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Background to the Constitution Queen Asaro 6 th Grade.

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

1 Background to the Constitution Queen Asaro 6 th Grade

2 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

3 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

4 Cont’d  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

5 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

6 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

7 Cont’d  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

8 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 1785- 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

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