Articles of Confederation
America's first constitution; adopted in November 1777; Congress lacked power to impose tax, force citizens to join army, and regulate trade
single region of land created by Northwest Ordinance of 1787 located north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River; land divided into 3 to 5 smaller territories that, when reached a population of 60,000, could apply for statehood
Philadelphia merchant; 1781 - proposed a 5 percent tax on imported goods to help pay national debt - Rhode Island opposed
1785 - Congress sent him to London to discuss difficulties with Britain regarding tradeand occupation in America
former Continental Army catptain - Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga; Jan 1787 - led more than 1,000 farmerms toward federal arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts; four rebels killed; lost - captured
frightened many Americans; worried government couldd not control unrest and prevent violence
George Washington about Shays's Rebellion
"mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government"
Virginia planter; father of Consitution; came up with Virginia plan but Randolph propsed it
New York lawyer; proposed calling a convention in Philadelphia to discuss trade issues; also suggested that convetion consider what changes were needed to make "the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies [needs] of the Union."
proposed by Edmund Randolph; based on works of James Madison; called for two-house legislature, cheif executive branch chosen by legislature, and court system; lower house of legislautre elected by people, upper house elected by lower house; representation in legislature based on state population; known as "big state plan"
New Jersey Plan
William Patterson; one house legislature; one vote per state; changed Articles - weak executive branch, Congress could set taxes and regulate trade; known as "little state plan"
two-house legislature; lower house, House of Reps, based on population, upper house, Senate - two seats per state
"I consent to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best."
movement of 1700s that promoted knowledge, reason, and science as means to improve society
Two Treatises of Civil Government - government based on agreement between people and ruler; all people have natural rights: life, liberty, property
Baron de Montesquieu
The Spirit of Laws - powers of government should be separated and balanced against each other
checks and balances
the three branches of government have roles that check, or limit, the others so that no single branch can dominate the government
Mercy Otis Warren
antifederalist; "We have struggled for liberty and made costly sacrifices... and there are still many among us who [value liberty] too much to relinquish.. the rights of man for the dignity of government"