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Ch 3: The US Government in 1776-1800

About This Chapter

Use the following online video lessons and quizzes to learn about government in the United States from 1776 through 1800. Get information on the documents of government, such as the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution, and learn about key events and leaders that shaped our nation.

U.S. History and Government: The U.S. Government in 1776-1800

The lessons in this chapter deal with the very earliest years of the United States, from the end of the Revolutionary War through the formation of a republic. You'll see how many of the nation's bedrock principles, such as the Bill of Rights, came to be.

You'll get information on early political leaders, and learn how their ideas influenced the founding of the United States. One lesson compares the positions of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party with those of Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans. In another lesson, you'll look at the presidency of John Adams, and see how he handled events such as the XYZ Affair. You'll also learn about what led to the Alien and Sedition Acts and how they were created. The Whiskey Rebellion and the Battle of Fallen Timbers are also covered in this chapter.

Other videos discuss the documents that are vital to the U.S. and explore their development. The individual state constitutions that were written and adopted after the Revolution are explored. You'll learn about the Articles of Confederation and examine their weaknesses. Shays' Rebellion and its impact is covered as well in these lessons.

The negotiations that led to the U.S. Constitution, including the Great Compromise, are examined in detail, as is the ratification process for the Constitution. You will look at the parts of the Constitution: the preamble, articles and amendments, and learn what led to the Bill of Rights, and what it means.

These concise video lessons, taught by expert instructors, include multiple-choice quizzes that allow you to test your knowledge. There are embedded links in the quizzes that allow you to review key concepts and terms. These links allow you to re-watch just a portion of the lesson.

11 Lessons in Chapter 3: The US Government in 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 Whiskey Rebellion and Battle of Fallen Timbers

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.

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

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.

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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