Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Constitutional Convention

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The Constitutional Convention"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Constitutional Convention
US Politics

2 Overview Basic Principles
The Organization/Structure of the New Government The Road to Ratification

3 Constitutional Convention
Virginia Plan (Edmund Randolph) bicameral legislature, lower house elected by people, upper house elected by lower house from names submitted by state legislatures. seats in both allocated by population size executive chosen by legislature, single term national judiciary, chosen by legislature, life terms national gov sovereign

4 Constitutional Convention
New Jersey Plan (William Paterson) unicameral legislature, each state equal legislature regulate trade/commerce and tax states (proportional to population) legislature elects “collegial” executive executive selects national judiciary national gov sovereign

5 Constitutional Convention
Connecticut (Great) Compromise (Roger Sherman) bicameral legislature one house based on proportional representaion one house based on state equality

6 Constitutional Convention
But if one house based on proportional representation, what should serve as basis? geography? wealth? population?

7 Constitutional Convention
They settle on population, but that in turn raised the question as to who should count as part of the population In particular, should slaves count as part of a state’s population?

8 Constitutional Convention
Convention works out a compromise, whereby each slave counts as 3/5ths of a free person

9 Basic Principles Three guiding principles of the Constitution:
Separation of Powers Checks and Balances Federalism

10 Basic Principles Separation of Powers:
The division of the national government into three distinct branches corresponding to the basic functions of government: Legislature (make laws) Executive (administer the laws) Judiciary (interpret and enforce the laws)

11 Basic Principles Checks and Balances
Powers/Responsibilities given to one branch of government are offset by powers delegated to another branch. e.g., Congress may pass a bill, but it doesn’t become law until the President signs it. President can veto legislation, but Congress can override the veto

12 Checks and Balances

13 Basic Principles Federalism
Shared power relations between the national government and the states An attempt to forge a path between the strong central government of a unitary model and the weakened central government of a confederation

14 Basic features of the Constitution
Creates bicameral legislature (Congress) People elect the House of Representatives State legislatures elect Senators Creates independent executive (President) Chosen by the Electoral College Creates national judiciary (Supreme Court) Nominated by President; Confirmed by Senate

15 Structure/Organization
Legislature: Congress bicameral (2 houses) House of Representatives based on population; the more people in the state, the more representatives it receives Senate each state equal representation 2 senators per state, each senator receives one vote contrast with Articles where each state delegation had a single vote

16 Structure/Organization
Executive President Vice President Cabinet Executive Agencies

17 Structure/Organization
Judiciary Supreme Court Other federal courts created by Congress

18 Basic features of the Constitution
Power concentrated at the national level “Supremacy” Clause (Article 6) New Powers (most are given to Congress) Power to levy/collect taxes Regulate interstate commerce Raise and maintain a standing army enact all laws “necessary and proper”

19 Amending the Constitution
Two primary means for amending the constitution: Formal actual changes in language of Constitution through addition or deletion) Informal changes in ways in which we interpret the language of the Constitution

20 Amending the Constitution
Proposal 2/3rds vote of both houses of Congress National Convention called by 2/3rds of states Ratification Legislatures of 3/4ths of states By conventions in 3/4ths of the states

21 Amending the Constitution
Informal method Supreme Court reinterprets language of the Constitution “Judicial Review” Marbury v. Madison (1803)

22 Constitution Today Includes Amendments Significant changes:
Bill of Rights (1st through 10th Amendments) judicial review (Marbury v. Madison) no slavery (13th Amendment) expanded federal power (14th Amendment) expanded voting rights (15th, 19th, 24th, 26th) direct election of senators (17th Amendment) terms limits on president (22nd Amendment)

23 Constitutional Convention
17 September 1787 Convention adopts Constitution Sends to the states for ratification (approval) 9 states required to ratify and adopt the Constitution Ratification by special convention in each state

24 Delaware 12/7/1787 30-0 Pennsylvania 12/12/87 46-23 New Jersey 12/19/87 38-0 Georgia 1/2/1788 26-0 Connecticut 1/9/1788 128-40 Mass. 2/6/1788 Maryland 4/28/1788 63-11 So. Carolina 5/23/1788 149-73 New Hamp. 6/21/1788 57-46 Virginia 6/25/1788 89-79 New York 7/26/1788 30-27 No. Carolina 11/21/89 187-77 Rhode Is. 5/29/1790 34-32

25 Delaware 12/7/87 30-0 Pennsylvania 12/12/87 46-23 (12) New Jersey
12/19/87 38-0 Georgia 1/2/1788 26-0 Connecticut 1/9/1788 128-40 Mass. 2/6/1788 (10) Maryland 4/28/88 63-11 So. Carolina 5/23/88 149-73 New Hamp. 6/21/88 57-46 (6) Virginia 6/25/88 89-79 (6) New York 7/26/88 30-27 (2) No. Carolina 11/21/89 187-77 Rhode Is. 5/29/90 34-32 Pa vote: 12 votes, Mass 10 votes, NH 6 votes

26 Ratification Calculations
The Constitution would not have been ratified if as few as 14 votes (about 1% of total cast), had changed sides in the debate If 36 votes had changed, a majority of states would have voted against ratification Given that it was so close, and that we think of the Constitution as a great success Why was it so controversial?

Download ppt "The Constitutional Convention"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google