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05 - Chapter 5 TELESCOPING THE TIMES Shaping a New Nation...

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Chapter 5: TELESCOPING THE TIMES Shaping a New Nation CHAPTER OVERVIEW The new nation under federalism is unstable. Leaders set up a convention to settle issues but end up creating a new governmental structure. Section 1: Experimenting with Confederation MAIN IDEA Americans adopted the Articles of Confederation but found the new government too weak to solve the nation’s problems. Having declared independence, the states faced another challenge: forming a new government. American leaders feared a true democracy that would give power directly to the uneducated masses. They wanted a republic, in which people rule through elected representatives. They also wanted a national government with limited power. The state constitutions created governments with limited power that guaranteed freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In some states, all white males could vote; in others, only white male property owners could vote. African Americans were not allowed to vote, nor—except in New Jersey for a few years—were women. In creating a new government, a Continental Congress wrestled with three issues. The first involved representation in Congress of different-sized states. Congress decided that each state would have one vote. The second had to do with how power was distributed. In approving the Articles of Confederation, Congress created two levels of government. The national government had the power to declare war, make peace, sign treaties, borrow money, create a postal service, and deal with Native Americans. State governments retained many other powers. The third concerned land west of the Appalachian Mountains. All the states with claims to that land gave up those claims to the national government. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 determined how the territory would be settled. Congress decided to divide the land into three to five territories. Once the population of a territory reached 60,000, the
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