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The Creation of the Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "The Creation of the Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Creation of the Constitution

2 The Constitutional Convention
Key Question: “How do you create a government strong enough to protect people but not strong enough to endanger liberty?”

3 The Constitutional Convention
“Decisions are made by those who show up” Jeffersonians Madisonians Hamiltonians

4 The Structure of the New Government
The Virginia Plan Strong National Government Consisting of Three Branches Legislative Branch (Making Laws) Two Houses In the Legislature Lower House would be directly elected by people, with states getting a number of representatives proportional to population Upper House selected by state legislatures, with states getting a number of representatives proportional to population Executive Branch (Enforce Laws) Executive elected by the Legislative Branch Judicial Branch (Interpret Laws) Council Of Revision (Made up of Executive and Some Judiciary Members) Power to Veto Laws

5 The Structure of the New Government
The New Jersey Plan National Government Consisting of Three Branches Legislative Branch (Making Laws) The Houses would consist of an equal number of members per state The issue wasn’t a “structural” one, but a political one. Most delegates agreed that the Virginia Plan made “sense” from a democratic stand point. What the delegates from the small states wondered was how they could sell it the idea. How can they get their citizens behind an idea that greatly weakened their power and influence from the Articles of Confederation?

6 The Structure of the New Government
The Connecticut Compromise Legislative Branch Would still be organized into two houses The Lower House (House of Representatives) Representation would be based on population of the state (Virginia) Given the power to tax Elected directly by the people The Upper House (Senate) Representation would be equal per state (New Jersey) Given the power to confirm Presidential appointments Elected by State Legislatures (later changed by 17th Amendment)

7 3/5 Compromise With the number of representatives in the House being determined by population the question becomes, “How do we count the population?” Southern States: A Whole Person Northern States: Don’t Count 3/5 Compromise Slaves Count as 3/5 a person

8 Constitutional Compromises

9 Weaknesses of the Articles
Could not levy taxes (Constitution gives power to Federal Government) Could not regulate commerce (Commerce Compromise) Each state got one vote regardless of population (The Connecticut Compromise creates the House of Representatives) Any measure had to be passed by 9 out of the 13 states (Simple majority of both Houses of Congress) Congress coined very little money (Federal Government given sole power to do so) Army was dependent on state militias (Congress in charge of raising army) No way to solve territorial disputes (Congress sets state borders) No national judicial system (Federal Court system established) To amend the Articles required unanimous consent of all 13 states (Amendment process now only requires a super majority but not unanimous consent)

10 Key Elements of Constitution
Separation of Powers (Later Topic) Federalism (Later Topic) “Popular” Rule without being “Democratic” “Madisonian” Principles Rejection of Aristotle’s View that Government should instill virtue. A government that could do that would be too powerful How to create a government run by people who follow their own self-interest?

11 “Undemocratic” Features
It was physically impossible to create a direct democracy in a nation of this size and the founders distrusted the masses due to their reliance on emotion rather than reasons

12 “Undemocratic Features”
State legislatures elect Senators Electors (“Electoral College”) elect President Two kinds of majorities The people (The House of Reps) The states (The Senate) Judicial Branch and Judicial Review (Intent of Founders not clear) Amendment Process

13 Human Nature and Government
Aristotle: Government should seek to instill virtue in its citizens. Madison: Any government that could do that would be dangerously powerful. Must create a government that takes into account that man is self-interested

14 Human Nature and Government
How can government function when it must be run by self-interested men? There is one fundamental problem with Madison’s View

15 Human Nature and Government
What stops him from getting the money? $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$

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