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2012-09-19 The Constitution Part 1.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2244E
P Ferguson

The Constitution September 19, 2012 -Signing the Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull The Revolutionary War -Purpose? -did not start out as war of independence -it wasn’t until battle of New York that (spring 1776) after Battle of Boston taken place that the declaration of independence has arrived -people in England didn’t think that they would fight for independence -1776 by David McCullough -what happened? -there was a lot of luck involved -lucky: Battle of Boston for U.S. -winter:American troops (armed farmers) surrounded outskirts of Boston -Boston: open harbour; main part of downtown Boston is a spit of land that sticks out -American farmers not organized army -they camped out of cities -need food supply, fuel to stay warm, need to be concerned of diseases and unsanitary conditions -there’s a hill at the bottom of the state -once you are at the hills, you can use cannons, dummies, etc. -Americans with really good generals fighting against professional British army -problems? -sovereign states -no central government -you have a collection of abandoned states work together (even though some states don’t like each other) -farmer soldiers -need boys over age 13 who could hold a gun and use it -no pay; promises made but no currency exchange -rules -hard to enforce -navy -we lack a navy Articles of Confederation -1781 – “league of friendship” -13 sovereign states (1 vote each) -population of states differ -devalued as vote if you live in Virginia and valued if you live in Rhode Island -no federal power on tax and trade -one vote in Congress for each state -9out of 13 states to act -need 13 out of 13 states to amend What event, more than anything, convinced Congress and the states that a ....? Shay’s Rebellion Shay’s Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786 – 1787 stirred deep fears of anarchy in America. -Massachusetts governor said they want an army -there’s no army because they did not tax people -government dysfunctional -currency problems, rampant inflation (?) The Constitution Convention 1787 -Purpose = revise theArticles -4 months, wrote new Constitution -Background -Shay’s Rebellion -Farmers -young, experienced people -all educated, male, white -Thomas Jefferson wasn’t there, JohnAdams wasn’t there -Splits -central government power -empower the state government or federal government -how to represent states -slavery -wanted things “just right” -we want to give power to government, but not too much power Proposals -The Virginia Plan -strongest and most powerful state -most well-developed economy, close to Philadelphia, most populous state, George Washington was from there, strong military -big, powerful state -propose new draft -they want strong national government: they would
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