Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation was adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777 and was forced from March 1, 1781 to 1787. It was the first Constitution I the 13 American states. This plan did not work for long because it provided for a weak national government, Congress gave no power to tax or regulate commerce among the states, it provided for no common currency, and it provided for no executive or judicial branch. On March 4, 1979 the Articles of Confederation was replaced with the federal government under the United States Constitution.
Articles of Confederation: Strengths and Weaknesses
The Articles of Confederation had many strengths, but it had a lot more weaknesses then strengths.
The Articles of Confederation
3 Branches of Government
There are 3 branches of government, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The Legislative branch makes the laws. This branch is composed of two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Executive branch enforces the laws. This branch is composed of the President, Vice President, and Cabinet members. The Judicial branch interprets the laws. This branch is composed of the Supreme Court and other Federal Courts.
The Virginia Plan was created by James Madison. It was presented to the Constitutional Convention by Edmund Randolph, the governor of Virginia, in 1787. This plan favored large states. This plan had the three branches of government. The Legislative branch had two houses; the House of Representatives and the Senate. Supporters of the Virginia Plan included James Madison, George Washington, Edmund Randolph, and the states of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights were written by James Madison. The Bill of Rights was wrote in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, strongly influenced James Madison. Some important rights in the Bill of Rights are Freedom of Speech, press, religion, and assemble, right to bear arms, searches and seizures, double jeopardy and a witness, and speedy trial.
Virginia Declaration of Rights
The Virginia Declaration of rights was drafted in 1776 by George Mason, to proclaim the inherent rights of men. It influenced the United States Declaration of Independence, the Untied States Bill of Rights, and the French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It declared that 'all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights' of which they cannot deprive themselves or their posterity.
Virginia Statue of Religious freedom
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is a statement about both freedom of conscience and the principle of separation of church and state. This was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786 and written by Thomas Jefferson. The statute disestablished the English Church of England and guaranteed freedom of religion to the people of all religious faiths. This statue influenced the drafting of the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the United States Supreme Court's understanding of religious freedom.
George Washington was the President of the Convention during the Constitutional Period. Washington presided at the Convention and although seldom participating in the debates, lent his enormous prestige to the proceedings. he was also commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States.George Washington was held in the highest esteem throughout the United States both as general and as a patriot. George Washington and James Madison were the leading Virginia proponents of ratification.
James Madison was the "Father of the Constitution". He wrote the Virginia Plan and took notes of the Constitution and wrote it. His plan consisted of the larger states and the 3 branches of government. He also composed the first draft of the Bill of Rights. In 1792, Madison and Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Republican Party.