Constitutional Period

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, were an agreement among all thirteen original states in the United States of America.It served as the United States First constitution. Its drafting by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress began, on July 12, 1776, and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification in late 1777. The formal ratification by all thirteen states was completed in early 1781. Government under the Articles was superseded by a new constitution and federal form of government in 1789.


"The government created by the Articles of the Confederation was little more than the shadow without the substance.” - George Washington

Three-Fifths Compromise

The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached between delegates from southern states and those from northern states. It was during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention. The debate was over whether the slaves would or would not be counted when determining a state's total population. It was for legislative representation and taxing purposes. Most of the southern states wanted to count them because of their small number of people.

3 Branches of Government

The leaders of the states wanted a strong and fair national government. But they also wanted to protect individual freedoms and prevent the government from abusing its power. They believed they could do this by having three separate branches of government. That included the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. This separation is described in the first three articles, or sections, of the Constitution.

Bill of Rights

The bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens.Bills of rights may be entrenched or unentrenched. An entrenched bill of rights cannot be modified or repealed by a country's legislature through normal procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum.

Virginia Bill of Rights

The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a document drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men. which included the right to reform or abolish "inadequate" government. It influenced a number of later documents. Including, but not limited to, the United States Declaration of independence.And the French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789).

Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777. However it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations. The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.