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Creating Republican Institutions

  • Fear of creating a strong central gov’t so most believed that it was necessary to have a weak central gov’t led to the creation of the Articles of Confederation
  • The Articles of Confederation: a loose confederation in which each state retained its independence as well as the powers & rights not “expressly delegated” to the U.S.
  • The republican quest for educated citizenry provided the avenue for the most important advances made by American women
  • The NW Territory was established, & 3 ordinances in the 1780s provided for its orderly settlement while reducing the prospect of secessionist movements & dependent colonies of the states.
  • There were several weaknesses in the Articles, and this led for a call to amend them.

Creating Republican Institutions

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:06
  • Creating Republican Institutions 1:39
    • Sacred Fire of Liberty
    • The Destiny of the Republican Model
    • Experiment Entrusted to the hands of the American People
  • The State Constitutions, 1776-1787 2:41
    • Republicanism
    • New Constitutions
    • Voting Rights
  • John Adam's Influence 6:21
    • Thoughts on Government
    • PA Unicameral Legislature
    • Bicameral Legislature
  • Bicameral Legislature 8:43
    • Restricting Popular Power
    • Middling Circumstances
  • Women Seek a Public Voice 10:35
    • Second-Class Citizens
    • Abigail Adams
    • Vindication of the Rights of Woman
    • On the Equality of the Sexes
  • The Loyalist Exodus 14:21
    • Structure of Rural Communities
    • A Traditional-Oriented Economic Elite
    • Entrepreneurial-Minded Republican Merchants
  • In Search of a National Government 15:48
    • Weak Central Government
    • Continental Congress
    • First Constitution
  • Congressional Powers in the Articles 18:34
    • Conduct Wars and Foreign Relations
    • Adjudicate Disputes
    • Land Ordinances
  • The Confederation and the “Northwest” 20:17
    • Westward Expansion
    • Creation of Several Ordinances
    • Secessionist Movements
  • The Northwest Territory 22:46
    • Refused Morris's Proposal
    • Trans-Appalachian West
    • Native American Tribes
  • Map of Northwest and Southwest Territories 24:20
  • Ordinance of 1784 24:43
  • Ordinance of 1785 25:28
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787 26:50
    • A Single NW Territory
    • Inhabitants
  • Weaknesses of the Articles 27:47
    • No Power to Tax
    • No Executive
    • Single Vote for Each State
  • Diplomatic Features 30:05
    • Great Lake Area
    • John Adams
  • Example 1 31:35
  • Example 2 34:28
  • Example 3 36:55

Transcription: Creating Republican Institutions

Welcome back to

This lesson is on creating republican institutions.0002

We are going to talk about how revolutionary leaders created state constitutions during the revolutionary war.0008

And this will ultimately create a foundation and structure that the founding fathers can draw from,0017

when they start to design new form of government.0022

Here is a quick example, having a bill of rights will be an important characteristic of many of the state constitutions.0028

That is something that we will adapt as well, when we make our own national constitution.0035

Speaking of constitutions, we are going to talk about the first constitution0042

that eventually was thrown away and discarded, called the articles of confederation.0048

Today, we are going to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the articles,0055

and why eventually a constitutional convention was called, and a new constitution was created.0059

Then, we will also talk about the ordinances in the northwest territory.0067

This will be important because the new territories that were acquired after the revolutionary war0072

will need to be surveyed and sold in an organized way.0079

This is going to provide a structure for the colonists, now Americans,0085

who are going to be able to settle and sell this land, then develop it, ultimately.0093

A little inspiration before we delve into some of the content.0101

From George Washington, the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty,0105

and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply.0110

Perhaps, as finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.0116

Some of these important values that we hold so dear, the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model,0125

representative government, in other words.0135

Keep in mind that the founding fathers are embarking on this journey and trying to create these experiments,0139

and ultimately entrusting this experiment to the hands of the American people.0149

This was a bold act for them to undertake.0159

Let us talk a little bit about the state constitutions during the revolutionary era0165

up until the time when the U.S. constitution was created.0170

You can see the influence of the revolutionary war and0176

the justification for separating from England in a lot of the government policies.0182

There is this anti monarchical belief that is going to shape a lot of the laws.0192

We are going see 1776, which is a very important year for us when we declare our independence.0201

Congress urged Americans to suppress royal authority and establish new governing institutions,0209

by writing state constitutions to achieve republicanism.0215

The idea of republicanism, representative government, drawing from that Roman ideal,0220

that Roman concept of representative government is going to be a major pillar of our American democracy.0227

We will see that the first level of government to be form and become successful will be the state governments.0237

That is very symbolic and significant to point out because they were very much afraid of a strong centralized government.0248

They did not want another monarch.0258

The emphasis at this point is decentralizing power and spreading out the power.0262

Moving along, some of the main features amongst the constitutions.0269

There was some variability from colony to colony, state to state.0274

But there was some general characteristics that you could see.0279

Such as listing basic rights and freedoms, which is something we certainly drew from when we get to the time of the U.S. constitution.0285

The right to a jury trial, freedom of religion, these are in our bill of rights,0293

also the idea of separation of powers.0299

Something that Montesquieu will advocate for, an important enlightenment thinker.0302

That will also be embraced in our constitution.0308

Voting rights for all white males who own property.0312

Although, we will see that there are limits to voting rights,0315

we do see that there are at least voting rights for people who own property, for white males, in particular.0323

This was not all inclusive, this was by no means 100% democratic.0329

There were a few notable colonies, soon to be states, that did have a much more liberal,0336

open attitude regarding this property requirement such as in Pennsylvania.0345

They abolish the property requirement for citizenship.0350

They extend voting rights to all male taxpayers and they could also hold office, if they were taxpayers.0353

They also established a unicameral or one legislative house.0362

That was something that was very distinct about Pennsylvania's government.0367

And of course, they were much influenced by Quaker ideology and were perhaps a bit more progressive than other colonies at that time.0371

There are a lot of different influences over this time period.0385

And we will see that these diverse voices will all make their mark,0390

and characterize what we end up coming up with in the long run, with the government we created.0396

John Adams is oftentimes not given a lot of credit for his influence as a founding father.0405

Perhaps, that is because he is second president, he is sometimes overlooked.0412

However, he was very influential and wrote prolifically about government.0417

We have mentioned this before, thoughts on government, this may ring a bell.0421

However, he was a bit of an elitist.0426

He denounced the Pennsylvania unicameral legislature as undemocratical.0428

That it must produce confusion and every evil work.0434

He was a bit leery of the people and the masses, specially, the uneducated masses.0439

He was not so gung-ho for empowering the people and giving them a voice in government.0449

He believed that the learned class, the more educated people should be the leading the nation.0455

We will see that his ideas are going to be part of this whole conversation about what kind of voting system we should create.0464

Adams devised a system of government that dispersed authority,0474

by assigning lawmaking authority administering and judging to separate branches.0478

Very similar to Montesquieu's idea.0485

He called for a bicameral legislature, two house, in which the upper house which should be filled with property owning men,0487

would check the power of the popular majorities in the lower house.0496

There was another house that was to represent the popular majorities.0502

He also proposed an elected governor with the power to Veto laws, and an appointed, not elected judiciary to review them.0507

Here you can see the three branches of government that he will propose.0517

A little bit more about the bicameral legislature.0525

We will see that patriots will endorse Adams’ system because it preserved representative government, while restricting popular power.0529

They wanted these balance not empowering the people too much and creating these checks and balances.0539

It is a balanced, fair, government that does not have power concentrated too much in the hands of two few or certainly one person.0548

Anyway, bicameral legislature, but some were wary of a veto power for a governor,0560

and most states did not retain property qualifications for voting.0567

Eventually, we will see, but several of them will.0572

Adams’ bicameral legislature emerged as a dominant branch of government and state constitutions apportion seats on the basis of population.0577

Some other characteristics.0588

Most of the state legislatures were filled with new sorts of political leaders.0589

That was something that was uniquely American.0593

And ordinary citizens increasingly chose to elect men of middling circumstances.0596

That is revolutionizing in many ways, who had traditionally participated in government.0603

Instead of the older tradition of electing their social batterers, so to speak.0611

The two, perhaps, most progressive, eventually states, that will rock the boat a bit,0618

were Vermont and Pennsylvania, that were much more democratic in comparison to others.0627

Again, all this talk of democracy and representative government, also certainly inspired all different types of people.0638

We are going to see that not everyone is included in this vision for government and representation,0649

including women and also African-Americans, and other minorities as well.0656

We will see despite these limits that women in particular will continue to seek a voice in public life.0663

Upper class, especially those who are educated, upper class women entered into debate0673

but ultimately remained second class citizens, who are unable to participate directly in politics.0679

There still really is this notion that the public sphere is for men and the private sphere is for women.0686

That is starting to get contested more and more.0694

There are some women who are outspoken and are pushing the boundaries in this regard.0698

The republican quest for an educated citizenry provided the avenue for the most important advances made by American women.0705

That is going to be important.0716

Education, and being articulate, and literate, will provide the means for women to justify their rights.0718

They made compelling arguments.0729

You should actually look at some of their readings.0730

Abigail Adams, we mention her in the last presentation.0733

She reminded her husband to remember the ladies and also wrote quite a bit about husbands, in being fair to their wives.0738

And that, men would be tyrants if they continue to hold power over women.0751

And ultimately, she looked to empower women and she also advocated women should have the rights to owning land.0757

They should have education.0767

Her voice is going to be a very important one in the early feminist movement in United States.0769

Mary Wollstonecraft is also another important voice during this time.0776

She wrote the vindication of the rights of women.0782

She is a feminist from England and her works were also well read by the, specially, educated women in the United States.0785

She explicitly linked women's rights to the republican ideology of the American Revolution.0795

This revolution really opened up people's way of thinking and provided a promise, in many ways.0803

This ideal that all people wanted to have a piece of.0810

They believed that it should also apply to them.0816

Another important voice, Judith Sargent Murray, she wrote on the equality of the sexes.0821

Within this, she argued that men and women had equal capacities for memory, and that women had superior imaginations.0830

To a certain extent, she did not advocate for women in the public sphere, as much as these previous two ladies that we mentioned.0837

However, she is a huge advocate of education and in the ability of women to be able to pursue what makes them happy.0848

At the end of the revolutionary war, we are going to see thousands of loyalists0864

who will leave to go to the West Indies, Great Britain, and Canada.0870

And in general, the upheaval did not alter the structure of rural communities.0876

But social turmoil was greatest in the cities, as patriot merchants replace Tories at the top of the economic ladder.0882

That is going to be really important as we are going to see early American capitalism will continue to evolve.0890

That is going to be a significant change.0901

The war also replaced a tradition oriented economic elite.0903

One that invested in profits from trade and real estate, and became landlords,0909

with a group of entrepreneurial minded republican merchants.0914

Here is the emphasis here, who promoted new trading ventures and domestic manufacturing.0918

We are starting to see the early stages of the economy being diversified, and having the independence,0925

allowing Americans to invest in these various aspects of the economy, is going to help the United States grow financially, economically, etc.0933

Coming back to government.0951

The priority for many of the representatives and government leaders, revolutionary leaders,0956

during the revolutionary war, was to fight against Great Britain, and to successfully gain independence.0963

There was this idea that having a strong government was dangerous.0975

They did not think it was necessary.0980

They actually, many believed, most believed it was necessary to have a weak central government.0985

They did not want another king.0992

They created the articles of confederation.0994

This was passed by the Continental Congress in 1777 and it was ratified in 1781.0999

This was a loose confederation in which each state retained its independence,1006

as well as the powers and rights not expressly delegated to the United States.1010

