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By 1786, the new United States was starting to fall apart. Was there a way to keep the country together, despite its limited government?

Washington Resigns from the Military

At the end of the American Revolution, George Washington stepped down as Commander of the Continental Army, paving the way for a new government.


Shay's Rebellion

Western farmers were beginning to lose their lands and livelihoods as the United States struggled to control their debts. With no resolution in sight, the farmers turned to violence.

The Rebellion

The Constitutional Convention

It was clear that the government under the Articles of Confederation wasn't working - something had to be done to save the new nation, and quickly.

The Secret Meeting

King Washington

Why didn't Washington want to be king? Watch this short video to learn more

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Why did the new United States originally have a weak national government?

Primary Source: the Treaty of Paris

The Revolutionary War ended with the Treaty of Paris, which was signed in 1783 by France, Great Britain, Spain, and of course - the new United States

View the Treaty

Primary Source: the Articles of Confederation

In 1781, Congress officially passed the Articles of Confederation. This gave the United States a relatively weak national government.

Read the Articles (Library of Congress)

The American Economy

The American economy was falling apart by the mid-1780s, sparking rebellions, debt crises, and civil unrest. Click the link to learn more about why the economy was failing, and what needed to be done about it.

18th Century Economics

Watch A More Perfect Union

Learn how the Constitution was created with this 15 minute film!

A More Perfect Union Home

Click the link to go back to A More Perfect Union Resources

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