Presentation on theme: "The Constitution of the United States. Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation…..a review 1. The national government could not force the states to obey."— Presentation transcript:
The Constitution of the United States
Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation…..a review 1. The national government could not force the states to obey its laws. 2. It did not have the power to tax 3. It did not have the power to enforce laws 4. Congress lacked strong and steady leadership 5. There was no national army or navy 6. There was no system of national courts 7. Each state could issue its own paper money 8. Each state could put tariffs on trade between states. (A tariff is a tax on goods coming in from another state or country.)
Articles were doomed to Fail --A Constitutional Convention was called in 1787 – Many states called for stronger central Government Delegates to the Constitutional Conventionl – Revolutionary Veterans – Signers of Declaration of Independence – White, Landowning, males Drafting a Constitution
Shays Rebellion In 1786 some of the farmers had fought back against the economic inequalities Led by Daniel Shays, a former captain in the Continental army, a group of armed men, prevented the circuit court from sitting at Northampton, MA, and threatened to seize muskets stored in the arsenal at Springfield. Although the uprising was put down by state troops, the incident confirmed the fears of many wealthy men that anarchy was just around the corner.
Constitutional Convention The Constitutional Convention took place in the summery of 1787 in Philadelphia (capitol at that time). The convention was supposed to propose ways to improve the Articles of Confederation. There were many there—James Madison and Alexander Hamilton who came with a different idea—scrap the Articles and create a new government. General George Washington was chosen to preside over the Convention.
Problems that need to be solved: Problem 1: Balance between State and Federal Problem 2: Balance between North and South Problem 3: Balance between BIG states and Small states Two Plans proposed– The Virginia Plan & New Jersey Plan 3 problems to solve at the Convention
The Virginia Plan Gov. would have 3 branches: – Executive, Legislative, Judicial Legislature would be bi-cameral (2 house) – Voters choose lower house – Lower house chooses Upper house. – Both based on population Population would determine number of votes of each state ( National Government has power over states.
New Jersey Plan Smaller states objected: Virginia plan would give large states (Virginia) Most of the votes and power NJ Plan: – Only one house legislature – Each state would have equal Representation in Government
“The Two Ideas…ought to be combined; that one branch the people ought to be represented; in the other the states.” The Senate (upper house) would have 2 reps from each state. The Representatives (lower house) would be based on states’ population. “The Great Compromise”
Compromise on Slavery Slave Population gave South huge Pop. Advantage – Also Raise taxes – Property Tax – Southerners wanted to count for Reps. But not for Taxes 3/5 compromise – Slave = 3/5 person – Compromise on Reps. And Taxes
Compromise on Slavery No Ban on Slavery Considered – Unity Needed more than Abolition Agreed: – Importation would continue for 20 more years – then no more – Fugitive Slave Clause: A runaway slave to another state must be returned to its owner across state lines
Enlightenment ideals states that effective governments need Checks & Balances Balance between President/ Congress Balance between States/ Federal Convention gave MOST Power to the Congress (fear of Monarchy) President elected by the states – Electoral College – States should follow popular vote Checks and Balances
Office of VP – 2 nd place vote recipient Each Branch had the ability to slow/stop another branch – Ensured no branch would have too much power – Ensured no branch could not dominate the others
Checks and Balances Planning the Court System – Wanted courts to maintain independent status – Judges nominated by President/ Approved by Congress – Judges could not be fired without just cause
Fear of Strong Central Government Federalists: Supporters of Constitution with strong central Gov. AntiFederalists: Opponents of the constitution in its present form and sought a weaker central Gov. Federalists vs. AntiFederalists
The Federalists Leaders: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Washington, Franklin Strong National Gov. = Republic Survives Fed. Gov. could end chaos between states Separation of Powers can prevent Tyranny
The Antifederalists Leaders: Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson Wanted a new Gov. but not the one proposed Suspicious of Strong central Gov. = just left a strong Gov. Feared Fed. Gov. would abuse states/ Individuals – Demanded a Bill of Rights for protection
Final Ratification? Final draft was submitted to the states for approval Some delegates refused to sign because it lacked 1 component – A Bill of Rights