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Standard 5. The student will explain specific events and key ideas that brought about the adoption and implementation of the United States Constitution. A. The Articles of Confederation. The first official government of the United States. It established a limited federal government.

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Standard 5

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Standard 5

Standard 5

The student will explain specific events and key ideas that brought about the adoption and implementation of the United States Constitution.

Standard 5


The articles of confederation

The Articles of Confederation

  • The first official government of the United States.

  • It established a limited federal government.

    • Single branch-legislative

    • One state-One vote

    • “Super Majority” needed for laws

    • No power to tax or regulate commerce

  • It gave significant power to the states.

  • Remember, the key was to avoid the power of the monarch we had just left

Weaknesses of the articles

Weaknesses of the Articles

  • One vote for each state, regardless of size.

  • Congress cannot collect taxes.

    • This led to the government to issue worthless paper money that caused inflation

  • Congress powerless to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.

    • This restricted growth of interstate commerce and trade

  • No separate executive branch to enforce acts of Congress.

  • No national court system to interpret laws.

  • Amendment only with consent of all the states.

  • A 9/13 majority required to pass laws.

  • Articles only a “firm league of friendship”

  • These weaknesses were demonstrated by Shay’s Rebellion

Causes of shay s rebellion

Causes of Shay’s Rebellion

  • The wealthy investors that had paid for the Revolution wanted their money back.

  • The states raised taxes to pay the debt.

  • Poor farmers rioted in protest of the raised taxes.

  • Massachusetts didn’t have the money to raise an army to stop the riots.

  • Congress didn’t have the power to tax to raise a national army to stop the riot.

Effects of shay s rebellion

Effects of Shay’s Rebellion

  • People would defy any government that acted against their wishes.

  • It showed America that the federal government had to be strengthened to avoid civil unrest.

Standard 5

  • Shay’s Rebellion was a reflection of

    • A strong central government

    • A weak central government

    • An effective government

    • A fair system of taxation

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  • What contributed to the demise of the Articles of Confederation?

    • The lack of representation in Congress

    • The inability of Congress to tax

    • The ability to make treaties with foreign governments

    • The restrictions on debate within Congress

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  • Which of these was a major domestic problem faced by the government under the Articles of Confederation?

    • Maintaining national security

    • Counting population for voting purposes

    • Regulating the slave trade

    • Establishing strong state governments

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  • Which of the following people would have MOST LIKELY supported the Articles of Confederation?

    • A Federalist

    • Someone who believed states, rather than a central government, should have greater authority to rule

    • Someone who believed a central government, rather than states, should have greater authority to rule.

    • Alexander Hamilton

Standard 5


The constitutional convention

The Constitutional Convention

  • 55 Delegates meet in Philadelphia in 1787

  • These are mostly wealthy, all white males

  • George Washington was elected as the presiding officer

  • The sole purpose of the convention was to amend the Articles of Confederation

  • Hamilton and Madison quickly directed the convention toward drafting a new document

  • Two different plans are put forth for the new government.

The virginia plan

It called for the creation of a bicameral national legislature where each state would send representatives in proportion to the population.

This plan made the federal government stronger than the state governments.

The new legislature would have the power to tax and to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.

The national legislature would have the power to veto any act of a state legislature.

In addition to the legislative branch, the proposed government would have an executive and judicial branch.

The Virginia Plan

The new jersey plan

It called for the creation of a unicameral national legislature where each state had an equal number of votes

This plan kept the national government weak and the states powerful.

Congress had the power to tax and to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.

It would create executive and judicial branches.

The New Jersey Plan

The great compromise

The Great Compromise

  • It created a bicameral legislature.

  • The Senate would have the same number of representatives from each state.

  • In the House of Representatives, the number of representatives would be based upon the population of the state.

The federalists

The Federalists

  • The Federalists were a group that advocated for increased power for the Federal government

  • This group included Washington, Madison, Franklin and Hamilton

  • They felt that central government would provide stability and order

  • They were convinced that the Constitution would provide safeguards for the rights of the people

The anti federalists

The Anti-Federalists

  • The Anti-Federalists were very leery of federal power

  • They feared that the central government would trample the rights of the people

  • They also felt that the federal power would usurp the power of states

  • They insisted on a written guarantee of rights and liberties which became known as the bill of rights

  • After the convention, Jefferson became the leading advocate for the Anti-Federalists

Standard 5

  • James Madison commented that, “A government composed of such extensive powers should be well organized and balanced.” Which of the following helped to balance power between the large and small states?

