Unit 2 Creation of the Constitution
Essential Question • How did the Framers create the Constitution?
Unit Overview • Lesson 8: What were the Articles of Confederation, and Why Did Some Founders Want to Change Them? • Lesson 9: How was the Philadelphia Convention Organized? • Lesson 10: Why Was Representation a Major Issue at the Philadelphia Convention? • Lesson 11: What Questions Did the Framers Consider in Designing the Three Branches of the National Government? • Lesson 12: How Did the Delegates Distribute Powers between National and State Governments? • Lesson 13: What Was the Anti-Federalist Position in the Debate about Ratification? • Lesson 14: What Was the Federalist Position in the Debate about Ratification?
Unit 2 Purpose • After independence, the colonists first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, proved inadequate. • Fifty-five men, the Framers, met to create the US Constitution, during which they debated the most basic ideas about political life and government institutions. • In this unit, you will learn • Why the Articles of Confederation were replaced • Why the Constitution was created as it was • How the debates over ratification raised issues debated to this day.
Lesson 8: • What were the Articles of Confederation, and Why Did Some Founders Want to Change Them?
Purpose • This lesson examines the government formed by the Articles of Confederation. • This document reflects the political realities and divisions among the states as well as the need for unity., • Many Americans felt the US government under the Articles lacked sufficient authority to meet the nation’s needs.
Objectives • Describe the Articles of Confederation. • Explain why some thought the Articles were too weak. • Evaluate, take, and defend positions on.. • The strengths and weaknesses of the Articles • The significance of the Northwest Ordinance • American’s mistrust of a strong national government
Terms to Know • Articles of Confederation • (1781-1789) The first constitution of the United States, created to form a perpetual union and a firm league of friendship among the thirteen original states. It was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, and sent to the states for ratification. • Confederation • A form of political organization in which the sovereign states combine for certain specified purposes, such as mutual defense. Member states can leave a confederation at any time. The United States was a confederation from 1776 to 1789. • Shays' Rebellion • An armed revolt by Massachusetts farmers seeking relief from debt and mortgage foreclosures. The rebellion fueled support for amending the Articles of Confederation.
Why & How Were the Articles of Confederation Created? • Americans realized that they would need some centralized leadership to address the following issues • Manage relationships between states • Resolve border disputes • Conduct relations with rest of world • Along with Declaration of Independence, Second Continental Congress creates the first US government, the Articles of Confederation (1776)
Problems with the “Articles” • Fear of a Strong Central Gov’t • To many, their state was their country. • British government’s “abuse” of power could characterize a strong US government • Study of history suggested that republican gov’t can only succeed in small communities • Articles considered a “firm league of friendship” • Most powers of government were given to states • Ex) Congress could not collect taxes, could not regulate trade
Problems Continued… • Fear that some states would dominate central government • The following issues pitted states against each other • Representation and voting in Congress • Payment for war expenses • Territorial claims in the West
The “Articles’” Achievements • Secured recognition of American Independence • Created executive departments and admiralty courts (developed into Cabinet & Federal Court System) • Northwest Ordinance (1787) • Created process for territory to become a state • Prohibited slavery in new territory • Guaranteed equality of new states
Weaknesses of Articles • No power to tax • Caused problems paying off war debts • No power to force states to recognize agreements with foreign nations • Damaged trade relations • No power to make laws regulating trade among states • No power to makes laws directly regulating behavior of citizens
Attempts to Solve Problems • Amendments never passed since all 13 states needed to ratify • Many leaders proposed a meeting, or convention, to discuss changes • Delegates then met in Philadelphia to propose changes to the Articles
Shay’s Rebellion • 100’s of farmers in MA gathered to prevent courts from selling their property • Many ex-soldiers were not paid their wages, therefore falling into debt and losing their farms • Shays and his men attempt to capture weapons arsenal • Governor calls militia to put down rebellion • Fears generated by this and similar conflicts convinced many that a stronger national government was needed
Lesson 9: • How was the Philadelphia Convention Organized?
Purpose • This lesson describes the important people and their first steps at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, 1787. • The structure and rules set forth for debate played a major role by providing a framework for civil discourse. • The Virginia Plan created the agenda for subsequent discussion & debate.
