Creating the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation

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This booklet helps students to learn about Constitution and its functions, different aspects of Government, the power granted and power denied.
1. Creating the Constitution
2. The Articles of Confederation
• During the Revolution, the
new United States needed a
functioning government
• Modeled after colonial
• States would retain
• Founders were fearful of
concentrated power due to
past experience with the
3. A Limited Government
• Articles established a “firm
league of friendship” among
the states
• Bills were passed on nine of
thirteen votes
• Amending the Articles took
unanimous consent of the
4. Structure of Government
• Unicameral (single house)
legislative body
• Each state had one vote
regardless of population size
• Congress given sole
authority to govern the
• An executive committee
oversaw government when
Congress was not in session
• Congress would establish
temporary courts to hear
disputes among the states 4
5. Powers Granted to Government
under the Articles of
• Declare war and make peace
• Make treaties with foreign countries
• Establish an army and navy
• Appoint high-ranking military officials
• Requisition, print, and borrow money
• Establish weights and measures
• Hear disputes among the states related to trade or boundaries
6. Powers Denied to Government
• No power to raise funds for an army or navy
• No power to tax, impose tariffs, or collect duties
• No executive branch to enforce laws
• No power to control trade among the states
• No power to force states to honor obligations
• No power to regulate the value of currency
7. Accomplishments of the Articles
of Confederation
• Administered the seven-year
war effort
• Negotiated the Treaty of
Paris with Britain in 1783
• Established the Northwest
Ordinance of 1787
Map of the land settled in the
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
8. Problems Facing the New Nation
• Trade with
foreign nations
• Financing the
• Foreign
• Interstate
A 1783 cartoon satirizing relations
between Britain and America
9. Problems Facing the New
Nation: You Decide
• Trade with foreign nations
• Financing the nation
• Foreign relations
• Interstate relations
10. Problems with Trade
• U.S. no longer the favorite trading partner of Great Britain
– U.S. exports to British ports had to be on British ships
– Many U.S.-produced goods were barred from British ports
– Britain sent vast amounts of cheap goods to U.S.
• Potential Remedy
– Establish a tariff on British goods
• Weakness in Articles of Confederation preventing this