This was very strong States' rights, type of confederation where they are loosely pulled together into a union.1016

Congress remains central and the only institution of national authority.1028

There was no executive branch at this time, no judicial branch.1034

This was really it.1039

It was very limited, it was very small, it was very weak.1040

It had limits.1046

Another thing I wanted to include here, that really this was the first constitution.1051

That is something to keep in mind.1062

You know that we have lots of other examples in colonial U.S. history.1065

For instance, the Pilgrims came over, the Mayflower compact is an example of an attempt to have this compact,1073

these document that binds people together.1081

A very simplified version of a constitution, you could say.1086

Of course, the House of Burgesses will be an important example of an early legislature that they had in Virginia.1093

We know that this has been evolving throughout colonial times.1102

This is kind of a continuation of that, the articles of confederation.1108

Congressional powers in the articles.1118

We are going see that there are some strengths in the articles of confederation.1121

What did they have power to do?1125

It did successfully lead the colonists through the revolutionary war and had the authority to conduct wars and foreign relations.1127

They negotiated with the British.1139

They reached out to the French, obviously, and other European powers to get financial support, as well as military support.1142

The Continental Congress could borrow appropriate and issue in print money.1154

Although, we will see that the early currency was pretty weak.1162

This is going to be a problem that will be addressed by the first Federalist Party, once they start to have a huge influence over the economy.1168

But more about that later.1177

It also had the right to adjudicate disputes between states,1179

that was obviously very important because sometimes there were conflicts of interest between state to state.1183

There were other accomplishments as well.1190

This one, we already mentioned, that they were able to win the war.1193

That is really important, as well as negotiate a peace with Great Britain.1197

And, the land ordinances that we are going to get into greater detail, in a little bit.1204

Policies for surveying, selling, and settling newly acquired territories, and ultimately, creating a grid system.1209

Once the United States is independent and it negotiates a peace with Great Britain,1221

it is going to have all of this newly acquired territory.1230

It is going to have to figure out how in an organized way, how they are going to settle the northwest.1235

Of course, the population continues to grow and American settlers are moving farther and farther west.1245

This is causing tension, they are looking for more land.1256

This is going to cause problems with Native Americans who live there.1259

You could see population changes here are pretty significant.1264

Pre revolution, there were a few thousand who lived in western lands.1269

Post revolution, about 120,000.1273

When we are thinking about the West, at this point in time, we are talking about Western Pennsylvania, into what is now Ohio,1277

for instance, in that region, and the West of the Appalachian Mountains.1288

We are looking at these types of issues.1298

People are moving westward and the government is anticipating that they need to be ahead of the game.1301

They have to create a system, an organized way to allow people to settle in this region.1310

They actually established and create this, what they call northwest territory.1320

And three ordinances are passed in the 1780’s that helped provide for its orderly settlement,1325

while reducing the prospect of secessionist movements.1333

They did not want people to just go off and separate, and try to create their own new country.1338

And then, that would lead to conflict.1343

They want to keep people unified and they want stability, especially for a young nation.1345

They want to benefit from these newly acquired territories.1353

They want to keep independent on the overall structure.1360

That is going to be really important.1364

The northwest territory.1368

Robert Morris persuaded Congress to charter the Bank of North America,1371

in the hope that its notes can stabilize the inflated Continental currency.1375

As I was alluding to earlier, the currency was very much inflated.1380

Inflation was causing huge problems.1385

They needed to bolster the economy.1389

Buying land was going to be an important part of growth, ultimately.1393

We will see at first, the confederation refused Morris's proposal for an import duty to raise revenues for the national government.1399

Instead, Congress asserted the confederations title to the Trans-Appalachian west,1409

in order to sell it and raise additional revenue for the government.1415

This will really provide them with the money they need.1419

In 1783, Congress negotiated with Native American tribes to obtain new western lands.1424

It also created the southwest territory.1433

The future states of Alabama, Mississippi, on these lands that were ceded by North Carolina and Georgia.1436

