Independence Hall — located in Philadelphia — is an important historical landmark in the United States. Major steps toward independence were taken there by delegates of the colonies, among themGeorge Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. • The Declaration of Independence was signed in this building on July 4, 1776. • Independence Hall was also the site where the American Flag was first unveiled in 1777. • In 1781, the Articles of Confederation uniting all 13 British colonies were ratified here. • In 1787, the U.S. Constitution was drafted in this building. Construction of Independence Hall, originally known as the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania, started in 1732. The brick Georgian building with a tall wooden steeple was completed in 1756. The steeple now holds a bell donated in 1876 for the centennial anniversary celebrations. The original bell, which was the Liberty Bell, is housed in a separate pavilion.
1. Visit goo.gl/U4VL99 to read the full text of the Articles of Confederation. Do you think the United States could have survived as a nation under this governing document? Why or why not?
2. What are two problems in the Articles of Confederation that made it a poor governing document?
3. Article 9 of the Articles of Confederation reads: “The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a war ... nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof ... nor borrowmoney on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money ... nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent [agree].” Why would it be difficult to have an effective government under this article? 4. Under the Articles of Confederation, the state governments were stronger than the national government. Do you think this would make governing difficult for the federal government? Why or why not?
FREEDOM FACT The Articles of Confederation were sent to the states to be ratified in 1777 but were not ratified by all 13 states until 1781. Some states took a long time to ratify the Articles because they were involved in border disputes with other states.
AMER I CA’ S LEGACY PRESENTED BY STUDENT GOVERNMENTAL AFFA I RS PROGRAM | 23
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