Creating the constitution chapter 2 section 4
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Creating the Constitution Chapter 2, Section 4. Basically written so 13 countries could work together on some issues State governments had most of the power. Many members didn’t attend Congress, so laws couldn’t be passed (quorum)

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Creating the Constitution Chapter 2, Section 4

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Creating the ConstitutionChapter 2, Section 4

  • Basically written so 13 countries could work together on some issues

  • State governments had most of the power

  • Many members didn’t attend Congress, so laws couldn’t be passed (quorum)

  • Articles couldn’t be amended without unanimous consent of ALL states

The Solution:

  • May 25, 1787 – The states meet in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation

The Framers

  • Framers - the group of delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention

  • Rhode Island – only colony that didn’t attend

  • 55 Delegates met

  • “Never before or since, has so remarkable a group of men been brought together in this country.” Thomas Jefferson

Organization and Procedure

  • Rules of procedure:

    • Majority of the states needed to conduct business (Quorum)

    • Each state delegation had one vote on all matters.

    • Majority of the votes would carry a proposal.

The Plan

  • Clearly the Articles couldn’t be fixed

  • 5 Days after the Convention began, they voted to create a new Constitution

Organization and Procedure

  • Worked in secrecy

  • James Madison became the floor leader

    • Called the “Father of the Constitution”

    • Only delegate to bring a plan

Virginia Plan

  • James Madison’s plan

    • Bicameral Legislature

    • Representation in each housed based on

      • State’s population

      • Amount of money it gave to central government

Virginia Plan

  • Lower house were popularly elected.

  • Senate (upper house) were chosen by the house from list of persons nominated by state legislatures.

  • Congress was given all powers under Articles plus:

    • Veto state law in conflict with national law

    • Use force to make states comply

Virginia Plan

  • Congress would choose a “National Executive” and a “National Judiciary”

  • These two branches called the “Council of Revision”

  • Could veto congress

  • Veto could be overridden by the two houses.

  • Congress could admit new states to the union

Virginia Plan

  • Create a new Constitution by revising the Articles

  • Create a truly national government with greatly expanded powers

  • Ability to enforce those powers

  • Smaller states did not like it

The New Jersey Plan

  • Retained unicameral Congress

  • Each state equally represented

  • Added powers to tax and regulate trade between states.

  • Federal executive of more than one person chosen by Congress

The New Jersey Plan

  • Could be removed by a majority of the states governors.

  • Federal judiciary, ”supreme tribunal” appointed by the executive

Major Point of Disagreement

  • How would states be represented?

The Connecticut Compromise

  • Settled the conflict

  • Congress composed of two houses.

  • Senate = states represented equally.

  • House of Representatives = based on population.

  • Was called the “Great Compromise”

3 Major Conflicts:

  • Representation in Congress

  • Counting Slaves

  • Commerce / Slave Trade

The Three-Fifths Compromise

  • How should slaves be counted in the south?

    • South thought they should be counted

    • North thought they should not.

  • Free persons were counted and “Three fifths of all other persons”

Commerce / Slave Trade Compromise

  • The South had concerns re: power of the federal gov’t to regulate trade

  • Compromise:

    • Congress couldn’t tax state exports

    • Couldn’t do anything to slave trade for 20 years (1808)


  • Despite many compromises, the Framers agreed on the basics:

    • Need for greater powers at the Federal level

    • Representative government

    • Power should rest with the People

    • Government should be limited

  • Finished Sept. 17, 1787


  • Read pp.56-58

  • Answer p. 58 (1-5)

Ratification – The process of approval

Ratification of the Constitution

Ratification of the Constitution

  • Federalists – Supported the strong Federal government of the new Constitution

    • Alexander Hamilton

    • James Madison

    • John Jay

Ratification of the Constitution

  • Federalists

    • Represented the elite (upper classes)from coastal regions

    • Wrote the Federalist Papers in support of the Constitution

Ratification of the Constitution

  • Antifederalists – Opposed the new Constitution

    • Wanted strong state governments

    • Samuel Adams

    • Patrick Henry

Ratification of the Constitution

  • Antifederalists

    • Represented backcountry farmers

    • Demanded a Bill of Rights to protect people from their government

Bill of Rights

1st 10 Amendments

Added to ensure ratification of Constitution

Political Foundations

Bill of Rights:

Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, Assembly

Right to bear arms

Fair Trials

Political Foundations

Protection from:

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

  • Bell Ringer(5)

  • Announcements

  • Review(5-10)

  • New Content (Basic Constitutional Principles)(20)

  • Mini-Poster Assignment(20)

  • Constitution Reading(20)

  • Romney Speech

Outline of the Constitution

  • Preamble

  • 7 Articles outlining the government’s organization

  • 27 Amendments

Outline of the Constitution

  • Articles I-III: 3 Branches of Government

  • Article IV: States & their relationship to the National Government

  • Article V: Amendment process

  • Article VI: Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land

  • Article VII: Process for ratification

Basic Constitutional Principles

  • Popular Sovereignty – People hold ALL the power in our government

Basic Constitutional Principles

  • Limited Government –Government can only do what the Constitution says it can

Basic Constitutional Principles

  • Separation of Powers – Governmental powers are broken up into 3 branches

Political Foundations

  • Checks and Balances – Branches should hold each other accountable

  • Chart, p.68 – KNOW IT!

