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SS8H4: Student will describe the impact of the events that led to the ratification of the United States Constitution and PowerPoint Presentation
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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.

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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

revolutionary war comes to an end
Revolutionary War comes to an end!

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

georgia s constitution 1777
Georgia’s Constitution: 1777
  • Replaced the ‘Rules and Regulations’ of the Royal Colony
  • Many philosophies:
    • Some wanted a government similar to what was in place: most of the power in the hands of a few wealthy landowners and merchants
    • Whigs: believed strongly in self-government
      • This idea won out:
        • GA decided on a government based on the separation of powers and the rights of citizens to determine the way they were governed
georgia s constitution 17774
Georgia’s Constitution: 1777
  • May 1777: GA adopted 1st state constitution at a constitutional convention in Savannah
    • Parish system eliminated; 8 counties formed
    • Unicameral legislature
      • Had very broad powers
        • The ability to make appointments for the judicial branch and the executive branch
    • Severely limited the influence and power of the governor (why?)
      • One year term
      • Selected by the legislature rather than voted on by the people
      • Ensured the actual power was in the hands of the 12 lawmakers from the legislature (executive council)
        • Executive council could accept or reject any proposals by the governor
  • John Treutlen (Salzburger)
    • First Governor (chosen by the constitutional convention)
articles of confederation
Articles of Confederation
  • Founding Fathers’ first attempt at a governing document
    • Intentionally created a weak national government (why?)
    • Emphasis on states’ rights with each state maintaining its own sovereignty, freedom, and independence:

“a firm league of friendship with each other”

    • One house legislature (unicameral): Confederation Congress
    • No chief executive; no national court system
    • Each state had ONE vote
      • 9 out of the 13 states had to approve any decision
weaknesses of the articles of confederation
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
  • Confederation Congress could not pay colonial soldiers after the war
  • Did not have the power to regulate trade between the states or between the US and foreign countries
    • Each state had its own money, making trade difficult among states
  • British reoccupied some of the forts in the Northwest Territory (north of the Ohio River)
    • Since the US was powerless to stop them, other countries had little respect for the US
constitutional convention
Constitutional Convention

Began as a way for the large states to discuss trade issues.

Met SECRETLY in Philadelphia (1787).

55 Delegates

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

James Madison

the virginia plan
The Virginia Plan

Large States

Proposed by Governor Edmund Randolph (Virginia)

Included the following:

3 Branches of government

Checks and balances

Bicameral legislature

Membership based on free population of state

Legislature chooses executive

Make laws

Set up the courts

Small states felt this gave far too much power to the Larger states



Chart is in thousands

the new jersey plan
The New Jersey Plan

Small States

Wanted to change very little about the Articles of Confederation.

Unicameral legislature

Each state would have equal representation.

Allow Congress to tax nation’s citizens

Edmund Randolph

the great compromise
The Great Compromise

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

Abraham Baldwin

secondary convention issues
Secondary Convention Issues


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)

why did georgia ratify the new constitution
Why did Georgia ratify the new Constitution?
  • Youngest state: needed a strong national government for protection
    • Westward expansion into land occupied by Indians caused conflict
      • Georgia needed the strong national government to protect it from the Indian threat and to acquire land from the Indians in order to expand
  • Ratified the Constitution on January 2, 1788
    • Fourth state to ratify by a vote of 26-0