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Why Democracy?. Democracy. Rule by the People Direct / Indirect Federal System Confederal System. Majority Rule / Minority Rights Recognize Individual worth Promote Respect for the Law Promote the Public Good. Constitutional Convention 1787.

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  • Rule by the People

  • Direct / Indirect

  • Federal System

  • Confederal System

Majority Rule / Minority Rights

Recognize Individual worth

Promote Respect for the Law

Promote the Public Good

Constitutional convention 1787
Constitutional Convention1787

  • Constitution  a basic set of laws and principles establishing the nation’s government

  • Based on Philosophies of Hobbes, Lock, Montesquieu

  • Other Influences: Magna Carta (Great Charter), Petition of Right, 1628, English Bill of Rights, 1689

* Magna Carta

a. rule of law

b. bicameral (two chamber)

  • Petition of Rights

    a. limited monarchy (executive)

    b. cannot imprison people without reason

    c. force citizens to house soldiers

    d. no military rule in times of peace

  • English Bill of Rights

    a. Monarch (executive) cannot rule

    without consent of legislature

    b. Right to Petition

    c. Free elections

    d. Rule with consent of people it governed

Articles of confederation
Articles of Confederation

  • 1st form of “unified” government

  • Can’t we all just get along?…..according to Alexander Hamilton, the answer is no.

Basic set up
Basic Set up

  • Unicameral, one legislative branch, representatives chosen by the state legislatures

  • Loose association of states, states stronger than federal government

  • Majority approval required (nine is the magic number)

  • Make treaties with natives, appoint representatives to other countries, borrow money

  • Admit new states to the Union

First try
First Try

  • Articles of Confederation

    a. no executive

    b. no currency

    c. no judiciary

    d. no ability to tax

    e. no ability to regulate commerce

    *Other Problems

    Ratification and amendment process

More problems
More Problems

  • Culture

  • Economy

  • Geography

Shay s rebellion
Shay’s Rebellion

  • 1786---- Group of “unhappy” farmers and ex revolutionaries gathered up their hoes and rakes and storm the town to stop foreclosures on their homes……ended when they attacked an arsenal and were cut down by cannon fire


  • Who is there? Why

  • “Well bred, well fed, well ed and well wed”

  • After the Revolution and we are free

Convention 1787
Convention 1787

  • Virginia Plan

    a. bicameral legislature

    b. strong executive

    c. strong judiciary

    d. direct elections for one house/appointment for the other house

    e. levy taxes, make laws for nation, regulate trade

New Jersey Plan

Counter proposal

a. weak executive

b. unicameral legislature/represented =

c. Representatives chosen from state

d. supreme court appointed by legislature.

e. levy taxes, regulate trade

Called for a stronger state government with representatives coming from state legislature.

  • Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan)

  • 2 chambers of Congress

    a. one elected and based on population

    b. one appointed by House and = representation.

    Both Houses must approve legislation, by a majority of votes to become a law

  • 3/5 Compromise

    problem was they wanted slaves to be counted for taxation and not representation


    Slaves would be counted 3/5 of a person for both purposes

Federalist anti federalist
Federalist / Anti-Federalist

  • Federalist had advantages

    a. control of the press

    b. better represented

    c. beat the Anti-Federalist to the draw

  • Anti-Federalist

    a. won the argument for a Bill of Rights only after ratification of the Constitution.

The constitution
The Constitution no need for a “Bill of Rights”

Limited Government

Article 1, section 9, says what powers that the federal government does not have.

Separation of Powers

No one branch has too much power

Checks and Balances

Divides the power within the government.

Changing the constitution
Changing the Constitution no need for a “Bill of Rights”

  • 2 methods of changing the Constitution

    a) informally

    b) formally

    Changing formally very difficult, so informal ways to make changes developed

Informal methods
Informal Methods no need for a “Bill of Rights”

  • Acts of Congress (Judiciary Act of 1789)

  • Judicial Rulings (Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of education)

  • Presidential Actions (police actions, executive privilege)

  • Customs and traditions (Cabinet, parties, presidential nominating conventions, etc)

Formal methods
Formal Methods no need for a “Bill of Rights”

  • Proposal

    a. 2/3 vote from both houses of Congress (all done this way). No presidential veto possible

    b. Constitutional Convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the states Serious implications for this one

  • Ratification no need for a “Bill of Rights”

    a. ¾ of state legislatures

    1. all but 21st amendment done this way.

    2. most state legislatures ratify with a simple majority, but some require a supermajority….(eg. 3/5, 2/3, ¾)

  • Ratifying conventions in ¾ of states no need for a “Bill of Rights”

    1) 21st amendment done this way

    2) A more directly democratic way: people elect delegates who state their positions on the proposed amendment. Citizens are in essences casting their votes on the amendment.

    Time limits for ratification: Generally 7 years

Types of power
Types of Power no need for a “Bill of Rights”

  • Express/Enumerated

  • Implied

  • Inherent

  • State Powers: reserved

  • Concurrent Powers

  • National Supremacy (Article VI) McCulloch v. Maryland 1819

  • Full Faith and Credit Clause, Elastic Clause, Commerce Clause, Privileges and Immunities Clause

Powers no need for a “Bill of Rights”

Exclusive Powers of the National Government

  • Under the Constitution, powers reserved to the national government include:

  • Print money (bills and coins)Declare warEstablish an army and navyEnter into treaties with foreign governmentsRegulate commerce between states and international tradeEstablish post offices and issue postageMake laws necessary to enforce the Constitution

Powers Shared by National and State Government no need for a “Bill of Rights”

Shared, or "concurrent" powers include:

  • Setting up courtsCreating and collecting taxesBuilding highwaysBorrowing moneyMaking and enforcing lawsChartering banks and corporationsSpending money for the betterment of the general welfareTaking (condemning) private property with just compensation

States reserved powers
States (Reserved Powers) no need for a “Bill of Rights”

Exclusive Powers of State Governments

Powers reserved to state governments include:

  • Establish local governmentsIssue licenses (driver, hunting, marriage, etc.)Regulate intrastate (within the state) commerceConduct electionsRatify amendments to the U.S. ConstitutionProvide for public health and safetyExercise powers neither delegated to the national government or prohibited from the states by the U.S. Constitution (For example, setting legal drinking and smoking ages.)