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Georgia’s Constitutions Georgia Politics. The student will understand that distribution of power in government is a product of existing documents and.

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Presentation on theme: "Georgia’s Constitutions Georgia Politics. The student will understand that distribution of power in government is a product of existing documents and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Georgia’s Constitutions Georgia Politics

2 The student will understand that distribution of power in government is a product of existing documents and laws combined with contemporary values and beliefs. How would you describe the distribution of power at Schley County Middle School? Which branch of government is responsible for making laws? Why did the writers of the Georgia Constitution of 1777 want to limit the power of the Executive branch (Governor)? Distribution of Power

3 Constitution of 1777 1 House Assembly (Unicameral Legislature) The Assembly had most of the power. They appointed the Governor which now only had a 1 year term. All decisions made by the governor had to be approved by the Assembly. The Parish system replaced by 8 counties. *Reason- Governor loyal to the king.

4 Georgia Bill of Rights Equal division of property between heirs.( Family) Freedom of the press and religion. Right to trial by jury. Forbid excess fines or bail. Most white males could vote. (land owners)

5 Weakness of 1777 Georgia Constitution No “Checks and Balances” 1 house legislature had most of the power without another branch to keep them in check. Not everyone could vote.

6 GA Constitution of 1777 EXECUTIVE LEGISLATIVE JUDICIARY GOVERNOR Appointed by executive council 1 year term Very little power Appointed by legislature Power to appoint Governor and judges Have most of the power Uni-cameral (1 house) called the House of Assembly LEGISLATORS (lawmakers) STATE JUDGES

7 Primary Source Document GEORGIA CONSTITUTION OF 1777 Article IX. All male white inhabitants, of the age of twenty- one years, and possessed in his own right of ten pounds value, and liable to pay tax in this State, or being of any mechanic trade, and shall have been resident six months in this State, shall have a right to vote at all elections for representatives, or any other officers...

8 Articles of Confederation This was the first constitution of the United States of America. Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation: 1) Under the Articles there was only a unicameral legislature so that there was no separation of powers. 2) The central government under the Articles was too weak since the majority of the power rested with the states. 3) Congress, under the Articles, did not have the power to tax which meant that they could never put their finances in order.

9 Articles of Confederation 4) In order to change or amend the Articles, unanimous approval of the states was required which essentially meant that changes to the Articles were impossible. 5) For any major laws to pass they had to be approved by 9 of the 13 states which proved difficult to do so that even the normal business of running a government was difficult. 6) Under the Articles, Congress did not have the power to regulate commerce which will cause competition between states as well as diplomatic issues.





14 The Constitutional Convention Georgia’s Representatives & The Great Compromise and Slavery

15 The Convention 1787 The Articles are weak because the states have all the power. In Philadelphia the delegates write The United States Constitution. Many of the delegates have different ideas, compromises have to be made. Compromise- is when people with different ideas give up a little of what they want so that an agreement can be made that everyone can live with.

16 Constitutional Convention of 1787 CAUSEEFFECT ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION THE U.S. CONSTITUTION State governments had too much power National government could not levy taxes, enforce laws, or control trade No executive branch (President) No judicial branch (no federal courts to settle disputes between the states) Federal government becomes more powerful Separation of Powers - Legislative branch makes laws - Executive branch enforce laws - Judicial branch interpret laws Bi-cameral legislature House of Representatives based on state population Senate – 2 representatives from each state Great Compromise: Bi- cameral legislature benefits both big and small states (population) 3/5ths Compromise: 3 out of 5 slaves counted toward population and were also taxed Bill of Rights: 1 st ten amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing rights for citizens


18 The Convention 1787 William Few and Abraham Baldwin were the only two delegates from Georgia to sign the new Constitution. Agreements Separation of powers: 1. Legislative Branch- to make laws 2. Executive Branch- to enforce laws 3. Judicial Branch- to make sure the laws are fairly applied

19 The Convention 1787 Disagreements They disagreed on how these branches should be set up and how much power they should have. The Virginia Plan- large states liked this plan because it gave them more representation. The New Jersey Plan- small states like this plan because it called for 1 house and gave each state 1 vote.

20 The Great Compromise Abraham Baldwin of Georgia was the last to vote, he voted for the New Jersey Plan making it a tie. As a result delegates compromised. The Compromise Created a bicameral house. House of Representatives- each state had a certain number of representatives based on population. Senate- each state was given two representatives.

21 The Great Compromise Together these two houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate, formed the United States Congress. The delegates also agreed to form the executive branch with a leader to be headed by the president of the United States. They also created the Supreme Court to act as the highest court with supporting federal courts.



24 Slavery Slavery was another important issue at the Constitutional Convention. Slavery- was an institution in which white citizens owned blacks as “property”. Slavery was not as important in northern states and many wanted to end slavery because it contradicted the freedom expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Many states did not want slaves to count as part of the population.

25 The Three-Fifths Compromise The 3/5 Compromise stated that slaves would count as 3/5 of a person. This meant that for every five slaves a state had, that state would be given credit for three people. The slave trade compromise- ensured the Deep South that the slave trade would be allowed to continue for at least 20 more years.

26 Georgia’s Reason for Ratifying the Constitution Weaknesses of the Constitution: Many believed it gave to much power to the national government and especially the president. Citizens also believed it needed a section guaranteeing the rights of the people. Congress agreed to amend the Constitution and so it created the Bill of Rights. Amend- means to change or to make right.

27 Georgia’s Reason for Ratifying the Constitution Georgia was the 4 th state to ratify(approve) the U.S. Constitution. Georgia was still considered to be a frontier region and was still waging war with the Creek Indians. Georgia wanted a strong central government that could provide military help. Savannah depended on good trade relations in order to make money. A strong central govt. could make negotiations for profitable trade with other countries.

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