The American Constitution by yantingting


									Attempts to Form A
    New Nation

The Articles of
Confederation & the
U.S. Constitution
Our founding fathers had a fundamental question to answer:

   Did the Second Continental Congress
    represent a union, or did its decisions
    reflect the opinion of thirteen separate
         Articles of Confederation
   Our first U.S. Constitution, which called for a “League of
    Friendship” between the states

   Was written by a committee led by John Dickinson (PA),
    presented to Congress on July 12, 1776, & was ratified by all
    states by 1781
Articles of Confederation
Structure of the New National Government
 Each state could send between two to seven delegates to a Congress
 Each state got only one vote
 A President would serve a one-year term
 Congress would meet once a year
 A Committee of States ran the country when Congress was not in
   session with one delegate from each state

Problems with the Articles
 Congress could not tax the states
 Poor attendance at meetings of Congress
 No President or Courts
Attempts to revise the Articles
   In May 1787, 55 delegates
    assembled in Philadelphia to
    revise the AOC

   George Washington was
    elected President of the
    Constitutional Convention

   Delegates from Virginia, led by
    James Madison, proposed that
    a new constitution be written,
    which was agreed upon by the
    delegates.                        James Madison
                    Plans Proposed
   Virginia Plan – large, southern state
    plan proposed by James Madison

   New Jersey Plan – small state plan
    proposed by William Paterson

   New York Plan – large, northern state
    plan proposed by Alexander Hamilton
        Areas of Agreement at the
   Separation of Powers – there should be separate executive,
    legislative, & judicial branches of government

   System of Checks & Balances – to ensure that no one branch
    gets more power than another
     Areas of Disagreement at the
   How will representation in Congress be counted?
    – Great or Connecticut Compromise
    – There will be a two-house congress (bicameral legislature)
    – One will be called the House of Representatives, which will be
      determined by population
    – Another will be called the Senate with two delegates per state
     Areas of Disagreement at the
   How shall slaves be counted for representation?
    – Each slave would count as 3/5ths of a person for determining
     Areas of Disagreement at the
   What kind of executive should there be?
    – A single executive called a president chosen by electors
538 Electoral Votes   270 Needed to Win
      Opposing Groups form over
   Federalists led by Washington, Hamilton, & Madison favored
    ratification because they felt it was the best compromise

   Anti-federalists led by Patrick Henry were against ratification for
    the following reasons:
     – States were surrendering too much power to the national
     – Voters did not have enough control over government officials
     – No Bill of Rights
                 The Birth of Political Parties
Federalists (North)                  Anti-Federalists (South)
Led by Alexander Hamilton            Led by Thomas Jefferson

   Beliefs in Government               Beliefs in Government
     – Rule by rich and well              – Rule by everybody
                                          – New government should favor
     – New government should                farmers, artisans, and poor
       favor merchants,                     classes
       manufacturers, and lawyers
                                          – Weak central government,
     – Strong central government            power given to the states to
       with a strong president              reflect individual interests
     – Favored industry                   – Favored agriculture and farming
     – Wanted strong alliance with        – Wanted strong alliance with
       Britain                              France
     – Centralized banking and            – Low taxes, small tariffs
       create debt spending
                                          – Idealistic
     – Cynical
                                          – Strict interpretation of the
     – Loose interpretation of the          Constitution
Who are you?

Consider the times and these beliefs:
 What political party would you support?
 The Federalists or the Anti-Federalists?
 Explain your answer.
Political Vocabulary
 Ratify: To agree to, To sign
 Amend: To add to
 Veto: To refuse to sign
 Bill: Proposed law
 Suffrage: Right to vote
 Bicameral: Two house congress
 Impeachment: Bring charges against a
 Cabinet: Advisors to the President
    Ratification by the Convention
   Of the 55 delegates present, 13 left, 39 voted yes & 3 voted no.

   In late September 1787 the U.S. Constitution went to the states
    for ratification
         Ratification by the States
   Delaware, Pennsylvania, & New Jersey were the first to ratify
   Georgia & Connecticut followed by January 1788 & then
    Massachusetts, Maryland & South Carolina
   New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify making the
    Constitution the law of the land
   Virginia, New York, & Rhode Island were last to ratify only after
    Madison & Hamilton promised to add a Bill of Rights
             The U.S. Constitution
   Ratification of the U.S. Constitution created a Federal Republic,
    which is the description of our form of government with three
    levels (National, State, & Local) & ruled by the people through
    our vote
      The American Constitution

   Constitution divided
    into two parts
    – Articles--rights of
      government (7
    – Amendments--rights
      of individual (27
           Government Structure
   Articles I-III                Amendments I-X
                                   – Bill of Rights
    – Separates power into        Amendment XI-XII
      three branches of            – Organization of Government
      government                  Amendment XIII-XV
    – Art. I-Leg.; Art. II-       – Civil Rights Amendments
      Exec.; Art. III-Judic.      – Slave Amendments
                                Amendments XVI-XIX
   Articles IV-VII               – Progressive Amendments
    – Power of Law              Amendments XX-XXI

