Chapter 9 - The Confederation and the Constitution, 1776-1790 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 9 - The Confederation and the Constitution, 1776-1790 Deck (36)
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Concept of equality that took hold after the revolution. Included lowered land ownership requirements for voting, freeing of some slaves, using the terms Mrs. and Mr. terms for every person, regardless of status.


Society of the Cincinnati

A secret society formed by officers of the Continental Army. The group was named for George Washington, whose nickname was Cincinnatus, although Washington himself had no involvement in the society.


Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

1779 - Written by Thomas Jefferson, this statute outlawed an established church and called for separation of Church and State.


Abigail Adams

Wife of John Adams. During the Revolutionary War, she wrote letters to her husband describing life on the homefront. She urged her husband to remember America’s women in the new government he was helping to create.


Republican Motherhood

Concept that placed the emphasis for teaching the next generation about the ideals of the revolution on women. As a result, women were given a more respected role in society, and were expected to have at least a modest education to help pass on the ideas.


State Constitutions

Each state passed their own sets of laws, that later became the basis for the United States Constitution.


Fundamental Law

Laws set out in the Constitution, they are considered superior to normal “legislative laws” that Congress would pass. They generally lay out specific rights and freedoms that markets not be infringed upon, and the limits of the federal government.


Navigation Laws

The same laws were were upset about earlier still being applied to other English colonies. Since we were no longer an English colony, these laws cut off many of our old potential trading partners.


Empress of China

One of the first trade ships to open trade with China after the revolution.


Natural Rights

The right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. These were the basis of our revolution, but became a sticking point when trying to make a federal government.



The status a country or state has as an independent entity with the rights to control itself. The battle of the sovereignty of the states was a major sticking point when constructing the Articles of Confederation.


Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation delegated most of the powers (the power to tax, to regulate trade, and to draft troops) to the individual states, but left the federal government power over war, foreign policy, and issuing money. The Articles’ weakness was that they gave the federal government so little power that it couldn’t keep the country united. The Articles’ only major success was that they settled western land claims with the Northwest Ordinance. The Articles were abandoned for the Constitution.


Old Northwest

Commonly known as the Northwest Territory, it consisted mostly of modern day Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.


Land Ordinance of 1785

A major success of the Articles of Confederation. Provided for the orderly surveying and distribution of land belonging to the U.S.


Northwest Ordinance of 1787

A major success of the Articles of Confederation. Set up the framework of a government for the Northwest territory. The Ordinance provided that the Territory would be divided into 3 to 5 states, outlawed slavery in the Territory, and set 60,000 as the minimum population for statehood. Set the process for how new lands would be admitted the the union as full members.


Dey of Algiers

Ruler of the city of Algiers in modern day Libya, and one of the Barbary States that attacked American merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea.


Shay's Rebellion

Occurred in the winter of 1786-7 under the Articles of Confederation. Poor, indebted landowners in Massachusetts blocked access to courts and prevented the government from arresting or repossessing the property of those in debt. The federal government was too weak to help Boston remove the rebels, a sign that the Articles of Confederation weren’t working effectively.



In the wake of Shay’s Rebellion, many feared that the government would be at the mercy of the mobs of angry and often uneducated people.


Constitutional Convention

Beginning on May 25, 1787, the convention recommended by the Annapolis Convention was held in Philadelphia. All of the states except Rhode Island sent delegates, and George Washington served as president of the convention. The convention lasted 16 weeks, and on September 17, 1787, produced the present Constitution of the United States, which was drafted largely by James Madison.


George Washington

Unanimously elected as the chairman of the Constitutional Convention due to his prestige from the Revolutionary War.


Benjamin Franklin

Long time founding father, he was in his last years at the Constitutional Convention. He added legitimacy as one of the last remaining in the group of original patriots.


James Madison

"Father of the Constitution,” His proposals for an effective government became the Virginia Plan, which was the basis for the Constitution. He was responsible for drafting most of the language of the Constitution.


Alexander Hamilton

Argued at the Constitutional Convention that there should be a super powerful central government. No one else agreed.


Patrick Henry

As one of the few remaining original Revolutionary leaders, he was elected to the Constitutional Convention, but refused to take part because he thought it would undermine the ideals of freedom.


Virginia Plan

The New Jersey Plan called for a one-house Congress in which each state had equal representation.


Bicameral Legislature

Having two houses of our Congress. This was the compromise between large powerful states, and smaller states. One house would be based on population (House of Reps), and the the other house would be split equally (Senate).


New Jersey Plan

The New Jersey Plan called for a one-house Congress in which each state had equal representation. This was the favored plan of the smaller colonies.


Great Compromise

At the Constitutional Convention, larger states wanted to follow the Virginia Plan, which based each state’s representation in Congress on state population. Smaller states wanted to follow the New Jersey Plan, which gave every state the same number of representatives. The convention compromised by creating the House and the Senate, and using both of the two separate plans as the method for electing members of each.


Electoral College

The actual group that casts votes for the presidency. This was a compromise it gave more power to the small states. It was also seen as an extra layer of protection from the rule of the mob.


Three-fifths Compromise

The South was given a guarantee that the importation of slaves would not be halted for at least 20 years, plus the national capitol was placed in the South. Slaves were also deemed to be counted as 3/5 of a person when determining the state population, thus giving the Southern states a greater number of representatives in the House.

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