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- Take a look at the creation of state constitutions following the American Revolution.
- Become familiar with the Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance.
- Describe the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
- Discuss the Great Compromise and the Constitutional Convention.
- Examine the ratification of the Constitution and the new government.
- Understand the structure of the US Constitution.
- Explain the significance of the Bill of Rights.
- Describe George Washington's role in the new United States government.
- Compare the views of Hamilton and the federalists with that of Jefferson and the republicans.
- Learn about the Whiskey Rebellion.
- Explore the presidency of John Adams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
9. Hamilton and the Federalists vs. Jefferson and the Republicans
Although President Washington warned against the nation falling into political factions, the different views of the Constitution held by Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans set the path for the two-party system that the U.S. has today.
10. The Whiskey Rebellion and Battle of Fallen Timbers
In the early days of the U.S., President Washington and the new government were tested by foreign and domestic issues. How these issues were dealt with would establish the young nation's position. Domestically, the Whiskey Rebellion and the Battle of Fallen Timbers demonstrated how rebellion and territorial issues would be decided.
11. President John Adams: From Alien and Sedition Acts to XYZ Affair
John Adams was an important founder of the United States. In many ways, he was the voice of the Revolution. As president, he had some proud shining moments and one major blight on his legacy.
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