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Ch 26: Creating the United States of America

About This Chapter

If you're preparing for an upcoming exam or you simply want to boost your American history knowledge, take a look at this chapter to study the creation of the U.S. government. The chapter contains simple video lessons, interactive quizzes and printable transcripts that can be accessed at any time.

Creating the United States of America - Chapter Summary

After the Revolutionary War, America had to figure out how to organize and implement a new government. This series of engaging history lessons explores the development of the United States following the war, and it breaks down the country's foundational government documents, including the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Reviewing these history lessons can help you:

  • Explain how state constitutions were created following the American Revolution
  • Summarize the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitutional Convention
  • Evaluate the Constitution's ratification and the emergence of the new U.S. government
  • Describe the U.S. Constitution's preamble, Bill of Rights, articles and amendments
  • Assess the presidency of George Washington
  • Compare the Whig Party and the Federalist Party

Take the accompanying lesson quizzes to reinforce your understanding of these early U.S. government concepts. The chapter concludes with an interactive assessment, and you can revisit the material at any time. Print the lesson transcripts/text lessons if you want to study offline. Our instructors are also available to answer any questions you my have about the creation of the United States.

10 Lessons in Chapter 26: Creating the United States of America
Creating State Constitutions After the American Revolution

1. Creating State Constitutions After the American Revolution

After the revolution, the states had to figure out what the rule of the people would be like. The early state constitutions and how they were drafted would inform the process and the resulting document that would become the U.S. Constitution.

The Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance

2. The Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance

The Articles of Confederation was the new nation's founding document, but the government established under the Articles was too weak. The new central government had no way of raising revenue and no ability to enforce the commitments made by the states. The Northwest Ordinance paved the way for the growth of the new nation.

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and Shays Rebellion

3. Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and Shays Rebellion

The Articles of Confederation were too weak to create an effective government for the new nation. In this lesson, discover how Shays' Rebellion proved that the national government needed to strengthen.

The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

4. The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

The Constitutional Convention was intended to amend the Articles of Confederation. Instead, those in attendance set out to found a republic (the likes of which had never been seen), which is still going strong well over 200 years later. To accomplish this task, compromises had to be made. The Great Compromise designed the bicameral congress the U.S. has today.

The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government

5. The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government

The U.S. Constitution may be one of the most important documents in history, but it wasn't a sure thing. A lot of debate took place. There were many people passionate about ratification, and many people passionate about ensuring it didn't get ratified. The divide over the Constitution shows us the root of political parties in the U.S.

The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

6. The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents in history. It establishes the government of the United States, and its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, assures every U.S. citizen the rights we have all come to hold dear.

The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments

7. The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments

The Bill of Rights was pivotal in getting the U.S. Constitution ratified. More importantly, the Bill of Rights guarantees the rights of every citizen of the United States in a way that is nearly unequaled.

George Washington and the New United States Government

8. George Washington and the New United States Government

George Washington was the United States' first president. He knew everything he did would set the stage for future presidents of the country. A heavy weight was on his shoulders, and much of what he established in his two terms set the precedent for presidents today.

The Whigs: Definition & Explanation

9. The Whigs: Definition & Explanation

The Whig Party came to fruition as a direct response to Jacksonian Democracy in the 1830s. Learn about the ideology, make-up and rise and fall of the Whigs.

Federalist Party: Definition, Leaders & Members

10. Federalist Party: Definition, Leaders & Members

In this lesson, you will learn about the Federalist Party and its key leaders, including Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and John Marshall. Find out more about those who joined the party and how the party eventually declined.

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