Creating the Constitution 1781-1789

Creating the Constitution
Chapter 5: Section 1
Which statement do you agree with
• A. a strong central government poses a
serious threat to personal liberties
• B. A strong central government offers the best
protection for personal liberties
• C. A strong central government is possible
only if personal liberties are sacrificed
• D. A strong central government is not needed
to protect personal liberties
• A. Explain how the states’ new constitutions
reflected republican ideals
• B. Describe the structure and powers of the
national government under the Articles
• C. Summarize Congress’s plan for the
settlement and governance of Western lands
• D. List the main weaknesses of the Articles
Why it matters…
Powerful states and weak
governments would eventually face
severe problems
Early State Governments
• Republic
• Disagreement over proper design of
– Democracy power with people
– Conservatives preserve many colonial institutes
Democratic Patriots
• Wanted to create a state
government with strong
legislators and weak/no
• Unicameral Legislature
– PA; GA
• Had more conservative
constitutions; strong
• Bicameral Legislature
– ME; NY
Freedom of Religion
• Essentially guaranteed after the Revolutionary
• Used to be controversial
• Came about with the Passage of Virginia
Statute for religious freedom in 1786
– Drafted by Thomas Jefferson
– Excluded MA and CT
Articles of Confederation
• Congress drafted Articles in 1777 for the union
of the states
• Under John Dickinson of PA
– Congress designed a loose confederation of 13
states, rather than a strong centralized
Articles of Confederation
• Reflected the principles of the Declaration
• Rejected the centralized power of the British
Empire as a threat to liberty
• Federal  structure of new national government
• The Articles granted certain limited powers to
– Able to declare and conduct war and to negotiate
peace, to regulate foreign affairs, and to administer
relations with Indian nations