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Creating the Constitution

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1 Creating the Constitution
Chapter 8

2 Introduction Articles of Confederation created after declaring independence in 1776 A loose union in which the 13 states cooperated for common purpose Run by Congress, in which each state had 1 vote Had power to make war and peace, raise an army, print money and create postal system Powers limited by inability of Congress to impose taxes

3 Articles of Confederation

4 I. Early Quarrels & Accomplishments
Pre-Revolution Quarrels Taxes on goods crossing state borders Boundary lines Developing Western Lands Land Ordinance of 1785 – western lands were divided up into 6 mile squares (townships) Then divided into 36 sections of 640 acres each Laid out in Ohio Valley and sold starting in 1787 Northwest Ordinance (1787) Divided Northwest Territory into smaller territories, each with a governor Population of 5,000 adult males – could elect legislature Population of 60,000 – could apply for statehood Slavery banned in Northwest Territory

5 II. Shay’s Rebellion & Need for Change
Money Problems Paper money printed during war – worthless Congress had power to make coins that would not lose value but no gold or silver to mint them States tried to solve problem by printing own money Massachusetts Farmers Rebel Judges ordered farmers to sell land and livestock to pay off debt Daniel Shays led rebellion Closed down courthouse Marched to arsenal to seize weapons Rebellion ended with arrival of militia troops Call for a Convention (Philadelphia, May 1787) Each state invited to send delegates to revise Articles of Confederation


7 III. Opening the Constitutional Convention
First Actions 1. George Washington as president of convention Delegates 55 delegates from 12 states (Rhode Island boycotted) 2/3 were lawyers, 1/3 owned slaves Father of the Constitution James Madison addressed convention 200+ times wrote down nearly every word (600 printed pages) Rule of Secrecy Wanted to be free to speak minds w/o causing alarm or opposition w/ public Kept secret until convention was over


9 III. Opening the Constitutional Convention
Shared Beliefs & Clashing Views Government should protect rights Powers of government came from the governed Reflected ideas of Enlightenment – liberty and equality Question of Representation Many wanted to keep government close to people by preserving rights of state Others thought if government was too weak, it cannot do its job

10 IV. Issue 1 – How Should States Be Represented in the New Government?
Purpose of Convention? Originally to revise Articles of Confederation Delegates designed new framework of government Virginia Plan Called for a strong national government with 3 branches Legislative branch (Congress) – make laws Executive branch (President) – carry out laws Judicial branch (courts) – interpret and apply laws Congress would be made of 2 houses – Senate, House of Representatives a) Number of lawmakers from state depended on population New Jersey Plan Called for government with 3 branches Legislative branch would only have 1 house Each state would have equal vote no matter the size

11 V. Resolution 1 – Great Compromise
Tempers Rise Delegates from large states thought representation based on population seemed logical and fair Smaller states had fears of being overcome Compromise is Reached Kept a 2 house Congress House of Representatives would represent the people based on the state’s population Senate would represent the states with each state having 2 elected senators

12 Great Compromise

13 VI. Issue 2 – How Should Slaves Be Counted
People or Property? 9/10 of slaves lived in South. Southerners thought slaves should be counted the same as any other people North challenged that slaves should be counted as property and could be taxed like any other property a) If slaves used in determining representation, then make them citizens and let them vote New Thinking on Slavery In the North, seeing slavery as evil led one state after another to pass laws ending slavery In the South, the people felt the economy was too dependent upon the labor of slaves a) Some southern states made it easier for owners to free slaves

14 VII. Resolution 2 – 3/5 Compromise
slaves counted as 3/5 of a person Made mockery of “all men are created equal” Slave Trade Northerners favored giving Congress power to control trade between the states and other countries Southerners worried Congress might try to tax southern export crops and outlaw slave trade Compromise – Congress would have power to control trade w/ 2 limitations Could not place any tax on exports going to other countries Could not interfere with slave trade for 20 years (until 1808) Also agreed to Fugitive Slave Clause – escaped slaves had to be returned to their owners

15 VIII. Issue 3 – How Should the Chief Executive Be Elected?
1 Executive or 3? Proposed 3 executives taken from different parts of country Settled on 1 executive = president Limited term to 4 years Vice president also elected to fill in if president dies Choosing the Chief Executive By Congress? By the People? By a special group of Electors?

16 IX. Resolution 3 – Electoral College
60 votes = Compromise 1. President elected by Electoral College Electoral College System Made of electors who vote to elect president, vice president every 4 years Each state has as many electors as the number of senators, representatives it sends to Congress Before 1820 – state legislature chose electors Now – people choose Originally voted for 2 1 – most votes = president 2- runner-up = vice president

17 Electoral College


19 X. Convention Ends Approving the Constitution Signing the Constitution
9 states were needed to approve Constitution Constitution would be approved at special conventions by delegates elected by people in each state Signing the Constitution September 17, 1787 – Constitution declared complete BrainPOP

20 XI. Constitution Goes to the Nation
Federalists Constitution would create a national government that was strong enough to unite the states into a republic Powers given to government were strictly limited and divided among 3 branches Anti-Federalists Congress would ruin the country with taxes, the President would rule like a king Listed the powers of the government but not of the people

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