Presentation on theme: "The Constitution On May 25, 1787 twelve of the thirteen original states sent delegates to Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. In total, there."— Presentation transcript:
The Constitution On May 25, 1787 twelve of the thirteen original states sent delegates to Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. In total, there were 55 men, including lawyers, college presidents, physicians, generals, and governors.
Who were the delegates? The Constitution Eight of the delegates had signed the Declaration of Independence Seven of the delegates were governors of their respected states Forty-one had been members of the Continental Congress The oldest delegate, age 81, was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania The youngest delegate, age 26, was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey Two the delegates would later become Presidents of the United States Nineteen of the delegates would become Senators; thirteen would become Representatives Four men would become federal judges; four others would become Supreme Court justices Who weren’t the delegates? Women, Native Americans, and African Americans were not part of the Process Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were in Europe; Patrick Henry was against the Convention
The Work Begins… George Washington was unanimously chosen as the leader of the Convention. The delegates agreed that each state would have ONE vote and that a simple majority, in this case 7 votes, would decide any issue. The delegates agreed to keep the work of the Convention secret. Why was keeping the work of the Convention a secret so important? And then, the delegates began the work: designing an acceptable plan of government. George Washington insisted on the importance of the task to the delegates, reminding them that if they could not come up with a plan, “perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained.”
The Virginia Plan James Madison Included a president, courts, and a congress with two houses Representation in government would be based on each state’s population – large populated states would have more votes than the states with a smaller population Which states favored this plan? The more heavily populated states, such as Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The New Jersey Plan William Paterson Included a one-house congress States would have equal representation – each state would have one vote; therefore, each state would have equal votes Which states favored this plan? Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland which made their states equal in power to the larger populated states. What will happen?
The Great Compromise Roger Sherman Two houses: a Senate and a House of Representatives In the Senate, each state will have equal representation. In the House of Representatives, representation will be based on the state’s population Compromise: A way of resolving an issue in which each side gives up something, but gains something as well.
The Three-Fifths Compromise Who comprises the population count of each state? In the 1780s, enslaved persons were not allowed to vote or otherwise participate in government. Should the more than 550,000 African Americans be counted towards a state’s population? Who was arguing for what? Why does it matter?
The Three-Fifths Compromise The delegates compromised on the issue and the result was known as the Three-Fifths Compromise. Every FIVE enslaved persons would count as THREE free persons. Therefore, three-fifths of the slave population in each state would be used in determining representation in Congress.
Three Branches of Government Separation of powers: A division of authority. In the Constitution, the federal government is divided into three branches, each with a different function. Why would the delegates divide the authority of the government?
Three Branches of Government One of the most monumental accomplishments of the US Constitution was the concept of separation of powers and checks and balances. Executive Branch: President, Carries out the nation’s laws, Commander in Chief of the armed forces; Detailed in Article II Legislative Branch: Congress, Lawmaking Authority; Detailed in Article I Judicial Branch: Judges and Courts, Interprets the laws; Detailed in Article III
Checks and Balances Even with the separation of power, the Framers feared that one branch of government could still dominate. Therefore, the Framers included a system of checks and balances. Checks and balances: A system in which each branch of government is able to check, or restrain, the power of the others.
Federalism The Framers further limited the Federal government by incorporating federalism into the Constitution. Federalism is a form of government in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the states. Expressed Powers (or enumerated powers): The powers specifically granted to the national government Reserved Powers: Powers not given to the national government, which are then kept by the states. This include regulating trade within state borders, establishing schools, and making rules for marriage and divorce. Concurrent Powers: At times, the authorities of the states and the national government overlap; this includes power to collect taxes and enforcing laws The Supremacy Clause: Article VI of the Constitution states that in the event of conflicting laws with a state and the federal government, the laws and treaties made by the national government “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
Popular Sovereignty: the notion that the power of the government lies with the People. “We the People” Citizens decide how will represent them in Congress through a majority Vote Rule of Law: The law applies to everyone, even those who govern Preamble: The first part of the Constitution, which states the goals and purposes of the government: To unite the states To make certain all citizens are treated equally To maintain peace and order To protect the country To help people live healthy, happy, and prosperous lives To guarantee the basic rights of all Americans Additional Vocabulary