The Constitution

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					     The Constitution
What ideas and debates led to
the Constitution of the United
States?
Introduction
   The colonist declared their independence
    from Britain in 1776
   Won their independence with victory in the
    American Revolution.
   Their next task was organizing a new
    government.
Confederation of States
   The colonies became states in 1776 and
    each created a state constitution.
   Constitutions varies but they all created
    republics, or governments in which officials or
    representatives were elected by the people.
   Only white male property owners could vote.
   Most state constitutions included a Bill of
    Rights.
The Articles of Confederation
   1781, the 13 states adopted their first federal
    constitution.
   Most power remained with the states.
   A.O.C. gave federal government limited
    powers (declare and conduct war, regulate
    trade with foreign countries and Indian
    nations.
   Under A.O.C. states taxed goods imported.
   Federal government could not levy taxes.
   For money depended on contributions from
    the states.
   Amending the Articles was almost
    impossible, 13 states had to approve
    changes.
   Un-truth written in the book (there was no
    president)
A.O.C.
STRENGTHS:
1 To declare war and make peace.
2 To coin and borrow money
3 To detail with foreign countries and sign treaties
4 To operate post offices
WEAKNESSES:
1 The national government could not force the states to obey
    its laws.
2 It did not have the power to tax
3 It did not have the power to enforce laws
4 Congress lacked strong and steady leadership
5 There was no national army or navy
6 There was no system of national courts
7 Each state could issue its own paper money
8 Each state could put tariffs on trade between states. (A tariff
    is a tax on goods coming in from another state or country.)
John Hanson
A "Black" Man, A Moor, John Hanson
Was the First President of the United States! 1781-1782 A.D.


George Washington
was really the 8th President of the United States!

   George Washington was not the first President of the United States. In fact, the
   first President of the United States was one John Hanson. Don't go checking the
   encyclopedia for this guy's name - he is one of those great men that are lost to
   history. If you're extremely lucky, you may actually find a brief mention of his
   name.
   The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of
   The Articles of Confederation.
   This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by
   Congress until November 15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document
   until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid
   that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such
   large amounts of land).
   Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the
    country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which
    included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates
    refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution
    and an extremely influential member of Congress.
    As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had
    ever been President and the role was poorly defined. His actions in
    office would set precedent for all future Presidents.
    He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended. Almost
    immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As would be expected
    after any long war, there were no funds to meet the salaries. As a result,
    the soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put
    Washington on the throne as a monarch.
   All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only guy
    left running the government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down
    and hold the country together. If he had failed, the government would have
    fallen almost immediately and everyone would have been bowing to King
    Washington. In fact, Hanson sent 800 pounds of sterling silver by his brother
    Samuel Hanson to George Washington to provide the troops with shoes.
    Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as
    the removal of all foreign flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact
    that so many European countries had a stake in the United States since the days
    following Columbus.
    Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents
    have since been required to use on all official documents.
    President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the first
    Secretary of War, and the first Foreign Affairs Department.
    Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be
    Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today.
    The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term
    during any three year period, so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in
    such little time.
   Six other presidents were elected after him - Elias Boudinot (1783),
    Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman
    (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788) - all prior to
    Washington taking office.
    So what happened?
    Why don't we ever hear about the first seven Presidents of the United
    States?
    It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation didn't work well. The
    individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed
    upon.
    A new doctrine needed to be written - something we know as the
    Constitution.
    And that leads us to the end of our story.
    George Washington was definitely not the first President of the United
    States. He was the first President of the United States under the
    Constitution we follow today.
    And the first seven Presidents are forgotten in history.
The Northwest Territory
   Under the
    A.O.C. Congress
    had control over
    the northwest
    territory. (north of
    the Ohio River,
    west from PA to
    the Miss. River)
The Land Ordinance
     2 laws passed to manage this land.
    -a system for surveying the land.

    Congress did not have the
     power to raise revenue by
     direct taxation of the
     inhabitants of the United
     States. Therefore, the
     immediate goal of the
     ordinance was to raise
     money through the sale of
     land in the largely unmapped
     territory west of the original
     colonies acquired from
     Britain at the end of the
     Revolutionary War.



.
The Northwest Ordinance
   How they would be govern
    and how to become a state.
   It guaranteed that new
    states would be on an equal
    footing with the old
   Protected civil liberties in
    the new territories.
   First national legislation that
    set limits on the expansion
    of slavery.
   Banned slavery and
    provided for education.
Trouble Grow in the 1780’s
   A.O.C. provide for no army and Americans interests
    in the frontier could not be protected.
   The Spanish in LA tried to constrain American
    settlers by closing the port of New Orleans and
    British refused to abandon frontier forts.
   Economic depression in mid-1780’s.
   Shay’s Rebellion shut down courts, blocking
    foreclosures.
The Constitution Convention
   1787, American agreed that the AOC was
    weak
   Philadelphia, May 1787 special convention to
    draft changes to AOC.
   New Jersey Plan favored by the small states
    -congress would be given the power to
    regulate trade and to tax.
    -Unicameral legislation
James Madison
   Designed the Virginia Plan (advocated a national
    union that was both strong and republican.
   The power to tax and regulate commerce. A
    bicameral legislature (House of Representative and
    a Senate)
   In both houses the states with larger population
    would have more members.
   A President to command the armed forces and
    manage foreign relations.
LEFT-SIDED ACTIVITY
The Great Compromise
   Proposed by Roger Sherman
   Created a bicameral, or two-house leg.
   2 senators per state
   H.O.R. represented by population

   To appease the southern states because of the
    northern large white pop. Delegates adopted the 3/5
    compromise (counted each enslaved person as 3/5
    of a person to be add to the pop) boosted the
    southern seats gave no right to enslaved slaves.
The Struggle Over Ratification
   9 of the 13 states had to ratify (approve)
   Federalist (supporters of the constitution)
   They wanted a strong central government
    (Hamilton, Jay, and Madison). They wrote
    a series of letters to the newspaper (the
    Federalists papers, explained why the
    Constitution was so vital to the survival of
    the new nation.
   Anti-federalist (opponents of the
    Constitution).
   This document gave to much power to the
    national government.
   Lacked a bill of rights (added before
    ratification)
   1789, congress approved the ten
    constitutional amendments (The Bill of
    Rights)
Principles of the Constitution
   Divided power between the state and the
    nation. (federalism)
   Separation of Powers (Executive,
    legislative, and judicial)
   Checks and Balances (Congress enacts
    laws, the president may veto them-but
    Congress can override the veto by 2/3rds
    majority. The President nominates
    Supreme court judges, but the Senate
    must approve them.
Left-sided Activity
Page C9: Copy chart: The
federal System
          Left-Sided Activity
   What were the main arguments for and
    against the ratification of the
    constitution?

   What major principles appear in the US
    Constitution?

				
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