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The Articles of Confederation

Part of a flip lecture on the Articles of Confederation

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The Articles of Confederation

  1. 1. The Articles of Confederation And why they went wrong
  2. 2. Disclaimer View this presentation in chunks, don’t try to do it all at once! Take notes only on bolded terms. Compare notes with your classmates.
  4. 4. Origins • June 1776- The Second Continental Congress • Richard Henry Lee (VA) proposes 3 things: – A Declaration of Independence – Forming alliances with other Europeans – Plan a confederation of the thirteen colonies
  5. 5. Origins • June 1776- The Second Continental Congress • Richard Henry Lee (VA) proposes 3 things: – A Declaration of Independence – Forming alliances with other Europeans – Plan a confederation of the thirteen colonies
  6. 6. Confederation • A group of sovereign states loosely join together to provide for national defense, conduct foreign affairs and promote each others’ well-beings • Very weak central government as the majority of power belonged to the states • They are technically not one country, but a group of small nations joined together
  7. 7. Central Gov’t (weak)
  8. 8. Why? • During colonization, the colonies were always separate from each other • Therefore, they consider themselves to be their own country • They viewed other states as foreign countries!
  9. 9. Also why? • They were also a little weary of a strong central government after dealing with the British
  10. 10. The Articles • In total, there are thirteen articles. Let’s do this! (I recommend take a break here if you’re doing this in one shot)
  11. 11. The First Five I. Establishes the name of the confederacy as the “United States of America” II. Affirms that all the states are sovereign (right to rule themselves) except for powers given to the central gov’t III. Commitment issues- states that the USA is not a nation, but a league of friend states IV. Establishes equal treatment of people moving from state to state V. Each state gets one vote in congress
  12. 12. The Next Five VI. Only the cent. gov’t can conduct foreign relations, declare war. States cannot have standing armies except if “infested with pirates”. VII. Colonels and ranks below are appointed by state legislatures VIII. If the US spends money, the states are supposed to pay based on the value of their land. IX. Lists powers of the cen. gov’t X. The Committee of the States can act as the gov’t when the Congress is in recess
  13. 13. The Last Three XI. If Canada wants to join, they can join XII. Confederation accepts the war debts of the Continental Congress XIII. The Articles may be amended only by full approval of ALL state legislatures
  14. 14. IT SOUNDS ALL DANDY BUT… Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
  16. 16. Issue 1: Taxes • The Congress couldn’t levy (raise) taxes • They had to ask politely
  17. 17. Issue 2: Interstate Commerce • Congress couldn’t regulate trade between the states • States could issue their own money
  18. 18. Issue 3: Enforcement of Laws • You pretty much couldn’t enforce any laws the Congress passed in the states
  19. 19. Issue 4: No standing army • Since the Congress couldn’t tax the states, there was no money to pay for an army • So really, a guys with a bunch of pitchforks and guns could probably cause a lot of trouble hypothetically…. Hypothetically…
  20. 20. SHAYS’ REBELLION! Second to last section I swear on tacos
  21. 21. Shays… Daniel Shays I’ll take my rebellion shaken… not stirred
  22. 22. So what had happened was… • Economic hardship hit much of post- Revolution America, especially Massachusetts • Come on, you knew it would’ve been Massachusetts… them crazy people
  23. 23. Who did it hurt the most? • The economic hardship hit rural farmers in Massachusetts especially hard • Many were unable to pay their debts due to a lack of hard currency; this cost many to lose their farms
  24. 24. Protest and Revolt • Around 1786, these farmers began protests not too different from those of the Revolution • Once former Revolutionary War soldier Daniel Shays took over, things got kinda violent • Massachusetts was saved once a force paid by merchants could put down the rebellion
  25. 25. Definitely not the Boston Massacre
  26. 26. Significance • Showed the weakness of the central government as they could not respond with military aid to Massachusetts
  27. 27. But it wasn’t all bad… • Land Ordinance of 1785 – Set up procedures on how to survey (map out and create square borders) west of the Mississippi • Northwest Ordinance of 1785 – States gave up claims to land to the west in order for new states to be formed – None of the states formed under the NWO became slave states
  28. 28. In Conclusion The government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to effectively provide support to all of the states. Therefore, calls came to create a new government that could do what the Articles couldn’t. This new government is the one we have today.