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Lecture 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Erin Black

Lecture 5: Wednesday October 12, 2011 Building the New Republic: Americas First 25 Years I. A Rocky Start Was a United States in name only had yet to fully unite themselves under one common government A lose confederation of 13 states that were umbrellad under the name of The United States Weakness of Articles of Confederation o Western Frontier Lands The states who didnt have any land claims suggested that a national dominion be created of the non-American populated land and that it be turned over to the new government This stalled the ratification of the Articles of Confederation for some years Any land that the states volunteered would become part of the National Domain Land is ceded over time to the National Domain o Debts Congress had no money to pay off its debt To pay for the Revolutionary War it had borrowed money from France and had started printing their own money this devalued its currency Congress does not have the power to tax trade, impose duties on imports, or to curb the flow of state-issued money o Unstable Boundaries with Britain and Spain British had failed to leave many of their posts that were now part of American soil Spain refused initially to recognize the border of the United States Spain closed the Mississippi River to American traders Neither Britain or Spain had any respect for America lacked diplomatic muscle Impetus for Change o Shays Rebellion Massachusetts The source of this ties to how powerless the Congress was Congress had turned to individual states to pay off debt many of the colonies refused to tax their people more than they already were Massachusetts was happy to raise taxes legislature insisted that the taxes had to be paid in direct currency (gold/silver) Western 2/3 of Massachusetts consisted of farmers who tried to pay their taxes with paper currency which was rejected and the farmers were jailed and their land was confiscated Daniel Shays started petitioning state legislature which is ignored by Massachusetts, so they marched on the court houses and shut them down they were declared rebels and traitors The Governor of Massachusetts raises and finances his own private army to put down the rebellion II. Creating the Constitution The Philadelphia Convention, 1787 o The Convention decided to meet in secrecy so that they could discuss terms that would not come back to haunt them o Virginia Plan (James Madison) The first group of delegates under Madison to repudiate the Constitution Wanted to create a new government for the United States consisting of three branches Legislature (Congress), Executive (President), Judiciary (Supreme Court) with 2 chambers, of which representation would be based on state population size o New Jersey Plan Called for keeping the single chambered Congress where each state had equal votes but that they alter the power given to the Congress give them the power to tax, etc. The Vision of Government o Government structure follows Virginia Plan o Representation depends upon what House of the Congress you sit in Population of an individual state depends on the population of all free peoples and 3/5 of all other persons o Congress Senate based on equal representation (2 Senators for each state, every 2 years 1/3 is turned over, office held for 6 years, appointed by the state legislature), House of Representatives based on population (bigger states will have more representation than smaller states, 2 year term, elected directly by the people) Can declare war on another state Can provide/raise funds for an army o Elastic Clause Empowers the Congress to make laws that are necessary and proper for the carrying out of all laws that help aid it in regulating the economy o Executive Branch (President) Has the power to make all administrative appointments Must do so with the advice, consent, and ultimate approval of the Senate Is the Commander-In-Chief of the military but cannot declare war on his own Can negotiate treaties but any treaty must be ratified by the Senate to become force of law Has a veto power over Congress but Congress can veto his veto President can be impeached for treason, high crimes, and misdemeanors House of Representatives has to vote in majority, the Senate than puts the President on trial with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding as the judge over the impeachment hearing No president has officially been impeached as of yet Chosen by a group of electors who make up the Electoral college Electors chosen by the state legislature; have to vote one way all elector
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