Unit 2 US History Test: Essay Questions
The Constitutional Convention met in 1787 to address weaknesses in the government under the Articles of Confederation. Soon the delegates agreed that the Articles had failed and that the Confederation should be replaced with a new form of government. In an essay, explain the three most important changes that the delegates made from the Articles to the Constitution. Explain the change in detail and why it was an improvement. Your essay should include and introduction, at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The Constitutional Convention met in 1787 to address weaknesses in the government under the Articles of Confederation. Soon the delegates agreed that the Articles had failed and that the Confederation should be replaced with a new form of government. The three most important changes that were made from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution were the addition of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the idea of separation of powers, and lastly, checks and balances. The addition of the House of Representatives and the Senate was an extremely important change from the original government in the Articles of Confederation because it found a very good way to determine state representation. The Great Compromise stated that in the House of Representatives, representation would be determined by state population; however, in the Senate, all states would have equal representation. It gave a clear-cut way to solve the issue of representation. The idea of separation of powers was also an extremely important change from the Articles of Confederation. Separation of powers created the 3 branches of our government: Legislative (makes laws), Executive (implements those laws), and Judicial (federal courts). This is extremely crucial because, prior to the separation of powers, the central government (Congress) was extremely weak and really didn’t have the power to do any of the things that they were called to do (impose laws/taxes, etc). Separation of powers gives specific jobs to different branches in the federal government, which is extremely efficient and effective. Lastly, the implementation of checks and balances is a very important change from the Articles of Confederation. Checks and balances basically limits the power of any one of the three branches of the government. This is vital because of the fact that it is an essential balance between a central government that is not strong enough and a central government that is too strong. Without checks and balances, the separation of powers wouldn’t work. Overall, the addition of the House of Representatives and the Senate, separation of powers, and checks and balances are the three most important changes made to the flawed Articles of Confederation. These changes solved the problem of a weak central government by establishing a strong one, while also not making it too powerful. Without these changes, our government would not be what it is today.
Each of the first three presidents under the new Constitution experienced both successes and failures. Write an essay discussing the highest and lowest points of the presidencies of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Your essay should include an introduction and three paragraphs using evidence from the chapter to support your thesis.
George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all experienced successes and failures during their three presidencies. It was simply inevitable that there would be failures, as they were the first presidents that this country ever had. George Washington experienced both high and low points during his time as the first ever President of the United States. One main high point of his presidency was his implementation of Jay’s Treaty, which prevented a war with Britain and protected the American economy. Another big success of his presidency was Pinckney’s Treaty, which gave America the right to navigate the Mississippi and to deposit goods at the port of New Orleans. One low point of Washington’s presidency was