AP Exam Review Chapter 2 Constitutional Foundations
Key Terms • Anti-Federalists • Articles of Confederation • Connecticut Compromise • Consent of the governed • Constitution • Declaration of Independence • Democratic Republicans • Federalist Papers • Federalist Party • Great Compromise • Limited Government • Natural Rights • New Jersey Plan • Second Treatise of Civil Government • Shay’s Rebellion • Three-Fifths Compromise • Unalienable Rights • Virginia Plan
Chapter Overview • The Constitution provides the basic framework of government. • It is the supreme law of the land. • It evolved from a political philosophy which, although democratic in origin, was cynical and had economic interests in mind when the document was finalized. • To understand the Constitution, one must look at what events occurred prior to its ratification. • History of British rule in the colonies • American Revolution • Failed first attempt at creating a workable constitution • These factors all contribute to the creation of what has been called a living document-the Constitution of the United States.
The Declaration of Independence • A powerful heritage created a climate that influenced our forefathers to turn toward a rocky and risky road of revolution. • Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston included philosophers in the Declaration of Independence. • Locke • Rousseau • Montesquieu • In Locke’s Second Treaties of Civil Government, one can notice the similarities between the language Locke used and the phrases used in the Declaration of Independence. • Life, liberty, and property • Consent of the governed • Concept of limited government
The Declaration of Independence • Declaration of Independence announced that “all men are created equal”. • The Declaration of Independence used many of the concepts from English Common Law related to the rights of the accused and the institution such as representative colonial assemblies as the rationale why the colonists wanted to revolt against Great Britain.
Declaration of IndependenceSummary of Major Parts • The Philosophical Basis • Establishes “unalienable rights” • Cornerstone of natural rights • Consequence of these rights, limited government are formed receiving their powers from “the consent of the governed” • The Grievances • The second part of the Declaration of Independence makes the case against Great Britain. • Taxation without representation • Unjust trials • Quartering of British soldiers • Abolition of colonial assemblies • Policy of mercantilism • These created a logic for drastic change.
Declaration of IndependenceSummary of Major Parts • The Statement of Separation • Announcing to the world that the colonists had no choice but to revolt. • Jefferson stated that it is not only the right but the duty of the colonists to change the government. • The American Revolution was far from certain. • England had superior power • Navy was supreme • Resources that could support the war effort • Colonists not as well organized • Resort to guerrilla tactics • They had had vast knowledge of their land • Had leadership and a desire for freedom
Declaration of Independence • Called a “conservative revolution” new leaders tried to create a government based on the idea of the consent of the governed. • Individual state governments guaranteed their citizens the rights they had under British rule. • Power was not centralized and the new nation made sure that the new constitution, the Articles of Confederation, could not end up as a government with a king.
Declaration of Independence • Even though the Declaration of Independence stated that all men are created equal, the societal structure did not reflect equality. • “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” • Applied to white, rich, property owning male colonists. • Property as an indicator of wealth, was a requirement for political office. • Rights of slaves and women were not addressed. • States and individual legislatures became the dominant force. • Economic problems immediately faced the new nation. • Repayment of war debts to the central government • Individuals facing economic recession caused by war. • Shay’s Rebellion • Signaled the newly formed government had serious problems
The Articles of Confederation • The Articles of Confederation were doomed from the onset. • Under the Article of Confederation, the national government had two levels of government. • A weak national government with a one-house congress and dominant state governments. • Congress was given limited power to declare war, make peace, and sign treaties. • The national government could borrow money, but it had no power to tax the individual states. • The Articles of Confederation created a national army and navy, but the government had no power to draft soldiers.
The Articles of Confederation • The Articles of Confederation had no chief executive or national court system. Legislation had to be passed by two-thirds majority. • States could easily cause problems by; • Printing their own money • Refusing to amend the Articles of Confederation • Refusing to recognize treaties made by the national government. • Foreign policy was virtually non-existent.
The Articles of Confederation • There were some successes with the Articles of Confederation. • Northwest Ordinance • Abolished slavery in the newly acquired Northwest territories. • A new middle class was developing on the state level. • Farmers etc. began getting involved in state politics. • Help to develop opposing parties • Federalists and Anti-Federalists
Constitutional Convention • With the exception of Rhode Island, the rest of the states sent 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1789. • Some of the Founding Fathers did not believe abolishing the Articles was the answer to the countries problems and did not attend. • Thomas Jefferson • Thomas Paine • Patrick Henry • John Adams • John Hancock • Anti-Federalists
Constitutional Convention • Those in attendance did not feel that revisions would go far enough to correct the problems with the Articles. • Alexander Hamilton • George Washington • James Madison • These Founders fought for a new Constitution • Ben Franklin was the oldest delegate at the convention, he was 81. He was the only delegate to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Constitutional Convention • Delegates were split on the organization of the new government. • Political conflict will occur without checks and balances. • With the difference in economic make-up of the delegates, factions would arise. • Federalists 10 • Federalists 47 • A structure of government that stressed a separation of powers became the fiber of a new Constitution.
The Constitution • The framers of the Constitution believed that inequalities of wealth were a principal source of political conflict, but they did not try to eliminate them from the Constitution. • There would have to be compromise at the convention in order to develop a constitution. • Voting • The individual states could set the criteria for voting qualifications. • Representation • The New Jersey Plan (favored smaller states) • The Virginia Plan (favored larger, more populous states) • Connecticut Compromise (resulted in a bi-cameral legislature) • Senate (2representatives from each state) • House of Representatives (Representation based on population) • Slavery • Three-fifths compromise • Representation and tax purposes. • Trade • Agreed to only tax only imports
The Constitution • Congress was given specific “delegated” powers . • Power to tax • Regulate interstate Commerce • Coin money • States could not duplicate any of these powers. • “necessary and proper clause” • Established a chief executive and court system
The Birth of Political Parties • The first political parties were born during the fight to ratify the new Constitution. Because the philosophy of each party reflected an economic base, it became apparent that the issue of individual rights could. • Federalists 10 • “Tyranny of the Majority” could threaten the economic fiber of the nation. • Separation of powers would force compromise. • Full Faith and Credit • A Republican form of government • Bill of Rights • Federalists (upper class) The Federalists Papers • Anti-Federalist (middle class) Pennsylvania Packet, Letters from the Federal Farmer