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Unit 3 Colonial Charters Before the Revolution, when the states were just colonies, their colonial charters served as the constitutions. These charters.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 3 Colonial Charters Before the Revolution, when the states were just colonies, their colonial charters served as the constitutions. These charters."— Presentation transcript:


2 Unit 3

3 Colonial Charters Before the Revolution, when the states were just colonies, their colonial charters served as the constitutions. These charters were granted by the King. They also said that all of the colonists had the rights of a regular British citizen. The colonists also came from the tradition of the Magna Carta, which was a document that limited the power of the King, and the English Bill of Rights, which gave individuals rights in England.


5 Limited Government Our United States government, under the Constitution, is a limited government. Limited Government means that the government is not free to do whatever it wants. It must follow a set of laws. A limited government works best because it prevents the government from infringing on people’s rights. This idea was accepted after the Magna Carta limited the King’s rule. Before the Magna Carta, the King had unlimited rule.


7 Separation of Powers In the United States government, there are three branches: executive (President), legislative (Congress), and judicial (Courts). Separation of powers means that each branch of government shares governmental authority. For example, the President can NOT make laws. Only Congress can make laws.


9 Checks and Balances The Founding Fathers were afraid of one branch becoming too powerful. To prevent this, a system of checks and balances was included in the Constitution. One example of a “check” is the President’s veto power. If Congress passes a law that he President does not agree with, he can veto the bill. Once the bill is vetoed, there must be a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate to override the veto and pass the law.

10 Federalism The United States government uses a system called Federalism. Federalism means that there are two different government levels: the states and the federal (aka central or national) government. There are some powers that ONLY the central government has, while there are some that ONLY the states have. Furthermore, there are some powers that are shared between the states and national government.



13 Delegated Powers The powers that are meant for the federal government ONLY are “delegated powers.” For example: only the federal government can start a war. South Carolina does not have the power to start a war with another country. D elegated Fe D eral

14 Reserved Powers Powers that are meant only for the states are called “reserved powers.” For example: only states have the power to run the public schools. Re S erved S tates

15 Concurrent Powers Powers that are shared between the federal government and the state governments are called “concurrent powers.” For example: building roads and bridges, raising taxes


17 Electoral College The Founding Fathers feared the rule of the “masses.” In other words, they were afraid that uneducated people would vote a president into office who was not qualified. To prevent this, they set up the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a body of delegates that meets every four years solely to elect the president. Originally, the Electoral College was meant to change the outcome of an election if there was need to. But that has never happened.



20 Impeachment Impeachment means that the president can be charged with wrongdoing by the House of Representatives if he is suspected of treason, bribery, or “other high crimes and misdemeanors.” If he is charged, he stands trial in the Senate. If they find him guilty, he is removed from office. To be IMPEACHED does NOT necessarily mean that the president will be removed from office. Bill Clinton was impeached.


22 Adding Amendments Under the Articles of Confederation, it took ALL of the states agreeing before the government could be changed. The new constitution would make it easier to fix any unforeseen problems because only ¾ of the states had to agree for the Constitution to be amended (9 out of 13).

23 First Ten Amendments to the Constitution

24 The Bill of Rights The First Amendment Freedom of religion, speech, the press, and petitioning the government. The Second Amendment Guarantees Americans the right to own weapons without fear of interference with the government. The Third Amendment Says the government cannot force US citizens to quarter federal troops. The Fourth Amendment Protects citizens from being arrested for no reason. Protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fifth Amendment Guarantees that citizens may not be imprisoned or have their property taken from the government without due process. The Fifth Amendment also says that defendants do not have to testify against themselves in court. This is called self-incrimination. Places limits on eminent domain, which is the government’s power to take property that it needs. Also protects citizens against double jeopardy.


26 The Bill of Rights The Sixth Amendment Guarantees citizens’ the right to a public and speedy trial by jury. Also guarantees the right to legal representation (a lawyer). The Seventh Amendment Extends the right to have a lawyer to civil cases as well. Civil cases are when a person sues another person for money. The Eighth Amendment Prohibits the government from imposing excessive bail or fines. It also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The Ninth Amendment Says that there are other rights that people have that are not specifically stated in the Bill of Rights. The Tenth Amendment Says that any powers not specifically given to the federal government are given to the states or to individuals.


28 Judiciary Act of 1789 The Constitution was vague about what powers the judiciary had. So in response, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which set up the federal courts system. At first, the Supreme Court and the federal courts were very weak. They really had no influence over the government.


30 “Revolution” of 1800 George Washington and John Adams were the first two presidents. Both were Federalists. Because of the Alien and Sedition Acts, voters were upset with the Federalist Party. So, the Democratic-Republicans won the Election of 1800 and Thomas Jefferson became president. So, power switched from one party to another in America without a single shot being fired. This has been called the “Revolution” of 1800.

31 “Midnight Judges” Remember: the President of the United States is who appoints judges to the federal courts and the Supreme Court. So just before leaving office, Adams appointed many judges to the new federal courts. These judges were appointed just one or two days before his presidency was over. Because of this, they were called the “midnight judges.”

32 USHC 1.7 Summarize the expansion of the power of the national government as a result of Supreme Court decisions under Chief Justice John Marshall, such as the establishment of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison and the impact of political party affiliation on the Court.

33 After their devastating defeat in the Election of 1800, “doomsday” was quickly approaching for John Adams and the Federalist Party.

34 ELECTIONSUCCESSOR’S TERM 1801 In a “lame duck” session, the outgoing Congress meets and passes laws before the newly-elected members of Congress can take their seats.


36 The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. From Article III, Section 1

37 “Lame Duck” SessionLame Duck Sixteen new federal circuit judges Sixteen federal judges with life tenure would be able to undermine Jefferson and the Republicans from the bench.

38 Federalist Secretary of State (Adams Administration) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court “Midnight” Appointment John Marshall Chief Justice

39 William Marbury (Midnight Judge) James Madison (Secretary of State) (1803)

40 The judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution... From The Federalist No. 78

41 (1803) John Marshall Chief Justice Marshall’s Dilemma

42 (1803) John Marshall Chief Justice Marshall’s Decision


44 Marshall: The Supreme Court can declare laws to be unconstitutional. (in this case, a federal law passed by Congress) John Marshall Chief Justice

45 Marbury v. Madison (1803) As the new President, Jefferson refused to deliver the commission (order) which created the new judgeships. This meant that the new judges did not get the job that was promised to them by John Adams. One of the judges, William Marbury, asked the Supreme Court to issue an order to require Thomas Jefferson to deliver the commission. In Marbury vs. Madison (1803), the Supreme Court stated that the new judges had the right to their new jobs in the federal court. But, it also said that the Supreme Court did not have the right to force the President to allow them to have their jobs.

46 The importance of Marbury v. Madison is that it set up the principal of “judicial review.” Judicial review means that the courts have the power to declare acts of Congress or state legislatures “unconstitutional.” This meant that the Supreme Court became a very strong branch of government after this ruling. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during this case was John Marshall. The cases that John Marshall ruled on became known as “The Marshall Court.” John Marshall strengthened the role of the Supreme Court. Marbury v. Madison (1803)

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