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Unit 1: Political Power Section 1: Constitution Essential Question: How did the Framers ensure that citizens would be protected from tyranny?

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 1: Political Power Section 1: Constitution Essential Question: How did the Framers ensure that citizens would be protected from tyranny?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 1: Political Power Section 1: Constitution Essential Question: How did the Framers ensure that citizens would be protected from tyranny?

2 Basic Concepts of American Government: Limited Government: – Government is not all- powerful – Individuals have rights that the government cannot take away Representative Government: – The people should have a voice in government – Citizens choose members to represent their interests in the federal government – Government serves the people

3 Government in the Colonies Each colony had its own form of government – The colonies were culturally and politically different from each other – Bicameral Legislature: Power was divided between two levels (houses) of government – Unicameral Legislature: Power rested in the hands of one house.

4 Common Features of State Constitutions Popular Sovereignty: – The belief that government can only exist with the consent of the people (people hold the power) Limited Government Civil Rights and Liberties Separation of Powers / Checks and Balances

5 The Articles of Confederation: – During the Second Continental Congress, an agreement was made that unified the states into a confederation (a collection of states who work together for a common purpose) Powers under the A.O.C: – Congress could declare war, coin money, and raise an army – States held all other powers

6 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation: 1.States promised to give money to Congress to help it pay off its war debt but few states paid anything 2.The government (Congress) had no power to enforce its laws or to make the states honor their promises 3.The government could only make decisions with near total agreement of the states (this rarely happened)

7 The Failure of the Articles of Confederation Shays Rebellion: – Trade between the states was not regulated by the national government, this led to economic problems that hurt the local economy – Daniel Shays, a former military commander, led an uprising against the government of Massachusetts in protest of the poor economy – The state was unable to stop the rebellion and the national government could not help – Other states sent volunteers to stop the uprising – This led to the call for a stronger national government

8 Constitutional Proposals and a Compromise is Reached: The Virginia Plan: – Called for 3 separate branches of government – Called for a bicameral (2- house) legislature – Wanted government representation to be based on a states population (this plan made large states more powerful) – President chosen by Congress The New Jersey Plan: – Called for a unicameral (1- house) legislature – Called for a “federal executive” a group of people that would serve as President – Wanted government representation to be equal (2 members from each state) – Federal Executives would be chosen by Congress

9 A Compromise is Reached The Connecticut (Great) Compromise: – Three branches of government would be created Executive Legislative Judicial – Congress would be bicameral House : representation based on a states population Senate: each state would have 2 members 3/5 Compromise: – Compromise would count 5 slaves as 3 free people for both taxing and representation but at a reduced number.

10 Federalist vs. Anti-federalists: Federalist View: – Called for a stronger federal government – Believed that the Constitution properly protected the rights of the people. Anti-federalist View: – Feared an overly powerful federal government that would not protect the rights of the people – Did not want states to ratify the Constitution until a Bill of Rights was added.

11 Checks and Balances Checks and Balances: – Each branch of government can be restrained (checked) by either of the other branches – This protects liberty and the separation of powers – The power to check the other branches is clearly defined by the Constitution

12 Changing the Constitution Formal Amendment: – Changing the actual wording of the Constitution Informal Amendment: – Changing the meaning, interpretation, or application of the Constitution without changing the wording Executive (Presidential) Actions: – Presidents have attempted to push the limits of their authority by taking advantage of “grey areas” of the Constitution. Legislation: – Congress passes laws that have the power of the government to back them

13 How the Constitution Can Be Amended T2-10

14 Judicial Review Judicial Review: – The power to interpret the constitutionality of a law or governmental action – The Supreme Court has the authority to determine whether or not a government actions conforms or goes against the Constitution – If a law or action goes against the Constitution it is declared unconstitutional and the law is removed

15 Federalism: The Division of Power Federalism: – Power is divided between the states and the federal government Concurrent Power: Powers shared by both the Federal and State government – Levy and collect taxes – Borrow money – Establish courts – Define crimes and set punishments

16 Federalism: The Division of Power Federal Powers as Defined by the Constitution – Expressed (Enumerated) Powers: Powers that are specifically given to the Federal Government These powers are clearly defined by the Constitution – Implied Powers: Powers not specifically stated in the Constitution but it is reasonable to assume that the Federal Government should have such authority Sometimes referred to as “The Necessary and Proper Clause”

17 Federalism: The Division of Power State Powers as Defined by the Constitution – Reserved Powers Powers that are specifically granted to the states (state government) Allows the state to regulate matters within its borders in areas that do not contradict the powers of the Federal Government The 10 th Amendment further guarantees such protections – Powers Denied to the States States cannot take actions that specifically granted to the Federal Government such as enter into treaties or coin their own money

18 Key Clauses Found in the Constitution – Elastic Clause: Allows the Federal Government to carry out their enumerated powers – The Commerce Clause: Allows the Federal Government to conduct trade and regulate the economy – Supremacy Clause: In areas where Federal policies and State policies come into conflict, the Federal policy will supersede the state policy – Full Faith and Credit Clause: Legal (civil) rulings from one state, must be honored by all others this also applies to things such as marriage and divorce

19 Federalism: The Division of Power – Extradition: The Federal Government requires state governments to turn over fugitives so that they may be tried for the crimes committed in another state This prevents people from fleeing one state to escape penalty for crimes committed in another state – Privileges and Immunities Clause: State governments must grant the same rights and privileges to visitors as it would to its own residents


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