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Chapter 7 - Summary Give Me Liberty!: an American History

James Moore
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What were the achievements and problems of the Confederation government? The Articles of Confederation  Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution drafted by Congress in 1777 (ratified 1781)o Sought to balance need for national coordination of the War on Independence with fear of centralized power(danger to liberty)o More of a treaty for mutual defense (“firm league of friendships”)o 13 states retained individual “sovereignty, freedom, and independence” National government o Consisted of a one house Congress 1 vote per state (regardless of population) No president to enforce laws  No judiciary to interpret laws Major decisions required 9 votes (not simple majority)o Only power specifically granted to national government were those essential to independence Declaring war Conducting foreign affairs Making treaties with other government so Had no financial resources Could coin money  Lacked power to levy tax or regulate commerce  Revenue came from individual state contribution so To amend Articles: required consent of ALL state so Established national control over land west of 13 states Originally, Virginia, Connecticut, Carolinas claimed lots of western land Eventually ceded western land claims in the name of national unity Congress, Settlers, and the West Congress’ position was that Indians, by aiding the British during the war, forfeited their right to land between states and Mississippi Rivero No distinction made between tribes that sided with enemy, sided with patriots, or were neutralo Indians surrendered their land at peace conferences at demand of state representatives Confederation was conflicted on what to do with western lando Some believed economic health required farmers have lando Some believed land sales as a potential revenue source Large population movement from settled parts of original states to frontier areas (upstate NY, and across Applician Mountains to Kentucky and Tennessee)o Settlers believed the right to take possession of land and use it as they saw fit was essential to American freedomo Leaders  Believed unregulated flow of population across mountains would provoke warfare with Indians  Saw frontier settlers as disorderly and lacking respect for authority1
The Land Ordinances The Ordinance of 1784: A law drafted by Thomas Jefferson hat regulated land ownership and defined the terms by which western land would be marked and settledo Established stages of self-government for the westo 1st Congress would govern territoryo Then territory would be admitted to the Union as a full stateo Congress rejected clause that would have prohibited slavery in the west by a single vote


Chapter 7 - Summary Give Me Liberty!: an American History

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