Slabosti Konfederacije - Povijest

Slabosti Konfederacije - Povijest


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Vremenska linija proširenja prema zapadu

8. maja 1796. Kongres je odobrio Zakon o zemljištu. Taj zakon poziva na premjer zemljišta na sjeverozapadnoj teritoriji. Stavilo je na prodaju zemljište na teritoriji za najmanje 2 USD i hektara. On je postavio minimalnu prodaju zemljišta od 640 jutara. Ovo je učinilo troškove visokim pojedincima

1. juna 1796.- država Tennessee primljena je u Uniju kao 16. država. Država je robna država.

30. aprila 1802.- Kongres je donio Zakon o omogućavanju, koji je dozvolio svakoj teritoriji organiziranoj prema Uredbi iz 1787. da ih organizira kao državu. Ohio postaje prva država koja se tako organizirala.

1. marta 1803.- Ohio ulazi u Uniju kao 17. država.

26. marta 1804. Donet je Zakon o zemljištu iz 1804. godine. Smanjuje minimalnu cijenu jutra zemlje na 1,64. Smanjila je minimalni iznos koji je trebalo kupiti na 160 hektara i dala kupcima 10 godina da plate zemljište.

30. aprila 1812.- Država Louisiana ulazi u Uniju kao 18. država.

11. decembra 1816.-Indiana je primljena kao slobodna država. To je 19. država u Uniji

10. decembra 1817.- Mississippi ulazi u Uniju u 20. državi. Dozvoljava ropstvo.

3. decembra 1818.- Illinois je primljen u Uniju kao slobodna država. To je 21. država.


Slabosti Vlade Konfederacije

Vlade Konfederacije u američkoj istoriji suočavale su se sa mnogim slabostima koje su uključivale nedostatak centralne vlasti, nemogućnost reagovanja na državne potrebe i održiv poreski sistem. Članci Konfederacije uspostavili su prvu takvu vladu kombiniranjem 13 izvornih država. Konfederativne države Amerike formirale su drugu okupljajući neke države koje su željele naslijediti Uniju.

Istražite ovaj članak


Članci Konfederacije

Naši urednici će pregledati ono što ste poslali i odlučiti da li želite da prepravite članak.

Članci Konfederacije, prvi ustav SAD -a (1781–89), koji je služio kao most između prve vlade Kontinentalnog kongresa u doba revolucije i savezne vlade predviđene Ustavom SAD -a iz 1787. Budući da je iskustvo premoćne britanske centralne vlasti bilo živo u kolonijalni umovi, pisci članaka namjerno su osnovali konfederaciju suverenih država. Članci su napisani 1776–77, a Kongres ih je usvojio 15. novembra 1777. Međutim, države nisu u potpunosti ratifikovale dokument sve do 1. marta 1781.

Na papiru, Kongres je imao moć da regulira vanjske poslove, rat i poštanske usluge te da imenuje vojne oficire, kontrolira indijske poslove, posuđuje novac, određuje vrijednost kovanica i izdaje kreditne zapise. U stvarnosti, međutim, članci nisu dali Kongresu nikakvu moć da izvrši svoje zahtjeve prema državama za novac ili trupe, a do kraja 1786. vladina efikasnost je srušena.

Ipak, postignuti su neki solidni uspjesi: izmirena su određena državna potraživanja prema zapadnim zemljama, a Sjeverozapadni pravilnik iz 1787. uspostavio je temeljni obrazac razvijanja vlade na teritorijima sjeverno od rijeke Ohio. Jednako važno, Konfederacija je novoj naciji pružila poučno iskustvo u samoupravi prema pisanom dokumentu. Otkrivajući vlastite slabosti, članovi su otvorili put Ustavnoj konvenciji iz 1787. godine i sadašnjem obliku vlade SAD -a.

Urednici Encyclopaedia Britannica Ovaj članak je posljednji put revidirao i ažurirao Adam Augustyn, glavni urednik, referentni sadržaj.


Historiju, provjerite

1. Koja je bila slabost članova Konfederacije? (1 bod)
Kongres nije imao moć da stvori vojsku.
Kongres nije imao moć oporezivati ​​države. ***
Države nisu imale načina da riješe sporove između drugih država.
Države su se morale odreći svog suvereniteta.

2. Kojem entitetu su Statuti Konfederacije dali moć? (1 bod)
predsjednik
dvodomno zakonodavno tijelo
jednodomno zakonodavno tijelo
nema entiteta **

3. Zašto su oci osnivači smatrali da je potrebno stvoriti članove Konfederacije? (1 bod)
da uspostavi monarhiju koja će zamijeniti britanskog kralja
da se uspostavi trinaest različitih vlada bez centralne vlade
da sklopi mir sa Britanskim carstvom
uspostaviti pravnu osnovu za stalnu vladu novih Sjedinjenih Država ****

Slažem se sa vašim odgovorima.

Ne slažem se s vašim odgovorom na br. 2. Jedan i tri su tačni. (Izvinite, gospođo Sue)

Nakon što ovo uzmem, mogu potvrditi da 2 nije u redu. Za svakoga ko traži odgovor to je C. Jednodomno zakonodavno tijelo.


Na koje je načine Shays Rebellion otkrio slabosti članova Konfederacije?

Shayeva pobuna je pokazala slabosti Članci Konfederacije. Kada centralna vlast nije mogla spustiti pobuna, prva pobuna federalizma počela je prikupljati snagu. Vlada je dala najviše ovlasti državama, a središnju vladu činilo je samo zakonodavno tijelo.

Također znate, koje su bile slabosti članova Konfederacije? Veliki pad Članci Konfederacije bili su jednostavno slabost. Savezna vlada, pod Članci, bio suviše slabi da bi provodili svoje zakone i stoga nisu imali moć. Kontinentalni kongres posudio je novac za vođenje Revolucionarnog rata i nije mogao vratiti svoje dugove.

Osim toga, kako je Shays pobuna utjecala na stavove ljudi o članovima Konfederacije?

Shayeva pobuna utjecala je na pogled ljudi na Članke Konfederacije jer je pokazala potrebu za saveznom vladom i da članci ne bi uradili jer oni did ne dozvoliti naciji da izgradi vojsku za gušenje pobuna kao npr Shay's.

Šta su ljudi mislili o Shaysovoj pobuni?

Poljoprivrednici su bili teško pogođeni porezima i nisu mogli sebi priuštiti da ih plate, zbog čega su se pobunili protiv političkih lidera u svojim državama. Shays pobuna pokazao političkim liderima država da članovi nisu efikasan sistem i da ih je potrebno revidirati. Dakle, okupili su se kako bi to revidirali.


Članci Konfederacije, 1777–1781

Članci Konfederacije poslužili su kao pisani dokument koji je uspostavio funkcije nacionalne vlade Sjedinjenih Država nakon što je proglasila nezavisnost od Velike Britanije. Uspostavila je slabu centralnu vladu koja je uglavnom, ali ne u potpunosti, sprječavala pojedine države da vode svoju vanjsku diplomatiju.

Albanyjev plan, raniji pokušaj prije osamostaljenja da se kolonije pridruže većoj uniji, djelimično je propao jer su pojedine kolonije bile zabrinute zbog gubitka moći nad drugom centralnom institucijom. Međutim, kako je Američka revolucija dobila na zamahu, mnogi politički lideri uvidjeli su prednosti centralizirane vlade koja bi mogla koordinirati Rat za nezavisnost. U junu 1775. provincijski kongres u New Yorku poslao je plan ujedinjenja Kontinentalnom kongresu, koji je, poput Albany plana, nastavio priznavati autoritet britanske krune.

