Constitution

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Creating a Nation
Unit 4
1
Day 1
The Articles of Confederation, our First
Constitution
1. The Articles of Confederation provided a
framework for a national government.
2. The Articles of Confederation was our
country’s first constitution, or plan of
government.
2
Play clip 1, Overview
3
After the Revolution


Revolutions are difficult-overthrowing Great
Britain wasn’t easy at all for the American
colonists- but building a strong nation was much
harder.
The end of the war brought liberty , but America
also faced problems.
1. The Continental army was unfed,
undersupplied, and unpaid, which led to
near mutiny.
2. With the Revolution over, a massive debt
of $27,000,000.00 had to be paid in gold.
4
Play clip 2, After the Revolution
5
UNITED states?



In 1776 as states began to write their state
constitutions, The Second Continental Congress
began to write a national constitution.
However, writing this constitution was very
difficult because in 1776 few Americans
considered themselves citizens of one nation.
Instead, they felt loyalty to their own states.
6
The Articles of Confederation are
ratified




Although states seemed unwilling to turn over much
power to the national government, the Articles of
Confederation were drafted in late 1777 to administer
the nation during the Revolutionary war.
The Articles then went to the states for the required
ratification by all thirteen states. After ratification in
1781, the Articles became the first Constitution of the
United States.
Ratification was delayed because of a dispute among the
states over western land claims by some states.
Maryland would not ratify the Articles until all lands
between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi
River became public land.
7
Who wrote the Articles?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
The main author of the Articles, John Dickinson, called
our first constitution a “firm league of friendship” among
the states.
It established a loose alliance of states rather than a
strong central government.
Dickinson and other writers feared a strong central
government because of their experience with the British
King and the Parliament.
They purposefully created a weak national government
under the Articles.
Under the Articles the Continental Congress became the
Confederation Congress, a national lawmaking body in
which each state had one vote.
8
National Government Under the Articles of
Confederation
CONGRESS COULD
CONGRESS COULD NOT
Maintain an ________ and navy
Levy ______________on states
Declare ______and peace
Prevent states from issuing their own
________________
Make ________s and alliances with other nations
Elect a _______________________
Amend the Articles without the consent of all
__________states
Borrow ___________
Establish a ___________ _
_________________________
Issue ___________
Manage affairs with _____________________
_________________________________
Require state to provide money for running the
__________________________
_________________________________
Regulate ________________ and commerce
Enforce a law in any ___________ that did not accept
that law
9
National Government Under the Articles of
Confederation
CONGRESS COULD
CONGRESS COULD NOT
Maintain an army and navy
Levy taxes on states
Declare war and peace
Prevent states from issuing their own
money
Make treaties and alliances with other nations
Elect a President
Amend the Articles without the consent of all 13
states
Borrow money
Require state to provide money for running the
national government
Establish a post office
Issue money
Manage affairs with Native Americans
Regulate trade and commerce
Enforce a law in any state that did not accept that law
10
Play Clip 3, Articles of Confederation
11
Obvious Weaknesses of the
Articles of Confederation
1. Most power held by
________________
2.
_____________ branch of
government
3.
Legislative branch has
________________ powers
4.
No
_________________________
branch
5.
No
_________________________
system
6.
No system of
_______________________
and
_______________________
Weaknesses of the
Articles of Confederation
12
END Day 1
13
Laws Passed Under the Articles
 Land
Ordinance of 1785
 Northwest
Ordinance of 1787
14
The Confederation Congress
passes the LAND Ordinance of 1785
 Congress
passed Land Ordinance of
1785 to raise money to pay debts.
 Ordinance
provided for surveying and
dividing western lands.
 Land
was split into townships.
 Each
township was divided into
sections for sale to the public.
15
The Confederation Congress
Establishes the Northwest Territory
 Congress
passed Northwest
Ordinance of 1787.
 Established Northwest Territory
and a system for creating new states
 Included what are now the states of
Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and
Wisconsin
 Required the provision of public
education and banned slavery
16
The Land Ordinance of 1785 and the
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
17
The Impact of Adding New States
END Day 2
18
Day 3
The New Nation Faces Challenges
• Under the Articles of Confederation the United
States was an unstable nation.
• Even as America expanded westward, it
continued to have problems with other nations.
19
The United States had Difficulties
with other Nations



