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Chapter 2: Origins of American Government Section 3-5

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1 Chapter 2: Origins of American Government Section 3-5

2 Declaration of Independence
What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence? The Declaration severed ties with Great Britain and created a unique nation No political system had ever been formed on the principles of equality, human rights, and representative government that derived its authority from the will of the people. Checkpoint Answer: To proclaim to the world that the colonies were severing their ties with Great Britain and creating an independent nation based on the principles of limited, representative government.

3 Declaration of Independence Functions
We needed to prove our case to other nations why we had the right to break away from Britain. We did this by… Inform European nations why we are fighting List of charges against King of England Provide common statement of beliefs and ideals held by colonists

4 Basic Natural Rights All People have the rights of Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness Government gets is power from the people Government cannot take away these rights. If a government does violate those rights, the people can form a new one.

5 List of Wrongs by Britain
27 complaints listed to prove that… King George had chosen to rule as a tyrant rather than for the people. Colonists had no representation in the British government Colonists forced to house soldiers Colonists taxed without having a say

6 All Men Are Created Equal?
Did the words, “All Men are Created Equal” apply to all those who lived in the colonies? NO! Thanks for all the rights Pale Face Why aren’t we included?

7 Articles of Confederation
The Second Continental Congress had to create an official national government. So they created the Articles of Confederation in 1777, but they were not ratified until 1781 because they needed all 13 states to ratify. The Articles created a single unit of government, the Congress. Congress was unicameral (one house) in structure, with each states electing its delegates each year. Each state delegation had one vote in Congress.

8 Articles of Confederation
The national government had NO executive or judicial branch. Special congressional committees exercised executive and judicial functions. Each year Congress would elect a president of the Congress (but not the nation).

9 Congress What powers did Congress hold under the Articles of Confederation? Make war and peace Make treaties and handle ambassadors Borrow money and set up a money system Build a navy and raise an army Set standards of weights and measures Settle disputes between the states Checkpoint Answer: The power to make war and peace, make treaties, send and receive ambassadors, borrow money, set up a money system, standardize weights and measures, build a navy, raise an army, and settle disputes between the states.

10 States Under the Articles
What were the States supposed to do: Obey the Articles and acts of Congress Provide funds and troops requested by Congress Treat citizens of other states fairly Respect the laws and court rulings of other states Allow open travel and trade among states Submit interstate disputes to Congress Turn over fugitives from other states The states kept all powers not given to Congress.

11 Weaknesses of the Articles
Only a “firm league of friendship” among States Only one vote for each State, regardless of size Congress powerless to levy taxes or duties Congress powerless to regulate commerce No executive power to enforce acts of Congress No national court system Amendments to the Articles required the consent of ALL States A 9/13 majority required to pass laws.

12 Problems with the Articles
After the Revolutionary War, states stopped cooperating with each other and the national government. They refused to supply troops or money. Some made their own treaties with other nations. Most raised their own military forces. They taxed goods from other states and banned trade with some states. They printed their own money.

13 Problem with the Articles, cont.
Economies of many states struggled as a result of all the bickering and poor planning. Much of the newly printed money was worth very little. Prices soared and loans became hard to get. Many people fell into debt. The economic crisis led to Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts. Indebted farmers and other small property owners lost land and possessions when they could not pay their debts or their state taxes.

14 Constitutional Convention
We need a stronger national government!!! The Philadelphia meeting, held in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, Turned into the Constitutional Convention. Instead of revising the Articles, it would replace them with something new – The Constitution Image Question Answer: The first nation’s first national government, the Second Continental Congress, had come together in Independence Hall. The Declaration of Independence was drafted there as well. The delegates at the Convention might have seen this history as a good omen for great changes to come.

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