Confederation to Constitution

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30 key words to help you understand the making of the Constitution.

Republic

a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

State Constitutions

During the war, most states had their own const. to spell out the rights of citizens and set limits on the gvns. power.

Articles of Confederation

This document, the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution. The document was limited because states held most of the power, and Congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage.

Northwest Territory

the vast territory of land that included present-day Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin; was politically organized by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Northwest of Appalachian Mountain.

Confederation Congress

governing body for the states under the articles of confederation in which each state had one vote. The congress had little power over the people.

Top 3 powers granted to Congress under the Articles.

The 3 powers were the power to wage war, make peace, and sign treaties.

Top 3 powers denied to Congress under the Articles.

Couldn't deal on an equal basis, no power to levy, and they couldn't draft troops.

Ratification of the Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781 after the small states accepted the Articles.

Land Ordinance of 1785

DIviding the federally owned lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. Surveyors stake out 6 square miles of land called townships.

Northwest Ordinance

Enacted in 1787, it is considered one of the most significant achievements of the Articles of Confederation. It established a system for setting up governments in the western territories so they could eventually join the Union on an equal footing with the original 13 states

Problems with Britain

Britain competed with the U.S. for fur trading by not moving out of millitary forts and banning American ships from the carribean.

Problems with Spain

Spain also put up barriers in the carribean as well as fighting over Florida with the Americans.

Shay's Rebellion

this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes

Constitutional Convention

The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution. The convention said George Washington was the president and that the discussions were secret.

Popular Sovereignty

The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government

Who was missing from the Convention?

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry, native americans, african americans, and women.

Virginia Plan

Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population or wealth.

Checks and Balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power

New Jersey Plan

Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller states, who didn't want to be bullied by larger states.

Great Compromise

Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house

Three-Fifths Compromise

the agreement by which the number of each state's representatives in Congress would be based on a count of all the free people plus three-fifths of the slaves.

Federalism

a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments

Federalists

Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong. They didn't want the Bill of Rights because they felt citizens' rights were already well protected by the Constitution.

Antifederalists

They opposed the ratification of the Constitution because it gave more power to the federal government and less to the states, and because it did not ensure individual rights. Many wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation. The Antifederalists were instrumental in obtaining passage of the Bill of Rights as a prerequisite to ratification of the Constitution in several states.

The Federalist Papers

This collection of essays by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, explained the importance of a strong central government. It was published to convince New York to ratify the Constitution.

The Call for a Bill of Rights

The current constitution said nothing of the rights and liberties of the people or the states,so the Bill of Rights would give the people their rights.

How was the Constitution ratified?

The drive for ratification became a fierce fight between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Federalists lobbied for the strong national govt created by the const.;Anti-Federalists favored greater state power. In the end, the Constitution was ratified after New York and Virginia had voted yes by slim numbers

Amendments

changes in, or additions to the U.S. Constitution

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.

Amending the Constitution

To ensure the basic freedom of the people, the amendment needs to be approved by 2/3 of congress or House of Rep., and by 3/4 of the states

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