In these regions, slavery was allowed.1445

The issue of slavery and the expansion of slavery is starting to arise at this time as well,1449

which is definitely going to be a controversial one, and will continue to be a controversial one.1455

Here is a map to illustrate the creation of those two major territories.1462

Now you can visualize it, finally.1469

The northwest territory and the southwest territory.1471

These were new territories that were acquired after the revolutionary war.1475

One of the first ordinances I like to highlight is the ordinance of 1784.1485

It divided the western territory into 10 self governing districts.1490

Each of which can petition Congress for statehood,1494

when its population equals the number of free inhabitants of the smallest existing state.1497

Now there is actually a process for settlers to follow, if they wanted to settle and actually proclaim that they want to establish a state.1503

I believe that this was actually 60,000 people you would have to have, in order to create a state.1520

The ordinance of 1785, here is a second important one.1530

This created a system of surveying and selling western lands in north of the Ohio River.1535

It established a grid system and an enduring pattern for dividing up land for human use.1542

Whereas previously, this actually gives you a pretty good example.1549

Farms in an old eastern survey, surveying means how they are dividing up the land.1554

You can see that it was much more haphazard, and they would draw the lines1560

based on mainly natural boundaries or just how people ended up settling, and what land they claimed.1566

But in the newer system, it is going to be much more organized into square rectangular shapes, in other words,1575

and a much more grid like system that was organized to create this order, as they continue to move westward.1586

And states, as well, will be organized in this fashion.1597

Just kind of a more modern influence in how they divided up the land, pretty interesting.1601

The northwest ordinance of 1787, this is the other one we will talk about.1611

The original ordinances proved highly favorable to land speculators.1616

People are going to make a lot of money off of it.1621

However, it is not going to be as advantageous to ordinary settlers.1624

Many of whom could not afford the land price.1629

This created a single northwest territory out of lands up north of the Ohio, and was divided into 3 + 5 territories.1632

This, here is my 60,000, this was made it official, required 60,000 inhabitants to create a state.1642

Whereas, just to correct myself.1651

The first one depended on what the population was of the small state.1653

This made it very clear how many particular inhabitants they needed, in order to settle.1659

Coming back to the overarching discussion of the articles of confederation and the weaknesses.1670

Whereas, the ordinances and the ability to win the war are definitely viewed as two major strengths of the articles of confederation.1679

There were several weaknesses that ultimately led to its demise and it led to many founding fathers wanting to scrap it.1690

At first, they wanted to reform it but realized they just need to throw it away and start from scratch.1699

What were the problems?1705

Congress did not have the power to tax, regulate interstate trade, or draft troops.1707

Without having this strong centralized authority to be able to mobilize all of these resources, they are going to have limited power.1714

And that is going to ultimately limit the capability of the United States to expand and protect its interests.1724

There was no executive branch, no president.1734

You have to keep in mind that they were scared of having another king.1738

Each state had a single vote and 9 out of 13 had to approve any measure.1743

That could be kind of difficult.1750

To amend an aspect of the articles, they actually needed a unanimous vote, 13 out of 13.1753

That was very difficult and almost impossible to achieve.1762

Charles Pinckney proposed that delegates of the Continental Congress amend the articles of confederation.1767

And in fact, there will be an Annapolis convention where they will suggest that we have a constitutional convention.1775

That is going to happen and we are going to talk about that next time.1785

Ultimately, we will see that the articles will last from 1781 to 1789.1789

This can give you visual so you can really see some of the other issues.1799

Some other failures, some diplomatic failures at the time.1807

There were some difficulties persuading Great Britain to live up to the terms of the peace treaty of 1783.1813

What was happening is that they were not evacuating the American territory in the Great lakes area.1819

There were also some other territorial issues with Great Britain and Spain that were continuing to be a thorn in the American side.1829

And of course, they did not have a very strong army to be able to stand up to these major powers, at this point.1838

