No judicial branch and no national court system No effective way to settle disputes among states No executive branch No effective way to coordinate the work of the government
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION 1. Conducted a successful war for independence 2. Negotiated a highly favorable peace treated with Great Britain at the end of the War 3. Passed two laws to deal with the settlement of the newly acquired Northwest Territory (land west of PA, east of the Mississippi River, and North of the Ohio River) A. The Land Ordinance of 1785: divided the land into separate townships of 6 square miles and created an orderly process for selling and distributing the land. Also required one lot in each township to be set aside for a public school B. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787: Provided guidelines for the eventual establishments of new states in that region. Ensured basic civil rights (freedom of religion, trial by jury, etc), banned slavery in the new states, and prohibited the seizure of Native lands without compensation. Also, ensured that all new states would enter the Union on equal footing with the older ones (once they had 5,000 free men they could set up a state govt and once they have 60,000 they can apply for statehood).
NEW STATE GOVERNMENTS Between 1777-1787 each state tackled the task of creating a republican government (DEF: government in which the political authority comes from the people). Each state drafted its own constitution and created new state governments A common trait between each state government was that it had a relatively weak executive (governor), a strong legislative branch, and an independent judicial system that was mostly free of the governor’s influence. Another common trait was the separation of powers. With power divided between the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), no one part could become too powerful.
POSTWAR PROBLEMS 1. Problems with Britain: One of the terms of the Treaty of Paris was that each state should return seized property to loyalists. However, many states refused and Congress did not have the power to make them obey. This led to the British choosing to leave some of their troops in forts in the Northwest Territory. These troops encouraged Indians to attack American settlers. 2. Problems with Spain: Spain, which controlled the port city of New Orleans closed the Mississippi River to American trade. This meant that frontier farmers had no way to sell their goods.
POSTWAR PROBLEMS 3. Financial Problems: During the war, both Congress and the individual States printed paper money, but soon millions of unbacked (no actual gold or silver amounts) paper dollars were in circulation which led to inflation – steady rise in prices due to a devaluation of the currency. The Continental Congress had borrowed vast amounts of money to fight the way, but had no way to pay back the foreign nations and private investors they had borrowed from.
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- Fall '17
- Government, American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, Thirteen Colonies