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Warm-up Did we keep the Articles of Confederation? Why or why not?

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Presentation on theme: "Warm-up Did we keep the Articles of Confederation? Why or why not?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Warm-up Did we keep the Articles of Confederation? Why or why not?
Did we create a strong central government? Why? What powers does the central government have? Did we establish a leader? Did we call him king? What did we call him? What if he gets too powerful? What can the leader do? How do we make sure he isn’t tyrranical?

2 Constitutional Convention & the 3 branches of government

3 The Philadelphia Convention
The Constitutional Convention (May-Sept. 1787) Purpose: Meeting to fix the Articles of Confederation How Conducted: 12 States represented (55 delegates) Rhode Island refused Leader: George Washington elected president of the convention John Adams, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison all present (no Jefferson)


5 James Madison After short debate, delegates agree to scrap the AOC
“The Father of the Constitution” Primary writer

6 Problems at Convention
Representation Slavery Executive Branch Trade Checks and Balances/Separation of Powers

7 Constitutional Compromises
Representation *Virginia Plan – Representation based on population *Bicameral -- 2 house legislative branch * “Big State Plan” – unfair to small states * New Jersey Plan – Equal representation * Unicameral – 1 house legislative branch * “Small State Plan” – unfair to large population states

8 The Great Compromise The “Connecticut” Compromise, written by Roger Sherman of Connecticut Structure: Bicameral legislature (2 houses) One house based on population (House of Reps) One house based on equal representation (Senate)


10 Other Compromises Slavery
*3/5 Compromise – of every 5 slaves, three counted toward population What would the free states have wanted? What would the slave states have wanted?




14 Electoral College Would we have a president?
How do we pick the president? Executive Branch *Electoral College – our method for electing a president

15 Ratification (Passage)
9/13 states must ratify to pass DE, NJ, GA, CT 1st to adopt PA 1st Large State MA, MD, SC, NH June 21, 1788 – Constitution is officially adopted *NY, VA, RI, NC adopt because they have no choice!

16 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
1st 2 political parties Federalists – supported the new Constitution Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay Write Essays under penname Publius (Federalist Papers) Argue for the new constitution Anti-Federalists – wanted more protections for individual rights (AKA Democrat-Republicans) Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee Write papers known as the Anti-Federalist Papers Argue for individual rights


18 What was missing? Will not be added until 1796

19 The Bill of Rights (1791) – Washington’s Major Accomplishment
1. RAPPS Freedom of Religion, Assembly, Press, Petition, Speech 2. Right to Bear Arms 3. No Quartering of Soldiers 4. No illegal Search and Seizure 5. No Double Jeopardy, Self Incrimination, Eminent Domain, etc… 6. Speedy Public Trial, Lawyer 7. Trial by Jury 8. No Cruel/Unusual Punishment or Excessive Bail or Fines 9. Constitution is not a limited document 10. Reserved Powers

20 The Three Branches of Government
Picture courtesy of

21 Back to philosophy Montesquieu: “Spirit of the Laws”
Believed that there are 3 types of gov’t: Republic (democratic or aristocratic), Monarchy, and Despotism (dictator) That is order to have the best gov’t, power should be separated within gov’t

22 Introduction U.S. Constitution divides powers among three branches
“Separation of Powers” Why was this done?

23 Separation of Powers Limits government powers
Prevents any one branch from having too much power

24 Three Branches of Government
Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch What does each branch do?

25 Three Branches of Government
Legislative Branch – makes the nation’s laws Executive Branch – carries out the laws Judicial Branch – interprets the laws

26 3 Branches of Government
Executive Branch Legislative Judicial Congress President & Vice President Supreme Court Advisors & Appointees Senate House of Representatives Federal Court System

27 Legislative Branch Article 1 of the Constitution
Congress – law-making branch Two houses Senate House of Representatives

28 Picture courtesy of

29 Executive Branch Article 2 of the Constitution
Executes, or carries out, nation’s laws President, Vice President, appointees & advisors

30 Photo courtesy of

31 Judicial Branch Article 3 of the Constitution
U.S. Supreme Court & federal court system Interprets laws Punishes law-breakers Determines if laws are constitutional

32 Photo courtesy of

33 Checks & Balances Each branch has its own powers
Yet, no branch can become too powerful How does the Constitution balance the powers?

34 Checks & Balances Each branch has powers to check, or limit, the powers of the other 2 branches

35 How does this work? Congress has power to make laws
President has power to veto, or turn down, proposed laws President can check power of Congress

36 Can Congress check the President’s power?
Congress can override, or pass a law over President’s veto 2/3 majority vote in both houses needed

37 Is the Supreme Court involved in law-making?
Supreme Court can check the powers of Congress and the President Interprets laws Determines if laws are constitutional

38 Wrap-up What are the three branches of government?
What are the primary responsibilities of each? Why does the U.S. Constitution provide for a separation of powers? How does the system of checks and balances work?

39 Homework: Think of 3-5 things you would add, remove, or change in the U.S. Constitution. Nothing needs to be turned in yet, just reflect on what you think needs to be addressed and come in tomorrow with some ideas.

40 Photo courtesy of

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