Presentation on theme: "The Development of American Democracy State Constitutions and the Articles of Confederation."— Presentation transcript:
The Development of American Democracy State Constitutions and the Articles of Confederation
I. State Constitutions A. As war approached, British royal officials throughout the colonies fled. This left colonists without a government. 1. Even before the Second Continental Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence, they told states to draw up their own governments to protect “life, liberty, and property.”
constitutions, a document that sets out the laws and principles of government. B. Therefore, the States began to write their own constitutions, a document that sets out the laws and principles of government. 1. Spell out the rights of citizens 2. Set limits on the power of government.
C. After writing the constitutions, they were sent to the voters to ratify, or approve, them.
D. Dividing Power 1. States were deeply skeptical of governors, so they gave a lot of power to the state legislatures.
2. Most states had a bicameral, two house, legislature.
3. Governors, the executive branch, was weak. a. No power to reject bills. (VETO) b. Elected every year.
E. Many states included a Bill of Rights, or a list of freedoms the government promises to protect. Virginia was the first state to have this. 1. Freedom of speech 2. Freedom of Religion 3. Freedom of the press 4. Right to Trial by jury
II. The Articles of Confederation A. This was the first governing document of the U.S.A.
B. The First National Constitution 1. In 1776, few Americans saw themselves as citizens of one nation. 2. “Virginia, Sir, is my country.” – Thomas Jefferson
3. “Massachusetts is our country.” – John Adams 4. The States were unwilling to turn over much power to the national government. 5. After several years of discussion, the 13 colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first American constitution.
C. Under the Articles, John Dickinson referred to the colonies as a “firm league of friendship.”
E. The U.S. under the Articles 1. Legislative Branch: Congress is made up of one house. 2. Each state has one vote in Congress 3. At least 9 of the 13 states must approve a law. 4. No Executive Branch 5. No Judicial Branch 6. Only the states can tax 7. Each state can coin its own money 8. Each state can regulate trade with other states. 9. Each state can act independently.
F. Weaknesses of the Articles 1. States were left to carry out laws passed by Congress. 2. No court system to settle disputes between states 3. Each state, regardless of size, only had one vote. 4. Could not collect taxes to raise money, had to rely on states to pay. 5. George Washington called the Confederation a “shadow without substance.”