Basic Timeline 1776 Declaration of Independence 1781 Articles of Confederation 1787 U.S. Constitution Civil War Reconstruction

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2 Basic Timeline 1781 Articles of Confederation 1776 Declaration of Independence Civil War 1787 U.S. Constitution Reconstruction

3 Historical Context: The Revolution The American Revolution was the first successful revolution in the western hemisphere, where a colony overthrew the mother country and declared independence. Prior to the Revolutionary war ( ), most colonists considered themselves British. What happened to change this?

4 Why did the colonists declare their independence? What were the revolutionaries key grievances against the British? 1. Taxation without representation 2. Economic restrictions 3. Unfair civil liberties

5 Articles of Confederation gang of equals When:? 1776: 2 nd Continental Congress Comm. Draft 1777: Sent to ratification 1781: Ratified What:? Plan for the central gov t Unicameral legislature (Confederation Congress) One vote for each state How:? Powers: Conduct foreign affairs Settle disputes btwn states Control maritime affairs Regulate Indian trade Value state and nat l coinage

6 Problems with the Gov t Under the Articles of Confederation Every state had equal vote Unanimous vote req to amend Articles 9 out of 13 req to pass a law No effective way to raise revenue/tax (debt?) No nat l currency No authority over states (e.g., trade, revenue) States act more like rivals (e.g., tax each other) Weak president only presided over Congress

7 Why was the gov t designed this way????? Did NOT want a strong central gov t FEAR OF TYRANNY

8 Young nation divides Anti-federalists: fear strong central gov t key demand? BILL OF RIGHTS Federalists: support stronger central gov t Why?: ineffectiveness of the Articles of Conf. AND

9 SHAYS s REBELLION: Aug. 1786: armed men prevented Hampshire County court house in Northampton fr opening Similar protests: Worcester, Concord, Great Barrington, then Springfield Jan. 1787: 1,500 Western Mass. farmers led by Rev. War vet and Pelham resident, Daniel Shays Marched on the Spfld federal armory, militia fired back and rebels withdrew. By end of Feb. 1787, rebels routed -- captured or fled across state lines.

10 Why were the farmers rebelling? Economic depression following the war. Mass farmers angry: high taxes & scarcity of money When can t pay taxes: property seized by the state When can t pay debt: threatened with prison Many were Rev. war vets who just fought for liberty Whenever any encroachments are made either upon the liberties or properties of the people, if redress cannot be had without, it is virtue in them to disturb gov t. Massachusetts gov t = tyranny

11 Impact of Shays s Rebellion SCARED THE ELITE Fear mob rule ready to give the federal gov t more power Mass legislature postponed a direct tax & limited the liability of debtors, exempting tools and certain personal effects from sale to satisfy creditors

12 Federalist Papers Series of 85 articles by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison in support of the Constitution in Other Feds: G. Washington, B. Franklin Anti-feds incl. Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, Samuel Adams, George Mason, James Monroe, and to some degree, T. Jefferson

13 Federalist #10 (Madison) Problem of factions Most common source: various & unequal property distribution Need to remove the cause or control its effects Removal: destroys liberty or enforces homogeneity Better to control effects If = a minority, majority keeps in check If = majority: danger of tyranny of the majority Solution: large Republic Each rep chosen by greater # of people So many interests, harder for faction to form or act in unison

14 PROBLEM SOLVING & COMPROMISE Articles to Constitution Ship without a captain Tyranny of executive Tyranny of majority (North v South, individual rights) strong executive, supremacy clause Separation of powers Checks and balances Senate and House representation - 3/5 compromise Electoral college Bill of Rights Voters are too ignorant to be trusted, easily led, Robin Hood temptation for the mob/poor (concentrated in the North) Senate, electoral college, limited suffrage

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