The Articles of Confederation- 1777 First system of government used by the United States.
The Main Ideas Only one branch of government (unicameral) called Congress. States controlled most of the power. Congress could declare war, make treaties, print money, deliver mail. Congress controlled Indian affairs. Congress could not tax the states, enforce laws, regulate trade between states. All 13 states had to approve changes. Made it very difficult to make any changes for the nation.
Problems Without taxes the Country could not pay off debts. Without trade rules, arguments between states hurt commerce. Congress could pass laws but not enforce them. Each state had one vote regardless of its size. No executive branch or court system. Congress could not raise an army without the states’ permission.
Articles of Confederation In short, the national government did not have enough authority to effectively rule. Things were a mess! States were not united as a country. Something had to change.
A Constitutional Convention-1787 Delegates met to revise (change) the Articles of Confederation. Instead they agreed to create a new constitution.
Debating the Framework James Madison designed a framework for a new government. It suggested replacing the current weak central government with a strong one. The one state/one vote system would be replaced by a system based on a state’s population. (Virginia Plan) Georgia supported the idea, but smaller states objected that they would be less important.
Two Plans for the Constitution Virginia Plan – called for a bicameral legislature (2 houses), with representation in the houses based on state population. More populated states get more votes in the legislature. New Jersey Plan – called for a unicameral legislature (1 house), with each state getting only vote. Votes not determined by population. States had a hard time agreeing, because the smaller less populated states did not agree with the Virginia Plan, and the more populated states did not agree with the New Jersey Plan.
The Great Compromise A compromise was reached that satisfied both sides. A bicameral (two house) legislature was created. The House of Representatives would be based on a state’s population. The Senate would include two representatives from each state.
The Constitution Three branches of government were also created to provide a system of checks and balances. Congress was divided into two houses to balance power between the states. House of Representatives decided by population. (satisfied the large states) Senate gave each state two representatives. (satisfied the smaller states) Approved a 3/5ths compromise for all slaves. William Few and Abraham Baldwin signed for Georgia.
William Few Was elected to the Georgia Assembly (legislature for the state) and helped establish Georgia’s Constitution in 1777. In 1780, he was elected to the Continental Congress, before eventually representing Georgia at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Abraham Baldwin Was a chaplain (minister to soldiers) during the American Revolution. He practiced law and help establish the University of Georgia. Had the last deciding which plan would be accepted for the national government (Virginia Plan or the New Jersey Plan). His vote resulted in a tie between the two plans, which led to the great compromise.
Improvements Federal Government has more power than the states. Congress can collect taxes and regulate trade between states. Bill of Rights guarantees individual rights such as Freedom of Speech and religion.
The Bill of Rights Right to keep and bear 1. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition2. arms3. Conditions for quarters of soldiers4. Right of search and seizure regulated5. Provisons concerning prosecution6. Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.7. Right to a trial by jury8. Excessive bail, cruel punishment9. Rule of construction of Constitution10. Rights of the States under Constitution
Creating a Government Note CheckChoose either A (Articles of Confederation) or C (Constitution) to identify which formof government is represented by each statement or phrase.______ 1. The first system of government used by the United States.______ 2. A bicameral Congress helped balance power between states.______ 3. Had a strong central (federal) government.______ 4. Could pass laws but not enforce them.______ 5. Was signed by Abraham Baldwin and William Few.______ 6. Created a system of checks and balances.______ 7. Used only a legislative branch of government.______ 8. Required all 13 states to approve any changes.______ 9. Did not have the power to collect taxes.______ 10. Included the Bill of Rights.