From Revolution to Constitution The Intermediate Years with the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation American Revolution and Declaration of Independence “Values”
Values• Fear of Oppression: After their experience with King George III, Americans were reluctant to grant much economic power, or authority of any sort, to the central government• Saw themselves as independent republics• In a republic the people are responsible for the virtue of the state – social contract, popular sovereignity
Articles of Confederation American Revolution “Values” Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation• The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in November 1777. However, ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781.• Articles existed between 1781-1788• The rules gave each state 1 vote through a representative• Big decisions required nine votes• Changing Articles required ALL 13 votes
Articles of Confederation• Congress could ask the states for men (soldiers) and money• Congress would settle disputes between states• Congress could make war and peace• Congress would regulate Indian Affairs• Congress would negotiate with foreign countries
Articles of Confederation• No National Executive• No National Judiciary• One house of Congress
Articles of Confederation Values of 1776 Political Articles of EconomicProblems Confederation Problems
Political Problems• 1783-1786 – Making formal peace with the Indians – Disagreements on power of congress on western boundaries of the states• Shays Rebellion in 1786 stopped by state militia• Security against foreign powers
Economic Problems• Debt – Congress could not pay down the mounting public debt (France, War Bonds) – Worthless national currency. No gold or silver to issue coins – Congress could not control inflation• Tariff – Federal government had little power but the states were empowered to act independently as sovereign bodies – Congress could not curb the flow of state-issued paper money• Tax – Congress had no power to tax – Congress was helpless to tax trade
Articles of Confederation Values of 1776 Political Articles of EconomicProblems Confederation Problems Strengths Weakness And Successes and Failures
Strength/Successes• Government successfully waged a war for independence against the British• The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 – three stages: territories, non-voting delegates to Congress, apply for statehood. Territories organize their own government – no slavery allowed but did have fugitive slave law• Government established the Departments of Foreign Affairs, War, Marine, and Treasury
Weakness/Failures• Federal government had no means to provide for Americans’ defense and security – no national army or navy• Congress could not raise money to pay off debt or operate properly• Each state operated like a separate country with own currency• No true Executive or Judicial branch• Congress was unable to regulate interstate and foreign commerce
Quick Review• What years were the Articles of Confederation in force?• Name one weakness of the Articles?• Name one success of the Articles?• What event(s) provoked the leaders to hold a convention that rewrote the Articles?
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