1. Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 Declared that we wanted to be free of British rule and listed why 2. Articles of Confederation 1 st attempt of a constitution for the U.S. 1781-1787 Replaced by our current Constitution 3. U.S. Constitution The Bill of Rights Amendments Drafted in 1787, declared effective for all colonies on March 4, 1789
Outlines: 1. the reason for we were declaring to be free from England 2. rights every person should have 3. the purpose of a government 4. the reasons for abolishing the current government we were under 5.a list of complaints with being under English rule 6.rights that we would have as free states
1. Unfair taxes 2. Cutting off trade for the colonists 3. Abolishing good laws 4. Creating new government departments with officials that harass people 5. Depriving colonists of trial by jury 6. Protecting British officials that were murderers 7. Hiring mercenaries to harass and kill people 8. Capturing and forcing colonists to fight against other colonists or be killed
IN 1781 the 13 original colonies united under the Articles of Confederation The Articles were the 1 st attempt to establish a government for the newly formed United States
Some things the Articles of Confederation did : 1. Created a one house law making body (the Continental Congress) 1. 2 to 7 representatives from each state but each state got only one vote 2. Put term limits on members of Congress 3. Gave the U.S. power to declare war or make peace 4. Created a postal system 5. Gave the U.S. power to “coin” (make) money 6. Appoint a Commander in Chief (president) 7. Create a national defense (the military)
Many people felt the need for a stronger central government than what the articles provided. Fixing the articles called for a special convention of representatives from each of the states. This special convention was held in Philadelphia, PA where they worked in a new document called the U.S. Constitution. The Articles of Confederation needed to be fixed!
The U.S. Constitution was drafted with 7 articles to create a strong government for the U.S. It is the basic law of the land that sets up the offices of government and how they work, and lists the powers of each of the branches. It was drafted in the summer of 1787. Our existence as a truly united country began on March 4, 1789 when Congress declared the Constitution effective and binding. At this point there were only 4 of the 13 original states that thought the Constitution still needed work because it failed to list rights we should have as U.S. citizens. This led to the addition of some amendments called “the Bill of Rights”.
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights were created to make sure that U.S. citizens would enjoy the basic rights that were listed in the Declaration of Independence. The Bill of Rights lists all the rights that U.S. citizens are guaranteed by law.
Through the Bill of Rights and other amendments that were to follow (there are 27) the Constitution became a shield for the personal, natural rights of the individual. These rights are referred to as civil rights.
13 th Amendment 1865 Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. End of slavery 15 th Amendment 1870 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude-- The right to vote cannot be denied due to race, color, or if you were previously a slave 19 th Amendment 1920 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. The right to vote can no longer be denied to women 26 th Amendment 1971 The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. The right to vote was changed from age 21 to 18.
1. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? 2. The inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of _________.” 3. The 13 colonies originally created a common government under the Articles of __________. 4. Critics of the original Constitution claimed the wording failed to protect human _______.
Congress Legislative Branch President and Vice President Executive Branch Supreme Court Judicial Branch
Legislative means “having the function of creating laws” The legislative branch at the federal government is Congress Congress consists of a Senate—2 members from each state (elected for a 6 year term) a House of Representatives—seats are in proportion to state size (elected for a 2 year term) Senate can block any action of the House, House can block any action of the Senate The House has the power to impeach any civil officer for treason, bribery, or other crimes Impeachment cases involve trying a government official for misconduct in office—conviction requires a 2/3 vote Who are the only two Presidents of the U.S. to be impeached?
The executive branch is headed by the President and Vice President. People vote for electors who will give electoral votes to a candidate The person who wins the popular vote may not win the election (1824, 1876,1888, 2000) A political party is a private organization of citizens who select and promote candidates for election to public office
The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court The Supreme Court: decides if laws passed by the legislative branch and signed by the President violate the U.S. Constitution in any way Hears cases that were brought to court and appealed to them. The Supreme Court uses the U.S. Constitution to make a decision on the case. They only hear certain cases where a Constitutional issue is involved. Interprets the Constitution. If they think the Constitution needs to be changed they will add an amendment to the Constitution.
The Constitution may be amended in two ways. 1. The amendment is proposed by a 2/3 majority vote in both the House and the Senate. 2. The legislatures of 2/3 of all of the states call a convention of all of the states. Under either method of proposal, the amendment becomes a valid part of the U.S.Constitution only if it is ratified by the legislatures of ¾ of the states, or if it is ratified by conventions in ¾ of the states. (The first way has been the way all the amendments have been adopted to date.)
In a pure democracy, every adult citizen may vote on all issues. (we do not have this) In a representative democracy, or republic, voters select representatives that will vote on issues.
Sovereignty means freedom from external control. The 10th amendment acknowledges the continued sovereignty of all the states to govern their own people within their own borders. It is a shield against unlimited power by the federal government.
The 14th Amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process or law………” This Amendment limits the power and protects against an abuse of power by state governments.
The federal government has the right to: protect every state against invasion establish post offices coin money tax imports and exports The federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce (trade that affects trade between states) States retain the authority to regulate intrastate commerce, or trade within its own borders.
1. What does separation of powers mean? 2. What is a system of checks and balances? 3. What are the three branches of government and who is in each branch? 4. What does the legislative branch do? 5. What does the Supreme Court do? 6. Can the Constitution be changed? 7. What type of democracy does the U.S. have? 8. What are some powers of the federal government?