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Learning Target • The American Revolution’s democratic and republican ideals inspired new experiments with different forms of government. OK, we won our Independence and everyone was very excited! Very excited… • After declaring independence in 1776, American political leaders created new constitutions and declarations of rights that articulated the roles of national and state governments to protect their rights. • These documents protected individual rights and limited government power. • Power was typically placed in the hands of state governments, property rights were strongly protected. This protection of property extended to… Articles of Confederation • The first government we tried, was called the Articles of Confederation. Under this government, the 13 states were unified and a central government with very limited power was created. • After all, they knew what they didn’t want in a government… • So they went the other way… Articles of Confederation • Under the Articles, there was no real national government. – 13 individual republics united loosely together. – Power lay in the hands of the States. Articles of Confederation • But it got worse… • During the Revolution, the Congress printed $250,000,000 of money they didn’t have to pay for the war. Financial Crisis • This created a financial crisis that had to be dealt with. • If America would not pay off its debts, then the new nation could not receive credit. • No credit, no international business. • No international business, no economy! Financial Crisis • Since each state controlled its own economy, currency and credit the 13 individual states really controlled the economy of the United States. Financial Crisis • If the Federal Government controlled the economy, currency and credit then the financial crisis could be dealt with. • But that would require a new government. • The Articles of Confederation, had to go! • Instead of having 13 individual republics, each sovereign & independent, we needed one government with power over the states. • This went against everything the people thought before. Constitutional Convention • 55 men arrived in Philadelphia to debate the new Constitution. Among them were: – George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison Constitutional Convention • James Madison was the central figure in the writing of the Constitution. • They had a few things going for them: 1.) They knew they needed a new form of government. 2.) They knew what they didn’t want. Constitutional Convention • And they had a lot of… Constitutional Convention • Two main sides to the debate: – The Virginia Plan – The New Jersey Plan The U. S. Constitution • Threatening to derail the convention was the issue of slavery. The U. S. Constitution • But there was another problem… • Representation in the House of Representatives depended on population. Southern states believed they would be under-represented in Congress, and slavery could be outlawed by northern states who were turning against slavery. The U. S. Constitution 3/5 The U. S. Constitution • Slaves would each count as 3/5 of a person for the purposes of representation in Congress. • This increased the population of southern states by 20% The U. S. Constitution • And it provided enough southern votes in Congress to fend off any challenges to slavery until the Civil War. President Washington • Dealing with this was President Washington Economic crisis • When President Washington met with his cabinet, one of the first issues to come up was the debt from the Revolution. Economic crisis • The new, stronger, federal government had just inherited a debt of $54,000,000 • (in 1790 dollars) Economic crisis • Alexander Hamilton also wanted the federal government to assume the debts the states had accumulated under the Articles of Confederation. – Another $21,000,000 Economic crisis • This would put the federal government in charge of the U.S. economy, the states would not have any control over it. Economic crisis • Since most southern states had paid off their war debt already, this was not a popular plan in the South. Blue = < 1 person per sq. mile Orange = > 50 people per sq. mile Economic crisis • A deal was struck between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson – Hamilton would get federal control of the entire debt of the united States Economic crisis • A deal was struck between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson – The capital of the united States would be located in the south, giving southern states access to the central government.