By Matthew Flores,2014-05-27 06:15
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Government under the confederation: economic problems. Could not respond to economic woes after the war Congress had to borrow large amounts of money = sell bonds and pay soldiers and suppliers with notes. Struggling to pay debts; relied on sates Economic problems American exports barred from British empire Imports flooded U.S. American wages went down.(high tax ,low wages) Co..

Government under the confederation: economic problems.

    Could not respond to economic woes after the warCongress had to borrow large amounts of money = sell bonds and pay soldiers and suppliers

    with notes.

    Struggling to pay debts; relied on sates Economic problems

    American exports barred from British empire

    Imports flooded U.S.

    American wages went down.(high tax ,low wages)

    Congress did not have power to make trade agreement

    Each state= own economic plan

    Massachusetts and Shay’s rebellion

    Increase taxes to pay state debts

    Late 1786 to early 1787

    Daniel Shays led rebellion in western Mass.

    Mostly farmers

    Shut down courts

    Symbols of protests for liberty in 1760s

    Reaction= showed political divisions

    Governor James Bowdoin sent army;

    Over 1,000 arrested

    Jefferson:”a little rebellion now and then a good thing”Madision:”liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power”

    Represented two camps: republicans and Federalists Shay`s Rebellion

    Influenced writing of constitution

    Strengthened nationalists


    Needed to curb “the excesses of democracy”

The new republic and the constitutional convention

    Constitutional convention

    Philadelphia, may 1787

    Originally to modify articles of confederation

    But ended up scraping and writing new constitutionDelegates



    Well to do

    Debated in private

    John Adams and Thomas Jefferson not there

    George Washington served as presiding office

    Madison`s notes; published in 1840


    Prevent monarchy but protect from democratic excesses

    Three branches needed: legislative, executive and judiciary

    Congress needed the power to raise money independent of states

    Issue of slavery

    Plans proposed

    Virginia plan

    James Madison, author

    Two-house legislature with state`s population determining number of representatives

    Problem : populous states such as VA,MA , PA, would dominate

    New jersey plan

    Main author= William Paterson

    Single-house legislature with each state getting one vote; similar to articles

The compromise

    Two-house congress

    Senate with 2 members/state; serve 6 years= not as dependent on public opinion

    House of representatives with apportionment by population=2 year term= more sensitive to


    The constitution expanded democracy

    1)House representatives

    Under articles of confederation there had been no national official subject to direct


    2)Imposed neither property or religious qualification for voting; left to statesConstitution limited democracy

    1)Supreme court= appointed for life

    2)President= chosen either by electoral college or house of representatives

    Each elector casts 2 votes for Pres.

    Second place became VP

    No majority then house decided among top 3

    Constitution protects against monarchy/ dictator

    Separation of powers or “checks and balances”

    Prevents one branch of government from becoming too strong

    Examples: congress enacts laws but Pres. Can veto; congress can override veto with 2/3


    Constitution protects against excesses of democracy


    Relationship between state and national government

    Much stronger national government than under articles of confederation.

    Example: congress can levy taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, declare warIssue of slavery

    Avoided using “slave” or “slavery”

    Understood hypocrisy

    That men should pray and fight for freedom and yet keep others in slavery is

    Slavery and the constitution

    South Carolina threatened disunion

    1)prohibited congress from abolishing slave trade for 20 yearsneed slave trade to replace slaves lost to British in warto provide labor for expansion west

    170,000 slaves enslaved from then to 1808stSlave trade abolished Jan 1, 1808

    2)fugitive slave clause

    states required to return to owners fugitives from bondage3/5clause allowed southern states more reps in house= more delegates in electoral college

    Result: of the first 16 presidential elections, all but 4 won by southern slave holders.

    No wording limiting rights to only men.

    Women counted fully for determining representatives.No broad change but language/debate established

    Final copy of constitution

    Singed by 39 of original 55 delegates.

    Ratification by states required 9of 13

    First to ratify

    The federalist papers (1788)

    Series of essays in newspapers under pen name publiusGoal: to convince public to support constitutionRegarded as most important American document on political thoughtAuthors: Hamilton Madison and John Jay

    Federalist papers No. 10 and 51


    Changed vision of good republic

    Republics in past small; failed when larger

    Madison argued that to “extend the sphere”=secured democracy

    Madison`s argument

    Very size and diversity of US will protect democracyMany distinct interest= no single group can take over.Example : many religious denominations= religious toleration because not one group


    Not likely that one group would have same religious, economic, regional and political


    extend the sphere”

    Justification for western expansion

    Republicanism now rests not on virtuous citizenry

    Strong republic= clash of private interests


    Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry

    Thomas Jefferson feared Constitution created commercial republic that ignored small farmers

    Local and state power= strong republic

    No Bill of Rights

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