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U.S. Constitution Basics

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Constitution Basics"— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Constitution Basics

2 Background of the Constitution
English Common Law Magna Charta English Civil War Enlightenment French and Indian/Seven Years War American Revolution Articles of Confederation Annapolis Convention

3 Articles of Confederation
National Government War and Defense Declare War Make Peace Sign Treaties Financial Matters Borrow Money Set Standards Coins Weights Measures Post Office Native American Affairs State Governments

4 What They Didn’t Do Enact or collect taxes Enforce laws (no executive)
Regulate interstate or foreign trade Settle disputes (no courts) Represent by population (two per state, but one vote per state) Pass laws without 2/3 majorities (9 of 12 states) Amend without consent of all states Show national unity

5 Problems Facing the Country
Mostly Economic War debt=$150 million borrowed from European nations Paper money (the Continental) was worthless Unable to impose a tariff when RI rejects it Creditors v Debtors on value of money

6 International Concerns
Britain refuses to evacuate forts on the Great Lakes Americans won’t repay for confiscated property of merchants or Loyalists National gov’t can’t raise an army Spain closes Mississippi to Americans Northerners want lucrative concessions Southerners and Westerners want to ship crops on the river

7 Domestic Confrontations
Shay’s Rebellion (1787) Farmers faced heavy tax burdens in MA State militia called out by banker-controlled state government Fear of a rebellion spreading Annapolis Convention of 5 states (1786) Interstate trade issues Led by Madison (VA) and Hamilton (NY) Calls for a national convention for remedy

8 Men of the Constitution
Signers of the Constitution

9 Founding Fathers

10 Political Precedents Republic Direct Democracy (Athens)
Confederation (Switzerland) Renaissance City-States (Italy) Republic w/Senate (Rome) Direct Democracy (Athens)

11 Political Problems Representation Centralized Authority Western Land
State Population Centralized Authority Federation Confederation Western Land Economic concerns Foreign Relationships

12 Basic Facts What: Supreme Law of the Land When:
1787—drafted 1788—ratified 1789—in effect Who: Constitutional Convention Why: Articles of Confederation weak How: through a series of compromises

13 Key Conflicts at the Convention
STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT STRONG STATES -Authority derives from the people -Central gov’t should be stronger -Authority derives from the states -States should remain stronger LARGE STATES SMALL STATES -Two houses of Congress -Delegates apportioned by population -One house of Congress -Each state has one representative and one vote NORTH SOUTH -Slaves not counted for population -Slaves counted for taxation -Slaves counted for representation -Slaves not counted for taxation

14 Constitutional Compromises
Slavery 3/5th Compromise Western Lands Northwest Ordinance Representation Bicameral Legislature

15 Structure of the Document
Preamble—Introduction, Purpose Article 1—Legislature Article 2—Executive Article 3—Judicial Article 4—States Article 5—Amending Article 6—Establishing Government Article 7—Ratification Amendments 1-27—Changes

16 Separation of Powers Executive Judicial Legislative

17 Legislative Branch (Article I)
-Establishes lower courts -Confirms or rejects appointments -Override vetoes -Approves budgets -House can impeach -Senate confirms or rejects appointments

18 Executive Branch (Article II)
-Can call special sessions -Proposes legislation -Has access to media -Can veto bills -Writes budget -Can grant reprieves of sentences -Can pardon convicted persons -Appoints federal judges

19 Judicial Branch -Decides meaning of law through case decisions
-Can declare acts unconstitutional -Appointed for life, so free from pressures -Can declare orders or actions unconstitutional

20 Amending the Constitution
Change Proposed by Congress Ratified by ¾ of States Must be enforced Can’t be made “unconstitutional”

21 Quick Guide to Amendments
1-10=Bill of Rights 11 & 12=Resolve Internal Conflicts 13-15=Civil War Amendments 16-19=Progressive Era 20-26=20th Century Resolutions 26=Kind of Slipped Through

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