During this time period, the price of most goods rose dramatically.There was word that a mutiny would occur; this shows the nation's financial distress.
Shays' Rebellion, Daniel Shays
Massachusetts, after losing its best market, had a difficult time paying off its debt. The legislature proposed a ridiculous plan to pay off the debt, which caused a tax hike. This angered Massachusetts farmers and they rebelled. The effectiveness of the rebels showed the weakness of the nation under the Articles of Confederation.
Land Ordinance, 1785
This was a basic ordinance issued to supervise the surveying and sales of public land.
Northwest Ordinance, 1787
This ordinance provided the credentials an area needed to become a state. It also outlawed slavery in lands in the Ohio River Valley.
Articles of Confederation
This was a very ineffective form of government. Under the Articles, an inflationary disaster occurred. Many unwise decisions were made, such as harmful trade restrictions upon the States. Also, the Articles did not succeed in foreign affairs; even as a colony of Britain, the colonies received no financial support from Britain.
The Annapolis Convention formed in order to discuss a new form of government; the Articles of Confederation were too weak.
Constitutional Convention of 1787
At this Convention, the main dispute was the decision of what type of government to form. After many compromises were decided upon, a new constitution was drafted.
Proposed by Madison, this plan would establish separate state governments instead of a confederation of state governments. This plan gave Congress virtually unrestricted rights to legislation and taxation and the right to use military force on the colonies. The votes that a state got would be proportional to the state's population. Under this plan, the government would be a bicameral legislature with fixed representation.
New Jersey Plan
A counterplan to the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan proposed a government with a single chamber congress and one vote for each state. This plan was proposed by William Paterson and was designed to help the government at the expense of the colonies.
Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)
This was the plan that would be incorporated into the constitution. Proposed by Roger Sherman, the Great Compromise held that each state would receive an equal vote for the upper class, and proportional voting in the lower class.
This Compromise held that three-fifths of a state's slaves would be counted in the population. This showed sectionalism; the Northerners were against this plan due to unfair representation while the South whole-heartedly supported this compromise.
The Federalist, James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton
A newsletter written by these three members of the Federalist Party, The Federalist was an influential paper which brilliantly defended the formation of a Republic.
Members of the Federalist Party wanted to form a Republic under a new constitution and government.
These people were just the opposite of Federalists. They desired to maintain the Articles of Confederation government.
This was the government policy of equal representation and states rights. With federalism, the states would be under a new constitution and republican government.
Separation of Powers
This was a policy desired by the Federalists. There would be certain powers limited only to the national government; there would also be laws limited only to the state governments. Some powers (concurrent) would be rights of both national and state governments.
This is the term for a representative government.
This is the clause of the Constitution which allowed people to interpret the constitution and stretch its other clauses to means which are "proper and necessary."
Strict constructionists did not use the Elastic Clause. They simply stuck to exactly what was stated in the Constitution.
Unlike strict constructionists, loose constructionists almost always put the Elastic Clause to use. They very often stretched the Constitution's statements to the extremes.
This is the term for accusing the president of a crime and putting him on trial in front of the Supreme Court.
Delegated, Reserved, and Concurrent Powers
Delegated powers were reserved for the national government only. Reserved powers were for state legislatures only. Concurrent powers were usable by both governments. The most important concurrent power was and still is taxation.
Bill of Rights
This was a simple statement of the declaration of the rights of the people in the Constitution.
This was the term for a two-house government. It would have a House of Representatives and a Senate.
This is how the president would be elected. The popular vote would be transferred to electors who voted in favor of their states' popular opinion, which would be tallied in December to decide the next president.
Other important facts:
Problems under the Confederation:
Still paying back France (war debt); American ships were being ransacked by Barbary Pirates off the North Africa coast.
There were border disputes and neighboring states were taxing each others' goods.