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Creating a New Nation - The United States of America
Transcript of Creating a New Nation - The United States of America
Proof that the Articles of Confederation were TOO Weak
Shays Rebellion - January 1787
Farmers in Massachusetts, upset - feel they aren't represented in gov't, don't want to pay a tax after Rev. War
Marched with weapons to protest the Mass. gov't
Had to be stopped by Massachusetts militia
Articles of Confederation didn't work. Time for Constitutional Convention
Secretly, in May 1787, delegates write a new constitution. It will require 3/4 of the states to approve it.
The Revolutionary War - Colonial Victory
Ben Franklin negotiated a Treaty of Alliance with France
Among citizens in Great Britain, the war was unpopular
George Washington's strong leadership
French assistance (in support of America) at Battle of Yorktown (ended with Britain surrendering to America - Oct. 17, 1781)
During the War - July 4th, 1776:
The Declaration of Independence
Written mainly by Jefferson
Included many of John Locke's ideas
Claimed freedom (although war wasn't over)
Did not set up a direct plan of government
We've Won, We're Free, Now What?
Continental Congress set up the Articles of Confederation - a basic government constitution to help run the new nation
Virginia is the first to sign on - ratify - in Dec. 1777
Still waiting for all states to ratify the A of C, so that the new gov't can be official
Maryland is the last to ratify - March 1781
The Treaty of Paris - signed and ratified by both Britain and the U.S.
-Sept. 3, 1783 (eight years after the war began)
Articles of Confederation are Weak!
1. Weak national government
2. Gave Congress no power to tax or regulate commerce among the states
3. Provided for no common currency
4. Each state got 1 vote in congress - population
size didn't matter
5. Only legislative branch (congress) - no
executive or judicial branches
Why make a wimpy government?
Because nobody likes a tyrant!
The citizens may become anarchists and try to destroy our gov't!
The people have too much power
Fear after Shays Rebellion - From Gov't Perspective
The government needs to listen to the people! If they don't, we'll have to resort to violence
Fear after Shays Rebellion - From the People's Perspective
How many votes per state?
Virginia Plan? (based on pop)
New Jersey Plan? (2 votes per state)
The Great Compromise! (bicameral legislature, Senate (2 votes) & House of Representatives (based on population of each state)
The New Constitution
The Bill of Rights
(first 10 Amendments)
All states finally agree to the new constitution - over 3/4 of the states ratify by in June 1788
All states sign off on the Bill of Rights - Dec. 1791
3 Branches, all co-equal
Thomas Jefferson - Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
James Madison - Father of the Constitution
George Washington - President of Constitutional Convention
George Mason - Virginia Declaration of Rights
Here's the preamble of the Constitution: