Chapter 7: Shaping A Federal Union

Chapter Outline

  1. Government of the Confederation period
    1. Authority given to Congress by the Articles of Confederation
    2. Basic accomplishments of the Confederation government
    3. Nature of congressional administration during the war
    4. Financial problems of the government
      1. Robert Morris, secretary of finance
      2. Use of public debt to secure support for the nation
      3. Scheme for a national bank failed to receive unanimous approval
      4. Newburgh Conspiracy
        1. Threat of a coup
        2. Washington’s opposition
      5. Growth of government debt
    5. Development of a land policy
      1. Direct congressional authority prevailed
      2. Geographic areas covered by the policy
      3. Land ordinances set policy
        1. Ordinance of 1784
        2. Ordinance of 1785
        3. Northwest Ordinance of 1787
          1. Territories into states
          2. Not imperialistic
        4. Western lands south of the Ohio River
        5. Indian treaties in West
    6. The war and the economy
      1. Effects on farming
      2. Impact on merchants
        1. Some helped, some hurt
        2. Free trade sentiment
      3. Pent-up demand
      4. Trade with China
    7. Diplomatic difficulties
      1. With Britain
      2. With Spain
    8. Confederacy’s problems
      1. Trade restrictions
      2. Shortage of cash
      3. Demand for paper currency
      4. Demands of debtors
      5. Shays’s Rebellion
      6. Calls for stronger government
  2. Adopting the Constitution
    1. Preliminary steps to the convention
      1. Mount Vernon meeting of 1785
      2. Annapolis meeting of 1786
      3. Call for a Constitutional Convention
    2. The Convention
      1. The delegates
      2. Political philosophy represented at the Convention
      3. Secrecy of the proceedings
    3. Conflict of the Virginia and New Jersey plans
      1. Terms of the Virginia plan
      2. Terms of the New Jersey plan
      3. Convention chose to create a new government
    4. Major issues of dispute in drafting the Constitution
      1. Basis for representation of the states
      2. Disputes between North and South over counting slaves
      3. No consideration of women’s rights
      4. Issues of citizenship and immigration
    5. Principles incorporated into the Constitution
      1. Separation of powers
      2. The office of president
      3. The judicial branch
      4. Examples of countervailing forces in the government
      5. Ratification provisions
  3. Fight for ratification
    1. Nationalists vs. Antifederalists
    2. Charles Beard’s argument for the economic motivation of the delegates
      1. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay
      2. Number 10
    3. Arguments of The Federalist for ratification
    4. Views of Federalists and Antifederalists
    5. Pattern of ratification by States
    6. Plans for transition to a new government
Close this Page