The Federalists Summary & AnalysisThe Big Picture: Who, What, When, Where & (Especially) WhyNew Government, Old ChallengesWith the ratification of the Constitution, many Americans hoped for resolution to the challenges poorly met under the Articles of Confederation, but these challenges were many and complex. The debts accumulated during the Revolution by the Continental Congress and individual states totaled close to $80 million dollars (the rough equivalent of $2 billion dollars today). British troops still occupied forts on American territory in the northwest and hostile British trade policies threatened to cripple American commerce. Native Americans and Anglo-Americans clashed over territorial claims, and Spanish control of the Mississippi River threatened the economic ambitions of western migrants. Internally, critics of the new government plotted to force a second constitutional convention to overhaul the structure of the new government, and bitter regional
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