George Parchment

George Parchment

The Articles of Confederati on 1777-1787 During the American Revolution States organized their

governments and adopted their own state constitutions. But, Americans needed to establish their own national government now that they were no longer under British rule.

During the American Revolution The Articles of Confederation (a plan for government) were sent to the states (colonies) in 1777 for approval. These articles were Americas first constitution. Ratification was delayed until 1781 because of western

settlement disputes amongst the states. During the American Revolution Leaders met to decide what this new plan of government should look like, and in their discussions, they had 8 very important questions to answer

Question #1 Which level of government should have the most power, state or national? Why? Most Americans favored a weak central government and

strong independent states. Becausepeople were reluctant to replace one powerful government with another (fear of tyranny) Each state kept, its sovereignty, freedom, and independence.

Question #2 Which branches will be included? Why? The decided on a unicameral (one house) legislature just one lawmaking group. Becausethey didnt want a large national government.

This one branch legislature would be called Congress. There would be NO executive, chief executive, King, or President (again, fear of tyranny). Question #3 How will states be

represented in the legislative branch? Why? The Articles decided there would be equal representation each state gets the same number of votes (1).

Becausethey wanted each state to have equal power. States could determine how many representatives they were able to send. Question #4 How will representatives be selected? Why?

They decided there would be indirect elections, and representatives would be chosen by state government officials. Becausethey didnt trust the average citizen to make the right choice.

Most of the power was in the hands of state officials. Question #5 How long will representatives serve? Why? They decided representatives

would serve one year terms. Becausethey were trying to prevent tyranny and corruption. Question #6 How will laws be passed? Why?

They decided that at least nine of the 13 states must approve a law for it to be passed. Becausethey believed that laws would only be effective with strong support from the states.

Question #7 How will the government raise money? Why? They decided that they would ask the states for money. Becausethey didnt want the national government to have a lot of power when it

came to taxing they would rather rely on state support. Question #8 How will the national governments powers be limited? Why? They decided that the

national governments powers would be limited by state powers the states would be more powerful than the national government. Becausethey wanted to prioritize state needs over national needs, and again, they wanted to prevent

tyranny in the national In summary, the Articles of Confederation called for: A limited central (national) government. One branch legislature called Congress. No executive, chief executive, king,

or president. No national courts. All states would have equal representatives AND one single vote. 9 states had to agree before a bill Successes According to the Articles, the national government can/did:

Create a plan of government The Articles of Confederation. Negotiate treaties especially the Treaty of Paris of 1783; successfully ending the American Revolution Declare war Successes

According to the Articles, the national government can/did: Make peace Create new land policies Run the national postal office Conduct foreign relations with other countries & Native Americans

Weaknesses According to the Articles of Confederation, the national government had almost no power. It could NOT: regulate trade amongst the states; amend (change) the Articles

unless all 13 states gave its consent; force citizens to join the army nor pay for it; Weaknesses According to the Articles of Confederation, the national government had almost no power. It

could NOT: collect taxes. They had to ask the states for money to pay for the army and war debts; and each state had their own currency confusing. Andeach state had one vote in Congress. State population did not matter, although larger, more

To Rewrite or Not to Rewrite? That is the question By 1786, chaos ensued. The economy was in trouble, states were quarreling over boundary lines & rebellions in Massachusetts (Shays Rebellion) demonstrated the governments inability to maintain law & order.

In 1787, Alexander Hamilton organized a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. It was time to make some changes to the Articles. It was at this meeting that the delegates threw out the Articles & developed the

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