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The Constitution of the United States of America

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1 The Constitution of the United States of America
Mr. Brigida 8th Grade U.S. History

2 U.S. Constitution A constitution is a basic blueprint of government. It tells how the government functions, what are its responsibilities, and how it manages those responsibilities. It is the “law of the land.”

3 U.S. Constitution Shays’s Rebellion: A protest led by Daniel Shays, a hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Judges had ordered farmers in Massachusetts to sell of land and livestock to pay taxes. This protest, although quelled, demonstrated the weakness of the Articles of Confederation.

4 U.S. Constitution Articles of Confederation:
National government has a unicameral legislature called Congress. Each state had between 2 and 7 members, but each state had 1 vote. The representatives were appointed by the state legislatures and paid by state governments. There were term restrictions. There was no executive branch (President) or judicial branch (Supreme Court). The national government could not tax, but it could request money from the states. States and the national government could issue money.

5 U.S. Constitution Shays’s Rebellion showed the problems of a weak central government. The national government could not react to the issues (value of money and products) or threats (violence and uncertainty) of this type of protest.

6 U.S. Constitution Constitution Articles of Confederation
Unicameral Legislature One vote per state No national courts (Supreme Court, Federal Courts) No executive branch (President) National Government could not tax Constitution Bicameral Legislature (House of Representatives and Senate) Supreme Court and Federal Courts (judicial branch) President and various Departments (executive branch) National Government could raise money U. S. Congress

7 U.S. Constitution Article I Senate: equal representation
House of Representatives: representation based on population “elastic clause”: Congress can make laws needed for a changing nation

8 U.S. Constitution Executive Branch Enforce the laws
Appoint Supreme Court Justices (with approval of the Senate)

9 U.S. Constitution Judicial Branch Supreme Court Federal Courts
Judicial Review: Make sure laws passed by Congress and signed by the President are “Constitutional”.

10 U.S. Constitution The laws and citizens of one state will be respected by all states A fugitive from one state will be returned to that state The President may send troops into a state to maintain order

11 U.S. Constitution Amending (Changing) the Constitution is not easily done. Both Houses of Congress pass an amendment by 2/3; state legislatures/conventions in 3/4 of the states pass the amendment 2/3 of the states petition Congress for a convention; 3/4 of the states still need to ratify the amendment

12 U.S. Constitution The "supremacy clause" is the most important guarantor of national union

13 U.S. Constitution

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