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Articles of Confederation
Transcript of Articles of Confederation
States were scared of governments like Great Britain that had a strong Federal government.
They wanted most of the power in the hands of the states.
Each state's representatives were popularly elected by the white male population of the state
Many states also chose to have a bicameral, or two house, legislature. Weak Central Federal Government All of the states agreed that they should be a republic and that they should have a central Federal Government, but they did not want it to be strong.
They wanted the states to essentially be like small independent countries similar to how the colonies had been set up.
The states only wanted the central Federal government to be used when waging war and when handling relations with other countries.
This government sucked. Articles of Confederation adopted in 1777 as the new central government for the United States
"A firm league of friendship"
Federal Government had the right to:
conduct foreign affairs
maintain armed forces
Federal Government COULD NOT:
force citizens into the army
Federal Government could ask for things, but the states didn't have to give them anything. The Articles of Confederation At least they tried! Inflexible The new government consisted of one branch, Congress, who made the laws for the nation.
One from each state
9 out of 13 vote required to pass any law
13 out of 13 vote required to amend or change the Articles of Confederation
Practically impossible to change the AOC. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 Financial Problems No "Dollar Bill" at this time. Instead, each state had their own bills.
None of them were backed up by gold or silver so inflation was high.
Food prices rose causing riots.
Could not pay debts to citizens, soldiers or foreign countries.
Due to the inflexibility of the Articles of Confederation, they could not fix these problems.
The US fell into an economic depression where the economy slowed down and unemployment increased.
Exports and Imports dropped
Farmers could not sell their goods or pay back their debts. Their lands were seized and many wanted to rebel. With the Treaty of Paris, the United States almost doubled in size.
They did not have any way of creating new states or organizing the new land.
Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Made all the lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River into one Territory called the Northwest Territory.
This would break into three to five smaller territories.
When the population reached 60,000 people in the territory, they could apply for statehood.
Also had a bill of rights for settlers, including that there would be no slavery in this new territory.