They are kind of spread after the revolutionary war.1847

There were also that were starting to add up at sea.1851

A lot of sailors and traders were being hassled by, especially, English settlers, and so forth.1857

That is going to cause a problem.1870

John Adams went to London to resolve differences but he was not respected.1871

He was not well received.1876

We are going to see that the United States is going to have to prove itself.1879

That even though it is a young country, it needs to be respected, and needs to be listened to.1884

And that it is a Southern country who deserves recognition.1888

That is going to cause a major challenge for the early nation which we will talk about in a little bit,1896

especially when we get to impressments, and so forth, stay tuned.1904

Now we are at the point in the lesson where we are going to start doing some examples.1912

We will do some practice questions.1918

Here we have some multiple choice for you to delve into.1920

Here we go, number 1, which of the following best describes the message of the illustration to the right, and its effect on women.1927

You should take a look, pay attention to what they are wearing, the style, clothing.1937

Perhaps, what they have here.1942

This is actually supposed to be a vindication of the rights of women, if you cannot see it.1946

I do want to point that out.1951

Here it says, a front piece of ladies magazine of 1792, an important detail.1954

Back to the question, which of the following best describes the message of the illustration to the right and its effect on women?1962

It would have an empowering effect on women.1972

It would have a disempowering effect on women.1975

It shows that women should not pursue scholarly activities.1978

It shows that women should remain in the private sphere.1982

What do you think?1987

Do these women look confident, do they look disempowered?1988

What do you think?1992

The answer is this.1995

Their clothing is supposed to resemble a Roman style of clothing.2000

You may also notice some of the instruments that they have in their hands,2005

that are symbols of empowerment and kind of touched upon that idea that women should have a piece of that republican ideal.2010

Maybe I’m giving away the next question.2025

Here we go, the magazine, the ladies magazine a repository of entertainment that was published in 1792,2027

contained excerpts from Mary Wollstonecraft’s a vindication of the rights of women.2034

The magazine was trying to promote which of the following?2039

Women were the true heroes of the American Revolution.2043

Women were celebrating their right to vote.2046

Women should have equal opportunities in education.2048

Women should fight against English feminists.2052

The answer is.2062

Next multiple choice, which of the following best describes one of the effects of the revolutionary war?2070

Black slaves were emancipated for their participation for the patriot cause.2078

Black slaves won their liberty for fighting for the British.2082

All black slaves won their freedom after the revolutionary war.2086

Most slaves were emancipated after the revolutionary war.2090

And I realized that I did not give you a chance to look at this.2096

This is to certify to whomsoever, whenever you see that f, this is kind of interesting.2105

It looks like an f, this is an old style of s.2112

This is to certify to whomsoever it may concern that the bearer hereof, a negro,2116

reported to the British lines, in confluence of the proclamations of Sir William Howe2124

and Sir Henry Clinton, late commanders in chief in America.2134

And that the said negro has hereby his excellency, Sir Guy Carlton’s permission to go to Nova Scotia or wherever else he may think proper.2138

Here you may also notice it says a black loyalist pass.2152

Try to look at all of those clues and perhaps you may recognize who these people are as well.2156

And his excellency, that is another clue where you may be able to get who is the author of this primary source.2166

The answer is this one.2177

Even though I had mentioned previously that many promises were broken.2182

There is no doubt about it.2188

But in some cases, we will see, especially in the British side,2189

they exploited this to hurt the American revolutionary cause, that they did actually emancipate slaves.2193

And the other thing to keep in mind is that the British will be ahead of the game,2204

in terms of ending slavery, way ahead of the Americans by about 30 years.2209

Now we are going to talk about the long essay.2218

The question here.2224

I posted a few reminders here to also highlight for you to keep in mind.2227

A few things, first, do keep in mind that you will have a choice of two essay questions.2234

You want to think about which question that you feel the most confident about.2241