    • The slave trade

    • The Great Compromise

    • The three-fifths compromise

    • The Bill of Rights

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  • The US Constitution begins with the words “We the People.” Why did Madison chose these three words to open the document?

    • To show the delegates were unanimous in their approval of the document

    • To show that government gets it power from the “consent of the governed”

    • To illustrate that the Constitution was written for everyone

    • To emphasize that the people elect everyone in government

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  • Which of the following problems did the Great Compromise solve?

    • Slavery in the US following the revolution

    • How many representatives each state would have in the federal legislative branch

    • Debate over when the slave trade would end

    • What rights would be protected under the Constitution

Standard 5

  • The Three-Fifths Compromise

    • Established a legislative branch comprised of two houses.

    • Allowed slaves to be partially counted as part of the US population.

    • Made George Washington president in exchange for maintaining slavery in the South.

    • Allowed southerners to count slaves in the population in exchange for immediately ending the slave trade.

Standard 5

  • Who of the following would have been MOST LIKELY to favor the Virginia Plan?

    • A delegate to the Constitutional Convention from a small state.

    • A delegate to the Second Continental Congress from a small state.

    • People opposed to slavery.

    • Delegates to the Constitutional Convention from a large state.

Standard 5

  • A strong Federalist would have MOST LIKELY supported which of the following?

    • The Jeffersonian-Republicans

    • The Articles of Confederation

    • The Bill of Rights

    • The Constitution prior to any amendments

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Trade and powers

Trade and Powers

  • Trade and Currency become the sole purview of the Federal government

  • The powers of government were to be divided between the state and federal governments

  • This is a system known as federalism

  • The Presidential term was limited to 4 years, with no limit on the number of terms

  • The following page discusses the separation of powers and the system of checks and Balances

Division of power

Division of Power

Slavery issues

Slavery Issues

  • Slaves as population

  • Northerners do not want slaves counted, people = votes

  • Clearly, Southerners prefer to count slaves as population

  • 3/5ths Compromise solves the issue

  • Importation

  • To woo Southern states slave import is guaranteed until 1808

  • It is then to be regulated by Congress

Standard 5

  • Lawmakers have tried to pass this campaign finance law twice. Both times, the president has vetoed the law. This time, most believe the US Supreme Court would uphold the law if it came before the Court.

  • What does this information describe?

    • The power of the Great Compromise

    • The importance of federalism

    • The system of checks and balances

    • The need to reform government

Standard 5

  • The US Constitution is built on all of the following principles EXCEPT

    • Governments can act without answering to the people

    • The power of the government rests with the people

    • State and federal governments share power

    • The federal government holds supreme power

Standard 5

  • The three-fifths compromise sought to prevent

    • States with high slave populations from dominating the House of Representatives.

    • The Senate from becoming too powerful within the bicameral system.

    • The Constitution from ultimately being ratified.

    • Antifederalists from winning the debate over federalism.

Standard 5

  • Limited government, a system of checks and balances, a separation of the powers in government, and government based on the will of the people, form the foundation for the

    • Northwest Ordinance

    • United States Constitution

    • Louisiana Purchase

    • Articles of Confederation

Standard 5


The bill of rights

The Bill of Rights

  • Speech, Assembly, Religion, Press, petition for redress of grievances, separate church and state

  • Right to bear arms

  • No quartering act

  • Privacy, search and seizure

  • Due process, double jeopardy, self incrimination

  • Speedy, public trial

  • Trial by jury

  • Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment

  • Rights not specifically mentioned are also protected

  • All powers not delegated to the Federal government are reserved for the states

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  • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • Which part of the Constitution is quoted above?

    • The Preamble

    • The First Amendment

    • The Fourth Amendment

    • The Fifth Amendment

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  • What was added to the Constitution in order to ensure it ratification?

    • Bill of Rights

    • An executive branch

    • Political parties

    • The right of foreign intervention

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  • Why did the Framers believe freedom of the press to be an essential right?

    • It prevents taxation without representation.

    • It helps to balance the power of government.

    • It establishes a system of free international trade.

    • It underscores the importance of a trial by jury.

Standard 5

  • In a letter to James Madison written in 1787, Thomas Jefferson said, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”

  • Jefferson believed a bill of rights was needed to protect

    • The right of taxation

    • The unalienable rights of citizens

    • The rights of the majority

    • Federal rights over states’ rights

Standard 5

  • The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as what and were added for what purpose?