    – Power of                    – New Deal Amendments
                                Amendments XXII-XXVII
                                  – Great Society Amendments
Refer to Branches of Government
“Loose                            “Strict
  Interpretation”                   Interpretation”
 A.K.A. “Loose Construction of    A.K.A. “Strict Construction of
  Constitution”                     Constitution”
   – Interpretation of               – Constitution should remain
     Constitution must be              the constant
     flexible                        – The Constitution must be
   – People change, society            the measure of social,
     changes, technology               ethical, and moral change
     changes-->Constitution          – Government can ONLY do
     must adapt                        what the Constitution
   – What the Constitution             EXPLICITLY says
     doesn’t say EXPLICITY,        “Anti-Federalists”
     the branches of                “Conservatives”
     government can do
 “Federalists” “Liberals”
       Powers of the Government
   Delegated Powers – listed in the constitution as powers of
    Congress such as taxes, borrowing money, & regulating trade

   Reserved Powers – powers not granted to the national
    government are reserved automatically to the states such as

   Concurrent Powers – powers shared by national & state
    governments such as taxes, police forces, & court systems
                Checks & Balances
   Checks on Presidents
    –   Power of impeachment by House of Reps
    –   Trial of Impeachment by the Senate
    –   Supreme Court Chief Justice serves as judge
    –   2/3rds vote of the Senate is needed to remove a President from
               Checks & Balances
   Checks on Congress
    – President can veto bills & call special sessions of Congress
              Checks & Balances
   Checks on the Courts
    – Congress can impeach federal judges
    – President can appoint judges with consent of the Senate
Checks and Balances
      Other Important Guarantees
   Ex Post Facto – Congress cannot pass a law setting a penalty
    for an act that was not illegal at the time it was committed

   Bills of Attainder – Congress cannot pass a law inflicting
    punishment on a person without a trial

   Writ of Habeas Corpus – A person cannot be held in jail without
    being formally charged

   Due Process of Law – steps in the arrest, trial, & conviction of a
     Flexibility of the Constitution
   Amendments – Requires a 2/3rds vote of Congress & a 3/4ths
    vote of the states – 27 changes

   Elastic Clause – Article One, Section 8, Clause 18 states that
    Congress can make any other laws needed for the country

   Judicial Review – Courts can interpret the law

   “Unwritten Constitution” – allows practices of custom to

   Admission of New States – Requires a 2/3rds vote by Congress
    & 3/4ths by the states
                    Bill of Rights
   Amendment I
    – Freedom of Speech & Press
       • Includes spoken & written word.
       • Can be limited by the Government due to libel, obscenity,
         fighting words, & speech inciting violence.
    – Freedom of Assembly
       • Right to picket & protest.
       • Cannot be forced to join a group.
    – Freedom of Religion
       • Can choose & practice any religion.
       • Separation of Church & State
       • Government cannot establish its own religion (Establishment
                    Bill of Rights
   Amendment II
    – Right to Bear Arms
       • An individuals right or militia?
       • Government has permitted limitation of some rights.

   Amendment III
    – Quartering of Troops
       • Provides an individuals right to own & protect property.
       • Does it include family lives & personal affairs?
                    Bill of Rights
   Amendment IV
    – Unreasonable Search & Seizure
       • Limits police when investigating crimes & using illegally
         obtained evidence at trial.
       • Government has allowed for school searches.

   Amendment V
    – Grand Jury Protection
       • Double Jeopardy – cannot be punished for the same crime
       • Right against self-incrimination – “I plead the fifth”.
       • Due Process – Right to confront accusers.
       • Takings Clause – Governments right to take private property,
         but must provide just compensation.
                      Bill of Rights
   Amendment VI
    – Right to a Jury Trial
         • Right for a case to be heard by an impartial jury.
    –   Right to a Speedy Trial
    –   Right to a Public Trial
    –   Right to be informed of Criminal Charges
    –   Right to Confront Witnesses
         • Allows for cross-examination & the jury to determine if the
           witness is truthful.
    – Right to Assistance of Counsel
         • Is not based upon ability to pay.
                     Bill of Rights
   Amendment VII
    – Right to Jury Trial in Civil Cases
        • In Civil Cases the plaintiff is seeking money damages or
          stopping the defendant from engaging in certain conduct.
   Amendment VIII
    – No Excessive Bail
        • The money paid by a defendant to be released from jail prior to
          triall cannot be excessive.
        • Does not eliminate a court’s right to not provide bail in certain
    – Protection against Cruel & Unusual Punishment
        • Protects against disproportionate punishments.
        • Does not include the death penalty, only who is eligible.
                    Bill of Rights
   Amendment IX
    – Unenumerated Rights
       • Individual rights cannot be denied even if they are not
         specifically listed in the constitution.

   Amendment X
    – States’ Rights
       • Re-emphasized the balance of power between the National
         government & the states.

To top