Starting a New Nation Trials and errors
The Young Nation • Should the new nation be 13 independent countries or is it one united country?
The Young Nation • During the Constitutional Era, the Americans made two attempts to establish a workable government based on republican principles. • American political leaders, fearful of a powerful central government like Britain’s, created the Articles of Confederation, adopted at the end of the war.
Failure of the Articles 1) America had a huge debt: Couldn’t pay our bills 2) Couldn’t stop fighting between states Not United
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress • In November of 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. • This was a plan for a loose union of the states under Congress. • The Articles set up a weak central government • The Confederation Congress met just once a year.
The Articles of Confederation America’s 1st national government: The basic law of the country from 1781 until 1789, when it was replaced by the U.S. Constitution
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress • The Confederation Congress had the power to declare war, raise armies, and sign treaties. • It did not have the power to impose taxes or regulate trade. • The only way the Congress had to raise money to pay its debts was to sell its land west of the Appalachian Mountains. • Congress arranged this land into townships to make it easier to divide, sell, and govern.
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress • The Congress also set up the Northwest Ordinanceas a basis for governing much of this territory. • The ordinance created a new territory north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, which could become three to five states. • When the population of a territory reached 60,000, it could apply to become a state.
The Achievements of the Confederation Congress • The ordinance guaranteed certain rights to the people living there, and it banned slavery. • The Confederation Congress negotiated trade treaties with European countries and by 1790 the US trade was greater than before the Revolution.
Northwest Ordinance Established how territories became states Sale of land to pay national debt & create public schools Banned Slavery in Northwest Territories
The Achievements of the confederation Congress • Why was the Northwest Ordinance set up? • It was set up to govern the territory north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.
The Congress Falters • After the Revolutionary War, British merchants flooded American markets with inexpensive British goods which drove many American artisans out of business. • American states imposed duties (taxes) on imported goods. • The states did not all impose the same taxes so the British would land their goods at the states with the lowest taxes or restrictions.
The Congress Falters • Because the Confederation Congress could not regulate commerce, the states set up customs posts on their borders and levied taxes on other states’ goods. • This weakness of the Confederation threatened the union of the states. • The federal government had no powers over the states and could not force them to pay their debts to Britain or return Loyalist property.
The Congress Falters • The British retaliated by refusing to leave American soil as promised in the treaty. • Since Congress could not regulate trade, it could not force the British into settlement. • The end of the Revolutionary War and the slowdown of economic activity with Britain caused a severe recession in the United States.
The Congress Falters • To pay for the war, many states had issued bonds as a way to borrow money. • To pay back the bondholders, many people urged the states to issue paper money. • States did not have the gold and silver to back paper money and so the paper money greatly declined in value.
Shays‘s Rebellion • Shays’s Rebellion broke out in Massachusetts. • It started when the government of Massachusetts decided to raise taxes to pay off its debt instead of issuing paper money. • The taxes hurt the farmers most and those who could not pay their taxes and other debts lost their farms. • Daniel Shays led the rebellion.
Shays’s Rebellion • Causes: • Increased taxes • Foreclosure on farms by banks Stirs memories of………..
Shays’s Rebellion • They went to a state arsenal to get weapons. • A government militia defended the arsenal killing four farmers. • Many Americans began to see the risk of having a weak central government. • They called for a change in government.
Shays’s Rebellion • Effects: • Convinces people of the need to Strengthen national government
Congress Falters • What weaknesses of the Confederation Congress led to a call for change in the United States government?
