U.S. History - The Confederation Study Notes

Essay by thekingandqueen March 2009

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THEME: The ConfederationReading: Making A Nation, pp. bottom of 211-214-Treaty of Paris (the second one) of 1783-America gains independence --> ends the war-compensate the loyalists for the property left behind & repay British merchants for debts that were owed-Americans are celebrating --> fighting with Indians is still a problem-slaves --> freed by Britain so that they could get freedom-south - some got freedom and some didn'tmany people felt that slavery conflicted with the fundamental ideologies of the American Revolution-revolution promotes an an ideology which for the first time challenges the institution in a rather significant way-coming out of the Revolution --> an abolitionist movement occursNorth - many have prohibitions in the state constitutions-ideology of gradualism --> which says that slavery is immoral (can't get rid of it instantly) functions in a way that way that slaves will be free when they reach a certain age-that way that the master will still get labor out of the slave-numbers of slaves will dwindle over timeUpper South -- Maryland, VirginiaLower South - South Carolina, Georgia-in the early nineteenth century --> number of free blacks goes up-for example Maryland (1755-1790) --> 8,000-by 1810 --> 34,000-by 1810 in Virginia much more freesomething significant that does happen during this periodLower South - most resistant to any attack upon the institution-Northwest Ordinance-five states are created north of the Ohio RiverShay's Rebellion-uprising in Massachusetts-couldn't afford to pay taxes and property gets taken away-reveals to many people how precarious conditions are even though they won independence-in order to raise revenue levied full taxes on land-no one single currency --> paper money became worthless-Continental congress becomes a confederation-deflation occurred - lots of state debts (owed money to its citizens)1.

What problems did the new nation experience under the Articles of Confederation?-the Second Continental Congress created one without sufficient power to govern effectively-the greatest weakness of the federal government under the Articles of Confederation was its inability to regulate trade and no national currency and levy taxes (could ask that states contribute to the national government but couldn't force them to)-The government could not pay off the debts it had incurred during the revolution, including paying soldiers who had fought in the war and citizens who had provided supplies to the cause.

-Congress could not pass needed measures because they lacked the nine-state majority required to become laws.

-The states largely ignored Congress, which was powerless to enforce cooperation, and it was therefore unable to carry out its duties.

2.What positions did nationalists and localists take in the 1780's?-localists --> said that local control must prevail in order to successfully stop oppressive tyranny-reluctant to change the confederation-left - opened up a lot of land and territory that people could take over-nationalists --> also agreed with local control, but the much needed element was a strong, republican central government-confederation created a lose union with the states-need a more effective central government-revolution promoted a more egalitarian society --> life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-challenged the declaration of politics - felt it should be more democraticnation undergoing many problems-both state debt and national debt-Indian problems on the frontier-European nations don't want to trade with the U.S. --> seems to be a nation that can't really functionPhiladelphia convention-there was another convention to discuss the Articles of Confederation-done in secret-operated behind closed doors --> creates a sense of security upon these localists-Nationalists --> Federalists, Loyalists --> Anti-Federalists-Federalism - shared power between the central government and the states-dual sovereignty-Confederation - lose union of the United StatesVirginia Plan:-create a government similar to what we have today-power sharing between the central government and the states-talks about the need to create a judicial branch, legislative branchBibliography:Making a Nation: The United States and its Peopleby: Nick Cullather