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Unit 3: American Beginnings


Unit 3: American Beginnings American Gov t and Politics under the Articles and the Constitution (1781-1820) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Unit 3: American Beginnings

Unit 3 American Beginnings
  • American Govt and Politics under the Articles
    and the Constitution (1781-1820)

Questions/Ideas to think about
  • What is government?
  • What does the Constitution say?
  • How did the Founding Fathers really feel about
    we the people? How did Alexander Hamilton and
    Thomas Jefferson differ on this subject?
  • What did early American government look like?
    How did the American political parties develop?
  • What were the domestic/foreign policy issues
    faced by Americas first presidents?
  • How did the new country expand? Deal with the
    Native Americans?

  • 1781
  • Congress adopted Articles of Confederation
  • 1783
  • Massachusetts abolishes slavery
  • Treaty of Paris
  • 1784
  • Spain closes Mississippi River to American
  • TJ appointed minister to France
  • 1785
  • JA appointed minister to England
  • UGA chartered as first U.S. state university
  • 1787
  • JanuaryShays Rebellion (MA)
  • Constitutional Convention
  • 1788
  • U.S. Constitution ratified
  • 1789
  • GW inaugurated as first president, in NY
  • First Congress convenes in NY

The Articles of Confederation
  • Drafted by the Continental Congress
  • Passed in 1777 ratified in 1781
  • No central authority or court system
  • Each state remains sovereign

The Articles Provisions
  • States given sovereignty over central government
  • Each state had a single vote in Congress
  • No power of taxation
  • National government afforded certain powers
  • Declare war and conduct foreign affairs
  • Standardize currency and measures
  • Arbitrate disputes between states

The Articles Accomplishments
  • Land Ordinance of 1785
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787
  • Articles created the first form of American

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787
The Articles Weaknesses
  • Congress could not
  • Force states to pay taxes
  • Raise an army without state support
  • Regulate trade
  • Each state had one vote in the legislature,
    regardless of population
  • Difficult to pass laws and amend Articles
  • No court system or executive branch

Shayss Rebellion
  • MA heavily taxed middle incomes
  • Farmers called for revisions to the state
  • Shays led a march on a federal arsenal
  • Governor sent militia to stop rebellion
  • Illustrated starkly the weaknesses of the
    Articles of Confederation

The militia fires on protesting farmers in this
Discussion Questions
  1. Why did the government under the Articles first
    seem effective in the years immediately following
    the Revolution?
  2. What were the characteristics of state
    constitutions created during the period after the
    American Revolution?
  3. What were some of the main achievements of the
    Articles? What major weaknesses made the Articles
  4. What impact did Shayss Rebellion have on
    concerns about government under the Articles?

The Philadelphia Convention
  • May 1787, in Philadelphia, PA
  • 55 delegates attended
  • All states represented except RI
  • Some influential figures did not attend,
    including Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry

The Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia,
where the Constitutional Convention was held
The Philadelphia Convention Demographics
  • Most delegates were wealthy
  • Nearly two-thirds were lawyers
  • Forty had served in Confederation Congress
  • Over half had been officers in the Continental
  • Seven former state governors
  • Eight signers of the Declaration of Independence
  • Average age of 42

Framing of the Constitution
  • Most delegates were wealthy
  • Did the Constitution truly reflect democratic
    political ideals?
  • Madisons role

Different Views on Representation
  • Virginia Plan
  • Proposed by Madison
  • Protected large states interests
  • Allowed for a bicameral (two-house) legislature
  • Number of delegates in Congress based on a
    states population
  • Lower house would elect the upper house
  • New Jersey Plan
  • Proposed by Paterson
  • Protected small states interests
  • Allowed for a unicameral (one-house) legislature
  • Each state would have a similar number of

The Great Compromise
  • Bicameral legislature the House of
    Representatives and the Senate
  • House representation based on population
  • Senateeach state allowed two votes
  • Length of terms for each
  • Senators selected by state legislatures

Roger Sherman
The House and Senate Differences
  • House considered to represent ordinary
    Americans because voters elect members directly
  • Bills for raising revenue must originate in House
  • Senate viewed as advisory in nature
  • Ratifies treaties
  • Approves presidential appointments
  • Senate designed to represent the aristocracy

Three-fifths Compromise
  • How slaves should be counted for representation
    and taxation purposes
  • The compromise 3/5ths of the number of slaves
    would be counted for both representation and
  • National government forbidden to interfere with
    the slave trade until 1808

The Three-Fifths Compromise
  • North wanted to count slaves for taxation
    purposes, not representation in Congress
  • South wanted to count slaves for representation,
    not taxation
  • Compromise counted three-fifths of other
    persons for both representation and taxation
  • Congress also forbidden to interfere with slave
    trade until 1808

Governmental Power in the Constitution
  • Division of power
  • Federalism
  • Separation of powers
  • Checks and balances

Discussion Questions
  1. What were the main points of the Virginia Plan?
    The New Jersey Plan?
  2. How did the Great Compromise solve the
    controversy between supporters of the Virginia
    Plan and those favoring the New Jersey Plan?

Discussion Questions (cont.)
  1. What were some ways in which the House and Senate
    differed in philosophy and in function?
  2. What compromise did the Framers reach in regards
    to slavery and representation?

