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Putting Together the Pieces of the United States Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "Putting Together the Pieces of the United States Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting Together the Pieces of the United States Constitution
Piece It Together! Putting Together the Pieces of the United States Constitution

2 Time to Review! What happened to the Articles of Confederation?
Farmers in Massachusetts were beginning to lose their farms due to economic problems The Farmers blamed high taxes imposed by the state for the economic downturn Many farmers lost their farms and homes; some were even put in prison As a result, local farmers, led by Daniel Shays decided to rebel by shutting down the courts using force – they even raided a federal arsenal to take weapons for their rebellion The following slides discuss Shays’ Rebellion which led to the Philadelphia Convention where delegates were to revise the Articles of Confederation.

3 Review: Shays’ Rebellion
Shays’ rebellion scared the colonists Who was going to maintain order if the states couldn’t? Would rebellions like this begin to spread? Could the country survive with things like this going on? The colonists knew that something needed to be done about all of the problems the government was having under the Articles. Discuss the fears of the Colonists as a result of Shays’ rebellion. The main idea is that the central government had no power to stop rebellions like this when all of the power was vested in the states.

4 Philadelphia Convention
At the urging of the states, Congress invited delegates from all of the states to Philadelphia The purpose of this meeting was “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation” Delegates (representatives of the states attending the convention) were only to revise the Articles… …but did they do more than revise? The delegates to the Convention, which was a confidential conference, would throw out the Articles of Confederation to write the United States Constitution.

5 Philadelphia Convention
Who was there? 55 delegates to the Philadelphia Convention All were white , male, landowners Delegates included: Benjamin Franklin – one of the most respected men in America; primary role at the convention was to encourage cooperation among the delegates James Madison – had a plan for a stronger national government; the “Father of the Constitution” George Washington – highly respected; believed in a strong national government Discuss who was at the Philadelphia Convention. The 55 delegates were composed of white, male landowners – some of whom possessed above average wealth. Groups not represented were women, slaves, and Native Americans. Photos from

6 Philadelphia Convention
The delegates realized : 1. The problems with the Articles of Confederation were serious. Many felt the problems needed to be addressed in an entirely new constitution. 2. The proceedings of the convention needed to be a secret in order for delegates to freely express their opinions, not be influenced by outside ideas 3. All states received one vote at the convention This was done to please the small states who felt it was unfair to give more votes to the larger states Discuss the main ideas the delegates had going into the Philadelphia Convention. They were aware they would not be “revising” the Articles of Confederation, but writing an entirely new constitution. The proceedings were kept a secret so those inside the convention felt they could speak freely, not be impacted by outside opinion, and so the public could not see the arguments that took place during the writing of this document. Many felt if the general public knew the conflicts behind the document, the public would not support something that was so potentially divisive. Small states wanted equal representation at the convention, thus the one state, one vote system. The small states threatened to leave if the larger states were given more votes. Discuss the title of “Framers” given to the delegates of the Philadelphia Convention. Those who attended would be known as the “Framers,” as they would be the ones to create the framework of the United States government in the Constitution.

7 Time to Review! How would you define…
constitution Have students offer their own definition of what a constitution is. Definition provided on the following slide.

8 In general, a constitution is a document that organizes a government.
Rule Book Think of a constitution as a rule book for government… The following slide will elaborate on the definition as applied to the U.S. Constitution. Ask students if they know of anything else a constitution does (lists the rights of the people, says what government can and cannot do, etc)

9 The United States Constitution does the following:
Sets up the government Defines power and limits of the government Lays out some of the rights of the people Ask students what “social contract” means (review of Locke PowerPoint – the agreement between the people and the government: the people agree to live under and obey the government, the people give the power to make and enforce laws, and the government gives protection to the people in return. Social Contract ?

10 What is a constitutional government?
In a constitutional government, there are limits set on those who are responsible for running the government. In our country, Those limits come from the U.S. Constitution. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion… Here are some limits placed on those in our government: A President of the United States of America…shall hold his office during a term of four years… As students how each example from the Constitution provides a limit on the branch of government: Legislative branch: It limits the power of the government so that the legislative branch cannot establish a religion for all to follow. Executive branch: the term limit placed on the President requires elections to be held every four years so no president can remain in power beyond the consent of the people through voting (this was to avoid creating a situation like having a king where they help power in the government for life). Judicial branch: the Supreme Court may only hear cases that are outlined to be in their “original jurisdiction” (court of origin) or those that have gone through the appropriate courts. The Supreme Court cannot pick up any case they want to rule on. How is this a limit on the Legislative branch? In all Cases affecting Ambassadors…and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction… Executive Judicial

