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SS8H4: Student will describe the impact of the events that led to the ratification of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both the Georgia Constitution of 1777 and the Articles of Confederation and explain how weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation led to a need to revise the Articles
Describe the role of Georgia at the Constitutional Convention of 1787; include the role of Abraham Baldwin and William Few, and the reasons why Georgia ratified the new constitution
During most of the war, Georgia was under two governments:
Royal (British-Governor Wright)
Rebel (Patriot-Governor Treutlen)
June 1781: Georgia militia, under Colonel Clarke, with help from the Continental Army, took Augusta from the British
Battle of Yorktown (October 1781)
The Continental Army, assisted by the French, defeated the British led by General Lord Cornwallis.
The French delayed British reinforcements long enough for General Washington’s victory
Spring 1782: British forces left Savannah believing they could not defeat the Americans (three years after the siege of Savannah)
Treaty of Paris (September 1783)
Ended Revolutionary War…signed by Great Britain, France, and The United States
“a firm league of friendship with each other”
Began as a way for the large states to discuss trade issues.
Met SECRETLY in Philadelphia (1787).
Every state but Rhode Island
Wealthy, respected, merchants, physicians, generals, governors, lawyers…
Georgia Assembly sent William Pierce, Abraham Baldwin, and William Few as delegates to the CC (only Few and Baldwin stayed until the end, signing the new US Constitution
Proposed by Governor Edmund Randolph (Virginia)
Included the following:
3 Branches of government
Checks and balances
Membership based on free population of state
Legislature chooses executive
Set up the courts
Small states felt this gave far too much power to the Larger states
Chart is in thousands
Wanted to change very little about the Articles of Confederation.
Each state would have equal representation.
Allow Congress to tax nation’s citizens
Connecticut (Small State)
Took ideas from both plans and constructed what we now know as the Constitution.
Compromise: a way to settle disagreements in which each side gives way a little in it’s demands
Abraham Baldwin’s vote for the small state position forced the convention to work out this compromise; Baldwin served on the committee to work out the Great Compromise
Created a bicameral (two house) legislature:
Senate: upper house…each state has 2 members
House of Representatives: lower house…by state population
Three-fifths Compromise: 3/5 of the states slave population could count towards the overall population
i.e..5000 slaves in a state=3000 counted towards that states population
The U.S. Constitution does NOT mention slavery
An agreement was made that in 20 years (1807) importation of slaves would stop
Fugitive Workers Clause: Runaway slaves must be returned to their masters
House of Representatives: popular vote
Senate: selected by the state legislature
President: Electoral vote
Commander-in-Chief of U.S. armed forces
Responsible for relations with other countries
4 year term
What made the Constitution a great document was that it allowed for changes as the country grew (Amendment Process)
Amend:to change without having to rewrite (Bill of Rights: 1st Ten)