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Accomplishments of the Articles of Confederation

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Presentation on theme: "Accomplishments of the Articles of Confederation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Accomplishments of the Articles of Confederation
1. Winning the War- The U.S. Government could claim some credit for the ultimate victory of Washington’s army and for negotiating favorable terms the treaty of peace with Britain. 2. Land Ordinance of 1785-Cognress established a policy for surveying and selling the western lands. The policy provided for setting one section of land in each township for public education. 3. Northwest Ordinance of For the large territory lying between the Great Lakes and the Ohio river, the congress passed an ordinance (law) that set the rules for creating new states. The Northwest Ordinance granted limited self-government to the developing territory and prohibited slavery in the region.

2 Slavery The institution of slavery contradicted the spirit of the revolution and the idea that “all men are created equal” For a time, the leaders of the Revolution recognized this fact and took some steps toward corrective action. The continental congress voted to abolish the importation of slaves, and most went along with the prohibition Most northern states ended slavery, while in the South, some owners voluntarily freed their slaves. Soon after the war, a majority of the southern slave owners came to believe that slave labor was essential to their economy

3 The United States Under the Articles (1781-1787)
From the Peace Paris (1783) to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787) the Articles Lasted for 4 years) The original U.S. government under the Articles of confederation consisted of: One house congress No separate Executive branch No separate Judiciary system

4 Problems of the Articles
Foreign Problems: Relations between the United States and the major powers of Europe were troubled from the start The states failed to adhere to the Treaty of Paris, which required the Loyalists’ be restored and the debts to foreigners be repaid A weak U.S. government under the Articles could do nothing to stop Britain from placing restrictions on trade and maintaining military outposts on the western frontier Economic Weakness & Interstate Quarrels Reduced foreign trade and limited credit due to nonpayment of war debts contributed to widespread economic depression The inability to levy national taxes and the printing of worthless paper money by many states added to the economic problems The 13 states treated one another with suspicion, and competed for economic advantage( Tariffs and restrictions on the movement of goods)

5 The Annapolis convention
To review what could be done about the country’s inability to overcome critical problems, George Washington hosted a conference at his home (Mt. Vernon, Virginia 1785) Representatives from 4 states (VA, MD, Del, Penn) agreed that the problems were serious enough to further discuss Annapolis conventions (MD 1786) 5 delegates arrived James Madison and Alexander Hamilton persuaded the others that another convention should be held in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articled of Confederation

6 Drafting the Constitution at Philadelphia
12, states sent delegates “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation” Rhode Island did not 55 wealthy white , college educated Males (average age 40) met in Philadelphia. Mostly lawyers, many helped to write their states constitutions George Washington was elected chairperson and the delegates voted to keep their meetings a secret. The work in fashioning specific articles of the constitution was directed by James Madison (father of the Constitution) Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris and John Dickinson Politicians missing: John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Thomas Paine were on overseas on diplomatic business Patrick Henry refused any strength in the central government

7 Issues Representation:
Madison Hamilton persuaded the convention to draft a new document In a time of not trusting government the delegates made sure the ne government would be based on a system of system of checks and balances (3 branches with separate power) Representation: Divisive was the issue of whether the larger states (Va, Penn) should have proportionally more representatives in congress than the smaller states (NY, De) Virginia Plan: Representation in both houses of a bicameral congress should be based on population and wealth New Jersey Plan: provided for equal representation in a unicameral congress by states. Connecticut Compromise (Great Compromise): provided for a bicameral congress with representation in the House of Representation based on population and equal representation in the Senate (2).

8 Slavery and Trade Slavery: (how were slaves to be counted in state population) Three-fifths Compromise: counted each slave as 3/5 of a person for the purposes of determining a state’s level of taxation and representation Guaranteed that slaves could be imported for at least 20 years longer (until 1808), at which congress could vote to abolish the practice Trade: The northern states wanted the central government to regulate interstate and foreign commerce The South was afraid that export taxes would be placed on its agricultural products such as tobacco and rice Commercial Compromise allowed congress to regulate interstate and foreign commerce, including placing tariffs (taxes) on foreign imports, but it prohibited placing taxes on any imports

9 Powers and Election of the President
Congress limited the Presidents term to 4 years set no limit for reelection Rather than having the people elect the president directly , the delegates decided to assign to each state a number of electors equal to the total of that state’s representatives and senators. The electoral college system was instituted because delegates at Philadelphia feared that too much democracy might lead to mob rule President was granted considerable power, including the power to veto acts of congress Ratification on Sept 17, 1787, after 17 weeks of debate, the convention approved a draft of the Constitution to submit to the states for ratification A favorable vote of 9 out of 13 states would be required

10 Ratification was debated for over a year
Federalist (for ratification) Anti-Federalists (opponents) For the Constitution Had power and influence on their side Support of George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin Lived in the settled areas along the coast. Overall they were wealthier, more educated and better organized. They controlled the press more than 100 newspapers were published in America 88 for them Opposed a strong central Gov’t Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee Consisted of states’ right devotees, back country dwellers, and small farmers, the poorest classes They were joined with debtors who feared the central gov’t would make them pay their debts off in full They saw the constitution as a plot by the elite to steal power from the common folk

11 The Federalist Papers & Outcome
A key element in the Federalist campaign for the Constitution was a series of highly persuasive essays written for a New York newspaper by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The 85 essays, later published in book form as the Federalist Papers, presented logical reasons for believing in the practicality of each major provision of the Constitution Outcome: The federalists won early victories in the state conventions Del, NJ Penn The Federalists promised to add a Bill Of Rights to the Constitution, addressing the Anti-Federalists major objection Virginia’s Federalist leaders Washington, Madison and Marshall managed to prevail by a close vote only after promising a Bill Of Rights North Carolina (Nov, 1789)and Rhode Island (May 1790) reversed their earlier rejections and became the last two states to ratify the Constitution as the new “Supreme Law of the Land”

12 Bill of Rights Arguments for a Bill of Rights:
Ant-federalists argued as follows: Americans had fought the Revolutionary war to escape the tyranny of a central government What was to stop a strong central government under the constitution from acting in a tyrannical manner? Only by adding a bill of rights could Americans be protected against such a possibility Arguments Against a Bill of Rights: Federalists argued: since members of congress would be elected by the people, they did not need to be protected against themselves It was better to assume that all rights were protected than to create a limited list of rights (unlisted rights could be violated at will) Federalists finally promised to add a bill of rights

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