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Articles of Confederation's strengths
The strengths of this document were that it concluded the Revolutionary War with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it kept the states together with a common national citizenship, and settled the question of Western land claims.
Articles of Confederation's weaknesses
9 of the 13 states needed to ratify a bill before it became a law. All states needed to accept an amendment. Little/no enforcement of laws that the President made. No foreign policy. States printed their own currency. Federal government could not tax. No federal army. No judicial system. Lack of national compulsive power over states.
After the Treaty of Paris, England still held posts along the Canadian border that she refused to leave. The British had hoped to keep control of the fur trade and force the US to pay British creditors. The posts held included Detroit and Niagara.
Western land cession, 1781
Maryland demanded that the US government have control over all western lands. Maryland postponed her ratification of the Articles until all states complied because she feared large states would become too powerful. The land given to the US government was for public domain.
Land Ordinance of 1785
This law stated that the US government would sell, at auction, western lands for a minimum of $1 an acre. The profit would be used to pay off the national debt. The public domain was surveyed into township systems that were 6 square miles. Each township was divided into 36 1-square-mile areas. One section equalled 640 acres.
Alexandria Conference, 1785
Delegates of Virginia and Maryland met to consider means of improving the navigability of the Potomac River. The commissioners asked all states to meet at Annapolis where problems of interstate commerce could be discussed.
Shay's Rebellion, 1786
Led back-country farmers in a rebellion because many people were losing their farms through mortgage foreclosures and tax delinquencies. Farmers demanded cheaper paper money, lighter taxes, and suspension of mortgage foreclosures. The rebellion ended when troops broke up the mob in Boston.
In this convention, states near the Chesapeake Bay area talked about the lowering of taxes and tariffs to increase trade between states. Alexander Hamilton told the states to meet one yea later in Philadelphia so they could overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
This law provided that the area north of Ohio would be divided into three to five territories, and allowed a territory to have a governor, secretary, three judges, and a legislature if inhabited by 5,000 white males. The territory could apply to the US government for statehood if it had 60,000 white males.
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