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Creating the Constitution: Articles of Confederation

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1 Creating the Constitution: Articles of Confederation
EQ: What compromises emerged from the Constitutional Convention

2 Intro After declaring for Independence Congress tried to unite the states under one national government Most members were fearful of a National Government being TOO strong Solution: Articles of Confederation Articles created a firm “league of friendship”-loose union where each state remained sovereign and they cooperated for common purposes Put the Powers of Congress into Writing Run by Congress each state had 1 vote On paper Articles gave congress several powers, but in reality the Articles were no more effective in binding the states into a nation than a “rope of sand”

3 Set Up A single “House” of Congress was composed of 2-7 delegates from each state Delegates had to vote as a unit=One vote/state REGARDLESS OF POPULATION Votes of 2/3 of the states were required to passs laws or change the Articles Americans were nervous about a Central Government w/too much power intentionally limited the types of decisions that the new nat’l gov’t could make

4 Powers of the New Nat’l Government
Declare War Make Treaties Manage Indian Affairs Maintain and Army and Navy Coin and Borrow $ Regulate weights and measures Est. a postal service

5 What the New Nat’l Government COULDN’T DO
Enforce its own laws Collect taxes Control Trade among states Raise Troops Est. Nat’l courts to hear disputes b/w states

6 Developing Western Lands
Congress got everyone to agree on how to develop western lands acquired by the Treaty of Paris NO orderly way to divide and sell lands settlers just walked into the wilderness and claimed land they liked Disputes over who owned what clogged the courts Solution: Land Ordinance of 1785 (lands were divided into six miles squares called townships) By 1787 the government was ready to sell lands in the Northwest Territory How would these lands get governed? Northwest Ordinance of 1787: Law divided the NW Territory into smaller territories (each governed by a governor) Once 5,000 free adults males lived there they could elect its own legislature once pop. was 60, 000 territory could apply to become a state Included rights of settlers (slavery was banned) System worked well

7 Problems with the Articles: Shay’s Rebellion
Under the A of C, the new nation had serious $ problems paper money printed during the war was worthless, didn’t have gold or silver to mint coins States started printing their own $ MA farmers rebel!!! Many farmers were in debt couldn’t make pmts on their farms and instead of loosing their farms, going to jail for not paying taxes FARMERS REBEL!!! Took up arms and led by Daniel Shay marched to Mass. Court building closed down court houses Eventually farmers were defeated when militia troops came, but actions convinced people that the new Nat'l gov’t was falling apart

8 Problems with the Articles: Foreign Affairs in trouble
Each state had different trade regulations Very difficult for foreign businessmen and governments Foreign countries distrusted the Confederation Could not back up agreements

9 Problems with the Articles: Tariff Wars
National Government couldn’t control trade among states Many states chose to charge rival states high taxes on goods transferred b/w states

10 Problems with the Articles: No Power to Tax the States
National Government was BROKE after the war!! Could request $ from states, but it couldn’t force states to pay taxes SO FEW STATES DID!!

11 Call for a Convention All the problems were concerning, but Shay’s rebellion shocked Congress Call for a Convention to consider “the situation of the US” Each state could send delegates to Philadelphia to revise the Articles Father of the Constitution, James Madison, had been studying governments and was ready for the convention! A nation was made up of many groups needed a strong central gov’t, or it would be torn apart!!

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