Chapter 7 Notes

Chapter 7 Notes
Creating a Republic
Chapter 7 Section 1 Notes
A Loose Confederation
I. The States Write Constitutions
A. Most states wrote their own constitutions
B. It sets out the laws, principles, organization, and
processes of a government
C. Wrote for two reasons
1. spell out all rights of all citizens
2. limited the power of the government
D. States divided power between executive and a
1. Legislature passes laws
2. governor carries out the laws (except
E. Voting requirements
1. must be white
2. must be 21 years of age
3. must be male
4. must own property or pay a certain amount of
II. The Articles of Confederation
A. Continental Congress is drafting a plan for the nation as
a whole
1. felt the states should be united under a national
government to win independence
B. States reluctant to give up power to a central
C. The Articles of Confederation created a loose alliance
of 13 independent states
1. States sent delegates to congress
2. one vote per state
3. congress could declare war, appoint military
4. coin money
5. responsible for foreign affairs
D. Congress powers were still limited
1. Congress could pass laws, 9 states had to
approve it though
2. Congress could not regulate trade
3. no power to tax
4. if congress needed money they asked states for
it, they could not raise it
5. no president to execute laws
6. states had to enforce the laws passed by
7. no courts
III. Weakness of the Confederation
A. Disputes between states
1. Congress did not have the power to resolve
some of these conflicts
B. Money problems
1. after the revolution the U.S. owed millions of
a. Congress could not tax – no way to pay
b. States sometimes refused to lend money
to congress
2. begin printing paper currency (money)
a. Not much value (no gold or silver to back it
C. Money was not worth much
D. Each state had its own form of currency
1. made trading very difficult
E. Other nations took advantage of the confederation
IV. Admitting New States
A. Congress did pass laws about how to govern the
the Northwest Territory
1. North of the Ohio River
2. East of the Mississippi River
B. Congress stated how they would be governed and how
they could become a state
C. Land Ordinance of 1785
1. system for settling the Northwest Territory
a. Surveyed
b. Divided the land into townships
1. townships divided into 36 Sections
a. 1 section = 1 square mile
c. Sections cost $640 (640 acres per section
= $1 per acre)
D. Northwest Ordinance
1. Set up government for the Northwest Territory
a. Guaranteed basic rights
b. Outlawed slavery
2. vast area that could be divided into smaller
territories in the future
3. must have at least 60,000 free settlers
a. Then it could ask congress to be admitted
as a new state
4. Northwest Territory was divided into
a. Ohio
b. Indiana
c. Illinois
d. Michigan
e. Wisconsin
V. A Call for Change
A. Farmers revolt
1. Depression
a. Activity falls
b. Prices fall
c. Wages fall
2. war takes a toll on farmers
a. They could not pay their loans back
1. farms were seized
b. Farmers believed they were treated
c. Daniel Shay and more than 1,000 farmers
took part in Shay’s Rebellion
1. attacked the courthouse
2. stopped the seizure of farms
3. The rebellion was a sign that the
Articles of Confederation was not
4. called for a convention to revise the
Articles of Confederation
5. Met in Philadelphia in May 1787
a. They would create an
entirely new framework of
Chapter 7 Section 2 Notes
The Constitutional Convention
I. Opened on May 25, 1787 in the State House in Philadelphia,
A. Its purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation
B. Every state but Rhode Island sent representatives
II. Delegates to the Convention
A. An amazing assembly
1. 55 delegates; 8 had signed the Declaration of
2. George Washington was elected president of the
3. James Madison had done research on history,
politics, and commerce
4. the Convention’s meetings were done in secret
so that delegates could speak their minds freely
without outside pressure
III. Two Rival Plans
A. Virginia Plan – Edmund Randolph and James Madison
1. Strong national government with three branches
– legislative, executive, and judicial
2. Two house legislature – seats in both houses
would be awarded on the basis of population
B. New Jersey Plan – William Paterson
1. Three branches of government
2. one house legislature – each state would have
only one representative regardless of population
Virginia Plan
1. Strong National
2. 3 Branches of
3. Two House Legislature
Based on population
4. Liked by large states
New Jersey Plan
1. Three branches
of government
1. 3 Branches of
2. one house legislature
Equal Representation
3. Liked by small states
C. Great Compromise – Roger Sherman
1. legislature with a lower and an upper house
2. lower – House of Representatives
a. Seats would be awarded to each states
according to its population
b. 435 members voted on by the people of
their district – Texas has 32
3. Upper – Senate
a. Each state would have 2 representatives
b. Early on chosen by state legislatures;
today all members are elected by the
voters of their state
Great Compromise
Roger Sherman
1.Legislature with 2-houses
Lower- House of Representatives
Seats based on Population
Upper – Senate
Each state will have two representatives
IV. North – South Compromise
A. Three – Fifths Compromise – 3/5 of the slaves in any
state would be counted toward that state’s population
B. Slave Trade Compromise – Congress could not outlaw
slave imports for 20 years
V. Signing the Constitution
A. Signed on September 17, 1787 by all but 3 delegates
who feared the national government had too much
B. Each state had to hold a convention to approve or reject
the new government
Chapter 7 Section 3 Notes
Ideas behind the Constitution
I. Lessons of Rome’s Republic
A. Delegates at the Constitutional Convention wanted to
create a republic, a government where citizens rule
themselves through elected representatives
B. The Roman Example
1. independence and public service were virtues the
Founding Fathers saw in Rome
2. Roman citizens served in public office because
they were devoted to their republic
C. The Roman Warning
1. no republican can survive unless its citizens
remain independent and devoted to public
2. Rome became a dictatorship under
Caesar Augustus
a. Dictatorship – one person or a small group
has complete authority
b. Without educated and dedicated citizens
republics decay
II. Britain's Traditions of Freedom
A. Magna Carta: limited the power of the ruler
B. English Bill of Rights: protected rights of people
including jury trials & habeas corpus
III. The American Experience
A. House of Burgesses
B. Mayflower Compact
C. The Revolutionary Era – remembering the abuse of the
king, the framers divided the powers of the government
1. President was “Commander in Chief” of armed
2. court system was separate from President and
IV. Teachings of Enlightenment
A. John Locke
1. all people have natural rights to life liberty and
2. government is an agreement between the ruled
and the ruler
3. these ideas were also used in the Declaration of
B. Montesquieu
1. Separation of powers into three branches
a. Legislative – makes laws
b. Executive – carries out laws
c. Judicial – interprets the law
2. stressed the rule of law
Chapter 7 Section 4 Notes
Ratification and the Bill of Rights
I. Ratifying the Constitution
A. Nine of thirteen states had to approve before it went into
B. Federalists supported the Constitution
1. favored a strong national government
2. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay
wrote essays that are collectively called The
Federalist Papers and show support for the
C. Antifederalist opposed the Constitution
1. states were too weak
2. President had too much power
3. no Bill of Rights
D. In June of 1788 New Hampshire becomes the ninth
state to ratify the Constitution; Rhode Island was the
last to ratify
II. Bill of Rights
A. The framers did not want people to make changes to
the Constitution lightly, so they made the amendment
process difficult
1. twelve amendments were sent to the states
2. by December 1791, ten had been ratified
B. These first ten amendments were called the Bill of
1. written by James Madison
2. list the natural rights people have
The End

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