Objectives • Describe the organizing phase of the convention. • Explain the significance of rules and agendas for effective civil discussion. • Evaluate, take, and defend positions on • determining what interests should be represented in a constitutional convention • the advantages and disadvantages of secrecy in governmental deliberations
Terms to Know • civil discourse • Reasoned discussion as opposed to emotional display. • Constitutional Convention • The meeting held in Philadelphia from May to September 1787 at which the US Constitution was written. • delegate • (1) (noun) A person chosen to act for or represent others. (2) (verb) To entrust someone to represent your interests. • federal system • A form of government in which power is divided and shared between a central government and state and local governments. • national government • The organization having central political authority in a nation; the representative unit of political organization. • proportional representation • In the context of American government, the electoral system in which the number of representatives for a state is based on the number of people living in the state. Proportional representation is used to determine the number of each state's representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Those in Attendance of Philadelphia Convention • 55 delegates from states (Framers) • Ave. age 42, ¾ had served in Congress • Most were prominent political leaders, very qualified • George Washington • Most respected Military Leader in nation • James Madison • Had greatest influence on organization of national gov’t • Benjamin Franklin • 81, poor heath, but internationally renown statesmen • Alexander Hamilton • Most prominent supporter of strong national gov’t
Who Did Not Attend? • Thomas Jefferson • In Paris as US minister to France • John Adams • US ambassador to Great Britain • Patrick Henry • Refused to attend, suspicious of convention / “I smell a rat!” • RI • Opposed to stronger national gov’t
Convention Rules • At least 7 states must be present each day • While speaking, others had to listen • Member could not speak more than 2x on same question • Committees appointed as necessary • Any decision subject to change until entire plan complete • Convention’s proceedings kept secret
The Virginia Plan • Many delegates wanted to completely scrap Articles, not just amend • Madison proposes new, stronger government • Two governments, national & state (Federal system) • Three braches of national government • Legislative – make laws (most powerful) • Executive – enforce laws • Judicial – interpret laws • Legislature (congress) would have two branches • House of Representatives – elected by the people • Senate – Proposed by States, selected by the House
The Virginia Plan Continued • Representation from each state in both houses based on population or amount contributed to federal treasury. • Proportional representation means that states with a larger population have more representation • Congress would have power to make laws that states were not able to make • Ex) regulating trade between states
Lesson 10: • Why Was Representation a Major Issue at the Philadelphia Convention?
Purpose • This lesson examines: • The debate over what, or who, the national government will represent. • The Great Compromise, which dealt with the makeup of the House and Senate. • How population would be counted for representation in the House. • How new states might receive representation in Congress.
Objectives • Explain the differences between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan and the importance of the Great Compromise. • Explain how the Framers addressed regional issues with the 3/5ths compromise and the provision for periodic census of the population. • Evaluate, take, and defend positions on why major issues debated at the Convention are still on the national agenda.
Terms to Know • Great Compromise • A plan accepted at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 that called for a Congress of two houses: in the upper house, or Senate, representation of the states would be equal, with each state having two senators; in the lower house, or House of Representatives, representation would be apportioned according to the population of each state, so that states with more people would have more representatives. Also called the Connecticut Compromise. • Three-Fifths Compromise • Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, later eliminated by the Fourteenth Amendment. The clause provided that each slave should be counted as three–fifths of a person in determining the number of representatives a state might send to the House of Representatives. It also determined the amount of direct taxes Congress might levy on a state.
Disagreement Over Representation • No disagreement over two-house Congress • Proportional representation was the issue • Madison – states should not be represented as states in national government. Instead, representatives should serve the people. • Those who sought Equal representation thought national government derived from and represented the States, not the people. • Big states favored Proportional rep, small states favored Equal rep.
The New Jersey Plan • Similar to Articles of Confederation • One house Congress, equal representation • Most delegates were convinced that a unicameral Congress would not work, and NJ Plan voted down. • However, many small state delegates refused to accept Virginia Plan due to their concerns over large states’ power under proportional representation. • Disagreement over this issue almost ended the convention.
The Great Compromise • Great/Connecticut Compromise’s provisions • House of Representatives= Proportional Rep. • Senate = Equal Rep. (2 per state – chosen by state legislature) • Senate appeased small states, House appeased big states • The compromise passed by 1 vote
The 3/5ths Compromise • What did proportional representation mean? • Southern states want slaves to count towards representation • Northern states thought counting them would only benefit, and empower, slave owners • If they are considered property, why should property be represented? • The Compromise • state’s population, in regards to apportioning representation, would be equal to free population plus 3/5ths slaves • Slaves also counted as 3/5ths when computing taxes paid by each state to federal government
Representation of New States • New states would have full representation in congress • A census would be taken every 10 years to reapportion seats in the House based on the shift in America’s population.
Lesson 11: What Questions Did the Framers Consider in Designing the Three Branches of the National Government?
Purpose • Political philosophers claim that governments must do three things: make, execute, and judge laws. • The Constitution assigns these functions to three separate branches. This lesson explains how the Framers envisioned the role of each.
Objectives • Explain the role of each of the three branches and describe how the Constitution organizes them. • Explain how and why the system of checks and balances contributes to limited government. • Evaluate, take, and defend positions on how the President should be elected and issues relating to the appointment of Supreme Court justices.