Congress Falters • The Confederation Congress could not regulate commerce, so the states set up customs posts on their borders and levied taxes on other states’ goods to raise money. The federal government had no powers over the states so it could not force the states to pay their debts to Britain or Loyalists. Congress had no way to raise money to pay these debts or work out diplomatic solutions with Great Britain and Spain.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation • Provided for a weak national government • Gave Congress no power to tax or regulate commerce among the states • Provided for no common currency • Gave each state one vote regardless of size • Provided for no executive or judicial branches of government
Failure of the Articles Almost impossible to change the laws Our Government was: Too Weak It could NOT protect peoples rights to: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Congress could: Raise armies Declare War Sign treaties Congress could not: Raise revenue through taxes Regulate trade or collect tariffs Conflicting Powers of the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation • Went against Congress’s explicit wish to revise the govt. not replace it, states were now in danger of losing their sovereignty. • In effect, U.S. government was peacefully overthrown
The Constitutional Convention • Leaders were all appointed by the state legislatures, whose members had been elected by voters who could qualify as property owners. • 55 delegates convened on May 25, 1787 in the Philadelphia statehouse , most all were men of high prestige and conservative • Jefferson, in Paris, called the group a “convention of demigods”
The Constitutional Convention • People who supported a stronger central government were called nationalists. • George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, JamesMadison, and Alexander Hamilton were among the prominent nationalists. • Hamilton suggested that a convention of states be set up to revise the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitutional Convention • All states, except Rhode Island, sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787. • Most of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention had experience in government. • George Washington was presiding officer. • James Madison kept records of the debates. • The meetings were closed to the public.
Two Plans for Government • Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature • # of Reps based on population • Big State Plan
The Virginia Plan • James Madison created the Virginia Plan which proposed that the legislature be divided into two houses (bicameral) • Members of both houses would reflect that state’s population. • It proposed a national government consisting of a legislative, executive, and a judicial branch • National government had power to tax.
Two plans for government • New Jersey Plan • Unicameral Legislature • 1 state = 1 vote • Small State Plan
The New Jersey Plan • Congress would have a single house. • Modified the Articles of Confederation • Congress would have power to tax and regulate trade. • Small states insisted that each state had to have an equal vote in Congress • Northern and Southern states disagreed over how to treat slavery in the constitution.
The Constitutional Convention • In What ways did the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan differ? • The Virginia Plan wanted to throw out the Articles of confederation, while the New Jersey Plan wanted to revise the Articles of confederation. The Virginia Plan called for two houses of Congress with representation based on a state’s population. The New Jersey Plan called for one house with equal representation. The Virginia Plan called for three branches of government, whereas the New Jersey Plan did not.
A Union Built on Compromise • The delegates of the Constitutional Convention were divided geographically. • The small states wanted changes that would protect them against the big states. • Northern and Southern states were divided over the issue of slavery in the new constitution. • A Compromise was needed.
Compromises • Great Compromise (Connecticut) • Population and Equality based legislature • House of Representatives control taxation
Compromises • Three-Fifths Compromise • North: Slaves should not count in population totals • South: Smaller population would lead to northern domination • Compromise: Slaves will count as 3/5 of a person for representation
Compromises Cont. • Most northerners and many southerners believed slavery would eventually die out. • Most northerners also believed blacks inferior and could work only as menial laborers.
The Connecticut Compromise (The Great Compromise) • Congress voted to proceed with the Virginia Plan with the purpose of working on a new constitution for the United States. • In one house of Congress the states would be represented according to size. • In the other house, (the Senate), each state would have equal representation. • The eligible voters would elect the House of Representatives, but the state legislatures would choose senators.
Compromises • Great Compromise • 2 Houses • House of Reps: • Population Based • Senate: • Equal Reps
The Three-Fifths Compromise • Every five slaves would count as three free persons for determining representatives and taxes. • The new Congress could not ban the slave trade until 1808.
Convention Compromises • 3/5 Compromise • North vs South • Issue: Are slaves people or property? • 5 slaves = 3 votes
Additional Compromises • Slave Trade: End in 1808 • Export Tax • Electoral College
Federalist Anti-Federalist Ratifying the Constitution Washington, Madison, Hamilton George Mason Patrick Henry Oppose Ratification Support Ratification Afraid of a loss of state and individual rights Federalist Papers
Federalists • Supporters of the new Constitution • Merchants, urban, upper-class, seacoast, commercial interests • Washington, Madison, Jay, Marshall
Federalist Papers • Series of articles by Madison, Jay, and Hamilton in support of Constitution (“Publius”) • Madison’s “Federalist 10” considered to be one of the greatest political documents written