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The Constitution The most important thing since sliced bread and the invention of the wheel.

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Presentation on theme: "The Constitution The most important thing since sliced bread and the invention of the wheel."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Constitution The most important thing since sliced bread and the invention of the wheel


3 Rules for the Game


5 A Revolution of the Mind What do we mean by the Revolution, the war? That was not part of the revolution, it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was affected from 1760-1775 in the course of 15 years before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.” John Adams 2.2

6 A Revolution of the Mind While in Europe, I often amused myself with contemplating the characters of the then reigning sovereigns....Louis XVI was a fool....The King of Spain was a fool, and of Naples the same. They passed their lives in hunting....The Queen of Portugal was an idiot by nature. And so was the King of Denmark....The King of Prussia, successor to Frederick, was a mere hog in body as well as in mind. Gustavas of Sweden and Joseph of Austria were really crazy and George of England was in a straight waistcoat [straight jacket]. These animals had become without mind and powerless.... Europe, is a first idea, a crude production, before the maker knew his trade, or had made up his mind as to what he wanted. [America, Jefferson implies, was closer to the final product] Thomas Jefferson 2.2

7 A Revolution of the Mind 2.2 MontesquieuLocke

8 2.2

9 …We solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of aright ought to be free and independent states... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour." The Declaration of Independence, 1776. 15 / 56 signers of the Declaration had their homes burned by the British Too Late to Apologize 2.2

10 A Question of Sovereignty Articles of Confederation o “Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power not... expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” Articles of Confederation 2.3

11 Political Compromise Target 2.4

12 The Story of the Philadelphia Convention 2.4

13 Great Compromise Three-fifths Compromise Slave Trade Compromise 2.4

14 New Powers of the National Government 2.4

15 2.4 Politics of Compromise Should Democrats and Republicans today compromise on political issues, or should they “stand on principle”? o Driving out Moderates (CNN video) ……….. Daschle & Lott on Compromise Driving out Moderates Daschle & Lott on Compromise

16 Framework of Government Target 2.5

17 Framework The Constitution sets up a “Framework” of government The basic structure of the Constitution… 2.5

18 Framework 3 Basic Principles o Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances, Federalism Central Dilemma o But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary.... In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. James Madison, The Federalist No.51 Checks & Balances 2.5

19 Flexible by Design But not too flexible 2.5

20 Flexible by Design But not too flexible The Amendment Process o Propose o Ratify When 2/3rds of o States call for a Constitutional Convention o Congress propose an amendment When 3/4ths of o State Legislatures approve o State Ratifying Conventions approve 2.5

21 Ratification Target 2.6

22 Ratification Federalists v. Antifederalists 2.6

23 Ratification The Federalist Papers o 85 Essays defending the Constitution Federalist No. 10 Federalist No. 51 2.6

24 What was at stake? It has been reserved to the people of this country, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for the political constitutions on accident and force. Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 1 2.6

25 Ratification (State by State Ratification) State by State RatificationState by State Ratification 2.6

26 Modern Debate 2.7


28 Politics of the Constitution Public view of the Constitution (Time) Public view of the Constitution 2.7

29 Rex E. Lee on the Constitution 2.7 One Document Under Siege

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