Terms to Know • Deliberative Body • A legislative assembly that meets to debate issues. • Electoral College • The group of presidential electors who cast the official votes for president and vice president after a presidential election. Each state has a number of electors equal to the total of its members in the Senate and House of Representatives. • Necessary and Proper Clause • Clause of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to make all laws that are "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. It is also known as the "elastic clause" because of the vagueness of the phrase "necessary and proper." • Separated Powers • The division of the powers of government among the different branches. Separating powers is a primary strategy of promoting constitutional or limited government by ensuring that no one individual or branch has excessive power that can be abused. • Shared Powers • Legislative powers not completely separated between the branches of government.
Balance of Power Among the Branches of Government • Framers believed their was an imbalance of power between British Crown and Parliament • Led to tyranny of British Crown • Many state government created weak executives, but led to legislative corruption • Delegates needed to create system of balanced powers (checks & balances)
Legislative Power & Organization • Congress should be a deliberative body • Thorough debate, no hasty decisions • Bicameral legislature makes law passage difficult (on purpose) • Delegates felt power to make laws greatest power • Enumerated Powers are specifically listed • Congress also granted powers Necessary & Proper
Executive Powers & Organization • Executive needed “energy” to act quickly when necessary for • Common defense • Preserve public peace • International relations • Must be strong enough to check power of legislature, but can not endanger republic • A single chief executive needed, 4-yr term • No limit set for reelection
Presidential Selection • Delegates reject idea of direct election • Citizens of large country would “not know” best candidates • Other felt Indirect elections would be corrupt • Instead, Electoral College proposed • Organized every 4 years, then dissolved • Each state selects electors, number based on total members in Congress • Electors voted for two people (at least one outside home state) • Majority wins presidency, 2nd becomes VP • If tie, House selects with majority vote
Judicial Power & Organization • Judges chosen by President, confirmed by Senate • Supreme Court is head of judiciary • Judges independent of politics • Cannot be removed unless accused & convicted of high crimes
Division of Power • Veto • President can veto bill passed in Congress • Congress can override veto with 2/3 vote • Appointment • President nominates, Senate must approve • Treaties • President negotiates, Senate approves (2/3 vote) • War • President is commander in chief, Congress declares war & controls $$$ • Impeachment • Congress can remove executive or judicial branch members if they commit high crimes • Judicial Review • Judicial branch (eventually) can determine whether acts of Congress are Constitutional
Lesson 12: • How Did the Delegates Distribute Powers between National and State Governments?
Purpose • The relationship between national and state powers was at the core of the first Convention debates. • The delegates eventually worked out a series of regulations & compromises that defined what national and state government could and could not do. • Several compromises involved slavery, the most divisive issue among states.
Objectives • Describe the major powers and limits on the national government, powers specifically left to states, and prohibitions the Constitution placed on states. • Explain how the Constitution did and did not address slavery and other unresolved issues. • Evaluate, take, and defend positions on how limited government in the US protects individual rights and promotes the common good and on issues involving slavery.
Terms to Know • ex post facto law • A law that criminalizes an act that was not a crime when committed, that increases the penalty for a crime after it was committed, or that changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier. Ex post facto laws are forbidden by Article I of the Constitution. • bill of attainder • An act of the legislature that inflicts punishment on an individual or group without a judicial trial. • secede • Formal withdrawal by a constituent member from an alliance, federation, or association. • supremacy clause • Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the U.S. Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and treaties of the United States "shall be the supreme Law of the Land" and binding on the states. • tariff • A tax on imported or exported goods. Also known as a duty.
National Government’s Powers • Powers given to national gov’t over states: • Make or change state election laws • Call state militias into national service • Create new states • Guarantee each state a “republican for of gov’t” • Protect states from invasion or domestic violence • Constitution & laws / treaties made by Congress are supreme law of the land (Supremacy Clause)
Limits on Power of National Gov’t • These provisions protected individual rights • Cannot suspend habeas corpus • Cannot pass ex post facto laws or bills of attainder • Cannot suspend trial by jury in criminal cases • Cannot modify definition of treason • The following protect rights of public officials • Members of Congress cannot be arrested during session unless a major crime • No religious tests for public office • Impeachment clauses protect right to a fair trial • Gov’t cannot take money from treasury without an appropriation law
Limits on Power of State Gov’ts • States cannot • Coin their own money • Pass laws that enable people to violate contracts • Make ex post facto laws or bills of attainder • Enter into foreign treaties or declare war • Tax imports or exports • Keep troops or ships of war in peace time • No discrimination against citizens of other states • Must return fugitives from other states