Definition A constitution is a nation’s basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Sets the broad rules of the game The rules are not neutral; some participants and policy options have advantages over others. Constitution
Power of the Mississippi • New Orleans in 1718 gave French command of Mississippi River. • France claimed large parts but did not settle it. • French economy tied to American Indian through fur trade. • Trade networks were set up in the early 1600’s
Beavers were Important • French wanted the fur. • Native Americans became dependant on trade. • Native American Fighting
1754 The First Clash The Ohio Valley British French Fort Necessity Fort Duquesne* George Washington * Delaware & Shawnee Indians
Albany Plan of Union Ben Franklin representatives from New England, NY, MD, PA Albany Congress failed Iroquois broke off relations with Britain & threatened to trade with the French.
British-American Colonial Tensions Methods ofFighting: • Indian-style guerilla tactics. • March in formation or bayonet charge. MilitaryOrganization: • Col. militias served under own captains. • Br. officers wanted to take charge of colonials. MilitaryDiscipline: • No mil. deference or protocols observed. • Drills & tough discipline. Finances: • Resistance to rising taxes. • Colonists should pay for their own defense. Demeanor: • Casual, non-professionals. • Prima Donna Br. officers with servants & tea settings.
1758-1761 The Tide Turns for England *By 1761, Sp. has become an ally of Fr.
1763 Treaty of Paris France --> lost her Canadian possessions, most of her empire in India, and claims to lands east of the Mississippi River. Spain -->got all French lands west of the Mississippi River, New Orleans, but lost Florida to England. England -->got all French lands in Canada, exclusive rights to Caribbean slave trade, and commercial dominance in India.
Effects of the War on Britain? 1. It increased her colonial empire in the Americas. 2. It greatly enlarged England’s debt. 3. Britain’s contempt for the colonials created bitter feelings. Therefore, England felt that amajor reorganization of her American Empire was necessary!
Effects of the War on the American Colonials 1.It united them against a common enemy for the first time. 2. It created a socializing experience for all the colonials who participated. 3. It created bitter feelings towards the British that would only intensify.
The Coercive or IntolerableActs (1774) 1. Port Bill 2. Government Act 3. New Quartering Act Lord North 4. Administration of Justice Act
First Continental Congress (1774) 55 delegates from 12 colonies Agenda How to respond to the Coercive Acts & the Quebec Act? 1 vote per colony represented.
The Shot Heard ’Round the World! Lexington & Concord – April 18,1775
The Second Continental Congress(1775) Olive Branch Petition
John Locke believed in Natural Rights – Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on government, which include life, liberty and property. Consent of the Governed – Government derives its authority by sanction of the people. Limited Government – Certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens. European Philosophers
Baron de Montesquieu believed Separation of Powers – the state is divided into three estates. Each state with independent powers and areas of responsibility. The three areas are Executive, Legislature and Judiciary European Philosophers
Jean-Jacques believed in Social Contract Theory - People give up some of their rights to a government / authority in order to receive or jointly preserve social order. European Philosophers
Declaring Independence In May and June 1776, the Continental Congress debated resolutions for independence. The Declaration of Independence, which listed the colonists grievances against the British, is adopted on July 4, 1776. Politically, the Declaration was a polemic, announcing and justifying revolution. Origins of the Constitution
Six Parts of Declaration of Independence • Part One – Preamble • Part Two – Statement of Beliefs • Part Three – Grievances Against the King • Part Four – Statements of Prior Attempts to Redress Grievances • Part Five – Declaring Independence • Part Six - Signatures
After DOI had been signed, State governments began to form Constitutions. RI and CT were the only states that kept their old Constitution. Most States adopted Constitutions through State legislatures. Mass did it by special Constitutional Convention. People chose delegates to convention People of state then voted for approval Most constitutions were modeled after the VA Constitution. Most of the State Constitutions were structured as followed: Two Houses Governor elected by legislator. Governor – veto overridden by majority vote. Statement of Rights Ex: Trial by Jury Religious Liberty No Taxation w/out Rep State Constitutions
Independence Achieved • Winning Independence • In 1783, the American colonies prevailed in their war against England. • The “Conservative” Revolution • Restored rights the colonists felt they had lost • Not a major change of lifestyles
After Lee’s resolution declaring independence Congress organized a committee to write a Constitution. John Dickinson of PA chaired committee. On July 2, 1777 The Articles of Confederation was submitted to the states for approval in November, 1777. The Government that Failed Richard Henry Lee
Ratification of the Articles had occurred by all the states in 1779 except for MD. For two years arguments raged between states. MD refused to approve until claimed lands between Allegheny Mountains and Mississippi River were given to Congress. The Government that Failed
Disputed western lands had been given to colonies upon original charters. Many of the land grants overlapped one another. MD and others had no land. MD wanted lands open to all and not those who claimed them (NY & VA) 1779 Congress passed a resolution stating that all lands west of Allegheny Mountains be given to Congress. Largest states agreed and then others followed. The Government that Failed
The Government that Failed • Articles of Confederation was organized all around the Congress • Single-house legislature • Represented 13 states on National matters • 2 to 7 Representatives • One vote per State
Powers of Congress • Similar to the powers of the Second Continental Congress: • Declare War • Make Peace • Make treaties with other nations • Send and receive ambassadors • Handle Indian affairs • Coin and borrow money • Set up Post Offices • Settle disputes between states • Admit new states • Set up Army & Navy
There was no Executive Branch under the Articles. Congress set up committees to handle problems. (At one point there were 99 committees) A lot of confusion due to committees having overlapping responsibilities. The President of the Articles was secretarial in nature. No true authority over committees. The first President was John Hanson from Maryland. He was unanimously elected. Each President could serve for a one year term. Articles of Confederation
Long lasting effects of the Articles: Land Ordinance of 1785 Northwest Ordinance State to state relations -Extradition for crimes State to state relations acceptance of laws, records and court decisions. State to state relations citizens move freely between states and treated as a citizen of all states.
