The Articles of Confederation and The Constitution Convention 1787
The Articles of Confederation • 1776 each state created new independent state governments • National government needed to control trade among states and between states and foreign nations • When Richard Henry Lee called for independence, he also called for formation of a national government • Adopted in 1777 • Ratified in 1781
The Articles of Confederation • Problems • Fear of creating a national government too strong • People believed their state was their country • They liked the closeness of their government • Remembered the abuse of the British • Fear that some states would have more power than others in a national government • How would states be represented? • How would the minority be treated?
The Articles of Confederation • Solution – Fear of strong government • Create a weak national government • Just a central legislation • Most power left to the state • Only states had power over their citizens • No taxing authority • No power to regulate trade between states
The Articles of Confederation • Give each state one vote • Regardless of the population • Nine votes had to agree on important matters such as declaration of war
The Articles of Confederation • Weaknesses of the Articles • No money and no way to get it • No power to tax • No power to pay off Revolution debt • National government asked for $10 million got $1.5
The Articles of Confederation • Weaknesses of the Articles • No power over state governments and citizens • Laws passed by national government did not have to be honored; Loyalist able to keep their property or receiving recompensed for property
The Articles of Confederation • Weaknesses of the Articles • Unenforceable trade agreements. Example: people ordering goods from a foreign nation and then not paying for goods. Foreign nation thought twice before trading with U.S. • Unfair competition among the states. States would tax goods as they passed within. • Threats to citizens’ right to property. Factions within states worked to create majorities that would persecute minority factions
Weaknesses of theArticles of Confederation • A unicameral Congress [9 of 13 votes to pass a law]. • 13 out of 13 to amend. • Representatives were frequently absent. • Could not tax or raise armies. • No executive or judicial branches.
State Constitutions • Republicanism. • Most had strong governors with veto power. • Most had bicameral legislatures. • Property required for voting. • Some had universal white male suffrage. • Most had bills of rights. • Many had a continuation of state-established religions while others disestablished religion.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787 Slavery Prohibited • One of the major accomplishments of the Confederation Congress! • Statehood achieved in three stages: • Congress appointed 3 judges & a governor to govern the territory. • When population reached 5,000 adult male landowners elect territorial legislature. • When population reached 60,000 elect delegates to a state constitutional convention.
Achievements of the Articles • The Revolution was won • Recognition of the U.S. by foreign nations • Northwest Ordinance • Plan for government of the Northwest Territory • Set up process for statehood • Land set aside for education • Slavery prohibited
The Articles of Confederation • Shays Rebellion – 1786, angry farmers in Mass. • Couldn’t pay debts, some sent to prison, courts selling property to pay debts • Go to the Springfield arsenal to get weapons • Defeated by state militia • Fear spread to men of property that anarchy could come
Problems in the USA • Washington “ We are either a united people or we are not. If the former, let us act as a nation” • James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Annapolis Convention (1786) • 12 representatives from 5 states[NY, NJ, PA, DE, VA] • GOAL address barriers that limited trade and commerce between the states. • Not enough states were represented to make any real progress. • Sent a report to the Congress to call a meeting of all the states to meet in Philadelphia to examine areas broader than just trade and commerce.
The Constitutional Convention • Duties of the Convention – to revise the Articles • Who attended – 55 delegates; Average age 42; ¾ had served in Congress; George Washington • James Madison aka “Father of the Constitution” • Alexander Hamilton • John Jay • Benjamin Franklin • James Wilson –father of the executive branch and the electoral college
The Constitutional Convention • Friday May 25, 1787 Philadelphia , Pa. • George Washington elected president of the convention • After setting up rules for the meeting, the delegates decided to scrap the Articles and write a new constitution • Meetings held in secret for a free exchange of ideas • Each state would have 1 vote • No decision until the entire document written
The Constitutional Convention • Virginia Plan (Federal Plan) • Proposed a strong national government • National government would have the power to make and enforce laws and collect taxes. • Federal system of three branches of government legislative, executive, and judicial • Legislative branch would have two branches – A House of Representatives and a Senate and seats in the houses would be based on population
The Constitutional Convention • New Jersey Plan • One house of legislation with powers to tax, regulate trade between states and nations, laws and treaties of the Congress would be the law of the land • Executive branch made up of people appointed by Congress • Supreme Court appointed by the executive branch
The Constitutional Convention • How do you think the framers of the Constitution reacted to these plans?
