Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 Notes. Constitutional Convention May 1787- Delegates from each state (except Rhode Island) converged on Philadelphia for a convention to address."— Presentation transcript:
Constitutional Convention May 1787- Delegates from each state (except Rhode Island) converged on Philadelphia for a convention to address the problems within the Articles of Confederation. Focus: Addressed the structure of the National/Federal/Central Government. 12 of 13 states sent delegates. Why not Rhode Island? Who were these delegates? Who led the convention? Quickly realized that the Confederation had to be scrapped for a new form of government.
Operating Procedures 1. Decisions made by majority of votes (Each state was given one vote) 2. Agreed to keep discussions secret. Why? Public’s Opinion (?) Perpetual Contract (?) Problem: No records were kept How do we know what happened? Diaries (journals): James Madison in particular
Conflict 1: Structure of Central Government Why was there bound to be conflict between the states when it came to determining who had power? What was the structure of the central government under the Articles of Confederation? What are some of the problems with this basic structure?
Best Structure: Separation of Powers Baron Charles de Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws) Montesquieu’s Tripartite System: power should be divided between a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. No one or one group should have complete power. If power corrupts, how can one limit corruption? If you limit specific powers (the power to tax, the power to declare war….), how can the government operate in order to meet its four primary functions? The government must retain all necessary powers while also dividing power to avoid absolute power.
Virginia Plan 1. Three Branches: Legislative (create laws), Executive Branch (enforce laws), and Judicial (interpret and apply laws). 2. Legislature is divided into two parts (bicameral). Why? 3. Representation was based on population (more population, more delegates in legislature) Which is the most powerful branch? Who would oppose this plan? Why?
New Jersey Plan 1. Three Branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial 2. Legislature is one house (unicameral) 3. Each state gets one vote to represent them in legislature. Who opposes this plan? Why?
The Great Compromise (Roger Sherman of Connecticut) 1. Three Branches: Which branches? 2. Legislature is bicameral: The House of Representatives (The House!) and the Senate 3. Senate: Equal representation for each state = two reps per state 4. House of Representatives: Based on population How does this ensure more just/fair laws and policies? (consider the power of majority)
Conflict 2: Economics and Representation What was the economy of the southern states? What was the main source of labor in the southern economy? In the House of Representatives, how is representation determined? What is the problem for southern states?
3/5 th Compromise Southern states wanted to count the slave population in order to help determine the total population. Northern states argued that since slaves were treated as property, they should not be counted in the population. Solution: Representation and direct taxes on slaves would be based on three/fifths of the slave population. How is this a “compromise?”
Conflict #3: Choosing the Executive Options: Popular Vote: Gave too much power to the north (urban v. rural power). Smaller states needs aren’t met. Didn’t trust the population Legislature: “Fear of Intrigue”- The president being chosen by a small group of men who met regularly (pre-social networks). Closed door deals. The President would be bound to the legislature and not the people. Solution: Who chooses?
Electoral College A college is an organized group with a particular aim or purpose. Each state will be given a number of “electors” based off the number of their members of congress (two senators and all members of the House) Each state legislature will choose how the electors are chosen. Electors are pledged to a specific presidential/vice presidential candidate. The state popular vote determines which electors get to cast a vote. Majority of electoral votes determines the executive.
Electoral College There are a total of 538 electoral votes (100 senators + 435 reps + 3 DC electors). How many votes are required to win (majority rule)? Madison (Federalist No. 39) Mixture of state-based and population-based government. Problems: Popular vote does not confirm winner (not democratic) Swing states draw too much attention Favors smaller states
Ratification - Federalists Each state would create a ratifying convention to vote yes or no => 9 of 13 states required => if so, Constitution becomes the “Supreme Law of the Land.” Federalists: Supporters of the U.S. Constitution Federalism= A form of government in which power is divided between the federal (national) government and the state governments. The Federalists main arguments for a strong central government survive through a series of essays called The Federalist Papers written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. Feared a strong central government, but feared a weak central government more.
