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the whole period of the the American Revolution and the establishment of the country of the government it can get very muddled in people's minds and what I was hoping we could cover in this video is it's kind of unmodeled that kind of separate out the events and see how they all fit together well you know let's start in 1775 because that's when the rebellion really begins that's when you have the battles of Lexington and Concord and Paul Revere writing to say that the British are coming and they've started to rebel against the taxes that Parliament has put on us they're not quite clear what the rebellion is all about especially those people who aren't up there in Massachusetts where the rebels are happening but by 1776 that's when they write the Declaration that says here's what we're doing we're fighting a war of independence and let facts be submitted to a candid world here's why we're doing it and then you get you know you're fighting the war is really not until 1781 that we win the war and around that period between 1776 and 1781 they've drafted this thing called the Articles of Confederation and it's sort of rules by which the states are going to get together and sort of govern themselves but it doesn't really create a new nation it's really just a Federation of the separate states and this is really around this idea the Declaration of indepen says really look we're already essentially at war this is why this is articulating why we're at war what we actually believe in but that didn't establish a government it didn't actually talk about what kind of government it would be how it would govern itself so the Articles were really this for this first attempt at saying well assuming that we were able to win this war of independence how do we set up right and what they were doing this war of independence with 13 separate states they didn't really think of themselves as one new nation some people did Ben Franklin and others thought we should really you know be a union of one nation but when they get together to do the Articles of Confederation really starting right after the Declaration is signed in 1776 they finished writing it in 1777 they write a put uninspiring document that just sort of says we're from a whole lot of separate states and we're going to get together a bit and be a union of these states but we're not going to give ourselves many powers as one government yeah we have it right here I actually had never seen it before this disco mercy read about it when I was in history class but to who to all to whom these presents shall come we the undersigned delegates of the states affixed to our names send greeting that's oh I mean it's like something written by a bad template you know out of a compact and it may concern' so it's not an inspiring document and it gives no power to essential government as you say it's the delegates of the states they have fix our names to this and it's the Articles of Confederation perpetual union between these states one of the main things they fail to do is give the central government any taxation power and so really it's up to the state to tax and then this Congress that's meeting based on the Articles of Confederation tries to beg each one of the states hey requisition us a little bit of money so we can continue our business so the the federal the central government does not directly there's no federal income tax or not any tax of any kind not even any kind of tax the states can tax in whatever way they see fit and then they have to kind of give something which kind of amusing is uh we win the revolution in the Battle of Yorktown that's in 1781 and a messenger comes riding into New York where this Congress has been meeting it sort of floats from city to city and gives them all the details and they don't even have enough money to pay the messenger they have to reach in their pockets to do it so you have this sort of poorly written document called the Articles of Confederation that seems to make a confederation of states meaning we're going to gather together but we're going to have our own separate powers and doesn't give any taxation powers so you have a kind of messy governance right it's obviously not a perfect analogy but if we if we take an analogy to present dates it's kind of what's happening in Europe where there's the separate nation separate states that are trying to form some type of a union not clear who has what power the central European Union is not directly taxing precisely I mean that's a very good analogy to what was happening because they weren't quite clear whether they had a central currency or not back then they weren't quite sure what are the powers of each of the states versus the central government and that's been something throughout history I mean even starting with the Greek city-states well you can have Confederations and it's unclear how much power you're going to put in the central government versus how much power you're going to leave at the States and considering that this is not the governing document for us now something must have broken to want to replace it well yes by you know by the time you're getting into 1786 it is totally clear that this document isn't working you have all sorts of disputes like Maryland Virginia are having this horrible dispute over navigation and border rights and so they call an Annapolis convention that tried to fix it up and they try to get the states to come only five of them come you have something up in Massachusetts called Shay's rebellion where there was this rebellion of the poor farmers in western Massachusetts under a former Revolutionary War officer named Daniel Shays and it's sort of unclear with the name was Shay's yah sha why yes just like you have it yeah well no the posses after yeah Daniel Shays was his name and he leads a rebellion and there's no central government to send a force to stop them I mean Washington's army has been disbanded and so the poor people of Massachusetts have to try to raise a militia to try to stop Shay's rebellion but they can't get the federal government to step in and it was just one of many many