Separation of Powers
  • Based on Montesquieus theories
  • Government is divided into three distinct

Legislative Branch Makes the law
Executive Branch Enforces the law
Judicial Branch Interprets the law
The Executive Branch
  • Headed by the Office of the President
  • Responsible for carrying out the law
  • Can veto bills
  • Appointment power
  • Commander-in-chief of armed forces
  • Also in charge of foreign relations

The Judicial Branch
  • Judicial powers and offices left vague in the
  • Called for Supreme Court with a chief justice
  • Allowed for inferior courts as Congress sees
  • Branch evolved through legislation
  • Marbury v. Madison established judicial review

John Marshall
Discussion Questions
  1. On whose theories did the Framers base the
    Constitutions separation of powers? What duties
    does each branch perform?
  2. What powers and responsibilities does the
    Constitution give the executive branch?
  3. What structure does the Constitution describe for
    the judicial branch? What power does the judicial
    branch have over Congress?

Checks and Balances
Can veto bills appoints judges to the Judicial
Can declare acts of Congress unconstitutional
Can override a veto must approve appointments
The Constitution Problems Solved
  • System of checks and balances curbed excessive
    power by a single branch
  • Created powerful executive who can veto acts of
  • Established national judiciary
  • Different constituencies select members of each
  • Elastic clause allows for expansions to federal

U.S. Constitution
  • Article 1
  • Legislative powers
  • Article 2
  • Executive powers
  • Article 3
  • Judicial powers
  • Article 6
  • Supremacy clause

Federalists Anti-Federalists
  • Anti-Federalists
  • Opposed the Constitution
  • Included Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Richard
    Henry Lee
  • Strongest in rural areas
  • Opposed a strong central government
  • Concerned the Constitution didnt include a bill
    of rights
  • Federalists
  • Supported the Constitution
  • Included many framers (Washington, Hamilton,
  • Strongest in urban areas
  • Supported by those in favor of a strong central
  • Supported by merchants, skilled workers,

Alexander Hamilton
Patrick Henry
Ratification Procedure
  • Addressed in Article VII
  • Ratification to occur in special state
  • Nine of 13 states needed for ratification
  • Supporters of the Constitution nicknamed
  • Opponents called Anti-Federalists

The first printed copy of the Constitution, 1787
The Ratification Fight
  • Nine states needed for ratification
  • Well-organized resistance in NY and VA RI and NC
    held convention
  • Federalists agreed to include statement of civil
  • NH the ninth state to ratify

The Federalist
  • Written by Federalists Hamilton, Madison, and Jay
  • Essays explaining and supporting ratification
  • Published first in leading newspapers, later in
    book form
  • Impact on public opinion debatable

The Bill of Rights
  • Lack of protection of civil liberties in
    Constitution hotly debated
  • Madison given task of writing series of
  • 12 amendments proposed, 10 ratified
  • Amendment dealing with congressional pay raises
    not ratified until 1992

The Bill of Rights A Summary
  1. Freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and
  2. Right to keep and bear arms
  3. Conditions for quartering of soldiers
  4. Regulation of search and seizure
  5. Provisions concerning prosecution
  6. Trial by jury and the rights of the accused
  7. Right to civil trial by jury
  8. No excessive bail or punishments
  9. Protection of unenumerated rights
  10. Powers reserved to the states or the people

Washington Political Philosophy and Early Actions
  • Strict separation of the three branches of
  • Established executive departments headed by
    Cabinet secretaries
  • Strong federal government
  • Neutral foreign policy

1st American Presidency
  • President George Washington
  • Vice President John Adams
  • Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson
  • Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton
  • Secretary of War Henry Knox

Foreign Relations Challenges
  • Tensions with Britain remained high
  • Tariffs and trade imbalance
  • Seizure of American ships
  • Refusal to withdraw from forts
  • Jay Treaty improved relations, but stoked
  • Washington continued to support neutrality

John Jay
Hamilton vs. Jefferson
  • Jefferson
  • Limited national authority
  • Believed in ability of farmers and common people
    to rule themselves
  • Strict interpretation of Constitution
  • Favored payment of national debt, not state debts
  • Opposed national bank
  • Tended to support France in foreign affairs
  • Followers formed the Democratic-Republican Party
  • Hamilton
  • Strong federal government
  • Rule by elite
  • Loose interpretation of Constitution
  • Favored national bank
  • Favored paying state debts
  • Supported merchants, landowners, investors,
  • Tended to support Britain in foreign affairs
  • Followers formed the Federalist Party

The Rise of Political Parties
  • Washington opposed parties
  • First Bank of the U.S. controversy
  • Hamilton strong central government, broad
    interpretation of Constitution
  • Jefferson weaker central government, strict

The Bank of the United States
The Rise of Political Parties (cont.)
  • Federalists
  • Supported Hamilton
  • Northerners, industrialists
  • Democratic-Republicans, or Jeffersonian
  • Supported Jefferson
  • Southerners, farmers
  • Washington reelected in 1792

The Whiskey Rebellion
  • 1791 tax to help pay off war debt
  • Western farmers opposed to the tax fought federal
  • Washington sent troops to quell rebellion in
    western PA in 1794
  • Established governments authority to use force
  • Increased rural support for Democratic-Republicans

Washington leading troops to put down the Whiskey
Washingtons Farewell and the Election of John
  • Washingtons Farewell Address
  • Warned against factions/political parties
  • Stay out of entangling alliances foreign
  • Adams elected in 1796
  • Leader in independence movement
  • Washingtons VP
  • Federalist
  • Opposed slavery, but kept the issue out of the

John Adams
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