The Political Situation

  • Created by: Nessa888
  • Created on: 02-01-18 22:02

A Weak National Government 

  • The USA was governed by the Articles of Confederation for 8 years (1781-9)
  • The USA only had a national government- Charles Thomas=Secretary of Congress complained that a government without a national head must appear as a strange phenomenon to European politicians. Congress had some qualities of a national government but had no fixed abode.
  • Congress withdrew from Philadelphia in 1783 Why? to escape angry soldiers demanding back pay.
  • Settled in New York in 1785
  • Three executive departments were set up including Foreign affairs, Finance and War yet only had varying degrees of success

Problems of the Executive Departments  

1. Confederation Government had no coercive power over states or individuals within the states  

2. States attached less importance to unity, became absorbed in their own affairs . Responded belatedly or not at all to Congressional requisitions 

3. Ambitious politicians preferred to serve within their states rather than in Congress 

4. Most decisions affecting the lives of Americans were made at state level, not by Congress 

The West

1785 Land Ordinance-outlined a surveying system for the sale of northwest land. 

  • First divide land into six-square-mile townships
  • Each township divided into sections of one square mile
  • Four sections in every township was land for ex-soldiers and one section for the maintenance of schools
  • Rest of the land to be sold at auction in 640-acre lots.

Therefore provided quick and certain means of setting out lines thus reducing the potential for disputes among land purchasers.

1787 Northwest Ordinance- organising and admitting to statehood new territorites 

  • During the initial settlement of a territory= not allowed to be self-governing yet would have a governor and judges appointed by Congress
  • If the territory…


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