After revolutionary war, settlers moved to the Northwest Territory. Questions about new lands occurred. Should these new lands be states? Should new states be admitted on equal footing with original states? How many people need to be in an area before it could become a state? Should slavery be allowed in these western lands? Land Ordinance of 1785
Land Ordinance of 1785 • Many settlers moved to the Northwest territory due to receiving land free or cheap price if cleared and farmed. • Congress needed money so they began selling the land. • How did the ordinance work? • First land was surveyed, measured and then divided into parts called townships. • Each township then subdivided into 36 equal parts. • National gov’t kept 4 parts for their own use. • Money from selling other parts went to public schools & pay off war debt.
Northwest Ordinance • Congress set up rules how each township was governed. • The area would be no fewer than 3 states and no more than 5 states. • Three stages of development: • Congress appoint a governor & 3 judges to make and carry out laws for territory. • Territory reaches 5,000 free adult males, then elect own legislature. • Territory population reached 60,000 then write a constitution and become a state with equal standing. • Guaranteed people freedom of speech, religion and trial by jury. • Prohibited slavery in the area. • This was the model for admission of new states & territories under the U.S. Constitution.
Each state allowed to print its own money. Congress could not regulate value. No federal court system. Congress could ask for troops. 9 of 13 states needed to agree before bill was law All 13 states had to agree for an amendment. No power to tax directly Not able to regulate interstate or foreign commerce. No executive branch to carry out laws. Money from one state not always accepted in another. Congress could not settle disputes between states. States refused requests. Congress had difficult time passing legislation. No Amendment ever passed Articles. Congress ask states for money. Could not pay debts. Economic quarrels between states & foreign trade restricted. Congress could not be effective. Weakness Result
Established a “league of friendship and perpetual union”. All gov’t power rested in the states. Liberalized voting laws & increased political participation in new middle class. Expanded economic middle class of farmers and & craft workers balanced old elite, professional working class. Idea of democracy spread and democracy took hold. Outcome – Articles of Confederation
1785 George Washington invited delegates from MD & VA to his home in Mt Vernon, VA. Discussion regarding navigation rights along the Potomac River. During discussions delegates realized many states having similar issues. MD & VA delegates invited other states to meet in MD in September of 1786. (Annapolis Convention) 5 of 13 states sent representatives. Not enough to make decisions. Madison & Hamilton called another meeting to discuss the weaknesses of Articles. Road to Constitutional Convention
Same time as Annapolis Convention, Shay’s rebellion occurred. Congress needed money to pay war debt. Mass tried to pay by raising taxes. Farmers had great difficulty paying as prices for crops had fallen. Mass gov’t took farms and sent people to debtors prison. No legal way to solve problem so Shay and his men marched on the courts and took state arsenal. Final straw – made elite concerned about individual’s property rights. Road to Constitutional Convention
Men at the Convention • Meeting to revise the Articles of Confederation • 55 men from 12 of the 13 states (not RI) • Mostly wealthy planters and merchants • Most college graduates with some political experience • Many were coastal residents from larger cities, not rural
Major Topics Discussed • How should the states be represented in the legislative branch? • How should the powers of government be divided? • How should slaves be counted in determining a state’s representation in the House of Representatives? • How should slaves be counted in determining the amount of direct taxes a state owed the federal government? • What power should Congress have over the trade between the states and between the states and foreign countries? • Who should elect the President, and how should this officer be elected?
VA Plan – Congress consists of: Two houses First house elected by the people, Second elected by the first house. Representation by population NJ Plan – Congress consists of: One house Each state has equal representation How should states be represented in the legislative branch?
The Great Compromise • Establishment of Congress (Same as today) • Two Houses • First house called the House of Representatives • Representation elected by people for a 2 year term • Representation based on population • Second house called the Senate • Senators elected by state legislatures for 6 years • Each state will have 2 senators