Presentation on theme: "The Founding Fathers and a “More Perfect Union”"— Presentation transcript:
1The Founding Fathers and a “More Perfect Union” The Building of the American Constitution
2The First Government of the United States was Fatally Flawed Congress couldn’t levy taxesCongress couldn’t regulate commerceThere was no National JudiciaryEach state had just one vote despite populationNational government couldn’t act against a stateThe national government was bankrupt following warStates became embroiled in trade wars
3Solution? FEDERALISMCompromise (“The Great”) allowed all states to share sovereignty with the national governmentThe national government took supremacy over many matters including commerce, defense, civil liberties, etc.State governments took supremacy over issues of great local importance including education, etc.Federalism in America is a combination of confederal (unitary) and federal theories.
4The Three Compromises in Philadelphia All rooted in the idea of “Equality”Madison and the “Tyranny of the Majority”Equality of the StatesSlaveryPolitical equality [right to vote]
5EQUALITY OF THE STATES PROBLEM SOLUTION SHOULD STATES BE REPRESENTED EQUALLY OR IN PROPORTION TO THEIR POPULATION?SOLUTIONCONNECTICUT COMPROMISE: STATES HAVE EQUAL REPRESENTATION IN THE SENATE AND PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSES
6SLAVERY PROBLEM SOLUTION WHAT SHOULD BE “DONE” WITH SLAVERY STATES AGREED TO ALLOW CONGRESS TO STOP IMPORTATION OF SLAVES AFTER 1808-NO ISSUES OR OTHER PROBLEMS ADDRESSED
7POLTICAL EQUALITY PROBLEM SOLUTION SHOULD THE RIGHT TO VOTE BE BASED ON UNIVERSAL MANHOOD SUFFRAGE OR SHOULD IT BE RESTRICTED [education, property, wealth, etc]SOLUTIONLET THE STATES DECIDE QUALIFICATIONS FOR VOTING
8Federalism – The American Version Division of power between national, state, and municipal governmentsCompromise between dictatorial national government and independence of the statesHistorically, the national government has continued to gain power:Expressed Powers: “enumerated” in the ConstitutionImplied Powers: “suggested” in the ConstitutionInherent Powers: certain powers which all independent nations have; i.e. foreign policy matters
9This Uniquely American System is embodied by the Constitution of 1789 – at the time a very controversial documentSupporters were called FederalistsJames MadisonAlexander HamiltonJohn JayEmphasized importance of a strong central government (unitary) to improve on the problems of “the Articles”Published “Federalist Papers” in New YorkOpponents were known as Anti-FederalistsPatrick HenryJohn HancockSamuel AdamsOpposed surrendering state powers to the central governmentConcerned about the return of a strong Executive (King George paranoia)Argued for a Bill of Rights to counteract the strong national gov’t.
10Basic Principles of the Constitution Representative GovernmentFederalismSeparation of PowersChecks and BalancesRule of Law6. Popular Sovereignty
11Representative Government Popular Sovereignty Selection of representatives in “free” and scheduled electionsGovernance by the “consent of the governed”
12Why is the National Government getting stronger? Many problems are of a national natureStates need the national government for $$Unequal distribution of wealth among and within statesInability or unwillingness of states to deal with certain problems“Statements of power” to the national government from the Constitution:General Welfare clauseCommerce PowerDefense of the NationNecessary and Proper clause – elastic clauseCourts have slowly and methodically taken away states constitutional rights
13Duties of the National Government Guarantee territorial integrity of the statesGuarantee a republican form of governmentProtect each state from invasionProtect against domestic violence within states1894 Pullman Strike1957 Little Rock Crisis1962 University of Mississippi1963 University of Alabama1992 L.A. RiotsAssist with natural disastersCongress chooses to admit new states
14Powers DENIED to the States No coining or printing of moneyNo tariffsNo troops in peacetimeNo signing of treaties with other nations without Congressional consentNo slavery (13th Am.)No depriving of life, liberty, property without due process (14th Am.)No denial of vote on basis of race (15th Am.)No denial of vote on basis of gender (19th Am.)No power to destroy the federal system (Civil War?)No “NULLIFICATION”
15Powers and Responsibilities of the States NO ENUMERATED POWERS IN THE CONSTITUTION (10th Am – “powers not given to national government are reserved to the states”)EducationMarriageVotingProperty LawsPublic Safety LawsWelfareEstablishment of local governmentsState taxes
16Concurrent Powers Powers shared by National and State Governments Powers not denied to the states or given to the national governmentCollecting TaxesMaking and enforcing lawsBorrowing and spending $$Regulating Commerce*Education*Welfare*Highway Construction*Urban Renewal
18Separation of PowersInsures against any one branch from gaining too much powerDifferent constituencies for different branches of governmentDifferent terms of office for different branches of government
19Checks and Balances Executive (Presidency) Legislative (Congress) Checks on CongressPropose legislationVeto legislationChecks on JudiciaryAppoints federal judgesEnforces court decisions (or not!)Legislative (Congress)Checks on ExecutiveOverride vetoImpeachmentRatify treaties / justices / budgetImpeachment / ConfirmationAmendmentsJudiciary (Federal Courts)Check on ExecutiveReview of Presidential Actions / BehaviourCheck on LegislatureJudicial Review
21THE LIVING CONSTITUTION A Document to create“A Government for the Ages”
22The Constitution 200 years later! The Framers created a document that has evolved over time, allowing it to adapt to societal changes.Elastic ClauseAmendmentsInformal Methods
23The Elastic Clause Article I, Sec. 8, Line 18 “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department thereof.”Constitution evolves as National Government sees more opportunities to make “necessary and proper” laws.
24Amendment Process Only FORMAL way to “change” the constitution. Requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire CongressThree-quarters (3/4) of state-wide legislatures must ratify
25[called by Congress after 2/3 of the states have requested it.] THE OTHER “FORMAL WAY”¾ OF STATES RATIFY2/3 OF CONGRESSCONSTITUTIONALCONVENTION[called by Congress after 2/3 of the states have requested it.]CONSTITUTIONALCONVENTION[¾ of states ratify it]
26Informal Ways to Amend/”Change” The Constitution Actions of CongressPassage of laws, i.e. creation of Federal court system, agencies, commissionsActions of the ExecutiveForeign policy, commander in chief powerActions of the CourtsJUDICIAL REVIEWActions of Political PartiesParty Arrangement and Division in CongressUnwritten TraditionsPrecedent of two-term presidencyCreation of “The Cabinet”Congressional Committee System
27The United States Constitution of 1789 StructureBRIEF VERSION!
28Article I – Legislative Bicameral HousePower to make laws, taxes, etc.ELASTIC CLAUSE (sec. 8, line 18)Article II – ExecutiveLaw Enforcer, Commander-in-Chief, etc.Article III – JudiciarySupreme Court and Lower Federal CourtsArticle IV – Miscellaneous GuaranteesGuarantee of republican form of governmentArticle V – AmendmentsArticle VI - Recognition of “Supreme Law”Article VII - Ratification