Experimenting with Confederation

Topics: United States, Articles of Confederation, U.S. state Pages: 4 (936 words) Published: February 25, 2014
Experimenting with Confederation
Americans Debate Republicanism
Colonies Become States
British settlers in the north founded colonies with their own governor, council and colonial assembly This system encouraged people to think of the colony as the primary political unit Citizens’ allegiance was to the colony in which they lived The Revolutionary War gave colonies a common goal

However as they became states, they were reluctant to unite under a strong central government America needed to develop a government that balanced the interests of the states with those of the nation Unity Through a Republic

Eighteenth-century Americans thought that democracy placed too much power in the hands of uneducated people Instead, they favored a republic, a government in which citizens rule through their elected representatives People argued that the new government could only succeed if people placed the good of the nation above their personal interests Other Americans thought that if the government allowed independent citizens to pursue their own personal interests, the whole nation would benefit.

C. State Constitutions
Many state constitutions shared similarities
Limited the powers of government leaders
Guaranteed specific rights for citizens; freedom of speech, religion, and press Emphasized liberty rather than equality
Feared centralized authority
Many states constitutions also differed widely in granting the right to vote African Americans were generally not allowed to vote
Women in New Jersey had the right to vote if they owned land, which was changed in 1807
D. Political Precedents
Very few political systems that could serve as models for the new republic Republics and self-governing systems had existed in Greece and Rome However, it was difficult to adapt these ancient models into the current political situation The Continental Congress Debates

The Continental Congress tried to draft a constitution for the states as a whole However, there was much...
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