Make sure you are very clear about which choice you are going to address.2245

Some other important reminders.2250

Other things you need to make sure you include.2258

Thesis, you want to have a thesis that addresses all parts of the question.2262

You also want to include evidence that supports your thesis.2269

Bring in a few specific facts to illustrate your point.2275

Apply historical thinking skills as directed by the question.2279

Synthesize the elements into a persuasive essay.2284

Apply historical skills and synthesize in your own words.2290

Try not to restate the question, try to put it in a new different way and make it really your own.2303

Let us look at the question, to what extent was the central government2312

under the articles of confederation successful in governing the United States.2317

You may want to pause and respond to it yourself, brainstorm.2327

The AP College board gives you 35 minutes for this essay.2337

Here we are doing a practice, you may want to time yourself, and give yourself that amount of time.2343

When you approach this, you should spend some time brainstorming2348

whether that is quick bullet points, making a little concept map, whatever works for you.2351

Just make sure that you are efficient and try to think of the main points that you want to address in your essay.2357

I have an example for you that I will try to break down and give you some suggestions here, how to address the long essay question.2366

Here it goes, the articles of confederation served as an important purpose.2378

I’m sorry, let me start again.2383

The articles of confederation served an important purpose2384

and effectively held the American colonies together during their quest for independence from the British.2388

Although, the central government was weak and had limited powers, it provided a basic governmental structure for the colonies.2395

Although, there were several governmental weaknesses under the articles of confederation,2403

the colonial government successfully conducted foreign affairs, helped win the war against the British through its decision-making,2408

printed money, and created numerous land ordinances after the treaty of Paris.2417

The early colonial leaders drew from the articles of confederation and improved upon the colonists first effort at self government.2423

It is a pretty sophisticated introduction that does get in deeply, you could say, with this whole to what extent.2434

In other words, what I'm really trying to say is to a certain extent, to a great extent,2446

it was actually successful, even though it had many weaknesses.2451

The thing to keep in mind is there are a lot of different ways to address this question.2456

It depends on how you effectively bring in evidence to prove your point.2462

Here is my breakdown and I would really divide this into the strengths of the articles and the weaknesses of the articles.2469

The strengths of the articles that I would address would certainly be the land ordinances,2478

that this ended up creating an organized system of surveying, selling,2484

dividing newly acquired land that the Americans gained after peace treaty with Great Britain.2489

This was important as westward expansion continued.2499

That, I would view as an important strength of the articles, of giving examples here.2504

It also set a foundation for the government for the young Americans to draw and learn from.2512

You could kind of add to this, that even though it was a flawed document, it elects many powers that,2518

it at least was a step in the right direction.2527

It provided some direction, it provided a foundation, it provided a compass, if you will, for the early American founders.2531

It also emphasized the idea of States' rights which will influence the constitution, and still part of our fabric today.2542

You want to definitely move into the weaknesses.2554

The weaknesses that I would cover, some examples, many government leaders believed that2558

they needed a stronger central government to raise revenue.2562

Obviously, having revenue would allow them to have strong army, and to also make improvements for infrastructure, and so forth,2567

for the country, in order to expand its economy.2576

They needed an executive branch, that was an important aspect of the articles that was lacking.2580

It was also difficult for colonists to come to a consensus, when they needed a unanimous vote to amend the law.2589

Also, the issue of needing 9 out of 13 to pass a law was also an issue.2597

The last example I would give of a weakness would be, although it could settle interstate affairs, it did not have a centralized army.2608

Ultimately, it needed a stronger centralized government that would allow it to enforce the law in a substantial way.2620

Next time, we are actually going to talk about Shay’s rebellion, you can also bring that in.2631

That will eventually be another indicator that we need a stronger government to enforce the law,2638

and show that the national government is supreme over state governments, in order to keep order.2646

That is very controversial but a part of our evolution in government,2659

and as trying to find some kind of happy medium between National Power and States’ rights.2664

Anyway, you would obviously have to include a conclusion in this essay, where you would bring in your thesis,2674

and then briefly mention what you talked about in your essay, you should be good to go.2682

With that, thank you for watching