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US10 Constitution

US10 Constitution - THE CRITICAL PERIOD 1781-1789 Powers of...

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THE “CRITICAL PERIOD” 1781-1789 Powers of central government limited under Articles of Confederation Individual states retained majority of governmental power Numerous restraints built into articles to make any changes in it nearly impossible Congressmen had to be elected every year Had to vote way state legislatures told them to No chief executive provided for Each state only given one vote in Congress and 9 had to agree before a bill would pass Meant that five smallest states could block any measure they didn’t like Attendance was so lax that 9 states were often not present so nothing got passed
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SETTLEMENT OF THE WEST Congress passed several laws that provided for efficient and regular settlement of the West But British refused to cooperate Treated U.S. ambassadors like dirt Refused to appoint ambassador to the U.S. Refused to evacuate forts in the West Direct violation of the Treaty of Paris
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LOYALISTS British justified violation of Peace of Paris by stating that Americans also violated it By refusing to pay Loyalists for property they lost during the Revolution Congress lacked power to raise an army to force British out of forts and could not levy taxes to pay off Loyalists West therefore remained closed to American settlement
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ECONOMIC PROBLEMS British now put heavy duties on American imports to England Congress did not have power to regulate trade so could not retaliate by doing same thing to British products coming into America New markets not large enough to fill gap caused by loss of British market Foreign merchants had governments that supported and protected them American merchants were on their own and suffered as a result Foreign trade fell off dramatically and standard of living may have dropped by as much as 20%
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SOCIAL PROBLEMS Post-Revolution hit small farmers hard Difficult to pay mortgages and local taxes Some states responded by lowering taxes and postponing mortgage debts Other states would not provide farmers any relief Arguing that it would bankrupt state government
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