Presentation on theme: "The Nation’s Shaky Start Ch 9 Section 1. The Nation’s Shaky Start When independence was declared, each state created its own constitution. Constitution-"— Presentation transcript:
The Nation’s Shaky Start When independence was declared, each state created its own constitution. Constitution- a plan of government In effect each state became a republic. Republic-a government run by elected representatives of the people The new states were determined to prevent tyranny they had accused Britain of imposing. Most state constitutions included a bill of rights. Bill of Rights- a list of rights and freedoms guaranteed to the people
Articles of Confederation During the War, Congress proposed a plan to create a confederation. This plan, called the Articles of Confederation, was approved by all states in 1781. confederation-an alliance of independent states
The Articles gave Congress the right to raise an army and navy, control foreign affairs, coin money, and set up a postal system. However, Congress was not allowed to regulate trade or tax. The states were fearful of handing those powers over to a central government. Under the Articles, Congress was weak, lacking the important powers to regulate trade and collect taxes.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787 The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 ensured democracy would move westward by providing a way for settlers to form new states. This law called for dividing the Northwest Territory into several small territories. Once settlers arrived in a territory, Congress would appoint a governor. When there were 5,000 adult males they could elect a legislature. When the population reached 60,000 the territory could apply to Congress to become a state, equal to the older states in every way.
Problems for Congress Congress was less successful in dealing with other nations. Britain refused to give up forts in the Northwest Territory, despite promises to do so in the Treaty of Paris. Spain challenged American claims to land between the Ohio river and Spanish Florida. These disputes showed the country’s weakness in dealing with other nations.
Problems for Congress The states quarreled over trade, boundaries, and money. Faced with a money shortage, the states began printing their own currency. Before long, a dozen kinds of paper bills were floating from state to state. Congress lacked the power to stop states from printing money and to form a single national currency.
Shay’s Rebellion By the mid 1780’s the country was in the grip of depression. Farmers in western Massachusetts were hit hard by falling crop prices. Many farmers did not earn enough to pay their debts and state taxes. Judges ordered them to sell their livestock or land to pay off debts. The desperate farmers asked the state legislature to allow them to pay with their crops instead of money. Depression- a long sharp decline in economic activity
Shay’s Rebellion When the legislature refused, the farmers took matters into their own hands. Led by Daniel Shay, a hero of Bunker Hill, they protested in front of courthouses forcing them to close. In early 1787, Shay and his followers marched on the national arsenal at Springfield. They were planning to seize the weapons stored there. Since Congress had no army to defend the arsenal, Massachusetts had to send the state militia to restore order. The troops crushed the uprising and arrested Shay.
Call the States for a Convention To many Americans, Shay’s rebellion was another sign that the nation could not hold together. James Madison hoped that Americans were ready for a stronger national government. He wanted to dump the Articles of Confederation and call the states to a convention.