and property

19 Problems With Spain Spain wanted to stop American expansion into its territory Spain closed the lower Mississippi River to American shipping in 1784 Westerners no longer had this trade route The Confederation could not handle the issues properly. These problems worried many leaders and they saw that there was a need for a stronger government.

20 Assignment On a separate sheet of paper, choose one passage from this section and write a paragraph explaining something new you learned. Be sure to use the Elephant Paragraph format: Introduction sentence Supporting information sentence Outside information sentence Concluding sentence

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