Neki delegati Kontinentalnog kongresa također su neformalno razgovarali o planovima za trajniju uniju od Kontinentalnog kongresa, čiji je status bio privremen. Benjamin Franklin sastavio je plan za “Članke Konfederacije i vječne unije”. Dok su neki delegati, poput Thomasa Jeffersona, podržali Franklinov prijedlog, mnogi drugi bili su oštro protiv. Franklin je predstavio svoj plan pred Kongresom 21. jula, ali je izjavio da ga treba posmatrati kao nacrt za vrijeme kada je Kongres bio zainteresiran za postizanje formalnijeg prijedloga. Kongres je podnio plan.

Nakon Deklaracije o nezavisnosti, članovi Kontinentalnog kongresa shvatili su da će biti potrebno uspostaviti nacionalnu vladu. Kongres je počeo raspravljati o obliku u kojem će ova vlada zauzeti 22. jula, ne slažući se oko brojnih pitanja, uključujući to hoće li zastupljenost i glasanje biti proporcionalni ili po državama. Neslaganja su odložila konačne rasprave o konfederaciji do oktobra 1777. Do tada je britansko zauzimanje Philadelphije pitanje učinilo hitnijim. Delegati su konačno formulirali članove Konfederacije, u kojima su pristali na glasanje po državama i proporcionalna državna porezna opterećenja na osnovu vrijednosti zemljišta, iako su pitanje državnih zahtjeva prema zapadnim zemljama ostavili neriješenim. Kongres je članove poslao državama na ratifikaciju krajem novembra. Većina delegata shvatila je da su članovi pogrešan kompromis, ali su vjerovali da je to bolje od odsustva formalne nacionalne vlade.

16. decembra 1777. godine Virginia je bila prva država koja je ratifikovala državu. Druge države ratifikovale su tokom prvih meseci 1778. Kada se Kongres ponovo sastao u junu 1778, delegati su saznali da su Maryland, Delaware i New Jersey odbili da ratifikuju članove. Članci su zahtijevali jednoglasno odobrenje država. Ove manje države željele su da se druge države odreknu svojih zapadnih zahtjeva za zemljištem prije nego što ratificiraju članove. New Jersey i Delaware su se na kraju složili sa uslovima članaka, pri čemu su New Jersey ratifikovali 20. novembra 1778, a Delaware 1. februara 1779. Time je Maryland ostao posljednji preostali dio.

Iznervirani Merilendinom upornošću, nekoliko drugih državnih vlada donijelo je rezolucije kojima se odobrava formiranje nacionalne vlade bez države Maryland, ali su drugi političari, poput kongresmena Thomasa Burkea iz Sjeverne Karoline, uvjerili svoje vlade da se suzdrže od toga, tvrdeći da bez jednoglasnog odobrenja nova Konfederacija, nova zemlja ostala bi slaba, podijeljena i otvorena za buduće strane intervencije i manipulacije.

U međuvremenu, 1780. godine britanske snage počele su s napadima na zajednice Marylanda u zaljevu Chesapeake. Uznemirena, državna vlada je pisala francuskoj ministarki Anne-César De la Luzerne tražeći pomoć francuske mornarice. Luzerne je odgovorio, pozivajući vladu Marylanda da ratificira Članke Konfederacije. Marylandersi su dobili dodatne poticaje za ratifikaciju kada se Virginia složila da se odrekne svojih zapadnih zahtjeva za zemljištem, pa je zakonodavno tijelo Marylanda ratificiralo Članke Konfederacije 1. marta 1781.

Kontinentalni kongres je 10. januara 1781. izglasao osnivanje Odjela za vanjske poslove 10. augusta iste godine, izabrao je Roberta R. Livingstona za sekretara vanjskih poslova. Dužnosti sekretara uključivale su dopisivanje sa predstavnicima SAD -a u inozemstvu i s ministrima inozemnih sila. Sekretar je takođe bio zadužen za prenošenje uputstava Kongresa američkim agentima u inostranstvu i bio je ovlašten da prisustvuje sjednicama Kongresa. Dodatni zakon od 22. februara 1782. godine dopustio je sekretaru da postavlja pitanja i odgovara na pitanja tokom zasjedanja Kontinentalnog kongresa.

Članci su stvorili suverenu, nacionalnu vladu i, kao takvi, ograničili prava država da vode vlastitu diplomatiju i vanjsku politiku. Međutim, pokazalo se da je to teško sprovesti, jer nacionalna vlada nije mogla spriječiti državu Georgiju da vodi vlastitu nezavisnu politiku u vezi sa španskom Floridom, pokušavajući zauzeti sporna područja i prijeteći ratom ako španjolski dužnosnici ne rade na suzbijanju napada Indije ili se suzdrže od utočište odbjeglih robova. Vlada Konfederacije nije mogla spriječiti iskrcavanje osuđenika koje je britanska vlada nastavila izvoziti u svoje bivše kolonije. Osim toga, članci nisu dopuštali Kongresu dovoljno ovlasti za provođenje odredbi Pariškog ugovora iz 1783. koje su dozvoljavale britanskim kreditorima da tuže dužnike za dugove prije revolucije, što je nepopularna klauzula koju su mnoge državne vlade odlučile zanemariti. Zbog toga su britanske snage nastavile zauzimati utvrde u regiji Velikih jezera. Ovi problemi, u kombinaciji s nedjelotvornim odgovorom vlade Konfederacije na Shaysovu pobunu u Massachusettsu, uvjerili su nacionalne lidere da je potrebna moćnija centralna vlada. To je dovelo do Ustavne konvencije koja je formulirala trenutni Ustav Sjedinjenih Država.


Učinkovitost članova Konfederacije

Nakon nezavisnosti Amerike i Rsquosa 1783., vođe različitih grupa formirale su centralnu vladu. Međutim, ova novoformirana vlada bila je izuzetno slaba i nije imala direktnu riječ u bilo kojim ekonomskim ili političkim pitanjima. Članci Konfederacije izuzetno su ograničili moć Kongresa. Vlada nije imala pravo da donosi ili sprovodi bilo koji zakon koji je usvojen.

Centralna vlada nije imala ovlašćenja da kontroliše niti nameće poreze državama. Mogao je od država tražiti novac, ali nije imao ovlaštenja da im naloži plaćanje. To je zakonodavno tijelo natjeralo u siromaštvo jer je većina država jednostavno odbila i ignorisala uplatu sredstava. Nacionalna vlada nije imala ovlasti niti resurse za vođenje svog svakodnevnog stanja.

Centralna vlada ostala je bespomoćna što se tiče kontrole poreza, sporova oko prava plovidbe, trgovine i trgovine unutar i izvan zemlje. Prava regulisanja novca i valute podjednako su podeljena između država i centralne vlade.

Ovaj neuspjeh da imaju snažan autoritet nad nacijom izazvao je zabrinutost drugih zemalja kada je u pitanju trgovina i kupovina dionica s Amerikom. Neuspjeh da se ima moćna i jaka vlast nad nacijom osakatio je američku i rsquos ekonomiju, prisiljavajući vrijednost valute da se spusti na najniži nivo.

Ljudi su bili zaduženi. Bilo im je izuzetno teško da nadoknade i stabiliziraju svoje finansijsko stanje i ekonomiju. Ozbiljno gledajući na osakaćeno stanje američke ekonomije, svaka država poslala je svog predstavnika u Philadelphiju koji je pomogao Americi u izradi Ustava SAD -a 1787. To je dovelo do formiranja jače centralne vlade koja je oživjela američku ekonomiju nakon katastrofe.

Brojni predsjednici vladali su Amerikom nakon sticanja nezavisnosti prema članovima Konfederacije. Čini se da je najpoznatiji predsjednik George Washington, no ono što bi mnoge moglo iznenaditi je da on nije bio prvi predsjednik koji je vladao Amerikom. Bio je prvi predsjednik koji je vladao Amerikom prema utvrđenom Ustavu koji se slijedi do danas. Više ..


Povucite i ispustite svaku slabost članova Konfederacije u područje vlade u kojem najbolje odgovara ekonomsko administrativno zakonodavstvo 1 nema niko za provođenje zakona 2 nema nacionalni sudski sistem 3 nema nacionalnu vojsku 4jedan glas po državi 5 nema ovlašćenja za oporezivanje 6teško je izmijeniti 7teško donošenje zakona 8 nema ovlašćenja za regulisanje trgovine 9 previše valuta stavlja svaki broj u jednu od tri vlade

Članci Konfederacije bili su prvi pisani oblik vladavine Sjedinjenih Država, nakon Američke revolucije. Prema članovima, države su imale najveći dio vlasti, a centralna je vlada bila slaba jer su se ljudi bojali da bi se jaka centralna vlast mogla pretvoriti u tiraniju, imala je samo jednodomno zakonodavno tijelo umjesto podjele vlasti na tri grane koje Ustav navodi.

Članci Konfederacije dali su kontinentalnom kongresu moć donošenja zakona, ali budući da nije postojala izvršna vlast, centralna vlast nije imala ovlasti da ih provodi, nije postojao nacionalni sudski sistem, pa vlada nije mogla intervenirati u sporove između država, nedostatak nacionalne vojske bio je takođe velika slabost. Centralna vlada nije imala ovlasti prikupljati poreze niti regulirati trgovinu, pa nije bilo nikoga zaduženog za plaćanje državnog duga niti za praćenje ekonomije. Za ratifikaciju je bila potrebna jednoglasna saglasnost i bilo je teško izmijeniti ili donijeti zakone.

Ekonomski- previše valuta, nema ovlašćenja za oporezivanje, nema ovlašćenja za regulisanje trgovine

Administrativno- nema nacionalne vojske, nema nacionalnog sudskog sistema, nema nikoga da sprovodi zakone

Zakonodavno- teško usvojivi zakoni, teško izmjenjivi, jedan glas po državi

Navest ću neke slabosti u donjem objašnjenju, međutim mislim da ste zaboravili učitati izbore.

To Kongresu nije dalo moć prikupljanja poreza: nema sredstava za otplatu dugova ili podršku rastu nacije, jer je većina građana ignorisala zahtjeve države za porezeDržavne milicije: umjesto da imaju jednu jedinstvenu vojsku, svaka država je imala miliciju. Svi vojnici su bili različito obučeni i savezna vlada im nije dala potrebne zalihe. Nema nacionalnog sudskog sistema: vlada nije imala načina da stvarno provodi zakone. AOC je bio preslab: savezna vlada nije imala toliko ovlasti, a previše prepušteno vladama država.

kongres također ima implicitna ovlaštenja, koja proizlaze iz potrebne i odgovarajuće odredbe ustava i dopuštaju kongresu "da donese sve zakone koji su potrebni i primjereni za izvršavanje navedenih ovlaštenja, i sva druga ovlaštenja koja ovaj ustav daje vladi Sjedinjenih Država.


Ova pobuna u zapadnom Massachusettsu zabrinula je mnoge Amerikance i otkrila potrebu za jačom vladom sposobnom za suzbijanje unutrašnjih pobuna. Strahovi od demokratskog državnog radikalizma, koji utjelovljuje Rhode Island, također su bili prisutni. Drugi su, međutim, bili uvjereni da su same države sposobne suzbiti unutarnje nasilje - čak i u slučaju Shaysove pobune.

Španska zabrana američke plovidbe rijekom Mississippi razbjesnila je južnjake. Napori da se riješi ovo pitanje ilustrirali su slabost Sjedinjenih Država i oštre podjele u zemlji.


Sadržaj

Nezavisnost i samouprava Edit

Američki rat za nezavisnost izbio je protiv britanske vladavine u aprilu 1775. bitkama za Lexington i Concord. [1] Drugi kontinentalni kongres sastao se u maju 1775. godine i osnovao je vojsku koju je finansirao Kongres i pod vodstvom Georgea Washingtona, Virginijca koji je učestvovao u Francuskom i Indijskom ratu. [2] 4. jula 1776. godine, kako se rat nastavio, Kongres je usvojio Deklaraciju nezavisnosti. [3] U isto vrijeme kada je Kongres proglasio nezavisnost, također je osnovao odbor za izradu ustava za novu naciju. Iako su se neki u Kongresu nadali jakoj centraliziranoj državi, većina Amerikanaca željela je da zakonodavna vlast ostane prvenstveno u državama i smatrali su centralnu vladu pukom ratnom nužnošću. Rezultirajući ustav, koji je postao poznat kao članovi Konfederacije, predviđao je slabu nacionalnu vladu s malo ovlasti da prisiljava državne vlade. [4] Prvi član novog ustava uspostavio je naziv za novu konfederaciju - Sjedinjene Američke Države. [5]

Prvi nacrt Statuta Konfederacije, koji je napisao John Dickinson, predstavljen je Kongresu 12. jula 1776. godine, ali Kongres nije poslao predloženi ustav državama do novembra 1777. Tri glavna ustavna pitanja podijelila su Kongres: državne granice, uključujući potraživanja zemljišta zapadno od Apalačkih planina, zastupljenost države u novom Kongresu i da li bi porezni nameti za države trebali uzeti u obzir robove. Na kraju, Kongres je odlučio da svaka država ima jedan glas u Kongresu i da robovi neće utjecati na državne namete. [6] Do 1780. godine, kako se rat nastavio, svaka država osim Merilenda je ratificirala članke koje je Maryland odbila ratificirati ustav sve dok se sve ostale države nisu odrekle svojih zapadnih zemljišnih zahtjeva Kongresu. Uspjeh britanske južne strategije, zajedno s pritiskom američkih saveznika iz Francuske, uvjerio je Virdžiniju da ustupi svoja potraživanja sjeverno od rijeke Ohio, a Maryland je konačno ratificirao članke u siječnju 1781. Novi ustav stupio je na snagu u ožujku 1781. Konfederacija je tehnički zamijenila Drugi kontinentalni kongres kao nacionalna vlada, ali u praksi je struktura i osoblje novog kongresa bilo prilično slično starom kongresu. [7]

Kraj američke revolucije Edit

Nakon američke pobjede u bitci za Yorktown u septembru 1781. i sloma ministarstva britanskog premijera Nort -a u ožujku 1782, obje su strane tražile mirovni sporazum. [8] Američki rat za nezavisnost završio je potpisivanjem Pariškog ugovora 1783. godine. Sporazum je Sjedinjenim Državama dodijelio neovisnost, kao i kontrolu nad ogromnom regijom južno od Velikih jezera koja se proteže od Apalačkih planina zapadno do rijeke Mississippi. Iako je britanski parlament pridružio ovu trans-apalačku regiju Quebecu 1774. u sklopu Quebec akta, nekoliko država imalo je zemljišne zahtjeve u regiji na temelju kraljevskih povelja i proglasa koji su definirali njihove granice kao da se protežu "od mora do mora". [9] Neki su se Amerikanci nadali da će sporazum omogućiti kupnju Floride, ali je ta teritorija vraćena Španiji, koja se pridružila SAD -u i Francuskoj u ratu protiv Britanije i zahtijevala njen plijen. [10] Britanci su se snažno i uspješno borili da zadrže Kanadu, pa je sporazum to priznao. [11]

Tadašnji posmatrači i povjesničari od tada naglašavaju velikodušnost britanskih teritorijalnih ustupaka. Povjesničari kao što su Alvord, Harlow i Ritcheson naglasili su da su britanski teritorijalni uslovi zasnovani na državničkoj viziji bliskih ekonomskih veza između Britanije i Sjedinjenih Država. Ugovor je osmišljen kako bi se olakšao rast američkog stanovništva i stvorila unosna tržišta za britanske trgovce, bez ikakvih vojnih ili administrativnih troškova za Britaniju. [9] Kako je kasnije rekao francuski ministar vanjskih poslova Vergennes, "Englezi radije kupuju mir nego sklapaju mir". [12]

Ugovor je također rješavao nekoliko dodatnih pitanja. Sjedinjene Države su pristale da ispoštuju dugove nastale prije 1775. godine, dok su Britanci pristali ukloniti svoje vojnike s američkog tla. [10] Privilegije koje su Amerikanci dobili zbog članstva u Britanskom carstvu više se nisu primjenjivale, a ponajviše zaštita od pirata u Sredozemnom moru. Ni Amerikanci ni Britanci neće dosljedno poštovati ove dodatne klauzule. Pojedine države ignorisale su ugovorne obaveze odbijajući da vrate konfiskovanu lojalističku imovinu, a mnoge su nastavile da oduzimaju lojalističku imovinu zbog "neplaćenih dugova". Neke države, posebno Virdžinija, održavale su zakone protiv plaćanja dugova britanskim kreditorima. Britanci su često ignorisali odredbu člana 7 koja se odnosi na uklanjanje robova. [13]

Članci Konfederacije stvorili su labavu uniju država. Centralna vlada konfederacije sastojala se od jednodomnog Kongresa sa zakonodavnom i izvršnom funkcijom, a sastojala se od delegata iz svake države unije. Kongres je dobio samo ona ovlaštenja za koja su države ranije priznale da pripadaju kralju i parlamentu. [15] Svaka država je imala jedan glas u Kongresu, bez obzira na veličinu ili broj stanovnika, a svaki akt Kongresa zahtijevao je glasove devet od 13 država za donošenje [16] svaka odluka o izmjeni članova zahtijevala je jednoglasnu saglasnost država . Zakonodavno tijelo svake države imenovalo je više članova svoje delegacije, dopuštajući delegatima da se vrate svojim kućama bez napuštanja svoje države bez predstavnika. [17] Prema članovima, državama je bilo zabranjeno pregovarati s drugim narodima ili održavati vojsku bez pristanka Kongresa, ali su gotovo sva druga ovlaštenja bila rezervirana za države. [18] Kongresu je nedostajalo ovlasti da poveća prihode i nije bio sposoban primijeniti vlastito zakonodavstvo i upute. Kao takav, Kongres se u velikoj mjeri oslanjao na usklađenost i podršku država. [19]

Nakon završetka Revolucionarnog rata, koji je dao izvorni poticaj člancima, sposobnost Kongresa da postigne bilo šta od materijalnih posljedica značajno je opala. Rijetko je više od polovine od otprilike šezdeset delegata u bilo kojem trenutku prisustvovalo sjednici Kongresa, uzrokujući poteškoće u povećanju kvoruma. Mnogi od najistaknutijih nacionalnih lidera, poput Washingtona, Johna Adamsa, Johna Hancocka i Benjamina Franklina, koji su se povukli iz javnog života, služili su kao strani delegati ili su obnašali dužnosti u državnim vladama. [20] Jedan nacionalni vođa koji se ipak pojavio u ovom razdoblju bio je James Madison, koji se uvjerio u potrebu jače nacionalne vlade nakon što je služio na Kongresu Konfederacije od 1781. do 1783. On će i dalje tražiti jaču vladu za ostatak 1780 -ih. [21] Kongres se sastao u Philadelphiji od 1778. do juna 1783., kada se zbog pobune u Pennsylvaniji 1783. preselio u Princeton, New Jersey, Kongres bi se također sastao u Annapolisu, Maryland i Trenton, New Jersey, prije nego što se nastanio u New Yorku 1785. godine. . [22] Nedostatak jakih lidera u Kongresu, kao i nemoć i putujuća priroda tijela, zbunjivali su i frustrirali mnoge američke nacionaliste, uključujući Washington. [23] Slabost Kongresa dovela je i do čestih govora o otcjepljenju, a mnogi su vjerovali da će se Sjedinjene Države raspasti u četiri konfederacije, koje se sastoje od Nove Engleske, država Srednjeg Atlantika, južnih država i trans-Apalačkog regiona, respektivno. [24]

Kongres Konfederacije bio je jedino federalno vladino tijelo stvoreno članovima Konfederacije, ali je Kongres osnovao druga tijela za preuzimanje izvršne i sudske funkcije. 1780. Kongres je osnovao Apelacioni sud u slučajevima zarobljavanja, koji je djelovao kao jedini federalni sud tokom perioda Konfederacije. Početkom 1781. Kongres je osnovao izvršna odjela za vanjske poslove, rat i financije. Četvrti odjel, Poštanski odjel, postojao je od 1775. godine i nastavio je funkcionirati prema članovima. Kongres je također odobrio stvaranje Pomorskog odjela, ali je odlučio staviti pomorske snage pod Ministarstvo financija nakon što je Alexander McDougall odbio voditi Pomorsko odjeljenje. Četiri odjela bili su zaduženi za upravljanje saveznom državnom službom, ali su imali mala ovlaštenja neovisno o Kongresu. [25] Trgovac iz Pensilvanije Robert Morris služio je kao nadzornik finansija od 1781. do 1784. Iako je Morris postao pomalo nepopularan tokom rata zbog svojih uspješnih poslovnih poduhvata, Kongres se nadao da će uspjeti popraviti ruševno finansijsko stanje u zemlji. [26] Nakon što su njegovi prijedlozi blokirani, Morris je frustrirano podnio ostavku 1784. godine, a naslijedio ga je tročlani Odbor trezora. [27] Benjamin Lincoln bio je ministar rata od 1781. do kraja Revolucionarnog rata 1783. Na kraju ga je naslijedio Henry Knox, koji je bio na položaju od 1785. do 1789. Robert Livingston bio je sekretar vanjskih poslova od 1781. godine. do 1783., a na dužnosti ga je slijedio John Jay, koji je bio na dužnosti od 1784. do 1789. Jay se pokazao kao sposoban administrator, a tokom svog mandata preuzeo je kontrolu nad nacionalnom diplomatijom. [28] Ebenezer Hazard bio je generalni upravnik pošte Sjedinjenih Država od 1782. do 1789. [29]

Stanovništvo prema državi u popisu iz 1790. godine [30]
State Tot. pop. Rop pop. Free pop.
Connecticut 237,946 2,764 235,182
Delaware 59,096 8,887 50,209
Georgia 82,548 29,264 53,284
Maryland 319,728 103,036 216,692
Massachusetts 378,787 0 378,787
New Hampshire 141,885 158 141,727
New Jersey 184,139 11,423 172,716
Njujork 340,120 21,324 318,796
Sjeverna Karolina 393,751 100,572 293,179
Pennsylvania 434,373 3,737 430,636
Rhode Island 68,825 948 67,877
Južna Karolina 249,073 107,094 141,979
Virginia 691,737 287,959 403,778
Ukupno [31] 3,929,214 697,681 3,231,533

Nakon što je trinaest kolonija proglasilo svoju nezavisnost i suverenitet 1776. godine, svaka je bila suočena sa zadatkom da zamijeni kraljevsku vlast institucijama zasnovanim na narodnoj vladavini. U različitoj mjeri, države su prihvatile egalitarizam tokom i nakon rata. Svaka je država napisala novi ustav, koji je uspostavio izabranu izvršnu vlast, a mnogi od njih uvelike su proširili franšizu. Ustav Pensilvanije iz 1776. bio je možda najdemokratskiji od ovih ustava, jer je davao pravo glasa svim građanima muškog pola koji plaćaju poreze. Mnogi od novih ustava uključivali su zakon o pravima koji garantuje slobodu štampe, slobodu govora, suđenje pred porotom i druge slobode. [32] Konzervativni patrioti, poput Olivera Wolcotta, koji se borio za nezavisnost od Britanije, ali se nije zalagao za veće promjene društvenog poretka, sa zabrinutošću su gledali na novi utjecaj nižih klasa i uspon političara nezavisnih od više klase. [33]

Nakon završetka rata za nezavisnost, države su krenule u različite reforme. Nekoliko država je u svojim ustavima sadržalo slobodu vjeroispovijesti, a svaka južna država ukinula je status Anglikanske crkve kao državne religije. Nekoliko država osnovalo je državne univerzitete, dok su privatni univerziteti također doživjeli procvat. Brojne su države reformirale svoje krivične zakone kako bi smanjile broj teških krivičnih djela. Sjeverne države ulagale su u infrastrukturne projekte, uključujući puteve i kanale koji su omogućavali pristup zapadnim naseljima. [34] Države su također poduzele mjere u vezi s ropstvom, koje je postajalo sve licemjernije generaciji koja se borila protiv onoga što su vidjeli kao tiraniju. Za vrijeme i nakon revolucije, svaka sjeverna država donijela je zakone koji su predviđali postupnu emancipaciju ili trenutno ukidanje ropstva. Iako nijedna južna država nije predviđala emancipaciju, donijele su zakone koji ograničavaju trgovinu robljem. [35]

Države su nastavile nositi teret velikih zaduženja stečenih tokom rata za nezavisnost. Uz djelomične izuzetke New Yorka i Pennsylvanije, koji su primali prihode od uvoznih dažbina, većina država oslanjala se na prihod od pojedinačnih poreza i poreza na imovinu. Kako bi se nosile s ratnim dugovima, nekoliko država je bilo prisiljeno podići poreze na nekoliko puta višu razinu nego što je to bilo prije rata. Ovi porezi izazvali su bijes među stanovništvom, posebno u ruralnim područjima, a u Massachusettsu su doveli do oružanog ustanka poznatog kao Shaysova pobuna. Budući da su se i Kongres i vlada Massachusettsa pokazali nesposobnima da uguše pobunu, bivši ministar rata Benjamin Lincoln podigao je privatnu vojsku koja je okončala pobunu. [36]

Britanija je odustala od potraživanja prema Vermontu prema Pariskom ugovoru, ali Vermont se nije pridružio Sjedinjenim Državama. Iako je većina u Vermontu željela postati četrnaesta država, New York i New Hampshire, koji su obojica tvrdili da su dijelovi Vermonta, blokirali su ovu ambiciju. Tokom 1780 -ih Vermont je djelovao kao nezavisna država, poznata kao Republika Vermont. [37]

Sjedinjene Američke Države su stekle ogromne dugove tokom rata za nezavisnost, dijelom i zbog nedostatka ovlasti Kongresa da oporezuje članove, samo su države mogle ubirati poreze ili regulirati trgovinu. [38] 1779. Kongres je prepustio većinu svoje ekonomske moći državama, jer je prestao štampati valutu i tražio da države direktno plaćaju vojnike, ali su države također patile od fiskalne nestabilnosti. [39] Robert Morris, imenovan za nadzornika finansija 1781. godine, osvojio je usvajanje velikih centralizirajućih reformi, poput djelimičnog preuzimanja državnog duga, obustave plaćanja vojnog osoblja i stvaranja Banke Sjeverne Amerike. Morris se pojavio kao možda najmoćniji pojedinac u nacionalnoj vladi, a neki ga nazivaju "financijerom" ili čak "diktatorom". [40] Godine 1783. Morris je, uz podršku kongresmena poput Madisona i Alexandera Hamiltona, dobio kongresno odobrenje dažbine od pet posto na uvoz, čime bi nacionalna vlada dobila stalni i nezavisni izvor prihoda. Međutim, potpisivanjem Pariškog ugovora, države su postale otpornije na davanje ovlasti Kongresu. Iako su sve države osim dvije odobrile namet, nikada nije osvojio jednoglasnu podršku država, pa se Kongres borio za pronalaženje prihoda tokom 1780 -ih. [41]

Kako se Rat za nezavisnost bližio kraju, oficiri i regruti Kontinentalne vojske postajali su sve nezadovoljniji zbog nedostatka plate, jer je Kongres obustavio isplatu zbog lošeg finansijskog stanja nacionalne vlade. Kongres je obećao policajcima doživotnu penziju 1780. godine, ali je mali broj oficira vjerovao da će oni dobiti ovu naknadu. U decembru 1782, nekoliko oficira, predvođenih Aleksandrom McDougallom, podnijeli su peticiju Kongresu za njihovu korist. Oficiri su se nadali da će iskoristiti svoj utjecaj kako bi prisilili države da dozvole saveznoj vladi da uvede tarifu, što će zauzvrat omogućiti prihod vojnicima. [42] Povjesničari poput Roberta Middlekauffa tvrdili su da su neki članovi nacionalne vlade, uključujući kongresmena Alexandera Hamiltona i nadzornika financija Roberta Morrisa, pokušali iskoristiti ovo rastuće nezadovoljstvo za povećanje moći Kongresa. [43] Anonimno pismo kružilo je među oficirima u kojem je dokument pozivao na isplatu vojnika i prijetio pobunom protiv generala Washingtona i Kongresa. Na skupu vojnih oficira u ožujku 1783. Washington je osudio pismo, ali je obećao da će lobirati u Kongresu za isplatu. Vašingtonov govor ublažio je zavjeru u Newburghu, nazvanu po gradu u New Yorku u kojem je vojska bila utaborena, ali je nezadovoljstvo među vojnicima ostalo veliko. U maju 1783., plašeći se pobune, Washington je napustio veći dio svoje vojske. [42]

After Congress failed to pass an amendment granting the national government the power to levy an impost on imports, Morris paid the army with certificates that the soldiers labeled "Morris notes." The notes promised to pay the soldiers in six months, but few of the soldiers believed that they would ever actually receive payment, and most Morris notes were sold to speculators. [44] Many of the impoverished enlisted men were forced to beg for help on their journeys home. In June, the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 broke out among angry soldiers who demanded payment, causing Congress to relocate the capital to Princeton. Upon re-convening, Congress reduced the size of the army from 11,000 to 2,000. [22] Though national security was a top priority of American leaders, [45] in the short term a smaller Continental Army would suffice because Americans had confidence that the Atlantic Ocean would provide protection from European powers. [46] On December 23, 1783, Washington resigned from the army, earning the admiration of many for his willingness to relinquish power. [22]

In August 1784, Congress established the First American Regiment, the nation's first peacetime regular army infantry unit, which served primarily on the American frontier. Even so, the size of the army continued to shrink, down to a mere 625 soldiers, while Congress effectively disbanded the Continental Navy in 1785 with the sale of the USS Savez. The small, poorly equipped army would prove powerless to prevent squatters from moving onto Native American lands, further inflaming a tense situation on the frontier. [47]

Partly due to the restrictions imposed by the Royal Proclamation of 1763, only a handful of Americans had settled west of the Appalachian Mountains prior to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The start of that war lifted the barrier to settlement, and by 1782 approximately 25,000 Americans had settled in Transappalachia. [48] After the war, American settlement in the region continued. Though life in these new lands proved hard for many, western settlement offered the prize of property, an unrealistic aspiration for some in the East. [22] Westward expansion stirred enthusiasm even in those who did not move west, and many leading Americans, including Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, purchased lands in the west. [49] Land speculators founded groups like the Ohio Company, which acquired title to vast tracts of land in the west and often came into conflict with settlers. [50] Washington and others co-founded the Potomac Company to build a canal linking the Potomac River with Ohio River. Washington hoped that this canal would provide a cultural and economic link between the east and west, thus ensuring that the West would not ultimately secede. [51]

In 1784, Virginia formally ceded its claims north of the Ohio River, and Congress created a government for the region now known as the Old Northwest with the Land Ordinance of 1784 and the Land Ordinance of 1785. These laws established the principle that Old Northwest would be governed by a territorial government, under the aegis of Congress, until it reached a certain level of political and economic development. At that point, the former territories would enter the union as states, with rights equal to that of any other state. [52] The federal territory stretched across most of the area west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio River, though Connecticut retained a small part of its claim in the West in the form of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a strip of land south of Lake Erie. [53] In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, which granted Congress greater control of the region by establishing the Northwest Territory. Under the new arrangement, many of the formerly elected officials of the territory were instead appointed by Congress. [52] In order to attract Northern settlers, Congress outlawed slavery in the Northwest Territory, though it also passed a fugitive slave law to appease the Southern states. [54]

While the Old Northwest fell under the control of the federal government, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia retained control of the Old Southwest each state claimed to extend west to the Mississippi River. [55] In 1784, settlers in western North Carolina sought statehood as the State of Franklin, but their efforts were denied by Congress, which did not want to set a precedent regarding the secession of states. [56] By the 1790 Census, the populations of Tennessee and Kentucky had grown dramatically to 73,000 and 35,000, respectively. Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vermont would all gain statehood between 1791 and 1795. [57]

With the aid of Britain and Spain, Native Americans resisted western settlement. Though Southern leaders and many nationalists lent their political support to the settlers, most Northern leaders were more concerned with trade than with western settlement, and the weak national government lacked the power to compel concessions from foreign governments. The 1784 closure of the Mississippi River by Spain denied access to the sea for the exports of Western farmers, greatly impeding efforts to settle the West, and they provided arms to Native Americans. [58] The British had restricted settlement of the trans-Appalachian lands prior to 1776, and they continued to supply arms to Native Americans after the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Between 1783 and 1787, hundreds of settlers died in low-level conflicts with Native Americans, and these conflicts discouraged further settlement. [58] As Congress provided little military support against the Native Americans, most of the fighting was done by the settlers. [59] By the end of the decade, the frontier was engulfed in the Northwest Indian War against a confederation of Native American tribes. [60] These Native Americans sought the creation of an independent Indian barrier state with the support of the British, posing a major foreign policy challenge to the United States. [61]

A brief economic recession followed the war, but prosperity returned by 1786. [62] About 80,000 Loyalists left the U.S. for elsewhere in the British Empire, leaving the lands and properties behind. [34] [63] Some returned after the war, especially to more welcoming states like New York [64] and South Carolina. [65] Economically mid-Atlantic states recovered particularly quickly and began manufacturing and processing goods, while New England and the South experienced more uneven recoveries. [66] Trade with Britain resumed, and the volume of British imports after the war matched the volume from before the war, but exports fell precipitously. [34] Adams, serving as the ambassador to Britain, called for a retaliatory tariff in order to force the British to negotiate a commercial treaty, particularly regarding access to Caribbean markets. However, Congress lacked the power to regulate foreign commerce or compel the states to follow a unified trade policy, and Britain proved unwilling to negotiate. [67] While trade with the British did not fully recover, the U.S. expanded trade with France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and other European countries. Despite these good economic conditions, many traders complained of the high duties imposed by each state, which served to restrain interstate trade. Many creditors also suffered from the failure of domestic governments to repay debts incurred during the war. [34] Though the 1780s saw moderate economic growth, many experienced economic anxiety, and Congress received much of the blame for failing to foster a stronger economy. [68]

In the decade after the end of the Revolutionary War, the United States benefited from a long period of peace in Europe, as no country posed a direct threat and immediate threat to the United States. Nevertheless, the weakness of the central government, and the desire of localists to keep the national government from assuming powers held by the state governments, greatly hindered diplomacy. [69] In 1776, the Continental Congress had drafted the Model Treaty, which served as a guide for U.S. foreign policy during the 1780s. The treaty sought to abolish trade barriers such as tariffs, while avoiding political or military entanglements. [70] In this, it reflected the foreign policy priorities of many Americans, who sought to play a large role in the global trading community while avoiding war. Lacking a strong military, and divided by differing sectional priorities, the U.S. was often forced to accept unfavorable terms of trade during the 1780s. [71]

Britanija Edit

William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, served as Prime Minister during the negotiations that led to the Treaty of Paris. Shelburne favored peaceful relations and increased trade with the U.S., but his government fell in 1783, and his successors were less intent on amicable relations with the United States. [72] Many British leaders hoped that the U.S. would ultimately collapse due to its lack of cohesion, at which point Britain could re-establish hegemony over North America. [73] In western territories—chiefly in present-day Wisconsin and Michigan—the British retained control of several forts and continued to cultivate alliances with Native Americans. [73] These policies impeded U.S. settlement and allowed Britain to extract profits from the lucrative fur trade. [74] The British justified their continued occupation of the forts on the basis that the American had blocked the collection of pre-war debts owed to British citizens, which a subsequent investigation by Jay confirmed. As there was little the powerless Congress could do to coerce the states into action, the British retained their justification for the occupation of the forts until the matter was settled by the Jay Treaty in 1795. [75]

Jay emphasized the need for expanded international trade, specifically with Great Britain, which conducted by far the most international trade. [76] However, Britain continued to pursue mercantilist economic policies, excluded the U.S. from trading with its Caribbean colonies, and flooded the U.S. with manufactured goods. [77] U.S. merchants responded by opening up an entirely new market in China. Americans eagerly purchased tea, silks, spices, and chinaware, while the Chinese were eager for American ginseng and furs. [78]

Spain Edit

Spain fought the British as an ally of France during the Revolutionary War, but it distrusted the ideology of republicanism and was not officially an ally of the United States. [79] Spain controlled the territories of Florida and Louisiana, positioned to the south and west of the United States. Americans had long recognized the importance of navigation rights on the Mississippi River, as it was the only realistic outlet for many settlers in the trans-Appalachian lands to ship their products to other markets, including the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. [80]

Despite having fought a common enemy in the Revolutionary War, Spain saw U.S. expansionism as a threat to its empire. Seeking to stop the American settlement of the Old Southwest, Spain denied the U.S. navigation rights on the Mississippi River, provided arms to Native Americans, and recruited friendly American settlers to the sparsely populated territories of Florida and Louisiana. [81] Working with Alexander McGillivray, Spain signed treaties with Creeks, the Chickasaws, and the Choctaws to make peace among themselves and ally with Spain, but the pan-Indian coalition proved unstable. [82] [83] [84] Spain also bribed American General James Wilkinson in a plot to make much of the southwestern United States secede, but nothing came of it. [85]

Despite geopolitical tensions, Spanish merchants welcomed trade with the United States and encouraged the U.S. to set up consulates in Spain's New World colonies. [86] A new line of commerce emerged in which American merchants imported goods from Britain and then resold them to the Spanish colonies. [87] The U.S. and Spain reached the Jay–Gardoqui Treaty, which would have required the U.S. to renounce any right to access the Mississippi River for twenty-five years in return for a commercial treaty and the mutual recognition of borders. In 1786, Jay submitted the treaty to Congress, precipitating a divisive debate. [85] Southerners, led by James Monroe of Virginia, opposed the provision regarding the Mississippi and accused Jay of favoring Northeastern commercial interests over western growth. Ratification of treaties required nine votes under the Articles of Confederation, and all five Southern states voted against ratification, dooming the treaty. [88]

Francuska Edit

Under the leadership of Foreign Minister Vergennes, France had entered the Revolutionary War, in large part to damage the British. The French were an indispensable ally during the war, providing supplies, finances, and a powerful navy. [89] In 1778, France and the United States signed the Treaty of Alliance, establishing a "perpetual" military alliance, as well as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which established commercial ties. [90] In the Treaty of Paris, Britain consented to relatively favorable terms to the United States partly out of a desire to weaken U.S. dependency on France. After the war, the U.S. sought increased trade with France, but commerce between the two countries remained limited. [91] The U.S. also requested French aid in pressuring the British to evacuate their forts in U.S. territory, but the French were not willing to intervene in Anglo-American relations again. [92]

Other issues Edit

John Adams, as ambassador to the Netherlands, managed to convince the small country to break its alliance with Britain, join the war alongside France, and provide funding and formal recognition to the United States in 1782. The Netherlands, along with France, became the major American ally in Europe. [93]

The Barbary pirates, who operated out of the North African states of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, posed a threat to shipping in the Mediterranean Sea during the late 18th century. The major European powers paid the Barbary pirates tribute to avoid their raids, but the U.S. was not willing to meet the terms sought by the pirates, in part due to the national government's lack of money. As such, the pirates preyed on U.S. shipping during the 1780s. [94] [95]

Reform efforts Edit

The end of the war in 1783 temporarily ended any possibility of the states giving up power to a central government, but many in and out of Congress continued to favor a stronger national government. Soldiers and former soldiers formed a powerful bloc calling for a stronger national government, which they believed would have allowed for better war-time leadership. They were joined by merchants, who wanted a strong national government to provide order and sound economic policies, and many expansionists, who believed the national government could best protect American lands in the West. [96] Additionally, John Jay, Henry Knox, and others called for an independent executive who could govern more decisively than a large, legislative body like Congress. [97] Despite growing feelings of nationalism, particularly among younger Americans, the efforts of nationalists to grant Congress greater powers were defeated by those who preferred the continued supremacy of the states. [96] Most Americans saw the Revolutionary War as a struggle against a strong government, and few state leaders were willing to surrender their own state's sovereignty. [98] In 1786, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina led the creation of a grand congressional committee to consider constitutional amendments. The committee proposed seven amendments, and its proposals would have granted the central government the power to regulate commerce and fine states that failed to supply adequate funding to Congress. Congress failed to act on these proposals, and reformers began to take action outside of Congress. [99]

Calling the Philadelphia Convention Edit

In 1785, Washington hosted the Mount Vernon Conference, which established an agreement between Maryland and Virginia regarding several commercial issues. Encouraged by this example of interstate cooperation, Madison convinced the Virginia assembly to host another conference, the Annapolis Convention, with the goal of promoting interstate trade. [100] Only five state delegations attended the convention, but the delegates that did attend largely agreed on the need to reform the federal government. The delegates called for a second convention to take place in 1787 in Philadelphia to consider constitutional reform. In the months after the Annapolis Convention, reformers took steps to ensure better turnout at the next convention. They secured the blessing of Congress to consider constitutional reform and made sure to invite Washington, the most prominent national leader. The nationalist call for a constitutional convention was bolstered by the outbreak of Shays' Rebellion, which convinced many of the need for a national government powerful enough to help suppress uprisings. [101]

Though there was not a widespread feeling in the population that the Articles of Confederation needed major reform, the leaders of each state recognized the problems posed by the weak national government. When the Philadelphia Convention opened in May 1787, every state but Rhode Island sent a delegation. Three quarters of the delegates had served in Congress, and all recognized the difficulty, and importance, of amending the Articles. Though each delegate feared the loss of their own state's power, there was wide agreement among the delegates that the United States required a stronger federal government capable of effectively managing foreign relations and ensuring national security. Many also hoped to establish a uniform currency and national copyright and immigration laws. With the attendance of powerful and respected leaders like Washington and Franklin, who helped provide some measure of legitimacy to the convocation, the delegates agreed to pursue sweeping changes to the national government. [102]

Writing a new constitution Edit

Shortly after the convention began in September 1787, delegates elected Washington to preside over the convention and agreed that the meetings would not be open to the public. The latter decision allowed for the consideration of an entirely new constitution, as open consideration of a new constitution would likely have inspired great public outcry. Led by James Madison, Virginia's delegates introduced a set of reforms known as the Virginia Plan, which called for a stronger national government with three independent branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The plan envisioned a strong federal government with the power to nullify state laws. Madison's plan was well-received and served as the basis for the convention's discussion, though several of its provisions were altered over the course of the convention. [103] During the convention, Madison and James Wilson of Pennsylvania emerged as two of the most important advocates of a new constitution based on the Virginia Plan, while prominent opponents to the final document would include Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry. [104]

The balance of power between the federal government and the state governments emerged as the most debated topic of the convention, and the convention ultimately agreed to a framework in which the federal and state governments shared power. The federal government would regulate interstate and foreign commerce, coin money, and oversee foreign relations, but states would continue to exercise power in other areas. A second major issue was the allocation of congressional representatives. Delegates from large states wanted representation in Congress to be proportional to population, while delegates from smaller states preferred that each state receive equal representation. In the Connecticut Compromise, the delegates agreed to create a bicameral Congress in which each state received equal representation in the upper house (the Senate), while representation in the lower house (the House of Representatives) was apportioned by population. The issue of slavery also threatened to derail the convention, though national abolition was not a priority for Northern delegates. The delegates agreed to the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted three-fifths of the slave population for the purposes of taxation and representation. Southerners also won inclusion of the Fugitive Slave Clause, which allowed owners to recover their escaped slaves from free states, as well as a clause that forbid Congress from banning the Atlantic slave trade until 1808. The delegates of the convention also sought to limit the democratic nature of the new constitution, with indirect elections established for the Senate and the office of the President of the United States, who would lead the executive branch. [105]

The proposed constitution contained several other important differences from the Articles of Confederation. States saw their economic power severely curtailed, and notably were barred from impairing contracts. While members of the Congress of the Confederation and most state legislators served one-year terms, members of the House would serve for two-year terms and members of the Senate would serve for six-year terms. Neither house of Congress would be subject to term limits. Though the states would elect members of the Senate, the House of Representatives would be elected directly by the people. The president would be elected independent of the legislature, and hold broad powers over foreign affairs, military policy, and appointments. The president also received the power to veto legislation. The judicial power of the United States would be vested in the Supreme Court of the United States and any inferior courts established by Congress, and these courts would have jurisdiction over federal issues. The amendment process would no longer require unanimous consent of the states, although it still required the approval of Congress and a majority of states. [106]

Struggle for ratification Edit

Constitutional ratification by state [107]
Datum State Glasovi
Yea Ne
1 7. decembra 1787 Delaware 30 0
2 December 11, 1787 Pennsylvania 46 23
3 18. decembra 1787 New Jersey 38 0
4 2. januara 1788 Georgia 26 0
5 9. januara 1788 Connecticut 128 40
6 6. februara 1788 Massachusetts 187 168
7 April 26, 1788 Maryland 63 11
8 23. maja 1788 Južna Karolina 149 73
9 21. juna 1788 New Hampshire 57 47
10 25. juna 1788 Virginia 89 79
11 26. jula 1788 Njujork 30 27
12 21. novembra 1789 Sjeverna Karolina 194 77
13 29. maja 1790 Rhode Island 34 32

Ratification of the Constitution written at the Philadelphia Convention was not assured, as opponents of a stronger federal government mobilized against ratification. Even by the end of the convention, sixteen of the fifty-five delegates had either left the convention or refused to sign the document. [108] Article Seven of the Constitution provided for submission of the document to state conventions, rather than Congress or the state legislatures, for ratification. Though Congress had not authorized consideration of a new Constitution, most members of Congress respected the stature of the leaders who had assembled in Philadelphia. [109] Roughly one-third of the members of Congress had been delegates at the Philadelphia Convention, and these former delegates proved to be powerful advocates for the new constitution. After debating for several days, Congress transmitted the Constitution to the states without recommendation, letting each state decide for itself whether or not to ratify the document. [110]

Ratification of the Constitution required the approval of nine states. The ratification debates in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were of particular importance, as they were the four largest and most powerful states in the nation. [109] Those who advocated ratification took the name Federalists. To sway the closely divided New York legislature, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay anonymously published Federalistički radovi, which became seminal documents that affected the debate in New York and other states. [111] Opponents of the new constitution became known as Anti-Federalists. Though most Anti-Federalists acknowledged the need for changes to the Articles of Confederation, they feared the establishment of a powerful, and potentially tyrannical, central government. Members of both camps held wide ranges of views for example, some Anti-Federalists like Luther Martin wanted only minor changes to the Articles of Confederation, while others such as George Mason favored a less powerful version of the federal government proposed by the Constitution. [112] Federalists were strongest in eastern, urban counties, while Anti-Federalists tended to be stronger in rural areas. [113] Each faction engaged in a spirited public campaign to shape the ratification debate, though the Federalists tended to be better financed and organized. Over time, the Federalists were able to convince many in the skeptical public of the merits of the new Constitution. [114]

The Federalists won their first ratification victories in December 1787, when Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey all ratified the Constitution. [115] By the end of February 1788, six states, including Massachusetts, had ratified the Constitution. In Massachusetts, the Federalists won over skeptical delegates by promising that the first Congress of the new Constitution would consider amendments limiting the federal government's power. This promise to amend the Constitution after its ratification proved to be extremely important in other ratification debates, as it helped Federalists win the votes of those who saw the need for the Constitution but opposed some of its provisions. [116] In the following months, Maryland and South Carolina ratified the Constitution, but North Carolina voted against ratification, leaving the document just one state short of taking effect. In June 1788, New Hampshire and Virginia both ratified the document. In Virginia, as in Massachusetts, Federalists won support for the Constitution by promising ratification of several amendments. Though Anti-Federalism was strong in New York, its constitutional convention nonetheless ratified the document in July 1788 since failure to do so would leave the state outside of the union. Rhode Island, the lone state which had not sent a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, was viewed as a lost cause by the Federalists due to its strong opposition to the proposed constitution, and it would not ratify the Constitution until 1790. [117]

1789 electoral vote totals
Ime Votes [118]
George Washington 69
John Adams 34
John Jay 9
Robert H. Harrison 6
John Rutledge 6
John Hancock 4
George Clinton 3
Samuel Huntington 2
John Milton 2
James Armstrong 1
Benjamin Lincoln 1
Edward Telfair 1

In September 1788, the Congress of the Confederation formally certified that the Constitution had been ratified. It also set the date for the presidential election and the first meeting of the new federal government. Additionally, Congress engaged in debate regarding where the incoming government would meet, with Baltimore briefly emerging as the favorite. To the displeasure of Southern and Western interests, Congress ultimately chose to retain New York City as the seat of government. [119] [120]

Though Washington desired to resume his retirement following the Constitutional Convention, the American public at large anticipated that he would be the nation's first president. Federalists such as Hamilton eventually coaxed him to accept the office. On February 4, 1789, the Electoral College, the mechanism established by the Constitution to conduct the indirect presidential elections, met for the first time, with each state's presidential electors gathering in their state's capital. Under the rules then in place, each elector could vote for two persons (but the two people chosen by the elector could not both inhabit the same state as that elector), with the candidate who won the most votes becoming president and the candidate with the second-most becoming vice president. Each elector cast one vote for Washington, while John Adams won the most votes of all other candidates, and thus won election as vice president. Electors from 10 of the 13 states cast votes. There were no votes from New York, because the New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted electors in time North Carolina and Rhode Island did not participate as they had not yet ratified the Constitution. [121] [122]

The Federalists performed well in the concurrent House and Senate elections, ensuring that the both chambers of United States Congress would be dominated by proponents of the federal government established by the Constitution. [123] This in turn ensured that there would not be a constitutional convention to propose amendments, which many Federalists had feared would critically weaken the national government. [124]

The new federal government commenced operations with the seating of the 1st Congress in March 1789 and the inauguration of Washington the following month. In September 1789, Congress approved the United States Bill of Rights, a group of Constitutional amendments designed to protect individual liberties against federal interference, and the states ratified these amendments in 1791. After Congress voted for the Bill of Rights, North Carolina and Rhode Island ratified the Constitution in 1790 and 1791, respectively. [123] [124]

The period of American history between the end of the American Revolutionary War and the ratification of the Constitution has also been referred to as the "critical period" of American history. During the 1780s, many thought that the country was experiencing a crisis of leadership, as reflected by John Quincy Adams's statement in 1787 that the country was in the midst of a "critical period". [125] In his 1857 book, The Diplomatic History of the Administrations of Washington and Adams, William Henry Trescot became the first historians to apply the phrase "America's Critical Period" to the era in American history between 1783 and 1789. The phrase was popularized by John Fiske's 1888 book, The Critical Period of American History. Fiske's use of the term "critical period" refers to the importance of the era in determining whether the United States would establish a stronger national government or break up into multiple sovereign states. The term "critical period" thus implicitly accepts the Federalist critique of the Articles of Confederation. Other historians have used an alternative term, the "Confederation Period", to describe U.S. history between 1781 and 1789. [126]

Historians such as Forrest McDonald have argued that the 1780s were a time of economic and political chaos. However, other historians, including Merrill Jensen, have argued that the 1780s were actually a relatively stable, prosperous time. [127] Gordon Wood suggests that it was the idea of the Revolution and the thought that it would bring a utopian society to the new country that made it possible for people to believe they had fallen instead into a time of crisis. [128] Historian John Ferling argues that, in 1787, only the nationalists, a relatively small share of the population, viewed the era as a "Critical Period". [129] Michael Klarman argues that the decade marked a high point of democracy and egalitarianism, and views the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 as a conservative counter-revolution. [130]


America’s First Failure at Government

Arthur Szyk, The Arthur Szyk Society, Burlingame, CA Washington and His Times, The Struggle on Concord Bridge (1930), Paris.

After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the thirteen American colonies needed a government to replace the British system they were attempting to overthrow. The Founding Fathers’ first attempt at such governance was formed around the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were first proposed at the Second Continental Congress in 1777 in Philadelphia. They were fully ratified and put into effect in 1781. The reign of the Articles of Confederation was brief. Why did the articles of confederation fail? What were the flaws of the Articles of Confederation and how did it distribute power? Read more to discover why by 1789 the former colonies were under the law of a new governing document—the Constitution of the United States of America. 1

Power in the States’ Hands

The inherent weakness of the Articles of Confederation stemmed from the fact that it called for a confederacy—which placed sovereign power in the hands of the states. This is most explicitly stated in Article II, which reads: “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” 2

Wary of Strong National Government

This distribution of power was chosen by the Founding Fathers because American colonists were wary of strong national governments. Having dealt with the British Crown for so many years, the American colonies did not want to create yet another out-of-touch, national government. Moreover, Americans identified most strongly with their individual colony, so it seemed natural to construct an American government based on powerful state governments.

That said, during its short lifespan, the Articles of Confederation became increasingly ineffective at governing the continually growing American states. The main cause of this ineffectiveness stemmed from a lack of a strong, central government. From the absence of a powerful, national government emerged a series of limitations that rendered the Articles of Confederation futile.

Specifically, the lack of a strong national government in the Articles of Confederation led to three broad limitations.

  1. Economic disorganization
  2. Lack of central leadership
  3. Legislative inefficiencies

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