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A Call for a Stronger Government Representatives from Maryland and Virginia met at Mount Vernon, Virginia, in 1785 to discuss trade issues. The meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "A Call for a Stronger Government Representatives from Maryland and Virginia met at Mount Vernon, Virginia, in 1785 to discuss trade issues. The meeting."— Presentation transcript:


2 A Call for a Stronger Government Representatives from Maryland and Virginia met at Mount Vernon, Virginia, in 1785 to discuss trade issues. The meeting was so successful that the Virginia General Assembly requested a meeting of all thirteen States, which eventually became the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

3 Framers of the Constitution September 17, 1787

4 Different Constitutional Plans The Virginia Plan Three branches of government Bicameral legislature “National Executive” and “National Judiciary” The New Jersey Plan Unicameral Congress Equal representation for States of different sizes More than one federal executive

5 Constitutional Compromises  The Connecticut Compromise  Delegates agreed on a bicameral Congress, one segment with equal representation for States, and the other with representation proportionate to the States’ populations.  Three-Fifths Compromise  The Framers decided to count a slave as three-fifths of a person when determining the population of a State.  The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise  Congress was forbidden from taxing exported goods, and was not allowed to act on the slave trade for 20 years.

6 Articles of the Constitution

7 Conflict over Ratification Federalists thought that the Articles of Confederation were weak, and argued for the ratification of the Constitution. Anti-Federalists objected to the Constitution for many reasons, including the strong central government and the lack of a bill of rights.

8 Empire of Reason questions:  What was the strongest Federalist argument? Strongest Antifederalist argument?  How would you characterize the supporters of the Constitution? Opponents?  Which side of the debate would you have been on back in 1788 given the context of the times? Why?  What does the film suggest about the degree of unity in the United States by 1789?

9 The Constitution is Ratified  Nine States ratified the Constitution by June 21, 1788, but the new government needed the ratification of the large States of New York and Virginia.  Great debates were held in both States, with Virginia ratifying the Constitution June 25, 1788.  New York’s ratification was hard fought. Supporters of the Constitution published a series of essays known as The Federalist Papers.  Bill of Rights are not added and ratified until 1791.

10 An Outline of the Constitution The Constitution sets out the basic principles upon which government in the United States was built. The Constitution is a fairly brief document. The Constitution is organized into eight sections: the Preamble and seven articles. The original document is followed by 27 amendments.

11 Articles of the Constitution

12 Preamble of the Constitution We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. We the People

13 6 Basic Principles The principle of popular sovereignty asserts that the people are the source of any and all government power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed. The principle of limited government states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away. Separation of powers is the principle in which the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are three independent and coequal branches of government.

14 6 Basic Principles Checks and balances is the system that allows the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to check, or restrain, the actions of one another. The principle of judicial review consists of the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action. Federalism is a system of government in which the powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments.

15 Amending the US Constitution

16 Informal Amendment Processes The informal amendment process can take place by: (1) the passage of basic legislation by Congress (2) actions taken by the President; (3) key decisions of the Supreme Court; (4) the activities of political parties; and (5) custom.

17 Powers of the National Government The National Government is a government of delegated powers, meaning that it only has those powers delegated (granted) to it in the Constitution. There are three types of delegated powers: The enumerated powers are those found directly within the Constitution. The implied powers are not expressly stated in the Constitution, but are reasonably suggested, or implied by, the expressed powers. The inherent powers belong to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community. There are few inherent powers, with an example being the National Government’s ability to regulate immigration.

18 Powers of State Government The 10th Amendment declares that the States are governments of reserved powers:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The reserved powers are those powers that the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not, at the same time, deny to the States.


20 The Supreme Law of the Land The Supremacy Clause in the Constitution establishes the Constitution and United States laws as the “supreme Law of the Land.”

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