AFTER THE REVOLUTION
TREATY of PARIS(By Chris Claudio, Raul Ontiveros, & Eric Zapata)
Under the Treaty of Paris, Britain recognized the United States as an independant nation. The borders of the new nation extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. The southern border stopped at Florida, which belonged to Spain again.
The Americans agreed to ask state legislatures to pay loyalists for their property they had lost in the war. In the end, however, most state legislatures ignored loyalists' claims. On April 15, 1783, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris. It was eight years to the month since the opening shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.
ARTICLES of CONFEDERATION(By Noe Sandoval)
The United States Constitution consists of basic laws that define the rights of American citizens and limits the power of the government. The Articles of Confederation gave each state more power than the federal government. The main reason for the Articles were to form some type of national government in order to defend against foreign countries. The Articles gave Congress the right to raise an army and navy, but the states had to approve it. Congress could pass laws, but could not force the states to follow them. People began to protest against their state governments and the antional government could not do anything about it. Therefore, the leaders of the country decided to meet again to solve these and other problems of the Articles of Confederation. They met and came up with a new national government, which is set up in the Constitution of the United States.
CONSTITUTION(By Roy Yanez)
The Constitution of the United States is one of the most remarkable documents in history. Written over 200 years ago, it still works as well today as it did then. It was written at a Constitutional Convention that was held in Philadelphia in May, 1787. The American states had just gained their independence from England, they had been operating under an agreement called the Articles of Confederation. They met to alter the Articles, but decided to start all over and make a Federal (United) government.
The Constitution was a compromise of two ideas. The Virginia Plan, the men in favor of the Virginia Plan were from the larger states. The Virginia Plan gave all the power in congress to the larger states. The men in favor of the New Jersey Plan wanted each state, large and small, to have equal power. For weeks the convention tried to decide how to please everyone. A compromise settlement was proposed by William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut. The "Connecticut Compromise"
set up Congress as it is today. There would be two houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The number of members in the House of Representatives would be determined by population of each state. In the Senate, all states would have equal representation with 2 Senators. Before the Constitution could be used, nine of the thirteen states had to ratify it. Many farmers (small), and poorer classes did not like it, neither did Virginia and New York. Finally they agreed to the Constitution when the Bill of Rights were added. The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
A basic idea of the Constitution is that the people play an important part in the government. The government is to be run for and by the people. The Framers (writers) of the Constitution divided the government into three branches: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. The Legislative branch (Congress)
creates and passes the laws and acts. The Judicial branch (Supreme Court)
is to be the final judge of any disagreement between state and national governments. The Executive branch (President)
carries out and enforces laws. Each branch has a system of checks and balances over each other. If the President vetos (rejects) a bill passed in Congress, Congress can still pass it again. This time a two thirds vote is neede in both houses to pass the law. A majority (one more than half) is all that is needed to pass a law the President does want. The Supreme Court can check up on Congress. If a law is passed the Supreme Court can declare it unconstitutional. Congress can check up on Federal officers, including the President. If Congress thinks a Federal official is guilty of a crime, they have the power to remove them from office.
As you can see the Constitution is not the best document in the world, but it still works today. The Framers had an idea of equal power for the government, people and state, and their idea is still going strong in the young and old of this country.
This page was constructed by Mr. Whalen's 3rd Period American history class.