Britain refused to turn over its forts in
U.S. territory to American control.
Britain did not allow American ships to
trade with the British West Indies
Britain imposed high tariffs on American
merchants.
20
Spain Closed the Lower Mississippi
to Shipping




In 1784 Spanish officials closed the lower
Mississippi River to U.S. shipping.
Western farmers and merchants were furious
because they used the Mississippi to send goods
to eastern and foreign markets.
The Confederation Congress tried to work out an
agreement with Spain, but the plan did not
receive a majority vote in Congress.
The plan could not be passed, so Spain broke
off the negotiations.
21
The United States Faces Trade
Barriers
22
Impact of Closed Markets



Closing markets in the British West Indies caused
American exports to drop.
Cheap British goods flowed into the United States.
The Confederation Congress had no authority to pass
tariffs, or order states to pass tariffs, to help correct
unequal trade with Britain.

States worked independently to increase their own
trade instead of improving the situation for the whole
country.
End Day 3
23
Day 4
A Failing Economy
History: Benchmark F: Indicator 5b: Creating a
stable economic system and Indicator 5c: Dealing
with war debts.
Economics: Benchmark C: Indicator 4: Explain how
lack of power to regulate the economy
contributed to the demise of the Articles of
Confederation and the creation of U.S.
Constitution.
Government: Benchmark B: Indicator 3a: Shay’s
Rebellion, Indicator 3b: Economic instability,
Indicator 3c: Government under the Articles of
Confederation
24
Internal Economic Problems
Plagued the New Nation


The Confederation Congress had no power to regulate interstate
commerce, making trade difficult across state lines.
Inflation was a problem in many states, which struggled to pay off
war debts by printing money.


Money was not backed by gold or silver, so it was worth less.
Loss of trade with Britain combined with inflation caused an
economic depression.

Depression is a period of low economic activity combined with a
rise in unemployment.
25
Farmers Face Hardships Under the Articles







Farmers experienced extreme hardship after the war.
Throughout the war, demand for food had increased.
To keep up with this demand, many farmers had
borrowed money from banks to buy more land and
equipment.
However, after the war the demand for farm products
decreased.
Farmers grew more food than they could sell and then
could not repay the money they had borrowed.
The banks began taking the farmers’ land away to pay
their debts.
When Spain closed the port of New Orleans, farmers
could no longer ship their goods for export.
26
27
Shays’ Rebellion




Daniel Shays led Massachusetts farmers in a revolt
over high taxes and farm foreclosures in August 1786.
The Confederation Congress had no power to put down
Shay’s Rebellion
Shays’s Rebellion was put down by state militia in
January 1787.
 Tried to force the shutdown of the Supreme Court in
Massachusetts
 No one’s property could be taken to pay off debts if
the court was closed.
Many citizens agreed with the farmers and their cause.
 State officials freed most of the farmers.
28
Causes
Effect
Shays’s
Rebellion
Constitutional
Convention
29
30
Many Americans Called for Changes
in the National Government



Shays’s Rebellion showed the weaknesses of the Articles
of Confederation, since the Confederation Congress could
not respond to Massachusetts’s call for help.
 People saw that the ideals of liberty were not
protected.
 People called for a stronger central government that
could protect the nation in times of crisis.
The Virginia legislature called for a national conference
to change the Articles of Confederation.
The Confederation Congress was called together in May
1787 in Philadelphia to revise the Articles.
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End Day 4
Begin Day 5
32
Day 5
Creating the Constitution
A new constitution provided a framework for a stronger
national government.
History: Benchmark F: Indicator 6: Explain the challenges in writing
and ratifying the U.S. Constitution including: a: Issues debated
during the convention resulting in compromises (i.e., the Great
Compromise, the Three-Fifths Compromise and the compromise over
the slave trade).
33
A New Constitution


