Section 1: Toward a New Constitution ESSENTIAL QUESTION : – What were the main elements of the Constitution of 1787?
Section 1: Toward a New Constitution –conservative –infrastructure –republic –proportional representation –Great Compromise –Three-Fifths Compromise –electoral college –sovereignty –Federalists –Antifederalists –electorate –constitutionalism –separation of powers –checks and balances –federalism What words do I need to know?
Toward a New Constitution Articles of Confederation: rules that governed United States after the Revolutionary WarArticles of Confederation 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 Most members well-educated and conservative Delegates knew problems of the weak national government and sought solution
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
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
The Great Compromise Equal Representation: each state would have equal votes in Congress – favored by small states Great Compromise, or Connecticut Compromise: House of Representative would have “proportional representation” and Senate “equal representation”
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
Ratification ratification: to approve or make valid September 17, 1787: Constitution approvedConstitution 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 The Bill of 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
Principles of the U.S. Government 1.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 2.Constitutionalism: all representatives are bound by the rules of the Constitution lawmakers cannot just make up laws as they see fit 3.Federalism: national government and state governments share power and authority Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 2: The Legislative Branch of Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION: –What is the role of the legislative branch of government?
Section 2: The Legislative Branch of Government What words do I need to know? –expressed powers –implied powers –elastic clause –bill –veto
The Members of Congress First article of the Constitution described the legislative branch Congress is at the head of this branchCongress Congress is “bicameral” or has two bodies (parts): House of Representatives and Senate
The Senate 100 members – two from each state100 members Qualifications: 1.30 years old 2.citizen of US for nine years 3.must be resident of state represented 4.Senators elected by the people (17 th Amendment) 5.six year term 6.one third of senators are up for re-election every two years Vice President of US is president of the Senate – presides over sessions President Pro Tempore, majority leader, minority leader are other senate leaders
House of Representatives 435 members – the number of representatives is based on a state’s population435 members Reapportionment happens every 10 years Georgia has 13 representatives based on the 2000 census Qualifications: 1.25 years old 2.citizen of US for seven years 3.must be resident of state represented 4.two year term Speaker of the House and majority leader are leaders in the House
The Powers of Congress expressed powers: written in the Constitution implied powers: derive from the expressed powers, but not written specifically elastic clause: Article 1, Section 8 stretches the power of Congress to include implied powers House may impeach, but Senate holds impeachment trials House must start revenue bills, but Senate must ratify treaties and confirm presidential appointments
How Congress Operates Committees used to organize work of Congress standing committee: monitor federal agencies select committee: deal with specific issues and can be formed at any time conference committee: works out compromises between the House and Senate joint committee: members from House and Senate to deal with a national issue Congressmen sit on several committees subcommittee: part of a larger committee assigned to a particular task Committees do their work through hearings and investigations
How Laws are Made bill: a proposed law Bills must be introduced by a sponsor (Congressman) who will work to get the bill voted into law Subcommittees and Committees will discuss and modify the bill before it is voted on The House and Senate must agree on the bill before it can go to the president to sign or veto If the president signs the bill, it becomes law; if it’s vetoed, it can only become a law if two-thirds of vote of each house of Congress Note: if the president fails to sign or veto within 10 days, the bill becomes law Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 3: The Executive Branch of Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION – What is the role of the executive branch of government?
The Executive Branch of Government The president has enough power to do the job, but the Constitution keeps him from having too much powerpresident Founding fathers did not want another king In the beginning, the Electoral College had the job of choosing the president
The Electoral College electors: members of the Electoral College chosen from each state Electors vote for the president; citizens vote for electors, not directly for the president 538 electors: number matches the number of senators and representatives from each state The candidate with the most votes in a state gets all the electors Electors are not legally bound to vote for the candidate chosen by the state’s citizens Electors meet in their state’s capitol; votes sent to the president of the Sentate Inauguration Day is January 20 following the election in November
Parts of the Executive Branch President & Vice President Qualifications –35 years old –natural-born citizen –resident of US for 14 years –limited to two consecutive terms (22 nd Amendment) Vice president takes over if president dies, resigns, or is removed from officeVice president Speaker of the House and other leaders in line to take over if vice president cannot take over Executive bureaucracy: Office of the President, Cabinet, independent agencies, regulatory commissions, government corporations
Executive Office of the President Leaders serve the president and can be fired at any time Includes: –Office of Management & Budget –National Security Council –Council of Economic Advisors
The Cabinet Members advise the president Serve as heads of the executive departments Members appointed by the president and approved by the Senate Currently 15 members
Independent Agencies Serve public interest and keep government running smoothly EPA: Environmental Protection Agency – example of independent agency, supervises efforts to clean air and water GSA: General Services Administration – oversees spending by the government
Federal Regulatory Commissions Have power to make rules and punish violators Leaders appointed by the president Examples: –FCC: Federal Communications Commission –SEC: Securities & Exchange Commission –FDA: Food & Drug Administration
Government Corporations Established to provide products or services for the American people Examples: –FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – insures bank deposits and protects banking customers –USPS: United States Postal Service Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 4: The Judicial Branch of Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION –What is the role of the judicial branch of government?
Section 4: The Judicial Branch of Government What words do I need to know? –judicial review
Judicial Branch of Government Supreme Court Lower federal courts a part of this branch Decide the meaning and interpretation of the Constitution and laws Protects citizens from mistreatment by other branches of government
The Supreme Court Highest court in USA Chief justice plus eight associate justices Decides cases involving foreign countries or between states Reviews decisions of lower courts judicial review: ability to set aside actions of the legislative or judicial branch Chief justice presides over impeachments
Other Federal Courts Congress established federal circuit court districts Georgia has three district court regions US Court of Appeals for 11 th Circuit is in Atlanta Bankruptcy courts are a part of this system
Special Courts Courts for special purposes Examples: –Tax Court –US Court of Appeals for Armed Forces –US Court of International Trade –US Court of Federal Claims
The System of Checks and Balances Constitution keeps the branches of government equally important Sometimes the branches of government do not get along well – conflicts can arise if one branch tries to find a way around another Click to return to Table of Contents.