Toward a New Constitution • Articles of Confederation: rules that governed United States after the Revolutionary War • Weaknesses of the Articles: • congress could not pay soldiers • states could not be forced to pay • trade between states not regulated • trade with other countries not controlled • George Washington and other leaders agreed to gather to discuss the problems
The Constitutional Convention • 1787: Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia • Fifty-five representatives attended • George Washington presided over the convention • Founding Fathers: James Madison • Most members well-educated and conservative • Delegates knew problems of the weak national government and sought solution • http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=5ef48da5-627b-44e0-acfb-dc30a9928083 James Madison is considered the father of the constitution because of his note taking and early drafting at the convention.
Constitutional Convention of 1787 • William Few and Abraham Baldwin represented Georgia at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia; George Washington presided • U.S. Constitution established three governmental branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial • Senate and House of Representatives established; only three-fifths of slave population would count toward representation
Define Constitution? • A fundamental plan of operation for a government • Highest level of law telling what government can and can’t do. • Sets up different branches of government • Includes important rights and liberties of the people • http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=8662687a-9fd8-4905-8b76-1990175f38f5
Organizing Government • Large states and small states had different interests • Virginia Plan: • strong national government • three branches (legislative, judicial, executive) • legislative branch (House of Representatives and Senate) elected by proportional representation (large states get more votes) • Small states did not like Virginia Plan because they could be dominated by large states • New Jersey Plan: gave more power to small states, but had a weak national government; number of representatives would be the same for each state.
The Great Compromise • Great Compromise, or Connecticut Compromise: House of Representative would have “proportional representation” and Senate “equal representation” • 2 Houses would make up Congress aka the Legislative Branch, not 1: • The House of Reps – States would be represented according to population. • The Senate – Each state would have 2 senators, regardless of state population.
Compromises on Slavery • Slaves were a large part of population in the South • Debate as to whether to count slaves in “proportional representation” of House of Representatives • Three-Fifths Compromise: States were allowed to count 3 of every 5 slaves in their census for purposes of representation • Agreed to stop importing slaves after 1808
Compromise on the Presidency • Should citizens or Congress elect the President? • Decided on electoral college system: • Each state’s legislature allowed to have as many “electors” as they had members of Congress • State representatives voted for the electors who would vote for President and Vice-President
A Republican Form of Government • Delegates studied many types of government • republic: a form of government in which power resides with the citizens who elect representatives to make laws • James Madison described a government in which a large number of people voted for the representatives
Ratification • ratification: to approve or make valid • September 17, 1787: Constitution approved • Federalists: people who wanted a strong national government • Antifederalists: wanted states to have more power than national government • By 1791, ten amendments approved – known as The Bill of Rights – to protect citizens’ rights • Delaware was first state to ratify; Georgia was the fourth state to ratify • June 1788 – Constitution ratified by 9 states and becomes the framework for US government
U.S. Constitution Ratified in 1788 • Georgia was fourth state to ratify (approve) the new Constitution • Constitution could be amended (changed); first 10 amendments became Bill of Rights • George Washington became the first President
GA Supported the Constitution b/c… • The Arts of Confederation failed to create an effective national government for the new nation. • Georgia needed the protection that a strong national government could provide against the aggressive Indian population. • They liked the Bill of Rights idea and the compromises in the constitution b/c individual liberties would be protected, and the national government would not be too strong. • Also, Spain was a potential threat, b/c they controlled East and West Florida b/c of the Treaty of Paris of 1783.
- In May of 1787, delegates from each state except Rhode Island got together again to draft the Constitution. • - GA sent 4 delegates: William Pierce, William Houstoun, William Few, and Abraham Baldwin. • - Few and Baldwin had the greatest influence and impact as they were the only 2 to stick around the Constitutional Convention to sign the final draft of the Constitution of America.
Principles of the U.S. Government • Sovereignty: supreme power of government rests with the people • electorate (voters) choose leaders to make laws and run the country • US is not a “democracy” but a representative democracy or republic • Constitutionalism: all representatives are bound by the rules of the Constitution • lawmakers cannot just make up laws as they see fit • Federalism: national government and state governments share power and authority • http://www.schooltube.com/video/db67adfc1306dc1eb504/The-Bill-of-Rights-Hand-Game Click to return to Table of Contents.
Postwar Georgia • Economy in ruin; government provided food basics as farmers tried to reestablish their farms • Capital moved to Augusta • Georgia delegates met in 1788 and 1789; adopted state constitution similar to national government, with three branches • General Assembly had two houses, Senate and House of Representatives; appointed governor and judges; controlled spending decisions Click to return to Table of Contents
Section 1: Creating A New Government • Essential Question • What was Georgia’s role in the Constitutional Convention?