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21. A Union Without Power

The American Revolution (HIST 116) In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the Articles of Confederation. Although they seem hopelessly weak in the long view of history, the Articles made perfect sense as a first stab at a national government by a people who deeply distrusted centralized power - a direct product of their recent experience of the British monarchy. Among the many issues that complicated the drafting of the Articles, three central issues included: how war debts to European nations would be divided among the states; whether western territories should be sold by the national government to pay for those debts; and how large and small states would compromise on representation. When a series of events - like Shays' Rebellion - highlighted the weaknesses of the Articles, some Americans felt ready to consider a stronger national government. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: A Union Without Power 02:12 - Chapter 2. Representation, Taxation, Western Lands: Debates on the Articles of Confederation 10:03 - Chapter 3. The Immediate Effects of the Articles 17:15 - Chapter 4. Frail Foreign Relations, Weak Congress, Splitting States: Weaknesses in the Confederation in the 1780s 30:40 - Chapter 5. Shays' Rebellion and Newbough Conspiracy: Their Impacts on Thoughts for a Stronger, National Government 40:02 - Chapter 6. How Can the States be United? Debates on the National Constitution Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2010.
Length: 47:05


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