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Creating the Constitution. The American People Dissatisfaction with the Articles. factions and instability an inability to deal with economic problems the lack of power to deal with social uprisings its failure to deal quickly with Shay's Rebellion. 2 Instrumental Men. Alexander Hamilton.

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Creating the Constitution


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    1. Creating the Constitution

    2. The American PeopleDissatisfaction with the Articles • factions and instability • an inability to deal with economic problems • the lack of power to deal with social uprisings • its failure to deal quickly with Shay's Rebellion

    3. 2 Instrumental Men Alexander Hamilton James Madison

    4. Annapolis Convention • Hamilton calls for the Convention • Madison persuades VA to convene the convention • Annapolis, Maryland 1786 - 5 states send 11 delegates NY, NJ, Penn, Del, VA - approve Congress calling a special convention Philadelphia next year - PURPOSE: Revise the Articles

    5. George Washington • Decides to attend • Motivated by Shay’s Rebellion • Gives credibility to the convention • Someone else actually presided most of the time • Sat with other delegates from VA • Spoke formally only one time towards the end – everyone agreed immediately • Mostly behind the scenes at dinners, teas, etc.. • In favor of a strong national government

    6. Problem Faced by Ruling Class • Distrusted any concentration of political power • Distrusted the people – “mob rule” Madison At any given time, only a distinct minority of citizens could be relied upon to set aside their private interests in favor of the common good

    7. Philadelphia Convention • May 25 to September 17, 1787 • Independence Hall, PA

    8. Who Attended? • 55 men • 12 states – no Rhode Island • average age 44- nearly half in their 30s James Madison 36 Gouvernor Morris 35 Edmund Randolph 34 Alexander Hamilton 32 • oldest 81 Benjamin Franklin - provides wit, experience, and common sense

    9. Varied experience 30 fought in revolution - 15 saw serious action 39 members of Continental Congress 8 served on state Const. Conventions 3 State Governors – 4 past Governors 8 Signers of the Declaration of Ind. 8 Judges more than half were lawyers ¼ owned large commercial farms or plantations 31 college graduates 2 college presidents 3 college professors 2 future US Presidents 1 future Vice President 17 future Senators 11 future Representatives all were known in their states at least ¼ had national reputations

    10. When Jefferson heard in Paris who would be at the convention, he called them a group of demigods.

    11. Who did not Attend? Patrick Henry: “I smell a rat” Samuel Adams: not chosen John Hancock: not chosen John Adams: Envoy to England Thomas Jefferson: Minister to France Thomas Paine: In Paris

    12. Order and Organization • George Washington President of Convention - unanimous decision • majority needed to conduct business • every state gets one vote

    13. First decision: throw away Articles and start over • Agree to keep proceedings secret • Keep windows and doors covered and closed • Each state is given one vote • Issues voted on can be brought up again

    14. James Madison • Father of the Constitution • best prepared - came with a plan - Virginia Plan - controls agenda from beginning “every person seems to acknowledge his greatness” • intellectual leader • takes detailed notes - just over 600 pages - published after the death of the last delegate( himself)

    15. A Great Experiment • The Debates often alluded to - the eyes of the world on them - carrying the hopes of people everywhere - the most important experiment ever undertaken: can human beings live in freedom under a government they run themselves? • If it can work in America it can work elsewhere

    16. Virginia/Large States Plan • Calls for National Govt. - Legislative - Executive - Judicial • Legislature = 2 Houses - lower house = representation based on population - upper house = elected by lower house, in reality based on population

    17. New Jersey/Small States Plan • one house legislature • each state gets 1 vote - equal representation • expand powers - tax - regulate commerce

    18. What is the biggest difference between the two plans? • How they dealt with representation. • The key to government is representation

    19. The Great Compromise • 2 House Congress • One based on population • One based on equal representation

    20. . Lower House = House of Representatives - elected by the people (only body elected by the people) - based on population

    21. Upper House = Senate - appointed by state governments - every state gets 2 representatives - equal representation

    22. Republic A state or nation in which the supreme power rests in all the citizens entitled to vote. This power is exercised by representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by them and responsible to them

    23. 3/5 Compromise • Part of the Great Comp. • Establishes the practice for counting slaves as a part of the population towards representation • Counted as 3/5 of a person • Also counted towards taxation

    24. Trade/Commerce Compromise • Congress cannot tax exports • cannot impose duty of more than $10 a head on imported slaves • cannot stop slave trade for 20 years - 10 states had already banned it - Georgia and the Carolinas remained

    25. Article I Legislative Branch • Job - to make the law • Members = Congress - House of Representative - Senate • Terms - House = 2 yrs - Senate = 6 yrs

    26. Major Powers - Tax and control spending - Coining money - Maintaining a military - Declaring war on other countries - Regulating interstate and foreign commerce

    27. Article II Executive Branch • Job - enforce the law • Members - President - Vice President - Cabinet • Term - 4yrs

    28. Election of President • The President is not directly elected by the people • When the people vote they are actually casting a vote for electors - # of Senators + # of Reps = electoral votes - a candidate wins with a majority of electoral votes - if no majority is met the House elects a Pres. - if no majority is met for VP the Senate elects

    29. The President • Major Powers - signs bills into law (after passed by Congress) - executive orders (have force of law) - Commander-in-Chief - Makes treaties - Appoints Federal judges - Appoints ambassadors George Washington

    30. The Vice President • Job - President of the Senate can only vote in a tie - Takes over if President dies John Adams

    31. Article III Judicial Branch • Job - interpret the law • Members - US Supreme Court is the only court mentioned in the Constitution - Congress has power to create more courts • Term - Life (good behavior)

    32. Articles IV-VII • Article IV - the states • Article V - the amendment process • Article VI - legal status of the Constitution - the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land! • Article VII - Ratification

    33. Sovereignty? • Who will be Sovereign? - the states or the nation ? • they ultimately decide it is the people! - protect society from the tyranny of the majority - people should have a voice, but we should check the people! No one group should have power

    34. The distribution of power and authority among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government Article III Article I Article II

    35. Federalism • A system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units • The central = national govt. • Constituent political units = state govt.

    36. Checks and Balances • Constitutional mechanisms that authorize each branch of government to share powers with the other branches and thereby check their activities - Presidential veto of law passed by Congress - Senate must approve Presidential appointments - Supreme Court can declare a law passed by Congress as unconstitutional

    37. adopted on September 17, 1787 • Sent to the states to be Ratified