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 states? 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 Convention 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 Convention 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 Convention How shall slaves be counted for representation? – Each slave would count as 3/5ths of a person for determining representation Areas of Disagreement at the Convention 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 Ratification Federalists led by Washington, Hamilton, & Madison favored ratification because they felt it was the best compromise possible. Anti-federalists led by Patrick Henry were against ratification for the following reasons: – States were surrendering too much power to the national government – 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 educated – 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 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 President 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 Articles) – Amendments--rights of individual (27 Amendments) 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 Constitution – Great Society Amendments Refer to Branches of Government Powerpoint Interpretation “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 education 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 office 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 person 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 continue 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 Clause). 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 twice. • 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 cases. – 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.
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