    • The Bill of Rights, added to define the branches of government under the Constitution

    • The Preamble, added to protect citizens from government abuses

    • The Bill of Rights, added to protect the civil rights of citizens

    • Article III, added to prevent the courts from overriding acts of Congress

Standard 5


Washington s presidency

Washington’s Presidency

  • He set many important precedents during his tenure of office

  • These included:

    • Two-terms

    • The Cabinet

    • Proclamation of Neutrality

  • The Federal Court system was also created in 1789

  • This act created 13 circuit courts and 3 circuit courts of appeals

  • When he left the Presidency, he warned the nation about the problems of political parties.

Hamilton s financial plan

Hamilton’s Financial Plan

  • Hamilton wanted to accomplish several things as he started as Sec. of the Treasury

    • Bind the country together

    • Increase Federal power and prestige

    • Pay off debts

    • Protect industry

  • He tried to accomplish this through the following:

    • Funding state debts at par

    • A tax on whiskey

    • A protective tariff

    • A national bank

The whiskey rebellion

The Whiskey Rebellion

  • It occurred because of the tax on whiskey.

  • Whiskey was important to western farmers because it was a product of corn that could be shipped east for sale.

  • The poor farmers rebelled against the tax.

  • Washington used the army to put down the rebellion.

  • This demonstrated that the new government was committed to enforcing its laws.

Jefferson s response

Jefferson’s Response

  • Jefferson opposed much of Hamilton’s Plan

  • He felt that it was too focused on the wealthy and ignored the concerns of the common man

  • He also felt that the plan would give power to the Federal government at the expense of the states.

Jeffersonian republicans

Jeffersonian Republicans

  • These were those people who were critics of the Federalists.

  • They with the Federalists formed the first political parties in the U.S.

Foreign affairs

Foreign Affairs

  • The French Revolution

    • Americans supported the idea of the Revolution, but were horrified by the mob violence

  • Proclamation of Neutrality

    • Washington believed that the US was not strong enough to be involved in foreign wars or alliances

  • Jay’s Treaty

    • This was an attempt to stop British impressments of sailors

  • Pinckney’s Treaty

    • The US got the right to use the Mississippi River for shipping. The Spanish thought the US and G.B. were working together and got scared.

The presidency of adams

The Presidency of Adams

  • The XYZ Affair

    • France tried to bully the United States delegates into paying a bribe in order to enter negotiations

    • Adams resisted the call for war

  • The Alien and Sedition Acts

    • These laws raised the time for citizenship from 5 to 14 years

    • The Sedition Act made it a crime to criticize the President or Congress

  • The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

    • These were responses written by Madison and Jefferson that railed against the expansion of power in the Sedition Act

    • These resolutions stated that states should be able to NULLIFY federal laws that are unconstitutional

The revolution of 1800

The Revolution of 1800

  • The election of 1800 represented the first time in history that a country had peacefully transferred power from one political group to its rival without bloodshed

  • Jefferson changed as a leader, as he became more open to expanding powers of the Federal government as shown in the Louisiana Purchase

  • Jefferson was saddled with a largely Federalist Court system

  • The influence of the Federalists would carry on for several years past their electoral success

Standard 5

  • What did the Whiskey Rebellion show about George Washington?

    • He lacked the ability to forge foreign alliances.

    • He was a strong president who was willing to use federal troops when needed.

    • He could not efficiently govern a nation because he was not well-respected.

    • He strongly believed that political parties should govern the nation.

Standard 5

  • Against the wisdom of George Washington, political parties emerged with the 1796 elections. The Federalists, who supported the policies of Alexander Hamilton, were opposed to the Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. What was one philosophical difference between the Federalists and the Republicans?

    • The disagreement over whether the president should serve for like

    • A strong central government versus strong state governments

    • The ability of the Federalists to lead the country in war

    • The importance of creating a system of checks and balances in government

Standard 5

  • Which of the following best describes a Federalist?

    • Someone who favors farmers over businessmen

    • Someone who believes in a strong government that helps US businesses

    • Someone who opposes tariffs that might hurt small landowners

    • Someone who supports Thomas Jefferson over John Adams

Unit 1 book questions

Unit 1 Book Questions

Pg. 30: 1-9

Pg. 62: 1-10

Pg. 92: 1-9

Pg. 130: 1-9

Pg. 160: 1-8

Pg. 222: 1-9


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