Mr. Brush U.S. History Constitution Notes The Critical Period-“The Critical Period” in American history refers to the United States under the Articles of Confederation Articles of Confederation- Under the Articles of Confederation, (1) the national government did not have the power to impose taxes on the citizens of the states (2) the states retained their individual sovereignty and each, regardless of population, was to have one vote in the Confederation Congress (3) there was to be no single, separate, powerful executive (4) an amendment required the approval of all the states (5) nine out of thirteen states were required to pass legislation (6) there was no national court system (7) it provided a precedent for the transition of territories to statehood called the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 Shay’s Rebellion The nation was going through an a bad recession and a group of people in Western Massachusetts failed to pay taxes during their economic hardship and as a result their property was seized and in some cases they were jailed. They revolted and the weak central government could not quell the violence or the rebellion. This incident proved to solidify in the minds of the members of the Constitutional Convention, that a stronger, and more unified central government was needed to put down any state or local rebellion against a federal government. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 (1) The success of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 hinged on compromises over slavery and representation in Congress (2) The rate at which one slave counted toward congressional representation was called the Three-Fifths Compromise Slavery had been embedded into the economic lifestyle of the South since the colonial legislators had replaced indentured servants with African slaves after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. There had to be a compromise over slavery or the nation would cease to exist because the South was dependent on slave labor for their economic survival. That concession was the Three-Fifths Compromise. Another concession was that twenty years after the adoption of the Constitution, Congress banned the importation of slaves to the United States. (3) Representation in Congress came in the form of the Virginia Plan (Edmund Randolph) with two houses of Congress, both elected with proportional representation and the New Jersey Plan (William Paterson) one vote per state for equal representation under one legislative body (4) Roger Sherman proposed Connecticut or the Great Compromise that had a bicameral legislature consisting of the current Senate and House of Representatives Passage of the Constitution (1) The Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton wanted a strong central government and they included the wealthy including merchants, large planters; During the campaign to ratify the Constitution, the Federalists argued for ratification of the Constitution, with a possible bill of rights to be discussed after ratification (2) The Anti-federalists led by Thomas Jefferson wanted protection from the strong federal government in the form of a bill of rights and they included John Hancock and Patrick Henry (a) included those afraid of federal power to tax and (b) debtors, (c) their political support came mostly from backcountry and agricultural areas (3) The Federalist Papers (New York) were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay as propaganda to support the ratification of the Constitution Purpose of Constitution is to ensure an equal distribution of power between branches and a re-distribution of power to its citizens that have experienced discrimination Essay for this Unit 1. Analyze and discuss to what extent was the Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation.