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The Articles of Confederation Forging a Union of States

Jan 01, 2016



  • The Articles of ConfederationForging a Union of States

  • The Declaration of IndependenceFor Jefferson, governments have only one purpose:To secure natural rightsIn order to secure natural rights, a government must respect those rights even at its inceptionGovernments depend on the consent of the governed for their legitimacyThe standard of justiceDoes a government secure natural rights?Does a government recognize its dependence on the consent of the governed?

  • The SceneA state of war exists with Great BritainThe British Unitary state is rejected The Declaration of Independence states that the colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent statesThe necessities of war dictate these states must unite to repel the British and Hessian armiesThe Continental Congress drafts Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in 1777

  • ConfederationSovereignty ultimately rests with CitizensMember states Or BothCitizens elect member state governmentsMember states appoint delegates to central governmentCentral government ultimately depends on member statesMay not administer policy over citizens without states consentExamples:Articles of ConfederationNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganizationEuropean Union

    CitizensCitizensCitizensState CState BState ACentral Government

  • Basic Features of the Articles of ConfederationBegins with a formal greetingSuggests a recognition of the readers natural rightsLists each state by nameExpressly recognizes each states sovereigntyMandates full faith and credit, one state to anotherDescribes the Union as a firm league of friendship with each otherFor their common defensethe security of their libertiesand their mutual and general welfare

  • The United States, In Congress AssembledA single representative and deliberative bodyEach state appoints delegatesMinimum 2Maximum 7Each state has one vote in the CongressThe Congress appoints one of its members to presideTerm may last no more than one yearExercises federative powersThe concurrence of nine states required to actExcept on adjournmentExercises no powers not expressly delegated to themDelegates from nine states must be present to conduct businessCitizensCitizensCitizensNew YorkNew JerseyVirginiaThe United Statesin Congress Assembled

  • The Committee of the StatesAppointed by the CongressOne member from each stateInterim committeeMay meet while the Congress is in recessMay exercise limited executive powersmanaging the general affairs of the United StatesCitizensCitizensCitizensNew YorkNew JerseyVirginiaThe United Statesin Congress AssembledCommitteeof theStates

  • Problems under the ConfederationStates war debtStates raise taxesStates and creditors call in loansDebtors unable to payCreditors attempt to sueDebtors block the courts (Shays Rebellion)Interstate disputes over taxationStates share waterwaysStates regulate commerceStates tax fisheries harvests Includes citizens from other statesInsecure bordersUK grudgingly concludes Peace of ParisUK negotiates with possible US adversariesIncluding Gayanashagowa UK maintains military in Ontario and QuebecUK maintains Blockade on Atlantic CoastBarriers to interstate commerceBritish blockade Water route difficult and dangerousMultiple currencies, multiple import dutiesState border crossings expensiveincreases cost of manufactureNative nationsPeace of Chalagawtha (Chillicothe)Kentucky patrolsTsalagi boundary dispute

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