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Declaration of Independence
- July 4 1776
- Written by the Continental Congress, comprised of delegates from each colony - now independent nations, in response to the perceived wrongs exacted by King George III of England, to establish independence.
Wrongs of King George
- Appointed Royal Governors - viewed as autocratic by the colonists.
- Ignored laws passes by the local assemblies.
- Passed laws applicable to the colonists in Parliament that the colonists thought were unjust.
- Really didn't do anything wrong but the colonists - so far removed from England they began to feel more independant and demanding of control over their
Articles of Confederation
Adopted Nov 1777: No executive, all legislative power
John Adams commented that the legislature created under the Art. of Confd. were more like "an assembly of ambassadors" than a legislature - per Pugh more like the UN today.
- •Each state had one vote in the legislature.
- •9 votes (super majority to pass legislation)
The four executive functions of the Articles of Confederation
- Foreign Affairs
- •attempt to maintain state sovereignty prevented the federal government from functioning
- •all run by committee
- •treasury can't force the states to pay taxes (during or after the war); no common currency
- •justice - "home court advantage" laws only applicable in the states they originated
- •interstate commerce - tariffs favoring manufacturing state and no common currency prevents seamless commerce
Thomas Jefferson - View of Human Nature
People are essentially good.