Lesson 1 Post-Revolution ProblemsBellringer: What problems do you think plagued the US after the American Revolutionary War was won?
“These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we screwed up the endgame.” - Charlie Wilson
Back Story CIA led a covert operation against the Russian invasion in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. The operation successfully pushed the Russian troops out of Afghanistan, but following the victory, the US failed to help establish any infrastructure in the country. An extremist group, the Taliban, came in and filled the power void, starting an oppressive, militant regime which lasted until 2001. “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we screwed up the endgame.” Revolutions are hard and often fail. Why did America succeed?
Guiding Questions Guiding Questions What type of government was set up following the American Revolution? What was the country like following the Revolution? Keep in mind during lecture
Discussion: John Locke What kind of government is best? Why do we need government? How do we create it? Founding Fathers studied philosophers and history when coming up a government Locke and Two Treaties of Government “State of Nature”; a condition in which no government or laws existed What would a “state of nature” look like?
Discussion: John Locke What would life look like in a state of nature? What might be some advantages and disadvantages? What rights, if any, do you expect to have? How would human nature fit into this model? What would daily life be like?
Locke’s Discovery Imagining a state of nature helped Locke imagine the best type of government for all. Came up with life, liberty , and property Natural rights; have these rights simply because they are human Locke felt the best way to govern and still protect natural rights was to live under a government and giver that government the power to make and enforce laws Power derived from the people “Social Contract” Give up all rights for security What rights do we give up? How much should we give up?
Post-War Problems 13 very different states made up the US Each state had their own constitution May 1176, the Continental Congress requested all the states draft their own constitutions All made different constitutions
State Constitutions The states were very wary of one party having too much power Drafted constitution to limit power in the hands of a single ruler Pennsylvania set up a council of 12 States divided power between the governor (or executive leader) and the legislature (i.e. the Congress) Hosted frequent elections
State Constitutions States included similar themes Natural rights Social contract Popular sovereignty; people are the highest authority Representation; elected officials Separation of power Checks and balances
Problems System was not working Going from dependent colonies to self- governing states created problems Even harder to create a unified, national government States wanted a republic; basically the head of state is not a monarch Favored weak national government; states would be like small, independent countries
Fixing the Problems 2nd Continental Congress appointed a committee to plan a national government Adopted the Articles of Confederation US’ first constitution Approved March 1, 1781 Created the Confederation Congress as the national government; very limited authority
How did the new governmentwork? Only set up a Congress This congress could only approve things with approval from the states Each state had1 vote and Confederation Congress needed 9 votes to pass
Problems with ConfederationCongress No money or power to raise money No power over states or citizens Not following Locke No one giving up any power
What COULD they DO? “Firm League of Friendship”; each state remained independent National government would conduct foreign affairs, maintain armed forces, borrow money, and issue currency It could NOT regulate trade, draft to the military, or impose taxes Could ask states for money, but there was no chief officer to enforce
Still Fixing the Problems Other issues All states had 1 vote, but bigger states wanted more say The national government was weak 9 states to pass a law Too weak to deal with problems Financial issues, worthless money, unable to collect taxes, food prices rose, riots, debt Confederation asked states to revise the Articles to allow the Congress the power to tax Needed all 13 states to revise Articles Did not pass
More Issues Great Britain still occupied the Great Lakes region Kept America out of global trade Spain closed shipping to lower Mississippi Depression, limited trade, limited agriculture due to war damages
Too Weak Confederation could do little to deal with the problems “Little more that the shadow without substance.” Farmers could not sell goods States seized their lands when they couldn’t pay taxes Led to rebellions
Shay’s Rebellion Massachusetts Daniel Shay led an armed mob and closed the courts in the city. Fought the state militia
Shay’s RebellionWorrisome; the government was losing control Country could fall to widespread anarchy Could a country continue if it couldn’t maintain law and order?
Slavery Issues Forced contradiction between liberty and enslavement 11 states outlawed slavery, but the southern economy was still dependent Quakers = abolitionists People began questioning the Federal government
Starting Over Failed revolutions: Russia and France Read article about revolutions: Failed revolutions: Mao’s China, Lenin’s Russia, Khomeini’s Iran. Is Egypt next?
Questions EXIT CARD Why couldn’t the Articles of Confederation work according to Locke? Guiding Questions
Primary Sources Read Articles of Confederation In partners Summarize Articles Discuss