Albany Plan of Union • 1754- British government summoned an intercolonial congress and 7 of the 13 colonies sent delegates. • Purpose was to keep the Native Americans loyal to the British and not the French. • Would have unified the colonies under a central government for the purpose of defense and other important purposes. • Became a template for the Articles of Confederation
Balancing Power • System of distinct, self governing colonies encouraged people to think of the colony as the primary political unit not a central government. • Democracy- To much power in hands of the uneducated masses. • Republic- A government in which citizens rule through their elected representatives. • Republicanism- Idea that government should be based on the consent of the people.
Political Precedents • Few models to draw from • The Continental Congress tried to make a constitution for all of the states but had to answer three major questions
Representation by population or by State? • Unequal in size, wealth, and population. • Same number of representatives regardless of population or not? • Continental Congress makes the decision that each state would have one representative regardless.
Supreme Power: Can it be Divided • Congress proposes a set of laws called the Articles of Confederation- two levels of government shared fundamental powers. State governments were supreme in some matters, while national government was supreme in other matters, called an alliance or confederation. • States and Federal government share powers
Who Gets the Western Lands? • 1779, 12 of the 13 states signed the Articles of Confederation. • Some states had land claims and some did not, feared powerful states with to much land. • Maryland signs the Articles of Confederation
Governing the Western Lands • Land Ordinance of 1785- established a plan for surveying and selling the federally owned lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. • Northwest Ordinance of 1787- established procedures for the admission of new states to the union.
Problems Arise • Confederation lacked national unity • Unequal representation • Articles could not be amended without full approval of states. • Huge debt- over $190 million • Borrowers vs. Lenders • Foreign Relations – British refused to remove troops, Spain’s troops on borders. • Trade between states
Shays Rebellion • Daniel Shay, Revolutionary war vet • Heavy in debt, to much taxation • Turned farmers into a 1200 strong mob and marched towards the Springfield arsenal. • Militia stopped the rebellion after 4 rioters die. • Showed the nation that something was obviously wrong.
Constitutional Convention • Trade over states creates quarrels over taxes and disagreements of navigation rights. • The first convention only involved five states representatives including James Madison from Virginia and Alexander Hamilton. • After Shays Rebellion the Constitutional Convention included 12 states, Rhode Island did not participate.
May 1787, Tossed out the Articles of Confederation • Virginia Plan- Two house legislature with membership based on state population. Favored larger states • New Jersey Plan- Single house legislature where states get equal vote. • The Great Compromise- Two house Congress to satisfy both large/small states. • Equal representation in the Senate, upper house • House of Representatives decided by population, lower house
Three-Fifths Compromise- Slaves worth 3/5th of a white male. • Federalism- Divided power between the national government and state governments. • The national government had powers over: • National defense • Foreign affairs • Regulating trade • Coining money • States had powers over: • Education • Marriage laws • Regulating trade within state
Separation of Powers • Legislative Branch- Makes the laws • Executive Branch- Administers and enforces the laws • Judicial Branch- Interprets the laws and the constitution • Check and Balances- Prevents any branch from dominating the other two branches. • Electoral College- Equal to the number of senators and representatives, the electors would cast ballots for the candidates
Ratification • Ratification- Required 9 of the 13 states to agree. • Federalists- Supported the constitution, wanted balance between state and central governments • Antifederalists- Disapproved of the constitution, wanted more state rights. • The Federalist- Series of 85 essays defending the Constitution, appeared in New York magazines from 1787 and 1788. • Letters from the Federal Farmer- Antifederalist publication, Sought to protect civilian rights
Bill of Rights • Constitution provided no guarantee of rights. • People wanted a written bill of rights to protect their rights. • Bill of rights included the following: 1. Religious/political freedom 2. Right to bear arms 3. Freedom from quartering troops
4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure 5. Rights of accused persons 6. Right to a fast and speedy trial 7. Right to a trial by jury 8. Limits on fines and punishments 9. Rights of the people 10. Powers of the states and the people