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Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings. The Origins of the Constitution. Nation’s Basic Law Creates political institutions Assigns or divides powers in government Often provides certain guarantees to citizens Includes an unwritten accumulation of traditions and precedents

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Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings

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Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings

The Origins of the Constitution


  • Nation’s Basic Law

    • Creates political institutions

    • Assigns or divides powers in government

    • Often provides certain guarantees to citizens

    • Includes an unwritten accumulation of traditions and precedents

    • Sets the broad rules of the game of politics

The Constitution


  • The King and Parliament

  • The French and Indian War

  • Taxes

  • 1st Continental Congress

Road to Revolution


  • Continental Congress

  • Declaration of Independence

Declaring Independence


  • John Locke (writings and philosophy)

  • Natural Law

  • Consent of the Governed

  • Limited Government

  • Purpose of Government

  • Right to Revolt

The English Heritage: The Power of Ideas


  • Parallels between Locke’s and Jefferson’s writings

  • Sanctity of Property

Jefferson’s Handiwork: the American Creed


  • Conservative movement to restore rights

The “Conservative” Revolution


  • Articles of Confederation

The Government that Failed (1776-1787)


  • Increase in democracy for some

  • Political participation

  • Voting privileges

Changes in the States


  • Depression

  • Debts

Economic Turmoil


  • Cause

  • Effect

Shay’s Rebellion


  • Discuss problems with the Articles of Confederation

  • Need for broader proposal

The Aborted Annapolis Meeting


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