2.) Discuss and explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Confederation government. Was it doomed to failure? Why? In 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee to create a plan for a central gov’t. The committee quickly wrote the Articles of Confederation, which created a loose alliance of the states. The primary sticking point concerned disagreements about how to deal with the western lands claimed by several states. The states without such claims argued that the national gov’t should own the western lands. The states with land claims were reluctant to give up their claims. When Virginia finally gave up most of its claims to western lands, the Articles of Confederation were adopted. The Articles of Confederation created a union of sovereign states. An assembly of delegates acted on behalf of the states they represented. Because the smaller states feared the domination of the larger ones, each state had one vote in the Confederation Congress, regardless of its size or population. Any act of Congress required the votes of nine of the thirteen states to pass. Although the Confederation gov’t gave the people a sense of freedom, the Articles gave little power to the central gov’t, so the gov’t had little to no control. 3.) What role did the issue of slavery play in the Constitutional Convention? By the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, slavery in the United States was a grim reality. In the census of 1790, there were slaves counted in nearly every state, with only Massachusetts and the "districts" of Vermont and Maine, being the only exceptions. In the Articles of Confederation , the nation's first constitution, there is not mention of slavery. The states were represented in Congress by state, with each state picking its own representatives, so population, which became critical in the future House of Representatives, was not relevant. There was no great movement in America to abolish slavery in the 1780's, and then the Constitutional Convention met. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course HIST 201 taught by Professor Magnotta during the Fall '07 term at Slippery Rock.