Delegates realized the Articles of
Confederation had too many weaknesses
Each state sent delegates to the
Constitutional Convention to write an
entirely new constitution
34
Play Clip 4, Constitutional
Convention
35
The Constitutional Convention
Met to Improve the Government
of the United States



Constitutional Convention held in
Philadelphia in 1787.
Convention leaders included James Madison,
Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington.
Because of James Madison’s many contributions
to the formation of the U.S. Constitution, he is
called the Father of the Constitution
36
Play Clip 5, Great Men of the
Constitutional Convention
37
The Issue of Representation Led to
the Great Compromise



Virginia Plan (large state plan)- representation was
based on POPULATION (written by James Madison)
New Jersey Plan (small state plan)- gave each
state an EQUAL number of votes
Great Compromise resolved issue with a two-house
legislature (bicameral)


A lower house—the House of Representatives—provided for
representation based on state POPULATION.
An upper house—the Senate—provided for two representatives
from each state. (EQUAL representation)
38
Great Compromise
END Day 5
39
Day 6
How Would Slaves be Counted
for Representation?
40
Debate Over Slavery Led to
the Three-Fifths Compromise.
The South
Wanted slaves to be counted as part of their population for
representation but NOT taxation
The North
Wanted slaves counted only to determine taxes but not for
representation
Three-Fifths Compromise
Resolved differences by counting each slave as three-fifths of
a person for taxation and representation
41
The U.S. Constitution Created
Federalism and a Balance of
Power


Ensured popular sovereignty: idea that
political authority resided in the people.
Provided for federalism: sharing of power
between states and federal government.


Required states to obey authority of the federal
government.
Gave states control over functions not assigned to
the federal government.
42
Slave Trade


Some delegates believed slavery was
wrong and the slave trade should be
banned. Many southern delegates said
that they would leave the Union if the
Constitution immediately ended the slave
trade.
Northerners agreed that Congress could
not outlaw the slave trade for 20 years.
43
Checks and Balances
Constitution designed to
balance power between three
branches of government
44
End Day 6
45
Day 7
History:
Benchmark F:
Indicator 6b: The
Federalist/Anti-Federalist
debate and
6c: The debate over a Bill of
Rights.
46
Federalists and Antifederalists
engaged
in debate over the new Constitution.
Federalists
Antifederalists

Supported Constitution

Opposed Constitution

Desired strong central
government

Feared central government
would be too powerful

Liked balance of powers in
Constitution

Made speeches and
pamphlets advocating
change in government


Concerned about lack of
guarantee of individual
rights
George Mason became
Antifederalist over rights
issue
47
48
The Federalist Papers Played an
Important Role in the Fight for
Ratification
of the Constitution



Federalist Papers: series of essays supporting the Constitution.
Written anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James
Madison.
Federalist Papers argued that new federal government would not
overpower states.

Widely reprinted in newspapers around the country; influenced the
Constitution debate.
49
Battle for Ratification



9 states needed to ratify the Constitution.
All states except Rhode Island held ratification conventions for
citizens to discuss and vote on the Constitution.
Delaware was the first state to ratify, in 1787, and Rhode Island
was the last, in 1790.


New York and Virginia debated over ratification, but finally
ratified.
Political leaders knew these states were important, since
Virginia had the largest population in the nation and New York
was an important center for business and trade.
50
Ten Amendments were Added to the
Constitution to Provide a Bill of
Rights to Protect Citizens

Several states ratified the Constitution only after the promise of a
bill protecting individual rights would be added to the Constitution

The NEW Congress under the NEW Constitution responded by:


Passing a Bill of Rights to be added to the Constitution as amendments.
The Bill of Rights became the first ten amendments to the
Constitution upon ratification by the states in December 1791.

Gave a clear example of how to amend the Constitution to fit the
needs of a changing nation.

Flexibility of the Constitution has allowed it to survive for over
200 years.
51
Play Clip 6, Bill of Rights
52
53
54
Play Clip 7, Review
END Day 7
55
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