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The Constitution and Bill of Rights SS8H4 The students will describe the impact of events that lead to the ratification of the United States Constitution.

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Presentation on theme: "The Constitution and Bill of Rights SS8H4 The students will describe the impact of events that lead to the ratification of the United States Constitution."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Constitution and Bill of Rights SS8H4 The students will describe the impact of events that lead to the ratification of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. a. and b.

2 We sent the king our Declaration of Independence, what do we do now? At the Second Continental Congress the delegates also created the Articles of Confederation, our new country’s first government constitution. This was adopted in November, 1777 and finally approved by the states in March of It formed a loose partnership among the equal states

3 New nation, new government Articles of Confederation – Because of the experience of the American Revolution, Americans were frightened by a strong central government and showed more loyalty to their states – The new government contained only a one branch (unicameral) legislature with no power to enforce laws or settle disputes – Each state had its own court system

4 Why did the Articles of Confederation fail? Congress had no money and could not levy taxes; it could only ask states for “voluntary contributions” Congress had no power to regulate trade between states or with foreign nations Congress failed to protect citizens from state discrimination and economic difficulties after the war Congress was very weak with no real power, one representative from each state

5 Shay’s Rebellion  America was in financial trouble: it had business failures, people in debt, trade problems, war debt and soldiers salaries not paid  Massachusetts farmers blamed state taxes and politicians in the eastern part of the state for their financial problems  Daniel Shays led a revolt against the state government, trying to capture arms at the state militia arsenal and closing the courts  Neither state nor Confederation government had the power to stop the rebellion  How could a country exist if it could not keep law and order?

6 Use this link/website to analyze and look up the summary of this historical print. Federalism v Anti-federalism

7 Problems and Compromises – The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent, Congress approved a plan to hold a convention in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in – May to October 1787 – 55 delegates from 12 states; Georgia sent 4, but only William Few and Abraham Baldwin would sign the final document.

8 Examine the building. The meeting was conducted in secrecy with the doors and windows closed to any eavesdroppers. Why would they do that?

9 Problems and Compromises Six compromises were needed to create the new Constitution and a stronger national government:  Federalism  Separation of Powers  Checks and Balances  Representation  Guarantees to the States  Amending the Constitution

10 1. Federalism On the issue of a stronger national government with strong state powers, the compromise consisted of distributing the powers:  National government is in charge of national matters ex. foreign policy; money  In matters of both national & state government concern, they share power ex. highways; taxes  In some matters, states are free to govern without national interference; local governments are arms of the state ex. education programs; traffic violations

11 2. Separation of Power Divided into 3 branches To prevent a national government from becoming a dictatorship, the framers of the Constitution laid out a plan for shared powers. – The National government would be divided into three branches, all based on the voters. – Both the leaders of the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch would be voted on by the people, and the – leaders of the Judicial Branch would be selected by the Executive & Legislative Branch.

12 Separation of Power=Branches of Government 1. Our Government gets it’s power from the people 2. Our Constitution- “supreme law of the land” 3. Legislative Branch- makes the laws 4. Executive Branch- carryout, enforce and administer the laws 5. Judicial Branch- Interprets the laws and settles disputes

13 3. Checks and Balances To further balance the power, each of the three branches could check the powers of the others Confirms appointments Impeach, override veto Power to Veto Impeach and propose amendments Executive Branch Judicial Branch Determines if laws Are constitutional Makes appointments Interpret laws, determine constitutionality Legislative Branch

14 4. Representation in Congress “The Great Compromise” Small states (like Delaware) wanted equal representation They created the Congress with 2 houses(bicameral)- the House of Representatives with numbers based on population and the Senate with 2 representatives from each state Large states (Virginia Plan) wanted representation based on population Abraham Baldwin, who was from Georgia, forced the Compromise because he cast the tie vote.

15 Representation Another compromise concerning representation was the Three-Fifth Compromise 3/5 of the slave population would be counted for population and taxes; Congress could not regulate the slave trade for 20 years (1808) States with many slaves wanted to count slaves into population totals, but not be taxed on them Non slave states did not want to count slaves into population totals; wanted Congress to regulate slave trade

16 5. Guarantees to the States How would the Constitution protect the states and guide their relationships? The National government will protect the states from foreign invasion or domestic violence Moving from state to state will not deny a citizen his rights There will be an orderly process for a territory to become a state, with equal rights and powers as other states (no colonies) Every state is guaranteed a republican form of government, but lets the people of each state shape that government

17 6. Amending the Constitution How easy would it be to change this document on which the government was built? Two-thirds of both houses of Congress or two- thirds of state legislatures must propose an amendment or call a convention to propose one; ¾ of the states would have to approve the proposed amendment for it to pass. (In 200 years this has happened only 27 times) Not so easy so as to be altered by a temporary change in Congressional emotions Must be flexible to grow with a changing nation

18 Will the States Approve the Constitution? The Bill of Rights Fearing danger to individual liberties in the new Constitution, opponents to the Constitution got a promise to add guarantees in order to get their states to ratify it. They are known as The Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments):

19 Bill of Rights I. Freedom of religion, expression, press, & assembly II. Right to bear arms III. No quartering of soldiers IV. No unreasonable searches or seizures V. Right to due process of law (rights of persons accused of a crime), right to not incriminate yourself VI. Right to a fair trial, right to a trial by jury, VII. Standard for Civil Court jury trials VIII. Fair bail and punishments IX. Rights to be retained by the people X. Powers reserved to the states and people (powers not listed by The Constitution are reserved to the people or the state.)

20 James Madison, father of the Constitution “The Federalist Papers were a series of eighty-five newspaper essays published anonymously but were in fact written in defense of the Constitution by James Madison, John Jay (1745– 1829), and Alexander Hamilton. This collected volume was once owned by Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, whose sister gave it to Thomas Jefferson.” (Library of Congress, Creating the United States)

21 GA state Constitution of 1777 Counties replaced the Parishes Unicameral legislature, with extensive powers including the power to appoint the governor and justices to the courts Governor’s proposals subject to approval by the legislature(executive council) Allowed for revisions when called by a majority of the people or counties

22 The war is over, people are looking to return home and start planting for the next harvest. Can their new government protect them?

23 GA’s State Constitution Changes in 1789 to be more like the US Constitution The Revolutionary War hurt the economy and divided its citizens The state had committed to give land grants to the war veterans for their service Legislature now called the General Assembly, which became bicameral and members were elected by popular vote Separated the power into three branches just like the federal constitution but did not balance the powers equally

24 Birth of a powerful new document And so through compromise, our Enduring Constitution was formed

25 Review Due to weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation a Constitutional Convention is called There is much debate over the new constitution from the two sides, federalist who wanted a strong central government and anti-federalist who opposed this. After months of debates, discussions, and compromises a new Constitution is created and includes a Bill of Rights Georgia makes changes to its constitution too


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