Events Leading up to the Constition

  • Period: Jan 1, 1200 to

    Events leading up to the Signing of the Constition

    Events leading up to the Signing of the Constition
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    King John signed the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, which established that the king is sibject to law; justlike everyone else. It also stated that no one could have their lives, liberty, or property taken away- unless the law says so.
  • The Mayflower Compact

    When the Mayflower America in 1620, 41 men signed theMayflower Compact. It was the first document in the colonies that established the guidelines for self government. The signers and their families would combine to form a community.
  • English Bill of Rights

    This took away even more power from the monarch than the Magna Carta. It also protected the rights of the english citizens. This would later influence the Constitution.
  • The Elightenment

    Many enlightment thinkers supported the movement towards self-government. John Locke wrote that government only exists with the consent of the governed.
  • Treaty of Paris 1783

    Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress couldn't force states to to provide soldiers to an army. Soon after theTreaty of Paris 1783, the Continental Army disbanded.
  • Trouble with Britain

    After the Treaty of Paris 1783 was signed, it became harder to enforce the treaty. When the US tried to make Britain turn over their forts on the American side of the great lakes. When the US tried to take over the forts by force, A British official said that doing this would be opposed by the thousands of British soldiers living in Canada.
  • Trade with Britain

    Before the Revolutionay War, colonial ships would trade with the British West Indies and stop there on the way to other destinations. This stopped after 1783. Additionally, Britain would make American merchants to taxes (taxes on exported or imported items). Merchants had to raise prices to cover the tariffs, and the high prices were passed on to the costumers. The economic condition would get worse from this.
  • Trade with Spain

    In 1784, Spain closed the lower Mississippi so that US shipping halted. The western merchants used this river to send goods to foriegn markets, so they were upset. Congress tried to work out an agreement with Spain, but the plan was not passed. As a result, Spain broke off of their negotiations. Many state leaders began to criticize the government, thinking Spain might have kept negotiating if the US had possesed a strong military. They believed the national government needed to be more powerful
  • Economic Problems

    The first problem was that the Confederation Congress could't regulate interstate commerce, resulting in the states following whatever interests they felt about trade. Since trade regulations were different from state to state, this made trade for merchants hard. Another problem was inflation. Inflation occured because the states tried to print money to pay off the war debts. They had no gold or silver reserves to back it up, so the money was virtually worthless.
  • Virginia Statue for Religous Freedom

    The First Amendment, having parts mentioning freedom of religon, was partly based on Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statue for Religous Freedom. This document ensured the seperation of church and state in Virginia
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Each state handled economic problems differently; Massachusets collected debt by coolecting taxes on land. Western states began to revolt in 1796. Bands of angry citizens had closed down courts in western Massachusets. The reasoned that with the courts shut down, their property could not be taken. In september, a poor farmer and vereran, Daniel Shay, led hundereds of men to force the shutdown of the Supreme Court in Springfield, Massachusets. The Governer ordered Shay to stop the revolt; this
  • Shay's Rebellion (continued)

    only made the men more determined. Threats were made of capture and death, but these again were used to make Shay's men more detirmined. Shay's troops were defeated by state troops in January 1787. Many of the rebels were sent to prison. 14 leader were sentanced to death, but the state freed Shay and most other rebels. The state knew citizens agreed with Shay and the rebels.
  • Change

    Shay's Rebellion showed how weak the Confederation government was. Some Americans admit that the Articles of Confederation had failed to protect their ideals of liberty. More Americans began to call for a stronger government: one that would be able to protect them in times of crisis. A convention took place to change the Articles of Confederation. It took place in Annapolis, Maryland in 1786.