11 Constitutional Government Chart
The Constitution creates limits and guidelines for the government in order to protect the people from an abuse of power. Constitution The constitution is a social contract between We the People and the government. The Constitution protects the rights of the people from the government. In a constitutional government, it all starts with the people… This slide will look at CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENTS: Review student handout “What is a Constitution?” from Section 3, Lesson: What is a Constitution? The first step in a “constitutional government” is the establishment of a social contract between the people and the government. The result of that social contract is a constitution that will outline the limits and guidelines placed on government and the rights of the people to be protected from the government. The people must consent to give the power to make and enforce laws to the government. The government is structured to offer protection for the people through public safety measures and the justice system. Government The People The People

12 Balancing Act It is essential to create a balance
of liberty and rights with order and security. This is the role of a constitution in a constitutional government. Have students discuss what they think liberty and rights would be and what order and security would be. Why is the balance of these things so important? What happens if we give up liberty and rights? What happens if we give up order and security? Liberty and Rights Order and Security Balancing Act Constitutional Government

13 What does the United States Constitution Look Like?
The Framers included: Preamble 7 Articles Amendments* Amendments would be included later on The following slides will give a general outline of the Constitution. Students need to become familiar with the layout of the Constitution, but it is not essential it is committed to memory at this time. Signed Copy of the Constitution of the United States; Miscellaneous Papers of the Continental Congress, ; Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention, , Record Group 360; National Archives.

14 What is the Preamble? A preamble is an introduction.
It states the purpose of the Constitution Have students read the Preamble line by line aloud. Future lessons will go deep into the meaning of each line of the Preamble.

15 The Preamble We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure* domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence*, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. *These were the original spellings in the United States Constitution. Be sure students understand the correct spellings should be “ensure” and “defense”, but for the purpose of citing the original document, all spellings have been cited exactly.

16 What are the 7 Articles? Article I – Outlines the Legislative Branch, or “Congress” Article II – Outlines the Executive Branch, which includes the President Article III – Outlines the Judicial Branch, or the courts in the United States Article IV – Outlines the relations among the states Article V – Outlines the process for amending (changing or adding to) the Constitution Article VI – Discusses the Constitution as the “Supreme Law of the Land”; Supremacy Clause Article VII – Outlines the official ratification, or establishment, of the Constitution Discuss the 7 Articles of the Constitution. Have students read each line as they appear.

17 What are amendments? Amendments are additions or changes to the Constitution Not all of the amendments were a part of the Constitution when it was signed Today, there are 27 Amendments to the United states Constitution Why did the Founders include a way to change/add to the Constitution? ? 1. Define amendments. 2 .Discuss that not all of the Amendments were part of the Constitution during the signing of the document. Amendments have been added over the years. 3. The Founders included a way to change/add to the Constitution because they recognized that times change and the document needed to be flexible to meet the needs of a growing country.

18 27 Amendments XV (15) rights not to be denied because of race XVI (16)
I (1) freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition II (2) right to bear arms III (3) quartering of troops IV (4) search and seizure V (5) due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination VI (6) jury trial, right to counsel VII (7) common law suits VIII (8) excess bail or fines, cruel and unusual punishment IX (9) rights not named X (10) powers reserved to states XI (11) lawsuits against a state XII (12) election of president and vice president XIII (13) abolition of slavery XIV (14) due process, equal protection, privileges of citizens XV (15) rights not to be denied because of race XVI (16) income tax XVII (17) election of senators XVIII (18) prohibition XIX (19) women's right to vote XX (20) presidential term and succession XXI (21) repeal of prohibition XXII (22) president limited to 2 terms XXIII (23) presidential vote for persons in D.C. XXIV (24) no poll tax XXV (25) presidential succession XXVI (26) right to vote at age 18 XXVII (27) compensation of members of Congress Briefly review the Amendments with students.

19 Now it’s your turn to piece it together!
Get in groups of 3-5. You will receive a handout (Student Handout 1) and an envelope. Remove the strips from the envelope Identify the part of the Constitution using Student Handout 1. Label each strip in the blank box on the left (ex: Article II, Amendment X). Assemble the Constitution in the correct order using Student Handout 1 as a guide. Glue/tape the pieces of paper to the blank paper. Be sure to write names of all group members on the back of the paper! First group to finish wins! Read instructions to students for the Piece it Together – Constitutional Assembly project. Students will be given strips of paper with pieces of the Constitution printed on them. Students will use an outline of the Constitution to identify the part of the Constitution and assemble the document in the correct order. The first team that finishes wins (bragging rights, extra points, candy – whatever prize system is used in the classroom).

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