During the 1780s, many Americans were poor, yet they had to pay high state taxes. People often had to borrow money and go into debt. When they could not repay their debts, state courts took away their farms or sent the people to prison.
In the summer of 1786, poor farmers in Massachusetts protested by refusing to let the courts meet. Armed with pitchforks and guns, they shut down the courthouse and destroyed debt records.
In January 1787, a mob of farmers led by Daniel Shays tried to take over a Massachusetts arsenal, or weapons storehouse.
The delegates finally agreed to count three-fifths of the total number of slaves in each state towards the number of representatives. After this issue was dealt with, some delegates still spoke out against slavery.
A worker, typically a laborer or tradesman, under contract to an employer for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for their transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities.
Preamble to the Constitution
A brief introductory statement of the Constitution's fundamental purposes and guiding principles.
Executive Branch of Government
The branch of government that has the power to enforce the laws. President.
Judicial Branch of Government
The court system, which is the branch of government that decides whether laws are working fairly. The Court Systems.
Bill of Rights
Ten amendments were added to the Constitution to protect the rights of the people. These amendments became part of the Constitution in 1791.
Gives people freedom of religion or none at all. It says that the government cannot support any religion. It also protects freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to petition the government, and the right to assemble, or gather together.
Fifth through Eighth Amendments
Deal with due process of law. This means that people have the right to a fair trial. They have the right to a lawyer and do not have to speak against themselves.
The government can only do the things listed in the Constitution. This means that all other authority, called the reserved powers ,belongs to the states or to the people.
The average number of people living in a certain area, usually one square mile or one square kilometer.
Checks and Balances
A system that keeps each branch of government from becoming too powerful or misusing its authority.
The idea that the U.S was meant to stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.