Starting a New Nation Trials and errors. The Achievements of the Confederation Congress In November of 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the. Articles.
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Presentation on theme: "Starting a New Nation Trials and errors. The Achievements of the Confederation Congress In November of 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the. Articles."— Presentation transcript:
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress In November of 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. This was a plan for a loose union of the states under Congress. The Articles set up a weak central government The Confederation Congress met just once a year.
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress The Confederation Congress had the power to declare war, raise armies, and sign treaties. It did not have the power to impose taxes or regulate trade. The only way the Congress had to raise money to pay its debts was to sell its land west of the Appalachian Mountains. Congress arranged this land into townships to make it easier to divide, sell, and govern.
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress The Congress also set up the Northwest Ordinance as a basis for governing much of this territory. The ordinance created a new territory north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, which could become three to five states. When the population of a territory reached 60,000, it could apply to become a state.
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress The ordinance guaranteed certain rights to the people living there, and it banned slavery. The Confederation Congress negotiated trade treaties with European countries and by 1790 the US trade was greater than before the Revolution.
The Achievements of the confederation Congress Why was the Northwest Ordinance set up? It was set up to govern the territory north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.
The Congress Falters After the Revolutionary War, British merchants flooded American markets with inexpensive British goods which drove many American artisans out of business. American states imposed duties (taxes) on imported goods. The states did not all impose the same taxes so the British would land their goods at the states with the lowest taxes or restrictions.
The Congress Falters Because the Confederation Congress could not regulate commerce, the states set up customs posts on their borders and levied taxes on other states’ goods. This weakness of the Confederation threatened the union of the states. The federal government had no powers over the states and could not force them to pay their debts to Britain or return Loyalist property.
The Congress Falters The British retaliated by refusing to leave American soil as promised in the treaty. Since Congress could not regulate trade, it could not force the British into settlement. The end of the Revolutionary War and the slowdown of economic activity with Britain caused a severe recession in the United States.
The Congress Falters To pay for the war, many states had issued bonds as a way to borrow money. To pay back the bondholders, many people urged the states to issue paper money. States did not have the gold and silver to back paper money and so the paper money greatly declined in value.
Shays‘s Rebellion Shays’s Rebellion broke out in Massachusetts. It started when the government of Massachusetts decided to raise taxes to pay off its debt instead of issuing paper money. The taxes hurt the farmers most and those who could not pay their taxes and other debts lost their farms. Daniel Shays led the rebellion.
Shays’s Rebellion They went to a state arsenal to get weapons. A government militia defended the arsenal killing four farmers. Many Americans began to see the risk of having a weak central government. They called for a change in government.
Congress Falters What weaknesses of the Confederation Congress led to a call for change in the United States government?
Congress Falters The Confederation Congress could not regulate commerce, so the states set up customs posts on their borders and levied taxes on other states’ goods to raise money. The federal government had no powers over the states so it could not force the states to pay their debts to Britain or Loyalists. Congress had no way to raise money to pay these debts or work out diplomatic solutions with Great Britain and Spain.
The Constitutional Convention People who supported a stronger central government were called nationalists. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton were among the prominent nationalists. Hamilton suggested that a convention of states be set up to revise the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitutional Convention All states, except Rhode Island, sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787. Most of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention had experience in government. George Washington was presiding officer. James Madison kept records of the debates. The meetings were closed to the public.
The Virginia Plan James Madison created the Virginia Plan which proposed that the legislature be divided into two houses (bicameral) Members of both houses would reflect that state’s population. It proposed a national government consisting of a legislative, executive, and a judicial branch National government had power to tax.
The New Jersey Plan Congress would have a single house. Modified the Articles of Confederation Congress would have power to tax and regulate trade. Small states insisted that each state had to have an equal vote in Congress Northern and Southern states disagreed over how to treat slavery in the constitution.
The Constitutional Convention In What ways did the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan differ? The Virginia Plan wanted to throw out the Articles of confederation, while the New Jersey Plan wanted to revise the Articles of confederation. The Virginia Plan called for two houses of Congress with representation based on a state’s population. The New Jersey Plan called for one house with equal representation. The Virginia Plan called for three branches of government, whereas the New Jersey Plan did not.
A Union Built on Compromise The delegates of the Constitutional Convention were divided geographically. The small states wanted changes that would protect them against the big states. Northern and Southern states were divided over the issue of slavery in the new constitution. A Compromise was needed.
The Connecticut Compromise (The Great Compromise) Congress voted to proceed with the Virginia Plan with the purpose of working on a new constitution for the United States. In one house of Congress the states would be represented according to size. In the other house, (the Senate), each state would have equal representation. The eligible voters would elect the House of Representatives, but the state legislatures would choose senators.
The Three-Fifths Compromise Every five slaves would count as three free persons for determining representatives and taxes. The new Congress could not ban the slave trade until 1808.
Constitution The new constitution was based on the principle of Popular sovereignty, or rule by the people. It created a system of government known as federalism. It divided government power between the state government and the national. It provided for a separation of powers The two houses of Congress made up the legislative branch (made laws).
Constitution The executive branch, headed by the president (implements and enforces laws) The judicial branch, federal courts, would interpret federal laws No one serving in one branch could serve in the other branches at the same time
Checks and Balances Each branch of government had the ability to limit the power of the other branches President can veto bills, appoint judges, and propose legislation Congress can override vetoes, approve or reject appointments, and impeach, formally accuse of misconduct, and then remove the president or any high official in the executive or judicial branch. The judicial branch interprets laws and serves for life.
Constitution Congress Created a system for making amendments, or changes to the Constitution. Supporters of the Constitution were known as Federalists Opponents to the Constitution were known as Antifederalists James Madison’s promise to add a bill of rights helped Virginia and New York vote in favor of the Constitution.
Key Issues Made federal law the supreme law but gave leeway to states to govern themselves. Balanced power between large and small states (Senate where each state gets 2 senators and House of Representatives with membership based on population) Placated Southern states by counting slaves as 3/5 of population
Key Issues Established three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Limited powers of federal government to those identified in the Constitution.
A Framework for Limited Government The Constitution has a system for making amendments, or changes to the Constitution. There is a two-step process for amending the Constitution-proposal and ratification. New amendments can be proposed by a vote of two-thirds of the members of both houses of Congress, or two-thirds of the states can call a constitutional convention to propose new amendments.
A Framework for Limited Government A proposed amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or by conventions in three-fourths of the states.
A Framework for Limited Government How does the Constitution provide for a separation of powers? It provides for three branches of government. The legislative branch makes the laws. It is made up of the two houses of Congress. The executive branch enforces the laws. It is headed by a president. The judicial branch interprets federal laws. It is made up of a system of federal courts.