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The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
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The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution

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  • 1. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND THE CONSTITUTION
  • 2. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION •First written constitution •Created a sovereign, national government •Incredibly weak •Did not allow Congress sufficient authority to compel the states to enforce provisions of the 1783 Treaty
  • 3. NORTHWEST ORDINANCE OF 1787 •Rules of the Northwest Ordinance •Most of the area would be divided into 7 districts •When any of these districts reached the population of the smallest colony during the Revolution, it could be eligible to become a state •Rhode Island – 68,000 in 1790; 1 million in 2008
  • 4. POLITICAL ISSUES IN THE 1780S •Continental Army Debt •Congress promised generous pensions and bonuses for those that enlisted and stayed in the military •Congress now had trouble paying it back •Congress also dealt with the ideological and fiscal issue of maintaining an army during times of peace •Washington retained 2600 soldiers (one artillery division and four infantry divisions) •By 1784, Congress retained only 80 soldiers in two forts •Alexander Hamilton began to push for a strong federal government
  • 5. POLITICAL ISSUES IN THE 1780S •Border Dilemma •Port Issue •British, Spanish, and West Indies ports were off-limit to American merchants •Overall, the U.S. could not escape British regulations •Most independent business owners were rapidly going bankrupt •This caused a terrible depression that was only slightly better than the depression of the 1930s •Overall, international trade was destroyed
  • 6. ECONOMIC ISSUES IN THE 1780S •Congress owed a total of $10 million to other countries and $40 million to American veterans •During the war, Congress issued paper money that was close to worthless •How? •Congress failed to solicit the states to pay for the accumulating debt •Did not push for a provision in the Articles to levy taxes •Why? •Farmers were reduced to attempting to obtain similar loans to share-cropping •Farmers would use their land and its production as collateral for a loan •Farmers also realized that government coinage would fail, so many tried the new banking system
  • 7. ECONOMIC ISSUES IN THE 1780S •Bank of North America (formed in Philadelphia in 1781) •Did not use local or national currency •Used collateral and short-term loans to merchants and farmers •Bank notes were backed by gold and silver coins •Gold and silver gained an interest rate of 8.74% •Most of the poor viewed the banking system as the elite attempting to make a dime off the poor •Overall, the early banking system caused great unrest between classes
  • 8. THE FEDERALISTS •James Madison and Alexander Hamilton called for increased national authority in government •Hamilton believed that genuine liberty required a “proper degree of authority, to make and exercise laws” •Hamilton also wanted an energetic government that would enable the nation to become a powerful commercial and diplomatic presence in world affairs •The nation would survive only by enhancing national authority
  • 9. Alexander Hamilton James Madison
  • 10. THE FEDERALISTS •The Federalists were army officers, members of Congress, and diplomats •Typically seen as the nation’s best, richest, and brightest •Critics of the Articles of Confederation •Federalists held a convention in Annapolis in 1786 to consider better ways for regulating interstate and international commerce •Later agreed to meet in Philadelphia to amend the Articles and eventually write a new Constitution •Shays’ Rebellion proved useful to the Federalists’ push to overhaul the government •They saw the rebellion as a signal of anarchy if national authority was not exercised •As Congress sank further in public esteem by failing to pay soldiers’ pensions, more Americans began to realize that the Articles were completely ineffective
  • 11. THE CONSTITUTION •The Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia Convention) took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787 •55 delegates (all states except Rhode Island sent delegates) •The majority were the wealthiest and most educated men in the nation •George Washington presided as President over the Convention
  • 12. THE CONNECTICUT COMPROMISE •The final compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia plans •The issue between both plans rested on the legislative branch •Bicameral Legislature •Senate (based on New Jersey Plan) allowed for equal representation of all states •House of Representatives (based on Virginia Plan) allowed for population-weighted representation •Senate was the brains of the government •House of Representatives was the “heart of the people”
  • 13. SLAVERY IN THE CONSTITUTION •The issue of slavery represented the largest divide between the Constitutional delegates (aside from the legislative issue) •The words “slavery” and “slave” do not appear in the Constitution, but it did provide and allow for slavery •South Carolina was extremely influential for the perpetuation of slavery into the 19th century •Remember that over half of the state’s population was slaves? •Fugitive slave laws allowed for the state governments to extradite slaves from other states •The federal government could not interfere with slavery in the states •3/5s Compromise •How to deal with slaves as members of the population •5 adult slaves equaled 3 voters in the states
  • 14. RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION •Final draft signed on September 17, 1787 •Nine of the 13 states had to ratify the Constitution into law •The Federalist was published to garner support for ratification •Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay •Hamilton argued that government was an expression of freedom, not its enemy (Many were holding on to the idea that large government was the representation of tyranny) •Madison argued that America represented a new vision of government and society •The large physical size of the country was a strength, not a weakness •Popularized the liberal ideal that men are generally motivated by self-interest •The good of society arises from the clash of private, personal interests
  • 15. THE FEDERALIST WRITERS Alexander Hamilton James Madison John Jay
  • 16. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS •Opposed ratification •Argued that the republic needed to stay small and warned that the Constitution would result in a government of oppression •Liberty became the Anti-Federalist’s by-word and watch-word in all publications •Always attempting to exploit any weakness of the Constitution that might infringe on liberty •Although the Anti-Federalists did not have as much support as the Federalists, they convinced Madison to promise a Bill of Rights if the Constitution was approved •Overall, the only states to vote against ratification were Rhode Island (small state) and North Carolina (large, slave state) •Both felt their economies would be put in jeopardy if the Constitution was ratified

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