Ch 37: The Birth of the United States (1776-1800)

About This Chapter

Brush up on information about the creation of the United States' government, the first presidents and important events during that time. Learn how the Constitution was written and look at political struggles during the country's early years.

The Birth of the United States (1776-1800) - Chapter Summary

Use these lessons to refresh your knowledge of the United States' earliest years, from the time right after the American Revolution through the presidency of John Adams. Our instructors discuss the formation of a new type of government, look at events that influenced the country's development, such as the Whiskey Rebellion and the XYZ Affair, and report on some of the major personalities that shaped the young United States.

You'll learn how the U.S. Constitution was written and ratified, and explore its structure, including the Bill of Rights. After watching our video lessons, you should understand more about:

  • The Articles of Confederation and their weaknesses
  • The Great Compromise during the Constitutional Convention
  • The new U.S. government
  • Structure of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights
  • George Washington's life and presidency
  • The Federalists and the Republicans
  • The French Revolution and how the U.S. served as an inspiration
  • John Adams' presidency

These brief lessons, averaging about five minutes, are taught by expert instructors who make them entertaining and informative. You can watch them anytime, anywhere, on a computer or mobile device. Short multiple-choice quizzes at the end of each lesson let you assess your knowledge.

15 Lessons in Chapter 37: The Birth of the United States (1776-1800)
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Hamilton and the Federalists vs. Jefferson and the Republicans

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.

The French Revolution, Jay Treaty and Treaty of San Lorenzo

10. The French Revolution, Jay Treaty and Treaty of San Lorenzo

In the U.S., early foreign affairs were of incredible importance. For the young nation to survive, they had to exist in a world with tense relations. Should the new nation get involved in foreign wars? How do they negotiate with foreign powers? This lesson looks at the early foreign relations of the United States.

The Whiskey Rebellion and Battle of Fallen Timbers

11. 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.

George Washington: Presidency & Facts

12. George Washington: Presidency & Facts

In this lesson, we will discuss how George Washington, the first president of the United States, helped shape the office of president. Learn more about how Washington set the stage for future presidents and test your knowledge with a quiz.

George Washington's Farewell Address

13. George Washington's Farewell Address

This lesson describes George Washington's farewell address, in which he gives thought-provoking and practical advice for preserving the union of a young United States of America.

President John Adams: From Alien and Sedition Acts to XYZ Affair

14. 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.

Abigail Adams: Biography, Facts & Accomplishments

15. Abigail Adams: Biography, Facts & Accomplishments

Abigail Adams was the wife of President John Adams and the mother of John Quincy Adams. She proved to be much more than a figure head first lady, as she had great influence with President Adams.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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