Battle of Yorktown The End of the American Revolution
The State Constitutions
The Articles of Confederation
All in favor?
At the Battle of Yorktown, the colonists surrounded the British on land, and the French blocked the way by sea. The British were forced to surrender because they had no way out. This was the final battle of the American Revolution.
The Weaknesses of the Articles
Some of the states decided to write individual constitutions. The constitutions were documents with laws and freedoms listed. It gave specifics on who was allowed to vote. States didn't want to give up power to the federal government.
We won't pay your taxes!
The Articles of Confederation were the first government of the United States. It was a loose alliance of the 13 states. Under this government, Congress could declare war, handle foreign affairs, appoint military officers, and coin (make) money.
There were some problems that occurred under the Articles of Confederation. One of the main ones was conflict between the states. Money was also an issue because the Continental dollar was worth very little, and other states began printing their own money which became confusing. Other countries took advantage of America's weakness.
After the Revolutionary War, America fell into a depression. Many farmers had borrowed money when demands were high, but it went down, so farmers weren't able to pay off their debts, and taxes were raised which made things worse. Daniel Shays led an uprising. They attacked the courthouses until the militia drove them off.
The delegates went to the State House to revise the Articles of Confederation. They decided to scrap the Articles completely and start new. There were different opinions on what the new government should be. In the end, Roger Sherman of Connecticut proposed a compromise which the states agreed to. Almost everyone signed the Constitution.