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Warm-up. Did we keep the Articles of Confederation? Why or why not? Did we create a strong central government? Why? What powers does the central government have?

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Warm up

  • Did we keep the Articles of Confederation? Why or why not?

  • Did we create a strong central government? Why? What powers does the central government have?

  • Did we establish a leader? Did we call him king? What did we call him? What if he gets too powerful? What can the leader do? How do we make sure he isn’t tyrranical?

The philadelphia convention
The Philadelphia Convention

  • The Constitutional Convention (May-Sept. 1787)

    • Purpose: Meeting to fix the Articles of Confederation

    • How Conducted: 12 States represented (55 delegates) Rhode Island refused

    • Leader: George Washington elected president of the convention

    • John Adams, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison all present (no Jefferson)

James madison
James Madison

  • After short debate, delegates agree to scrap the AOC

  • “The Father of the Constitution”

  • Primary writer

Problems at convention
Problems at Convention

  • Representation

  • Slavery

  • Executive Branch

  • Trade

  • Checks and Balances/Separation of Powers

Constitutional compromises
Constitutional Compromises

  • Representation

    *Virginia Plan – Representation based on population

    *Bicameral -- 2 house legislative branch

    * “Big State Plan” – unfair to small states

    * New Jersey Plan – Equal representation

    * Unicameral – 1 house legislative branch

    * “Small State Plan” – unfair to large population states

The great compromise
The Great Compromise

  • The “Connecticut” Compromise, written by Roger Sherman of Connecticut

  • Structure: Bicameral legislature (2 houses)

    • One house based on population (House of Reps)

    • One house based on equal representation (Senate)

Other compromises
Other Compromises

  • Slavery

    *3/5 Compromise – of every 5 slaves, three counted toward population

    What would the free states have wanted?

    What would the slave states have wanted?

Electoral college
Electoral College

  • Would we have a president?

  • How do we pick the president?

    Executive Branch

    *Electoral College – our method for electing a president

Ratification passage
Ratification (Passage)

  • 9/13 states must ratify to pass

  • DE, NJ, GA, CT 1st to adopt

  • PA 1st Large State

  • MA, MD, SC, NH

    June 21, 1788 – Constitution is officially adopted

    *NY, VA, RI, NC adopt because they have no choice!

Federalists vs anti federalists
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

  • 1st 2 political parties

  • Federalists – supported the new Constitution

    • Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

    • Write Essays under penname Publius (Federalist Papers)

    • Argue for the new constitution

  • Anti-Federalists – wanted more protections for individual rights (AKA Democrat-Republicans)

    • Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee

    • Write papers known as the Anti-Federalist Papers

    • Argue for individual rights

What was missing
What was missing?

Will not be added until 1796

The bill of rights 1791 washington s major accomplishment


Freedom of Religion, Assembly, Press, Petition, Speech

2. Right to Bear Arms

3. No Quartering of Soldiers

4. No illegal Search and Seizure

5. No Double Jeopardy, Self Incrimination, Eminent Domain, etc…

6. Speedy Public Trial, Lawyer

7. Trial by Jury

8. No Cruel/Unusual Punishment or Excessive Bail or Fines

9. Constitution is not a limited document

10. Reserved Powers

The Bill of Rights (1791) – Washington’s Major Accomplishment

Warm up

The Three Branches

of Government

Picture courtesy of www.damchicago.com

Back to philosophy

Montesquieu: “Spirit of the Laws”

Believed that there are 3 types of gov’t:

Republic (democratic or aristocratic), Monarchy, and Despotism (dictator)

That is order to have the best gov’t, power should be separated within gov’t

Back to philosophy


  • U.S. Constitution divides powers among three branches

  • “Separation of Powers”

  • Why was this done?

Separation of powers
Separation of Powers

  • Limits government powers

  • Prevents any one branch from having too much power

Three branches of government
Three Branches of Government

  • Legislative Branch

  • Executive Branch

  • Judicial Branch

  • What does each branch do?

Three branches of government1
Three Branches of Government

  • Legislative Branch – makes the nation’s laws

  • Executive Branch – carries out the laws

  • Judicial Branch – interprets the laws

Warm up

3 Branches of Government







President &

Vice President


Supreme Court

Advisors &



House of


Federal Court


Legislative branch
Legislative Branch

  • Article 1 of the Constitution

  • Congress – law-making branch

  • Two houses

    • Senate

    • House of Representatives

Executive branch
Executive Branch

  • Article 2 of the Constitution

  • Executes, or carries out, nation’s laws

  • President, Vice President, appointees & advisors

Judicial branch
Judicial Branch

  • Article 3 of the Constitution

  • U.S. Supreme Court & federal court system

    • Interprets laws

    • Punishes law-breakers

    • Determines if laws

      are constitutional

Checks balances
Checks & Balances

  • Each branch has its own powers

  • Yet, no branch can become too powerful

  • How does the Constitution balance the powers?

Checks balances1
Checks & Balances

Each branch has powers to check,or limit, the powers of the other 2 branches

How does this work
How does this work?

  • Congress has power to make laws

  • President has power to veto, or turn down, proposed laws

  • President can check power of Congress

Can congress check the president s power
Can Congress check the President’s power?

  • Congress can override, or pass a law over President’s veto

  • 2/3 majority vote in both houses needed

Is the supreme court involved in law making
Is the Supreme Court involved in law-making?

  • Supreme Court can check the powers of Congress and the President

  • Interprets laws

  • Determines if laws are constitutional

Wrap up

  • What are the three branches of government?

  • What are the primary responsibilities of each?

  • Why does the U.S. Constitution provide for a separation of powers?

  • How does the system of checks and balances work?

Warm up


Think of 3-5 things you would add, remove, or change in the U.S. Constitution. Nothing needs to be turned in yet, just reflect on what you think needs to be addressed and come in tomorrow with some ideas.