Anti-Federalists Anti-Federalists = Opposed the ratification of the U.S. Constitution Too much power to the national government (indirect government) Too little power to the states (direct government) Assault on state sovereignty Absence of a Bill of Rights = failed to provide the proper protection from the national government Failed to provide “essential” civil liberties
Agreement Federalists agreed to add a bill of rights after ratification. Ratification- June 21, 1788, New Hampshire was the 9 th state to ratify the Constitution => thus, creating the government of the United States of America The last state, Rhode Island, ratified the Constitution in 1790.
The Federalist Papers The Federalist Papers were written as a series of articles supporting the ratification of the Constitution. Written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the pen name “Publius” (one of 4 to overthrow the Roman monarchy and establish the Republic). They were written to the people of New York. Why? Today, the Federalist Papers are used as one of the main sources to understand and interpret the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.
Assignment: The Federalist No. 10 Written by James Madison Focus: how the new republic can best protect against factions (special interest groups) Protection against the Tyrannical Majority
Structure of the U.S. Constitution “It’s a plan, but not a straightjacket, flexible and short.” – Harry S. Truman ~4540 words All legitimate authority (power) is derived from the U.S. Constitution. Federal Government: The Branches State Government => defines local power Those governments cannot deviate outside of their powers defined in the U.S. Constitution Since the U.S. Constitution retains and defines all powers, what is it?
Basic Structure of the U.S. Constitution Structure: Preamble- Goals and purpose of the document The Articles- Powers distributed to the Branches The Amendments- Changes made over time The Preamble is….
The Articles 7 Articles- Article 1: Legislative Branch The power to create legislation (statutes/laws) Traditionally, the most powerful branch Article 2: Executive Branch The power to enforce (carryout) the laws created by Congress Article 3: Judicial Branch The power to interpret and apply law
The Articles (continued) Article 4: Relationship of the state governments to one another and to the Federal government. Full Faith and Credit How to make new states States must follow the Republic form of government Article 5: Amendment Process 2/3rds of both Houses (only successful process) National Convention (called on by 2/3rds of the states) Ratification of the Amendment is required by 3/4 th of the states. Article 6: Supremacy Clause- Government is bound to the Constitution, but in conflicts of Federal government and state law, the Federal government is Supreme. Article 7: Ratification
Amending the Constitution Essential to creating an enduring and eternal document/political institution. Total of 27 Amendments (changes) to the Constitution. First 10 Amendments are also known as the Bill of Rights. The amendment process was made to be difficult and require overwhelming support of the Nation.
Amending the Constitution Process: Located in Article 5 of the Constitution Two ways to Propose: By Congress with at least 2/3 rd of both the House and Senate By a national convention that is called by Congress at the request of 2/3 rd of state legislatures. Two ways to ratify: Legislatures in at least 3/4 th of all state legislatures. Citizens in each state choose delegates to conventions called to consider the amendment. Requires at least 3/4 th of all conventions approval.
Interpretations- Necessary and Proper Clause (Elastic Clause) Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18: Congress shall have the power “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers (the rest of Article 1).” Problem? Created Loose Interpretation (Big Government) and Strict Interpretation (Small Government) Precedent to support Loose Interpretation: McCulloch v. Maryland The Federal government had the power to make a National Bank even though that power was not specifically stated in the Constitution.
Popular Sovereignty “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The sovereign power of the U.S. Constitution is granted by the people => the belief that the right to rule comes from the people = popular sovereignty Founders chose a republic to ensure that people (the majority) were not granted absolute power. If power is granted by the people, it can be taken back => the U.S. Constitution is our Social Contract
Checks and Balances Each branch is given the power to restrain or cancel the actions of other branches => less corruption/less abuse Checks and Balances is the result of separation of powers (they are not the same thing). Explain?