Basic Constitutional Principles

  • Federalism – The division between & sharing of power between the state and National Governments

Basic Constitutional Principles

  • Judicial Review– Courts determine if government is following the Constitution


  • Create a mini poster that illustrates the 6 principles of the Constitution.

  • For each, include the principle, a brief definition and an image that illustrates the concept.

  • Your choice: Color OR obvious artistic effort


  • Read Article I of the Constitution (pp. 760-766)

  • Take notes on Article I (optional)

  • Be ready for a 10-question open-note quiz over Article I next time we meet

The Legislative Branch


Explain the explicit and implicit organizational structures of Congress


Political Ideology

Political Ideology

Notes WS

  • Term –

  • Session –

  • Adjourn –

  • Prorogue –

  • Special Session -


  • Is it good that a Congressional session now lasts for most of the year?

  • When would you be most likely to find our Congressmen in SC?


Explain the explicit and implicit organizational structures of Congress

House of Representatives

  • 435 voting members

    • 4 non-voting members- DC, Guam, Samoa, Virgin Islands

      • Can propose legislation but cannot vote

House of Representatives

  • Requirements:

    • 25 years old

    • Citizen 7 years

    • Legal resident of state that elects them

    • No term limits

House of Representatives

  • Selected by a direct popular vote

    • The first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even numbered years


  • Why have elections every two years for Representatives?


Explain the explicit and implicit organizational structures of Congress

House of Representatives

  • Representation

    Census- every ten years (next is 2020)

The Legislative Branch

  • Reapportionment

    • Article I of the Constitution directs Congress to reapportion—redistribute—the seats in the House after each census.

    • The Reapportionment Act of 1929 set the “permanent” size of the House at 435 members, and provided for “automatic reapportionment.”

The Legislative Branch

  • Districts are redrawn as states add/lose representatives

  • State legislatures draw these new districts

  • What is the potential problem here?

The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch

  • Gerrymandering – Drawing districts to create an advantage for the party in power

  • Wesberry v. Sanders (1964)– This is unconstitutional!

House of Representatives

  • Speaker of House: leader of house, a caucus (closed meeting) of majority party chooses speaker, entire house approves.

    • Decide order of recognition

    • Appoints members to some committees

    • Refers Bills to proper committee

    • Next in line behind V.P. to President

    • Votes in a tie

House of Representatives

  • House Floor Leaders

    • Majority Leader:

      • Plans legislative program

      • Steers bills through the House

      • Oversee leaders of the committees.

    • Majority Whip:

      • Monitors how reps. will vote & encourages them to vote with the party

House of Representatives

  • Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (R)

  • Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D)

The United States Senate

The Senate

  • Requirements:

    • 30 years old

    • Citizen 9 years

    • Legal residents of the state

The Senate

  • 2 Members per state

  • Elected for six year terms

    • Elections are staggered so that only 1/3 are up for reelection at one time.

The Senate

  • Originally elected by state legislatures

  • 17thAmendment = Senators elected by a direct popular vote

The Senate

  • President of the Senate – Vice President

    • Cannot debate

    • Cannot vote unless there is a tie

  • VP does not attend unless a tie is expected

  • President pro tempore– usually the member of the majority party with the most seniority

  • The Senate

    • Filibuster-To prevent a vote by continuing to speak.

    • 3/5 majority can stop the filibuster (cloture)

    Both Houses

    • Legislative Immunity– The Constitution gives members of Congress certain privileges to enable Congress to function properly.

      • Members may not be taken to court for anything they say while Congress is meeting.

      • Members may not be arrested for minor “breaches” of the law while performing official Congressional business.

    Both Houses

    • Congressional Discipline– “Code of Ethics.” Each house is responsible for disciplining its own members.

      • Reprimand – needs majority vote – (least severe discipline)

      • Censure – needs majority vote

      • Expulsion – needs 2/3 vote (most severe discipline)

    The Legislative Branch

    The Legislative BranchSec. 5—Staff and Support Agencies

    • Personal vs. Committee Staff

    • Support Agencies

      • Library of Congress

      • Congressional Budget Office

      • General Accounting Office

      • Government Printing Office

    The Legislative Branch

    • Congressional Discipline – The members of Congress create and abide by a set of rules called the “Code of Ethics.” Each house of Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) is responsible for disciplining its own members.

      • Reprimand – needs majority vote – (least severe discipline)

      • Censure – needs majority vote

      • Expulsion – needs 2/3 vote (most severe discipline)

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