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Soc studies #15 articles of confederation


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The Articles of Confederation

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Soc studies #15 articles of confederation

  2. 2. 1. Constitution – a plan of government 2. Inflation – a continuous rise in the prices of goods and services 3. Ratification – official approval 4. Bicameral – having two branches 5. Tariff – a tax on imports and exports 6. Depression – a period of low economic activity and widespread unemployment 7. Currency – the money a country uses
  3. 3. • The United States of America now needed to form a new government • To do this, the people drew from many previous political ideas: - England’s Magna Carta, a document dating back to 1215, made the king subject to the law - The English Bill of Rights – 1689 declared the supremacy of Parliament * These two documents assured that representatives of the people would have a strong voice in England’s government
  4. 4. • Americans had already used forms of self-government in their town meetings, in the Virginia House of Burgesses, and in the Mayflower Compact
  5. 5. • Early in the War for Independence, the Continental Congress had asked each state to organize their governments and adopt a state constitution. • The states adopted constitutions that limited the power of the governor because they did not want too much power in the hands of a single ruler • The states also established bicameral legislatures (law-making branches) to further divide powers
  6. 6. • In 1776 the delegates of the Second Continental Congress knew they would need a central government to coordinate the war effort against Britain • In November 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation • The Articles were sent to each state legislature for ratification. After much debate, all states had ratified by March of 1781
  7. 7. • Under the Articles of Confederation: - Congress became the single branch of national government - Each state had one vote in Congress, no matter how large their population - Congress could settle conflicts among states, issue coins, borrow money, and make treaties with other countries - The new government did not have a president or a national court system, and only the states could collect taxes (not the Congress) - The individual states held most of the power
  8. 8. • The Land Ordinance of 1785 set up a system for surveying and dividing Western lands The Land Ordinance of 1785 set forth how the government of the United States would measure, divide and distribute the land it had acquired from Great Britain north and west of the Ohio River at the end of the American Revolution.
  9. 9. • The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established the Northwest Territory and created a system for bringing new states into the Union • The Ordinance also stated that slavery would not be allowed in the Territory. This clause marked the country’s first attempt to stop the spread of slavery, but it did not free people who were already enslaved.
  10. 10. • The new country faced many difficulties - No national army - Could not enforce treaties such as the Treaty of Paris - By 1784, there was little or no trade with Great Britain - Britain forced American merchants to pay high tariffs - This had a negative impact on the U.S. economy
  11. 11. *Presidents of the Congress under the Articles of Confederation ===================>
  12. 12. • The Confederation Congress had no power to correct the country’s problems • The states worked to increase their own trade rather than trying to improve the economy of the country as a whole • After the war, the states struggled to pay off war debts • They printed paper money which had no gold or silver reserves to back it up, thus it had little or no value
  13. 13. • Inflation became a problem in many states • With no common currency, Congress had no power to stop inflation • Inflation in the states and the loss of trade with Britain created an economic depression
  14. 14. SHAYS’ REBELLION • In August 1786, farmers in three Massachusetts counties began a revolt • Former Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led hundreds of men in a forced shut down of the Supreme Court in Springfield, Massachusetts • State troops defeated Shays’ forces in January 1787 • Shays’ Rebellion highlighted the weakness of the Confederation government; it was clear that a stronger central government was needed
  15. 15. • After a failed meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, (in which only 5 states were represented), a convention was called in Philadelphia to discuss trade issues and to consider possible changes to the structure of government • The Constitutional Convention would take place in May 1787, and would include delegates from all 13 states.