Articles of Confederation & The U.S. Constitution

The Articles of
Needed a national government to conduct a war
and run a country
June 7, 1776 Richard Henry Lee made two
proposals at the Philadelphia Convention:
Independence from G. Britain
A National govt.
The Articles of Confederation (AOC) = our
nation’s 1st constitution
Adopted 1777
Final approval in 1781  went into effect
Problems of the AOC
Congress did not have the power to raise money
Congress had no power over the state governments or
their citizens
Congress could not make the states live up to trade
agreements with other nations
Congress had no power to regulate trade among the
Citizens thought that their property rights were threatened
Shay’s Rebellion
1786: financial trouble, debt, failing
businesses, soldiers not being paid
Congress could not control the
country and people worried
Farmers in MA, led by Daniel Shays
Began to close down courts where
their cases were being heard
(farms being taken away)
Spread to other cities and states
January 1787, Shays led 2,000
rebels to Springfield, MA to raid the
federal arsenal for weapons
Why was it Important?
The national government had been unable to put
down the rebellion
People asked: how could the country continue to
exist if it could not maintain law and order?
Led to the Constitutional Convention
Delegates in Philadelphia met “for the sole and
express purpose of revising the AOC.”

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