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 (22)
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What were the Articles of Confederation?

First American Constitution that established the US as a loose confederation of states under a weak national Congress, which was not granted the power to regulate commerce of collect taxes. The Articles were replaced by a more efficient Constitution in 1789.


What was the Old Northwest?

Territories acquired by the federal government from the states, encompassing land northwest of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south of the Great Lakes. The well-organized management and sale of the land in the territories under the land ordinances of 1785 and 1787 established a precedent for handling future land acquisitions.


What was the Land Ordinance of 1785?

Provided for the sale of land in the Old Northwest and earmarked the proceeds towards repaying national debt.


What was the Northwest Ordinance?

Created a policy for administering the Northwest Territories. It included a path to statehood and forbade the expansion of slavery into the territories.


What was Shay's Rebellion?

An armed uprising of western Massachusetts debtors seeking to lower taxes and an end to property foreclosures. Though quickly put down, the insurrection inspired fear of "mob rule" among leading revolutionaries.


What was the Virginia Plan?

"Large state" proposal for the new constitution, calling for proportional representation in both houses of bicameral Congress. The plans favored larger states and thus prompted smaller states to come back with their own plan for apportioning representation.


What was the New Jersey Plan?

"Small state" plan put forth at Philadelphia convention, proposing equal representation by state, regardless of population, in a unicameral legislature. Small states feared the more populous states would dominate the agenda under a proportional system.


What was the Great Compromise?

Popular term for the measure that reconciled the New Jersey and Virginia plans at the Constitutional Convention, giving the state proportional representation in the House and equal representation in the Senate. The compromise broke the stalemate at the convention and paved the way for subsequent compromises over slavery and the Electoral college.


What was common law?

Laws that originate from court rulings and customs, as opposed to legislative statutes. The US Constitution grew out of the Anglo-American common law tradition and thus provided only a general organizational framework for the new federal government.


What was civil law?

Body of written law enacted through legislative statutes as constitutional provisions. In countries where civil law prevails, judges must apply the statutes precisely as written.


What was the Three-Fifths Compromise?

Determined that each slave would be counted as three-fifths a person for the purpose of apportioning taxes and representation. The compromise granted disproportionate political power to the southern slave states.


Who were Anti-Federalists?

Opponents of the 1787 Constitution, they cast the documents as anti democratic, objected to the subordination of the states to the central government, and feared encroachment on the individual liberties in the absence of a Bill of Rights.


Who were Federalists?

Proponents of the 1787 Constitution, they favored a strong central government, arguing that the checks and balances in the New Constitution would safeguard the people's liberties.


"The Federalist"

A collection of essays written by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton and published during the ratification debate in New York to lay out the Federalists' arguments in favor of the new Constitution. Since their publication, these influential essays have served as an important source for constitutional interpretations.


What was the Society of Cincinnati?

An exclusive, hereditary organization of former officers in the Continental Army. Many resented the pretentiousness of the order, viewing it as a vestige of pre-Revolutionary traditions.


What does disestablishment mean?

To separate an official state church from its connection with the government. Following the Revolution, all states disestablished the Anglican Church, though some New England states maintained established Congregational churches well into the 19th century.


What was the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom?

A measure enacted by Virginia legislature prohibiting state support for religious institutions and recognizing freedom of worship. Served as a model for the religion clause of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.


What was civic virtue?

Willingness on the part of citizens to sacrifice personal self-interest for the public good. Declared a necessary component of a successful republic.


What was Republican Motherhood?

Ideal of a family organization and female virtue after American revolution that stressed the role of women in guiding family members toward republican virtue.


Who was Lord Sheffield?

Argued persuasively in a widely sold pamphlet that Britain would win back America's trade anyhow. Commerce, he insisted, would naturally follow old channels.


Who was Daniel Shays?

Revolutionary veteran who led a rebellion in 1786, demanding that the state issue paper money, lighten tax, and suspend property takeover.


Who was Patrick Henry?

Ardent champion of states' rights, was chosen as a delegate from Virginia for the constitutional convention, but declined to serve, declaring that he "smelled a rat".