The Critical Period (1781-1787) Government Under the Articles of Confederation Unit 2: Building a Nation (1763-1800) Forming New Governments • After the war we had two tasks: 1) Restructuring colonial governments and 2) Forming a national government • Major Influences: 1215-Magna Carta (Parliament), 1689-English Bill of Rights (Limited Government), the Enlightenment, the Mayflower Compact, English and Colonial Tradition, Greek and Roman ideals, and Judeo-Christian traditions • We had to create states 1st, then a United States. Which task was more difficult? The Articles of Confederation • Written in 1777 and adopted in 1781 – the 13 United States adopted their first constitutionThe Articles of Confederation based on powers of old Continental Congress. • It created a “Firm League of Friendship” with a weak national government. Like an alliance. • The 13 states held the real power to govern. • The powers granted to the federal gov’t were limited. • It only lasted for 6 years (1781 – 1787). Why the Articles Failed? • Couldn’t regulate trade among states • Disputes among states over land (ultimately N.W. Ordinance would be only real success for Congress) • Couldn’t impose tariffs • Couldn’t tax states • States coined their money (inflation) • No President • Each state = 1 Vote • 3/4 vote to pass laws (9/13 majority) • Amendment = Unanimous Vote Land Disputes Between States (1783) The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back! • Captain Daniel Shays’ Rebellion -(1786) Massachusetts • 1780’s Depression – Farmers couldn’t pay their debts • MA govt’t determined to impose taxes to pay state’s debts • 1200 farmers shut down the courts & took up arms to stop foreclosures. • Massachusetts sent the militia to suppress the rebellion. As a result, many Americans were convinced that the U.S. needed a new government! Exit Slip: The Critical Period 1. What was the name of the first government of the United States of America? 2. How did the Enlightenment help influence American beliefs about government? 3. Name one weakness of the new government that led to its failure? 4. His rebellion helped convince the founding fathers that a new government was needed?