Chapter 7 Founding A Nation Part I (258-273) 1. What were the weakness of the Articles of Confederation? Even if the Articles of Confederation were widely popular, many critics managed to find weaknesses in it. The Confederation was having numerous economic issues due to the heavy financial toll caused by the War of Independence. To supply money for the war, Congress had borrowed large sums of money by selling bonds that carried interest and in exchange, they paid the soldiers and suppliers in notes that they could redeem in the future. But the Congress was itself in debt and couldn’t pay the people back as their trade was being obstructed after they broke off from Britain. As the Congress seemed to be helpless, the states had adopted their own policies. These policies included imposing tariffs on imported goods, postponing debt collection, and printing large sums of paper money so that the money is circulated better. Some indebted farmers even pressed state governments for relief as they were on the brink of losing land due to not paying their taxes and mortgage. 2. How did Shays’ Rebellion highlight the problems with the Articles of Confederation? The Shays’ Rebellion was an uprising started by farmers who were in debt and called themselves “regulators.” The farmers shut down the courts in western Massachusetts to prevent their land from being seized as they had failed to pay their taxes. They called themselves the “regulators” which was a term used by the protestors in Carolina in the 1760s. This rebellion was named after one of the leaders, Daniel Shays, who was a veteran of the War for Independence. The rebels believed that they were acting in the spirit of the Revolution. So, they used tactics that the crowds used in the 1760s and 1770s and used liberty trees and liberty poles as symbols for their rebellion. In January 1787, more than 1,000 rebels were arrested and the rebellion was put to an end. This rebellion highlighted the issue in the Articles of Confederation that gave the people too much liberty. Many influential leaders believed that the democratic belief that had been instated in people during the Revolution had gone out of hand and people had started misusing this belief. It persuaded the leaders that the government should be strengthened and new uniform economic policies should be developed and property owners should be protected from violations of their rights. The Shays’ Rebellion instated a fear of abuse of liberty if the people weren’t put in check. The government was put in a predicament with the abuse of liberty on one side, by the majority, and abuse of power on the other, by the government.
3. Describe the plans discussed at the Constitution Convention for how Congress would establish representation?
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