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Virginia statute for religious freedom

written in 1776 by Jefferson and Madison. Argued that the concept of compulsory religion is wrong, no forced religious worship or ministry and no discrimination on account of his opinions or belief but free to believe what they wish, and that these rights were natural rights of mankind.

Those who did not benefit from the ideals of equality

slaves (other than a few lucky ones such as Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman)), women (except for the idea of "republican motherhood" which elevated women slightly and gave reason to support their education)

state constitutions

all called for weawk central executive and judicial branches and got authority from the people, not a king; they were contracts that defined the power of gov't

economic democracy

Putting more freedom into the economy
- this is significant because this gave rise to capitalism, and liberation in the economy

Economic results of independence

manufacturing increased because goods imported from Britains were cut off, BUT American ships were barred from British harbors and British West Indies; BUT they could now trade freely with other countries.
Also, inflation rose because of war.
Shortly after the war, 1786, British manufacturers flooded the market with all of the extra goods

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, there was no executive or judicial branch. Major point of dispute was western lands- some states had none, some had a lot

Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Federal order that divided the Northwest Territory into smaller territories and created a plan for how the territories could become states. The western land no longer belonged to the states, but to the ferderal gov't which solved the disagreement keeping many states from signing the Articles of Confederation when promised in 1781; Also forbade slavery except those already slaves

How was congress hobbled by the Articles of Confederation?

Each state had a single vote; ammendments impossible; had no power to regulate commerce; couldn't enforce tax collection-only could request and often was not paid which ruined the nation's credit

Why was the Articles of Confederation important?

stepping stone toward constitution; outlined general powers of gov't

What laws were passed by the weak congress?

Land Ordinance of 1785-to sell Old Northwest to help pay its debts and methodically done with surveyors and rules such as money from one piece going to education/Land Ordinance of 1787

Spain after revolution

unfriendly to new Republic-controlled mouth of Mississippi needed as exit for trade, but Spain closed it 1784/ Also, together with Britain, used Indians to keep Americans from using and having control of about half of its own land

France after revolution

demanded repayment of money loaned during the war and restricted trade

Control of commerce, interstate arguing

main reason for constitutional convention being called

Constitutional convention

Beginning on May 25, 1787, the convention recommended by the Annapolis Convention was held in Philadelphia. All of the states except Rhode Island sent delegates, and George Washington served as president of the convention. The convention lasted 16 weeks, and on September 17, 1787, produced the present Constitution of the United States, which was drafted largely by James Madison.

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

3/5 compromise

A compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for enumeration purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives.


Slave Trade Abolished

ratification of the Constitution

required 9 out of 13 states to ratify (approve) it to become law.

People's reactions to constitution

-state sovereignity gone-mad; federalists (wealthier, more educated, better organaized and led by G. Washington, B. Franklin vs. antifederalists (poorest classes led by Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry because they were worried about being forced to pay off their debts); angry about lack of people's rights ie lack of Bill of Rights; angry about no reference to God, standing army

Four states that didn't sign Constitution initially

New York (A. Hamilton, J. Jay, J. Madison's Federalist papers eventually convinced), Virginia (Patrick Henry fierce antifederalist), North Carolina and Rhode Island

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