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The U.S. Cons titution

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  1. The U.S. Constitution

  2. How was it formed? • The first national government was the Articles of Confederation. • Why do we not have the AoC today? • It created a loose alliance of Independent states. • Allowed for a one-house legislature • There were no executive or judicial branch • Only states could tax • Every state could coin money • No regulation of trade between states • Most power was held by states

  3. From the AoC to the Constitution • Shays’ Rebellion showed the discontent with the AoC. • In 1787, Congress approved a convention to create a new document to replace the AoC. • Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

  4. What did this new document provide? • Popular Sovereignty (Rule by the people) – Idea that the authority of government is created and sustained by the consent of its people • Limited Government – Restricts government, by law, to intervene in the civil liberties (personal rights) you are given. • Federalism - Divided powers between states and the federal government. • Separation of Powers – Divided gov’t powers between the legislative, judicial, and executive branch. • Checks & Balances – Gave each branch of gov’t a way to limit the power of the other branches.

  5. A New Government • After many opposing views and compromises, a new document was created. • The convention drew to a close and the document was signed on September 17, 1787. • The delegates to the convention are also known as “the Framers” – because they had framed, shaped, and formed our form of government. • The document allowed for changes to be made as government grew.

  6. The Federalists Opposing Views During Ratification *In order to go into effect, the Constitution had to be ratified by at least nine states. • Supported the Constitution. • Approved a strong, federal/national government • They argued that a strong federal gov’t could provide protection, maintain order, regulate trade, and guarantee the rights of citizens . • They also liked that it would provide that the nation’s debt were paid and that American money remained stable both local and abroad.

  7. Anti-Federalists • Opposed the ratification of the Constitution. • Feared that a strong federal gov’t would endanger people’s liberties. • “Necessary & Proper” – This saying in the Constitution scared the Anti-Federalists because it gave Congress power to produce any law that it deemed was necessary for the public. • Did not like that a Bill of Rights was left out of the Constitution – They feared that the national government would not respect the rights of citizens.

  8. Opposing View Points in Writing The Anti-Federalists Papers The Federalist Papers A collection of essays written as a response to the Anti-Federalists papers. Stated strengths of the Constitution and claimed that without a strong national gov’t, America would be at a greater risk for other countries overpowering them. Federalist Paper Writers James Madison Alexander Hamilton John Jay • A collection of essays developed and produced for the public to oppose the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. • Many were written under pen names. • Anti-Federalists: • Patrick Henry • Richard Henry Lee

  9. Ratification • The Federalists agreed to propose a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution. • This encouraged the anti-federalists to ratify the Constitution. • Ratified in June of 1788 • By spring of 1790 all 13 states had ratified the Constitution. With Virginia passing it by 10 votes and New York passing it by 3 votes.

  10. Why was the Constitution created to be altered and amended? • Government changes over time. • Changes to the Constitution would occur in the form of amendments. • Since the ratification, there have been 27 amendments made to the Constitution, including the first ten (The Bill of Rights).

  11. How Was the Document Organized? • The Preamble states the goals of our government. • To Form a More Perfect Union = The Framers were seeking a strong government than what was established under the AoC. They wanted to unite the 13 states under an effective national government.

  12. Preamble Goals Continued… • Establish Justice = Settling disputes between individuals, individual and gov’t, and between the national government and state governments. • Insure Domestic Tranquility = Our gov’t tries to establish a peaceful society were people are protected from unlawful acts of others.

  13. Preamble Goals Continued… • Provide for the Common Defense = Gov’t seeks to protect citizens from the attacks of other countries. • Promote the General Welfare = Gov’t tries to create conditions that will benefit all American citizens.

  14. Preamble Goals Continued… • Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity = Gov’t seeks to give people the freedom to choose where they work, live, what they believe, and who represents them in gov’t. However, our liberties should not intervene with the rights of others. Gov’t protects the liberties of all citizens, current and future American citizens.

  15. How Was the Document Organized Cont’d… Divided into Seven Articles • Article One – The Legislative Branch • Outlines powers and organization of Congress • Article Two – The Executive Branch • Gave powers to one individual, the President • Article Three – The Judicial Branch - Framers set up a national court that neither Congress or the President controlled • Article Four – The States • States rights and respecting the laws of other states • Article Five – Amending the Constitution • Included instructions for making amendments • Article Six – The supremacy of the Constitution • Makes the Constitution the supreme law of the land • Article Seven – Ratification • Established the procedure for ratifying the Const.