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					What is a Constitution

    Fundamental law
      Law determining the fundamental political
       principles of a government
      Often codified as a written document
    Purpose
      To create a framework of government
 The U.S. Constitution


                                                   Independence Hall,
                                                   Philadelphia, PA,
                                                   September, 1787




The Signing of the United States Constitution by
Thomas Pritchard Rossiter
U.S. Constitution Timeline
                                          Bill of Rights
             Constitution               becomes part of
               signed                   the Constitution




Constitutional              New Hampshire
 Convention                   ratifies the
   begins                    Constitution
Creation of the US Constitution


   Constitutional Convention
     Philadelphia, PA
     55 Delegates from 12 states
     James Madison, Father of
     the Constitution
Constitutional Compromises
   Virginia Plan
     Designed largely by James Madison
     Presented by Gov. Edmund Randolph
      ○ Called for a federal legislative, executive, & judicial
        branches
      ○ Scrap the Articles of Confederation
      ○ New federal government
         Could impose laws on the states
         Collect taxes
      ○ Bicameral Legislature
         Upper house elected by the people
         Lower house elected by the upper house
      ○ Number of representatives based on population
      ○ Favored large states (VA, NY, MA)
    Constitutional Compromises
   New Jersey Plan
     Presented by William Patterson of NJ
     Keep the Articles of Confederation
      ○ Modify them to make federal government stronger
     Unicameral Legislature
      ○ Equal representation for all states
     Federal government
      ○ Raise taxes
      ○ Regulate trade
Constitutional Compromises
   Connecticut or Great Compromise
     Committee headed by Ben Franklin
     Proposed by Roger Sherman of CT
      ○ Bicameral Legislature
        House of Representatives
         - Based on population
         - Elected by the people
        Senate
         - Equal representation
         - Elected by the state legislatures
    Constitutional Compromises
   Slavery
     One member of the House of Representatives for every
      40,000 people
     The South
      ○ Count each slave for representation
     The North
      ○ Slaves cannot vote and should not be counted
      ○ If slaves count for representation count them for taxes as
        well
   Three-Fifths Compromise
     Every five slaves would count as three free white
      persons for representation and taxes
Three-Fifths Compromise
Constitutional Compromises
   Other Compromises
     Federal government
      ○ Could not tax exports
      ○ Would not ban the slave trade until 1808

   Nine of thirteen states had to ratify the
    Constitution for it to take effect
Other Constitutions
   C.S.A. (1861)
     We the people of the Confederacy
   Russia (1993)
     We, the multinational people of the Russian
     Federation
   Brazil (1998)
     We, the representatives of the Brazilian People
   Afghanistan (2004)
     We the people of Afghanistan
   Alabama Constitution
    of 1901
Alabama Constitution (1901)
 357,157 words (4,400 US Constitution)
 798 Amendments (27 US Constitution)
 Why was it written?
     White Supremacy, Honest Elections and the New
     Constitution, One and Inseparable
   Why is it so long?
     Power is concentrated in the state government
     Counties lack home rule
   How does the US Constitution address this?
     The 10th Amendment
Constitutional Compromises
   Legislatures still
    operate the same way
     Meet in committees to
      discuss measures
     Present ideas to
      assembly for a vote
 Group Assignment
 Quickly divide into groups of three
 Each group will get one amendment from the
  Alabama Constitution of 1901
 Read it
 Debate:
     Is this amendment important to everyone in the state
     Would you change it? How?
     Update the language
     Present it to the class for a vote
Sample Assessment

				
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