2.3 - The Critical Period

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THE CRITICAL
PERIOD
CHAPTER 2 SECTION 3
“We are one nation today and 13 tomorrow. Who will treat
with us on such terms?” -George Washington commenting
on state of nation following the Revolutionary War
QUESTION OF THE DAY
• Would you expect a new,
revolutionary computer software
program to run free of glitches? Do
you think the first government of
the United States ran without any
glitches?
OBJECTIVES
• Describe the structure of the government
set up under the Articles of
Confederation
• Explain why the weakness of the Articles
led to a critical period for the government
in the 1780’s
• Describe how a growing need for a
stronger national government led to
plans for a Constitutional Convention
ARTICLES OF
CONFEDERATION
• The Articles of Confederation established “a
firm league of friendship” among the States.
• Approved by 2nd Continental Congress on Nov. 15, 1777.
• Ratified (formal approval) by all 13 states by March 1, 1781
and declared effective on that date.
The Articles of Confederation
Powers
Congress was given the
power to declare war, borrow
money, coin money, raise
military, and settle disputes
among States.
Obligations
The States promised to obey
Congress, return fugitives,
allow open travel, and to
respect the laws of the other
States. States kept
sovereignty.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
1 2
4 5
Chapter 2, Section 3
ARTICLES OF
CONFEDERATION
• Governmental Structure – simple form of
government
• Unicameral (one house) congress created (sole
governmental body). No executive or judicial branch –
these functions handled by committees of congress.
• Each state had one vote in congress, regardless of
size.
• Each year congress chose one member to be its
president, or presiding officer, but NOT president of the
US.
Other Powers
• Powers of Congress – several important
powers
•
•
•
•
Make treaties
Establish post offices
Build a navy
Raise an army by asking the states for
troops
• Fix uniform standards of weights and
measures
Other Weaknesses of the
Articles
• Powerless central government, State
fighting
• States made agreements with foreign
countries
• Some States created armies
• States taxed each other's goods, and
printed their own money
• prices soared, debts grew = economic
chaos
A Call for a Stronger
Government
Picture of Mt. Vernon
• Need for Stronger Government – As problems
worsened, demand grew for a stronger central
government. Leading the charge – large property
owners, merchants, traders, creditors.
•
Representatives from Maryland and Virginia met at
Mount Vernon, Virginia in 1785 to discuss trade
issues.
• The meeting was so successful that the Virginia General
Assembly requested a meeting of all thirteen States,
which eventually became the Constitutional Convention
in Philadelphia
Section 3 Review
1. The government set up by the Articles of
Confederation had
(a) the power to make treaties and build a navy.
(b) a bicameral congress.
(c) separation of powers.
(d) a President to carry out its laws.
2. Which of the following was a weakness of the Articles
of Confederation?
(a) Congress could not make treaties.
(b) Congress could not borrow money.
(c) The States did not agree to obey the Articles.
(d) Congress could not lay or collect taxes or duties.
ASSIGNMENT
• Pretend that you're living
during the critical period of the
1780's. You realize that the
weaknesses of the Articles of
Confederation are creating
difficult times for the
government.
• Write an editorial to a local
newspaper identifying the
problems of the Articles,
explaining how these problems
are affecting the nation's
government, and
Assignment Rubric
Write an editorial for a newspaper, identifying problems with
the Articles of Confederation. Editorials must offer the
following:
1. A title, the author, and date of publication. (3 pts)
2. Identify any 3 problems with the Articles and an example of
how each problem is affecting the government. (6 pts)
3. 3 suggestions for change to the Articles of Conf. (3 pts)
4. An illustration (drawing) for the editorial. (3 pts)
5. Have an intro paragraph, a body paragraph for each of the 3
problems, a paragraph for each suggestion for change, and a
conclusion 8 Total. (8 pts) Total=23 pts
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