AN02a_Building a New Nation: Forming a Nation
Timeline: Late 18th – Early 19th C.
FQ: What issues regarding the creation of a government gave our Founding Fathers fits?
I. Let the building of a government begin!
A. What would become of the colonies?
B. How would the new States work together?
1. 13 sovereign states can barely find common ground.
2. Who pays for defense?
3. Why should a smaller State not be entitled to the same political support that a larger one gets?
4. Should a neighboring State be allowed to tax the goods coming from my State just to protect their local merchants?
C. Is the nation’s borders fixed?
5. Does the country stay forever at 13 States?
6. Are there any plans for adding new States?
7. From where would those new States come?
8. Are new states equal to the original states?
D. What role should the People play in government?
9. How to choose office-holders?
10. Who should have access to political offices?
11. For how long can office-holders serve?
II. Articles of Confederation 1781 – 1789
A. Solution #1: Republic
1. Governmental power is wielded by duly elected representatives of the People.
2. The People elect their representative via the ‘Vote’.
B. Solution #2: State Constitutions
1. Guaranteed rights to the People. An important one being ‘Voting’.
2. Limited the power of the State government.
C. Solution #3: A National Body
1. The Continental Congress during the Revolutionary Period. Each member State had ‘one’ vote regardless of population or physical size/ wealth.
2. By 1787, The Articles of Confederation formalized the relationship between the States and the national body that they all belonged to, ‘Congress’.
III. Solution #5: Land Ordinance of 1785, Northwest Ordinance of 1787
A. Provided a plan and procedure for organizing western lands.
B. Former State claims to western frontier lands that stretched as far as the Mississippi River, were now under the jurisdiction of the national body- Congress.
C. Western lands can enter the union of States in a three-part process.
IV. Despite the Solutions, Problems Appeared Everywhere.
A. Political: Each State is functioning as an independent country. The States were more concerned about their interests than that of the national union.
B. Economic: The huge debts assumed by Congress during the Revolutionary Period could only be paid by raising funds via taxes. But Congress had no authority to impose taxes without the approval of the member States. Since taxes are historically hated, just one ‘No’ vote by a State (Rhode Island) derailed Congress’ plan to repay it’s debt to foreign creditors.
C. Foreign Policy: It’s inability to pay it’s foreign debt gave countries like Great Britain reason to hold onto it’s forts in the Great Lakes region. Spain, a western border neighbor, closed the Mississippi River to American farm goods.
All of the colonial powers (Britain, Spain, France), seeing the young nation wobbling economically and politically, waited for the eventual failure of this ‘experiment’ and it’s ultimate collapse.
– The Americans, Unit02, Ch.05
– Articles of Confederation
– American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804
by Alan Taylor
-In the Past Lane, Ep. 17 (podcast) [https://t.co/TNLE9mX4uv?ssr=true] Inthepastlane.com