symptoms that we were all disintegrating and falling apart and there was no sort of rule of law that governed all the colonies and now all the states and so what happens is people like Hamilton Madison others get together and say you know what Congress is meeting I think they were meeting in New York by then we ought to go back to Philadelphia go back to Philadelphia where this all began in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence and we should have a constitutional convention we should write a whole new constitution to govern centrally this new nation most of the states agreed to come some of them worried about the fact that we were writing a whole new constitution and so they did not give their delegates authority to get rid of the Articles of Confederation so when they began in that very hot summer of 1787 it was kind of unclear whether they were going to be able to write a new constitution or just try to amend the old Articles of Confederation and and this makes it clear that you know even after Shay's rebellion even even after these these border disputes between Maryland and Virginia it still wasn't a done deal a lot of states still liked their autonomy liked their independence so even going into this it wasn't like everyone was unanimously saying hey we need to give the federal government more power and by the way what does that sound like sounds like the debates we're having today we still as a nation have always had these debates of how much power should be given to the central government how much power should retain with the States whether it's on health care or our laws or our taxation and so it's a useful tension to have absolutely but then they are able to delete they are able to come up with a a solution well it's a very difficult problem of the big states wanting there to be you know proportional representation in a new Congress the small states wanting equal votes per state you finally have Ben Franklin again once again being the person who works out the compromise to have both a house and the Senate equal votes per state in the Senate proportional representation in the House and they finally come together and they all agree to line up and sign this new constitution that will give taxation authority to the federal government or to Congress a new Congress a federal taxation of thought and by the way that has a preamble that's a whole lot more inspiring than that Articles of Confederation thingy that said you know to all to whom these presents shelter may concern you know let's look like let's look at the preamble to the Constitution We the People of the United States so that's as opposed to to whom it I'll to whom it may concern so we'll just look at those first three words I mean those first three words are totally an inspiring thing it's never been done before which is We the People we're getting to create this constitution right it's not the states getting together to do it is not the king devolve authority is not a parliament doing it it's we the people gathered together here we are the ones that are going to ordain a nice religious word down they are ordained so we the people in a state do ordain and establish it's almost like we have the power it's not coming from the Divine Right of Kings or God we the people get to ordain and establish this constitution and just you know we've made previous videos about the Declaration of Independence you know the Articles of Confederation in no way share any of the spirit or the the poetry of the of the Declaration while this preamble does it seems almost a continuation of it yeah let's read it I mean we the people in United States in order to form a more perfect union now that's a very transcendent phrase but it also means hey you know the Articles of Confederation we weren't really unified we have to create a United States we have to create a union and and indal is the more perfect is that a direct reference to the Articles that that was a less perfect or is this it something else it's not a very good piece of grammar as you know you know things are either perfect or they're not the notion of creating a more perfect union yes they are making a nod to the fact that we have been Confederated only under the Articles of Confederation but we now we have to create a more perfect union we have to really hold together then they decide what's the purpose of this constitution first of all establish justice that means there'll be one common set of laws ensure domestic tranquility you know this is Shay's rebellion still going on when they start writing this preamble domestic tranquility means that the federal the central government has a right to raise an army and in the end the police and defense powers or don't reside with just the individual states there's going to be a more perfect union that helps ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense because what you've had is the Continental Army under Washington has been disbanded there's no way to raise taxes for a central army now we're saying that the union of states the United States the federal government they're going to raise the money and provide for the common defense there's another phrase promote the general welfare when people argue about constitutionalism and what gives the federal government the right to do things one of those phrases is every now and then we have to use the general welfare phrase and say whether it's health care or anything else maybe there are things essential government does that promote the general welfare and then we get to the inspiring lines you know the poetry as opposed to to all whom these presents shall come and that secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity we do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America and we've been calling ourselves that ever since the Declaration of Independence but now it's in all caps and it's signifying we're one nation not just thirteen different state previous I think of the you were that capitalized yeah and some of the earlier documents it wasn't and we certainly were not United it's only under this constitution do we become really the United States of America