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THE CONSTITUTION: PowerPoint Presentation
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THE CONSTITUTION: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

callum-malone
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THE CONSTITUTION:

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Presentation Transcript

  1. THE CONSTITUTION: Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution

  2. FREEDOM IN COLONIAL AMERICA • Though British subjects, the colonists enjoyed more freedom than those living in Europe • Traditions, feudalism, religious intolerance • Colonists enjoyed near complete freedom of speech, press and assembly • By 1763, Britain & the colonies had a reached a compromise between royal rule and self government • King & Parliament controlled foreign affairs; domestic issues left to colonies

  3. ROAD TO REVOLUTION • British government needed to pay for the French & Indian War. • Led to taxes on the colonies • TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION • A series of taxes were imposed and this led to a boycott of British goods in the colonies

  4. ROAD TO REVOLUTION • Boston Tea Party (1773) • Coercive (Intolerable) Acts (1774) • Closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for • Gave royal governors the power to quarter soldiers in private homes • Battle became British demand for order vs. American demand for liberty

  5. REVOLUTIONARY ACTION • First Continental Congress (Sept. 1774) met to restore harmony between Britain & the colonies • Second Continental Congress convened after a military skirmish between British and colonial troops in Massachusetts • Remained in session to serve as the government for the colony-states

  6. WHAT WAS AT STAKE?? • Should the colonists prepare for war? • Should they try to reconcile with Britain? • Declaring their independence meant treason. • Failure to win independence would mean death by hanging, drawing and quartering

  7. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE • Written by Thomas Jefferson, echoed many of the words spoken by John Adams in the Continental Congress • Underlying principles derived from John Locke • Consent of the governed • Social contract theory – people agree to establish rulers for certain purposes, but they have the right to resist or remove rulers who violate those purposes

  8. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE • Jefferson found inspiration in the Virginia Declaration of Rights • He listed the grievances the colonists had against the King • Slavery was in the original draft, but later omitted when South Carolina & Georgia objected • Signed by 55 delegates of the Second Continental Congress

  9. DEMOCRACY IS BAD, M’KAY • The Framers feared a pure participatory system • Democracy = mob rule and instability • The revolutionaries were more concerned with limiting government power • To ensure they had a government with strictly defined powers, they put everything in writing

  10. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION • Established a weak central government that could only coordinate, not control, the actions of the sovereign (independent) states • Articles reflected the delegates’ fear that a strong government would resemble British rule

  11. FEATURES OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION • Each state had one vote in the Congress, regardless of size • Voting on important issues required the consent of 9 of 13 states • No executive branch or court system

  12. FAILURES OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION • National government did not have the power to tax • Congress had to beg states for money • No leader to direct the government • President simply presided over the powerless Congress • To the delegates, president = monarch • National government could not regulate foreign or interstate commerce (trade) • Amending the articles required consent of all states • States could veto any proposed changes