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Chapter 7, Section 3. A More Perfect Union. Ideas That Shape the Constitution. Republic : a nation in which voters elect representatives to govern them Americans were the first people to write a constitution setting up a government Many ideas in the Constitution came from other people.

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chapter 7 section 3

Chapter 7, Section 3

A More Perfect Union

ideas that shape the constitution
Ideas That Shape the Constitution
  • Republic: a nation in which voters elect representatives to govern them
  • Americans were the first people to write a constitution setting up a government
  • Many ideas in the Constitution came from other people
league of the iroquois
League of the Iroquois
  • Used as a model for their idea of unity
  • Member nations governed themselves but joined together for defense
  • At the Constitutional Convention an Iroquois treaty was read, which began “we the people, to form a union…”
  • Similar language was used in the preamble of the United States Constitution
ideas from europe
Ideas from Europe
  • England:
    • Magna Cartaincluded limiting power of the ruler
    • Representative government
    • English bill of Rights: protected the right of individuals
ideas from europe1
Ideas from Europe
  • Enlightenment: to improve society through the use of reason
    • John Locke: 1690 published Two Treatises on Government
  • 2 ideas

1. All people had natural rights to life, liberty, and property

2. Government is an agreement between the ruler and the ruled

    • Ruler must enforce laws and protect the people
    • If a ruler violates the people’s natural rights the people have a right to rebel
ideas from europe2
Ideas from Europe
  • Framers of the Constitution drew up the Constitution as a contract between the people and their government
ideas from europe3
Ideas from Europe
  • Montesquieu: 1748 published The Spirit of Laws
  • Urged that the power of government be divided amongst 3 separate branches
      • Legislative, executive, judicial
      • Separation of powers: division was designed to keep any person or group from gaining too muchpower
      • Powers of government should be clearly defined to keep individuals or groups from using government power from their own purposes
a federal system
A Federal System
  • How should they divide power between the national government and the states?
  • Federalism: division of power between states and the national government
  • People elect both national and state officials
  • National government acts for the national as whole.
  • States have power over many local matters

Powers are spelled out in the Constitution

  • Coin money, declare war, regulate trade between states and between countries

Powers are spelled out in the Constitution.

    • Regulate trade within their state’s borders
    • Powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or the people
the supreme law of the land
“The supreme law of the land”
  • The Constitution is the supreme law of the land
  • In any disputes between states or states and the national government, the Constitution is the final authority
separation of powers
Separation of Powers
  • Created to keep the government from becoming too powerful
the legislative branch
The Legislative branch
  • Congress: to make laws
    • House of Representatives
      • Elected for 2 year terms
    • Senate
      • 6 year terms
  • Article 1 of the Constitution sets out the powers of Congress
  • Collect taxes, regulate foreign and interstate trade, declare war, and raise and support armies
the executive branch
The executive branch
  • Some objected to the executive branch (memories of King George III)
  • Madison argued an executive was needed to balance the legislature
the executive branch1
The executive branch
  • Article 2 of the Constitution sets up the Executive branch
  • Headed by the president
      • Vice President
      • Any advisor appointed by the President
      • Serve 4 year terms
      • Carry out all laws passed by Congress
      • Commander and chief of the armed forces
      • Foreign relation
the executive branch2
The executive branch
  • Article 3 of the Constitution calls for a Supreme Court and allows Congress to set up other federal courts
    • Hear cases that involve the Constitution or any laws passed by Congress
    • Also cases arising between 2 or more states
electing the president
Electing the President
  • 1700s news traveled slowly, how would voters get to know a candidate for president?
  • Electoral college; made up of electors from every state
    • Electors meet and vote for the President and Vice president
a system of checks and balances
A System of Checks and Balances
  • Checks and balances: each branch of the federal government has some way to check or control the other two branches
checks on congress
Checks on Congress
  • Bill: proposed law
    • Congress passes a bill which then goes to the president to be signed in to law
checks on congress1
Checks on Congress
  • Vetoing: rejecting a bill
  • The president can check the power of Congress by rejecting a bill
  • Overriding: overruling the President’s veto
    • Congress can then check the president by overruling the President’s veto
    • 2/3 of both houses must vote for the bill again
    • A bill can become a law without the signature of the president
checks on the president
Checks on the president
  • Senate must approve presidential appointments
  • Ex. Ambassadors to foreign countries, federal judges
  • President can negotiate a treaty with other countries
  • Treaty only becomes a law with 2/3 of the Senate’s approval
checks on the courts
Checks on the Courts
  • President appoints judges that must be approved by the Senate
  • Congress may remove judges from office
a living document
A Living Document
  • This system has been working for more than 200 years
  • It is a living document because it can be changed to meet new conditions in the United States