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The Constitution Chapter 2 You think you know…. British Colonial Rule Powerful British Government GAMANY Political Subunits (Colonies) Unitary System.

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Presentation on theme: "The Constitution Chapter 2 You think you know…. British Colonial Rule Powerful British Government GAMANY Political Subunits (Colonies) Unitary System."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Constitution Chapter 2 You think you know…

2 British Colonial Rule Powerful British Government GAMANY Political Subunits (Colonies) Unitary System – all power flows from one central government

3 Declaration of Independence Written by Thomas Jefferson Inspired by John Locke D of I opens with Jefferson invoking Locke philosophy… Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness Jefferson continues by listing grievances against George III for violating inalienable rights declares US independence

4 Articles of Confederation 1781 – 1789 – RIP Confederate System – power concentrated in political subunits (states) with a weak central government (typically unite for a common goal) GAMANY Congress

5 Articles of Confederation Original American govt system Weak central govt Individual and state liberties not threatened No executive (they hated kings) Confederacies are usually unstable

6 A of C – Weaknesses Article II – Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence. Govt has no control Unicameral Congress (one house) with one vote per state –Supermajority (9 of 13) to pass a law –Supermajority (13 of 13) to amend No Executive (No President), no central authority No Federal Judiciary (No Supreme Court), no central law No control of taxation, commerce between states or with foreign nations, money system

7 The Baron de Montesquieu "In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing." Montesquieu The Spirit of Laws Bk. VI, Ch. 2

8 Federalists v Anti- Federalists Who? Property owners, landed rich, merchants of NE and Mid Atlantic states Philosophy? Elite, saw themselves and those of their class as the only ones fit to govern Type of government favored? Powerful central govt with 2 houses of legislature (6 yr term for the upper house) Who? Small farmers, shopkeepers and laborers Philosophy? Believed in the decency of the common man and in participatory democracy, viewed elites as corrupt Type of government favored? Wanted strong state governments

9 Constitution Executive Legislative Judicial Central US government VANJSC State governments Federal System – powers are divided and/or shared between state and central governments (Current govt designed by framers)

10 Madisonian Principles of Govt in the Constitution Popular Sovereignty – power to govern belongs to the people, govt based on the consent of governed Separation of Powers – division of govt between branches: executive, legislative and judicial Checks and Balances – a system where branches have some authority over others Limited Government – govt is not all-powerful, and it does only what citizens allow Federalism – division of power between central government and individual states

11 Separation of Powers Prevents an all-powerful ruling body 1.Legislature – passes law (Congress) 2.Executive – enforces law (President) 3.Judiciary – interprets law (Supreme Court)

12 Amending the Constitution Meant to be difficult Require action from national and state gov Amendment proposed by 2/3 vote in each house of Congress and ratified (accepted) in at least ¾ of state legislatures

13 Federalist #10 Madison addresses biggest fear of govt Faction – a group in a legislature or political party acting together in pursuit of some special interest (think fraction – ½, 1/3, etc) Founding fathers were concerned that our government would be ripped apart Madison defends our national Constitution

14 Federalist #10 Separation of Powers check the growth of tyranny Each branch of government keeps the other two from gaining too much power A republic guards against irresponsible direct democracy or common passions Factions will always exist, but must be managed to not severe from the system.

15 Anti-Fed Response Central govt would threaten liberty Aristocratic tyranny could happen Demanded a guarantee of individual rights and liberty States power was too limited

16 Bill of Rights 10 amendments to the Constitution guaranteed individual freedoms and rights limited power of national government, guaranteed rights to states Ratified in 1789, Bill of Rights added 1791

17 Which of the following is a fundamental element of the US Constitution? a. Recognition of the centrality of political parties in government b. Direct election of members of the executive branch c. An executive branch that is more powerful than the legislature d. Emphasis on a unitary system of government e. Division of government authority across political institutions

18 The debates between Federalists and Anti-Federalists were primarily about which of the following issues? a. The right of the people to rebel b. The existence of slavery c. The scope of power of the central government d. The need to establish a standard currency e. The representation of large and small states

19 Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution does which of the following? a. Restricts the ability of Congress to tax b. Restricts the ability of Congress to establish an army or navy c. Establishes a unitary form of government d. Emphasizes state sovereignty over national sovereignty e. Emphasizes both national sovereignty and federalism

20 The importance of Shays Rebellion to the development of the US Constitution was that it a. Revealed the necessity of both adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution and creating a new system of checks and balances b. Demonstrated the intensity of antiratification sentiment within the thirteen states c. Convinced the delegates attending the Constitutional Convention to accept the Connecticut Compromise d. Reinforced the idea that slavery should be outlawed in the new Constitution e. Indicated that a strong, constitutionally designed national government was needed to protest property and maintain order

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