Grievances in the Declaration
Before the break, we learned about the events leading to the Declaration of Independence. In the document to the right (Grievances from the Declaration) we looked through the actual grievances (complaints) that the colonists made against the King of England to justify separation.
- Which grievance in the Declaration of Independence do you think is the most significant? Why?
- Do you think the colonists were justified in writing the Declaration of Independence? Why or why not?
Learning Goal: Students will understand how the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation led to the development of the Constitution, and that the U.S. Constitution establishes the government.
SS.7.C.1.5: Identify how the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation led to the writing of the Constitution.
Task 1: Articles of Confederation T-chart
Read the file to the right titled "Articles of Confederation" and follow the directions below:
In your spirals title your page "Articles of Confederation," then create a T-chart with the title"Pros/Strengths" on the left and"Cons/Weaknesses" on the right. It should look like the example below:
Pros/Strengths I Cons/Weaknesses
Fill in the T-chart with the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. You'll find this information in the reading.
Task 2: Battle of the Plans
In each column summarize the main points of the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, and
the Compromise made in the Constitution.
Task 3: Constitution Reflection
Shay's Rebellion: The straw that broke the Articles back...
American freedom from Great Britain wasn’t guaranteed after the Declaration of Independence. The Revolutionary War was very costly. Many states had to raise taxes in order to pay off this debt. Shays’ Rebellion is the name given to a series of protests in 1786 and 1787 by American farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections. Although farmers took up arms (weapons) in states from New Hampshire to South Carolina, the rebellion was most serious in Massachusetts, where bad harvests, economic depression, and high taxes threatened farmers with the loss of their farms. The rebellion took its name from its symbolic leader, Daniel Shays of Massachusetts, a former captain in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Government had no standing army to stop Shay’s Rebellion. The state of Massachusetts had to use their militia and a private army to stop Shays and his supporters. The state militia, commanded by Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, crushed the rebels in several engagements in the winter of 1787.
Shays’ Rebellion greatly alarmed politicians throughout the nation. Many Americans feared that the Articles of Confederation made the U.S. Government too weak and unable to protect the country from threats. Shays’ Rebellion figured prominently in the debates over the framing and ratification of the Constitution.