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Revolution to Constitution. Articles of Confederation Americans feared centralized power for its potential for “tyranny” 1781: Articles of Confederation.

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Presentation on theme: "Revolution to Constitution. Articles of Confederation Americans feared centralized power for its potential for “tyranny” 1781: Articles of Confederation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Revolution to Constitution

2 Articles of Confederation Americans feared centralized power for its potential for “tyranny” 1781: Articles of Confederation –“confederacy of states,” each republic with own government –Legislature of representatives elected by state legislatures –National taxes would need unanimous approval; congress could request money from states –No president: instead committees did jobs of government –No national court system to enforce national laws

3 Shays’s Rebellion and Difficulties States set high taxes to repay war debts Shortage of gold and silver –Stores and banks’ refused to accept paper currency –People owned value (land, crops) but had little actual money –People could not get new loans or pay back old loans Sheriffs began to auction off peoples’ farms and houses to pay taxes and debts Daniel Shays, a former military officer, led 2,000 farmers against Massachusetts government, but were put down Shays and followers were elected to state legislature in 1787: they cut taxes and pardoned Shays Nation learned: stronger national government needed to keep order

4 Need for a National Government Federation proved too weak Needed a stronger national government to: –Provide national enforcement & avoid “mobocracy” of Shays’s Rebellion –Create national tax to pay war debts in all states, not just wealthier states like Virginia –Create tariffs to protect industries, and negotiate trading privileges abroad –Negotiate for land rights with Native Americans so colonies could expand westward George Washington addressing the Constitutional Convention

5 Constitution, Virginia & New Jersey Plans Representatives from each state met to create Constitution –National government could veto state laws, use army against states –National taxes –Separation of Powers –Checks and Balances Key question: should large states have same power as small ones? –Virginia Plan: Upper and lower houses in congress, with states having seats according to population –New Jersey Plan: Houses in congress to have equal number of seats –How to count the slaves?

6 Compromise Created Agreement on the Constitution Constitution –Strong central government with three separate branches: executive, judicial, legislative Bicameral legislature (“The Great Compromise”) –States have proportional representation in House of Representatives based on population –States have equal representation in Senate 3/5 Compromise: –Slaves to be counted as 3/5 of a man, but have no vote Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Constitution was written


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