The confederation was not a strong union, a roof without walls. Sense of national
identity, but anti-British. Worried about anarchy, decentralized government. The
soldiers in the army are worried with no centralized government, no uniforms, not
getting paid. People who are nationalists fear that there will be break up of newly
created United States. States could become independent, could end up with 13
countries. In 1780s, not clear that it will be one nation, not inevitable that it will be
one, united nation. People like George Washington , James Madison, want to make
sure the breakup doesn’t occur.
Post war problem: economic problem, no movement, inflation, high cost of living,
money is worthless, “not worth a continental”
Cut off trade with the West Indies. Had to look for other place for trade. Great
Britain not trading causes problems. Interstate commerce is down, who will regulate
trade between the states? Congress has no power to control. The continental army is
being disbanded, constant fear of a standing army. There’s the problem of soldiers
not getting paid. There’s a coup planned and threatened to get money.
One bright spot: Northwest Ordinance. 1785 this comes about because of Thomas
Jefferson. Organizing the Northwest Territory. (north of ohio river) After 1763,
Britain got this land after the 7 years War. This territory had been blocked off
because of the proclamation, but in 1785 congress establishes a uniform procedure
for surveying this land.
The new enlightened way: Michigan and Indiana. 6 square
mile sections, townships, each townships divided into 6 sections, and one of those
sections reserved for the place a school to be built or sold off or revenued to build a
school. An arbitrary grid, straight lines, rigid system. Congress will supervise land
sales. Congress can sale off this land. 1785 is the ordinance which lays out the states,
in 1787, Congress defines the process and steps for territories becoming states.
Slavery will not be permitted in these territories. Does not say anything about when
they become states.
The northern part tends to look a lot like New England, who
settle in northern ohio and Michigan. This is a strong hold of the Republican party