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Terms in this set (47)
What kind of government did the articles of confederation create?
A weak central government and strong state governments.
What was important for the Second Continental congress to create?
They needed to create a plan that would satisfy all 13 states.
What did the Continental Congress ask the states to organize in May 1776? What did each state quickly do?
They asked them to organize their governments. Each state quickly adopted a state constitution, or plan of government.
How many states had drafted constitutions by the end of 1776? Who came next?
8 States. Then New York 177 and Massachusetts in 1778. While Connecticut and Rhode Island kept their colonial charters as state constitutions.
What did the Americans experience with British rule make them very cautious about? For this reason, what kind of constitutions did the states adopt.
1.) The Americans experience with British rule made them very cautious about placing too much power in the hands of a single ruler.
2.) The states adopted constitutions that limited the power of the governor and the states divided government functions between the governor and the legislature. Also many states established a two-house or BICAMERAL legislature in an effort to divide the power even further.
What were the writers of the constitution trying to do?
They were trying to prevent abuses of power in the states and keep power in the hands of the people.
What were the rules to vote in most states? What did a few states allow?
1.) Males that were at least 21 and they had to own a certain amount of land or play a certain amount of taxes.
2.) Free African American males.
Since most states limited the power of the governor what branch of the government was most powerful?
A government in which citizens rule through elected representatives.
At first, why did most Americans favor a weak central government?
The people assumed the states would be like small, independent countries similar to the way the colonies had been organized. They thought the states would act independently on most things and would only work together to wage war and deal with other nations.
What did the Second Continental Congress do?
They appointed a committee to draw up a plan for a new government.
When were the Articles of Confederation adopted?
What were the Articles of Confederation? What did they allow?
1.) They were America's first constitution.
2.) They allowed for a new central government in which sates keep most of their power.
What authorities did congress HAVE under the Articles of Confederation?
Congress had the authority to:
-Conduct foreign affairs
-Maintain armed forces
What authorities did congress NOT HAVE under the Articles of Confederation?
Congress didn't have the authority to:
-force citizens to join the army
If congress wanted to raise money or troops they had to ask the state legislatures but they were not required to contribute
What did the government, under the Articles of Confederation, lack?
A chief executive. Most of the governments business was carried out through congressional committees.
How many votes did the states have under the Articles of Confederation? Why were large states against this?
All states had one vote but the larger states believed that they should have more votes.
How many states had to improve the Articles of Confederation and any amendments?
All of them!
Why did Maryland refuse to ratify the Articles?
Maryland refused to approve the Articles until New York, Virginia, and other states gave up their lands in the west.
What was the last state to ratify the Articles of Confederation?
What was the date the Articles of Confederation formally became the government of the USA?
March 1, 1781
What years were critical for the developing states?
Between 1781 and 1789
Why did the Articles of Confederation not provide a strong enough government to handle the problems of the US?
-Congress had limited authority
- Could not pass a law without approval of 9 states.
- Could not amend the Articles without approval of 13
What were the achievements of the states while under the Articles of Confederation?
1. Americans won their independence from Britain and expanded the country's foreign trade.
2.Confederation aided with settling and governing in the nation's western territories.
By the 1790's had the number of settlers west of the Appalachian's increased or decreased?
Increased rapidly to almost 120,000 settlers. Years before their were only a few settlers.
What did the settlers west of the Appalachians want to do? Why couldn't they? What was done about the issue?
They wanted to organize their lands as states and join the Union. They couldn't though because The Articles of Confederation did not contain a provision for adding new states. Congress realized that it had to extend it's national authority over the frontier. During the 1780's all states except Georgia gave up their land claims that were west of the Appalachians and the central gov. took control of them. 1784 congresses divided the western territory into self-governing districts. When the # of people in the district reached the population of the smallest existing state the district could petition or apply to congress for statehood.
What did The Ordinance of 1785 say?
It established a procedure for surveying and selling the western lands north of the Ohio River.
-Divided the large territory into townships 6 miles long
-The town ships would be divided into 36 sections of 640
acres each. They would be sold at auction for at least a dollar
What was the issue with The Ordinance of 1785?
Land speculators viewed the laws as an opportunity to accumulate large tracts of land cheaply. Concerned by lawless people moving into western lands, Richard Henry Lee, the president of the Congress, urged hat "the rights of property owners be clearly defined" by the gov." The Congress drafted a new ordinance to protect the hardworking settlers interests.
When did The Northwest Ordinance pass? What did it do?
-Created a single Northwest Territory out of the lands North of
the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.
- Lands were to be divided into 3-5 smaller territories.
- When pop. of a territory reached 60,000 the people could
petition for statehood.
(Each new state would have the same rights and privileges as the original 13 states)
What rights were guaranteed in The Northwest Ordinance?
-Bill of Rights guaranteeing freedom of religion and trial by jury.
-Stated "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude"
First attempt to stop the spread of slavery in the U.S
What was a big issue with the Confederation government?
They did not have enough power to deal with the country's financial problems and issues with other nations.
fell in value
What was the U.S economy like by 1781?
It was declining fast - money printed during the Revolutionary War was almost worthless.
The Continental Congress and the States printed their own money but no gold or silver backed up these bills so they had no real value.
What were Continental dollars called?
What happened as more Continental dollar flowed into circulation?
People began to realize congress could not redeem these bills for gold and silver. They began to lose confidence in the value of the bills.
Riots started over the high prices.
Who did Congress owe money to (Revolutionary War debt)?
-Revolutionary Soldiers (for their service)
Why couldn't the Continental Congress pay it's debts?
The Continental Congress could not pay it's debts because they couldn't tax anyone. The requested funds from the states but the states were not required to contribute. The money they were able to collect was not nearly enough needed to pay off the debt.
What did Congress do in 1781 when they faced a total collapse of the country's finances?
They created a department of finance led by Philadelphia merchant Robert Morris.
What did Robert Morris try to do?
As head of the department of finance he Proposed a 5% tax on imported goods to help pay the national debt. The plan required that the articles of Confederation be changed, so Congress could tax the states. 12 states approve the plan but without Rhode Islands approval it failed. In 1783 he tried again and their was not unanimous approval. The financial situation worsened.
What did the Treaty of Paris of 1783 say? What was the issue with it. (Problem With Britain)
Britain promised too withdraw from the states east of the Mississippi River. British troops however continued to occupy several strategic forts in the Great Lakes Region.
What was the issue between the American's and the British regarding trade? What did Congess try to do?
American merchants complained that the British were keeping merchants out of the West Indies and other profitable British markets. 1785 - John Adams was sent to London to discuss these issues but the British would not talk. They claimed the Americans to had failed to live up to its word. The British sad that the Americans told them they would pay for the property taken from them during the Revolutionary War but that never happened. The Congress had tried to get states to pay but could not force them.
Were relations between the Americans and Spain or the Americans and British worse?
The Americans and Spain
What part of North America did Spain control?
Florida and lands west of the Mississippi River
What did Spain do to prevent Americans from expanding onto their territory?
They closed the lower Mississippi River and western settlers no longer had access to this vital trade route.
What agreement did American diplomats reach with Spain in 1786? What was the issue?
Southern states wouldn't go through with the agreement because it didn't allow access to the Mississippi River.
How did the Americans feel about the government in the late 1780's?
They felt that a stronger government was needed.
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