The Constitutional Convention • The Connecticut or Great Compromise • Legislative two house - Senate based on two senators from each state selected by state legislatures –House of Representatives based on proportional representation • House given the taxing and government spending bills • Bills had to pass both houses • Checks and balances set up to control each branch
The Constitutional Convention • The Great Compromise • Slavery (wording does not appear in the Constitution) • Nothing could be done to the slave trade until 1808 to ensure that trade bills could pass with simple majorities • Slaves would count as 3/5 of a person when determining representation and taxing. • Fugitive slave clause
The Constitutional Convention • The Executive Branch • A single executive elected by the people indirectly through electors • Four year term with no limit of terms • Powers • carrying out and enforcing laws • Nominating people for federal office • Negotiating treaties with other nations • Conducting wars • To pardon people • Sending and receiving ambassadors • Veto
The Constitutional Convention • Judicial Branch • Supreme Court headed federal judiciary Actual set up to occur after first session of Congress • Nominated by President and approved by Congress - Life time appointment except for treason or judicial misconduct
Limits of Democracy • States determine voter qualification • Assumed only “prominent men” would hold office • This group would be known as the “Notables”
Conflicting Opinions • Federalist -Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, Jay, Madison thought that it was a good document. The people should ratify the document. Have the document approved by ratifying conventions. When 9 approved it would be approved • Anti-Federalist - George Mason, Patrick Henry, Mercy Otis Warren feared the document because personal liberties were not guaranteed
Federalist vs Anti-Federalist • Federalist tended to be men of substantial property, urban dwellers seeking prosperity, rural residents with ties to commerce • Anti-Federalist drew support from small farmers in more isolated rural areas. • Federalist control the press
Federalist Papers • A series of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay arguing that the Constitution should be ratified. • June 1788, New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify; Problem New York and Virginia still undecided. • Eventually only NC and RI voted against ratification. They eventually join the Union • They agreed that when Congress met, a series of amendments would be added to guarantee personal liberties.
We the People • Constitution identifies three populations inhabiting the US • Indians • “Other people” – slaves • “People” who are the only ones entitled to American freedoms and citizenship
The New Country • Over 80 % of the population was literate • Very Young – average age 16 years old. So, would lead to a population explosion • The great barrier of the Atlantic Ocean • Abundant natural resources • Majority of people were property owners • Almost as large as France, Spain, G.B. combined.
New Government Elected • George Washington elected President; John Adams receiving the 2nd most votes became Vice-President • Capital temporarily in New York City • Factions formed • The Judiciary Act of 1789
President’s Cabinet • Alexander Hamilton – Sec. of Treasury • Thomas Jefferson – Sec. of State • Henry Knox – Sec of Army • Edmund Randolph – Attorney General
Hamilton’s Financial Program • Pay of securities with bonds and keep the United States in debt. Wealthy financiers would be tied to the success of the U.S. • This screwed the poor and made speculators very wealthy. • The National government would take over the states war debts. Some Southern states had refinanced or paid off their war debts and feared that they would have to pay twice. • Hamilton’s payoff – the capital would be placed in the South in a special district on the Potomac
Hamilton’s Financial Program • The National Bank – make easier to make loans, handling government funds, and issuing financial notes. Would legitimize American money • Split between Hamilton and Jefferson • Hamilton – loose interpretation of Constitution • Jefferson – strict interpretation of the Constitution • Tariffs to raise more treasury • Hamilton built a stable economy in two years.
The French Revolution • U.S. issues a proclamation of neutrality allowing U.S. merchants to trade with the French and British. • Americans divided between Pro-French and Anti – French • The bloodiness of the French revolution turned off many wealthy Americans as the French anti-Christian stance turned off the religious in america.
Citizen Genet • In April 1793, a French minister, Edmond Charles Genet, arrived in the United States and tried to persuade American citizens to join in revolutionary France's "war of all peoples against all kings.“ • Genet passed out letters authorizing Americans to attack British commercial vessels. • Washington regarded these activities as clear violations of U.S. neutrality, and demanded that France recall its hot headed minister. Fearful that he would be executed if he returned to France, Genet requested and was granted political asylum.
Citizen Genet • The Genet affair intensified party divisions. From Vermont to South Carolina, supporters of the French Revolution organized Democratic-Republican clubs. Hamilton suspected that these societies really existed to stir up grass-roots opposition to the Washington administration.
Troubles • The Whiskey Rebellion a new tax on spirits led to rebellion in western Pennsylvania. They quoted the French Revolution slogans such as “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” • Washington raised an army of 12,000 to put down the rebellion and assert the authority of the national government
Washington and the West • To open the Ohio country to white settlement, President Washington dispatched three armies. • Twice, a confederacy of eight tribes led by Little Turtle, chief of the Miamis, defeated American forces. • in 1794, a third army under the command of Anthony Wayne defeated the Indian alliance at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in northwestern Ohio. • British refuse to help the Indians
Washington and the West • Under the Treaty of Greenville (1795), Native Americans ceded much of the present state of Ohio in return for cash and a promise that the federal government would treat the Indian nations fairly in land dealings. • The year 1794 brought a crisis in America's relations with Britain. For a decade, Britain had refused to evacuate forts in the Northwest Territory. Control of those forts allowed the British to monopolize the fur trade. • Frontier settlers believed that British officials sold firearms to the Indians and incited uprisings against white settlers.
Jay’s Treaty • The American statesman John Jay, pressed into service as special envoy, went to England to negotiate disagreements between the two governments. On November 19, 1794 Jay's Treaty was signed, averting the threat of war. • The Treaty eliminated British control of western posts within two years, established America's claim for damages from British ship seizures, and provided America a limited right to trade in the West Indies. • Although Jay's Treaty provoked a storm of controversy (Jay was burned in effigy by mobs of outraged Americans), President Washington pressed for ratification. The treaty passed the Senate in June, 1795.
Washington’s Farewell Speech • Warned against political factionalism (no political parties) • Avoid permanent political alliances with Europe • Morality of government
Pinckney’s Treaty 1796 • Gave the United States the rights to navigate the Mississippi River and the use of the port at New Orleans • It settled borders between the U.S. and Spanish Florida