Why did we need a new Constitution?

January 12, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Civics
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Created during the Revolutionary War The states retained their sovereignty and operated independently of the federal government No executive, federal courts A single-chamber Congress with each state getting one vote Amendments had to be unanimous

States often refused to provide soldiers or supplies during the Revolutionary War resulting in the shortages at Valley Forge and an uncertain supply of soldiers for Washington Standing army dissolved after Revolutionary War US surrounded by potential enemies: Native tribes to the West, France in the Louisiana Territories, British In Canada, Spain in Florida

States had different cultures, religious traditions, political rights and organizations Most people held more loyalty to their states than to the federal When the Articles were being created the Founders were concerned about oppressive, distant governments

Unpaid debt to Britain (for seized Royalist properties and money loaned by other countries) risks another war with Britain New York allowed its ports to be used by a band of pirates Georgia was conducting its own foreign policy by negotiating with Native tribes Rhode Island pursued a policy of hyperinflation to help debtors

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Poor farmers in Massachusetts attempted to stop foreclosures on their farms by shutting down the local courts State militia was unwilling to initially put down the rebellion (as many of the rebels were also members of the state militia) No federal army Boston Merchants hired an army to put it down

Originally just slated to revise the Articles – 12 states sent delegates Quickly became clear that the delegates planned to rewrite the Articles, not just amend them

James Madison wanted to weaken the states and strengthen the Federal government (as was thus a “Federalist”) His plan created a legislature directly elected by the people – seats were allotted based on population That federal legislature could nullify state laws if they were “incompetent” There would be an executive and judiciary appointed by the legislature

Sticks with a unicameral legislature with each state getting the same number of seats A plural executive chosen by the legislature but could be removed by majority of state governors Congress retains limited ability to tax or regulate the states

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House is directly elected by the people, Senate elected by the state legislatures with the same number of seats per state Congress gets to regulate trade “among the several states”, create an army, raise taxes, and their acts are “supreme” to contradictory state acts President elected indirectly by the people Federal Court is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate

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Sept 17, 1787 – 41 of the original 55 delegates sign the new constitution Five states ratify in the fall (nine needed) – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, February 1788 - Massachusetts -- starts: 177 yes – 178 no – ends: 187 yes 168 no June 1788 - New Hampshire -- starts 52-52, ends 57-47 June 1788 - Virginia – starts 84-84, ends 89-79 June 1788 - New York – starts 19-46, end 30-27

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