they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and . . .all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved . . . Andfor the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.—Declaration of Independence, 1776
●Creating a New Government During Wartime-The fighting with Great Britain dragged on for five more years, finally ending in 1781 withthe surrender of the British army at Yorktown, Virginia. -During this time, the Continental Congress served as the new nation’s government.-After declaring independence, Congress appointed a committee to prepare a plan of government known as the Articles of Confederation.-With or without a constitution, Congress had a hard time managing the war effort.-Ratification:formal approval of an agreement, treaty, or constitution-Be assured Sir, no occurrence in the course of the War, has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the Army . . . banish these thoughts from your mind.—George Washington, 17823.4 Putting ideas to work: Framing New Constitution-The Articles of Confederation was only one of many new plans of government drafted during the war. Each of the 13 states also needed a constitution. ●State Constitution: Giving Power to the People-In framing their new plans of government, state lawmakers demonstrated their commitment to constitutionalism, or the idea that government should be based on an established set of principles. -all state constitutions began with a statement of individual rights.-The governments created under the new state constitutions derived their power from thepeople. However, they were not completely democratic.-Constitutionalism: the belief that governments should operate according to an agreed setof principles, which are usually spelled out in a written constitution-Majority Rule: the idea that decisions approved by more than half of the people in a group or society will be accepted and observed by all of the people●Governing Under the Article of Confederation-The national government created under the Articles of Confederation was much weaker than the governments established in the states. -The government created under the Articles consisted only of a congress, with members chosen by the states.-It had neither an executive to carry out laws nor a judicial branch to settle legal questions. -For the most part, however, the government created by the Articles of Confederation wasa failure. -was clear to many of the nation’s leaders that the government formed under the Articles
was not working. ●Convening the Constitutional Convention-On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention began.