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Unit 4 Part 1
Articles of
The student will demonstrate knowledge of
the political philosophies that shaped the
development of United States constitutional
Declaration signed in 1776
Revolutionary War fought (France helped
British are defeated
Now we must set up our government…
Articles of Confederation
In 1777 a committee appointed by congress
presented a plan called the Articles of
Basically continued the structure and operation of
gov’t as established under the Second Continental
The Articles of Confederation called for a
unicameral or single chamber, which they called
The Articles gave each state one vote in congress.
The states wanted a confederation, or
“league of friendship” among the 13
independent states rather than a strong
national government.
By March 1781 all 13 colonies had ratified
the Articles of Confederation
Government under the Articles
Congress had only these powers:
1) Make war and peace
2) Send and receive ambassadors
3) Enter into treaties
4) Raise and equip a navy
5) Maintain an army by requesting troops
from the states
6) Appoint senior military officers
7) Fix standing of weights and measures
8) Regulate Indian affairs
9) Establish post offices
10) Decided certain disputes among
Basically, job of the congress was to make
laws and settle disputes
3.1 vocab due tomorrow!
Unit 4 Part 2
Strengths and Weaknesses of the
Articles of Confederation
What the A of C accomplished:
The greatest achievement was the establishment of a
fair policy for the development of the lands west of
the Appalachians.
The North – west ordinance of 1787 established the
principal that the territories were to be developed for
statehood on an equal basis with the older states.
The Articles established a peace treaty with Great
Britain signed in 1783.
New land was acquired to Miss. River, up to Great
Lakes, and down to FL border
Weaknesses of the Articles:
Congress could not levy taxes or regulate trade
Congress could not compel a state to obey its
Laws needed approval of 9/13 states
Amending, or changing the Articles, required the
consent of every state, and unanimous
agreement on any issue did not exist.
No executive branch
No court system
Need a Stronger Gov’t
After the war the states began to quarrel over
boundary lines and tariffs.
The new nation had money problems: The
government owed $40 million to foreign
governments and to American soldiers sill unpaid
after the Revolutionary War.
By 1786 America was in an economic depression
This would lead to Shays’s Rebellion
Shays’s Rebellion - 1787
Massachusetts government tried to
foreclose on farms and jailed many for debt
Former solider Daniel Shays led farmers
against Massachusetts Militia and took over
court house and freed the prisoners.
Massachusetts called for national
government to help.
Government requested troops from other
states…no one would help
Shays’s Rebellion
Massachusetts Militia finally put down
Shays’s rebellion showed the states the need
to address the weaknesses of the AoC
Please turn to pg. 49
On a vocab card, please write down the 13
On a separate card, please write down the
powers of the sovereign states (inside the
states in red) and label the card “States’
powers under the Articles of Confederation”
Please make vocab cards for section 2.3
and 2.4
Origins of American Government
Unit 4 Part 3: The
Constitutional Convention
The Constitutional
Delegates from 12 states attended the
Constitutional Convention.
Delegates originally wanted to revise the Article
of confederation.
All favored limited and representative
government, separation of powers between
legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and
a stronger national government.
The Virginia Plan
the delegates soon abandoned the revision; planned
to write a new constitution. They first considered
the Virginia Plan, which had three components:
A bicameral congress (legislature) based on
population - with the power to declare state
laws unconstitutional
A strong executive chosen by the legislature
A national judiciary chosen by the legislature
The New Jersey Plan
The small states fearing domination by the large
states, introduced the New Jersey Plan.
The New Jersey Plan:
Has unicameral legislature based on equality~
One vote per state
Congress has power to tax and regulate trade.
Created a weak executive and national courts
with limited powers
The Convention
The Convention deadlocked over representation.
Small states wanted equal representation regardless of
The Connecticut Compromise broke the stalemate on
It called for a Senate based on equality with two
members from each state; and a House of
Representatives based on the population of the
state. (higher pop. = more reps)
All revenue laws (those concerning spending and
taxing) would originate in the House of
The Three-Fifths
Debates over slavery and commerce led to more
Southern states wanted enslaved persons to count
for representation, but not for taxation.
Northern states called for representation with
Under the Three-Fifths Compromise 3/5 of enslaved
people would be counted for both for taxation and
Please work on the vocab assigned Friday,
and the cards with the 13 states and the
states’ powers.
Also, make cards for all of the plans and
Three-Fifths Compromise.
Unit 4 Part 4 notes
Constitutional Convention
The Convention
To satisfy the divided interests of
the North and the South, the
delegates agreed that Congress
would ban the slave trade in 1808.
They gave Congress the power to
regulate foreign and interstate
commerce (or trade among the
The Convention
In September 1787 the delegates sent the Constitution
to the states for ratification.
For the new constitution to take effect nine of the
thirteen states had to approve it. The debate divided the
Supporters of the Constitution ~ the Federalists:
argued that only a strong national government could
protect the nation from enemies and solve its internal
The Opponents of the Constitution ~ Anti
Federalists: feared a strong central government. They
warned that without the protections of a Bill of Rights,
the government could take away liberties won in the
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers were written and
published during the years 1787 and 1788
To persuade New York voters to ratify the
proposed constitution.
85 essays outlining how this new
government would operate and why this
type of government was the best choice for
the United States of America
The Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton wrote 52, James
Madison wrote 28, and John Jay contributed
the remaining five.
The Convention
The Federalists promised that the new government
would immediately add a Bill of Rights to the
Constitution. This promise turned the tide in their
favor. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the
ninth state to ratify, and the Constitution went into
By 1790 the new Constitution had the unanimous
approval of the thirteen United States of America. It
would continue to be the law of the land as the United
States spread across the North American continent.