Presentation on theme: "The making of the Constitution"— Presentation transcript:
1 The making of the Constitution WE THE PEOPLEThe making of the Constitution
2 Why Write the Constitution?* People favored a republic – citizens rule through elected representativesArticles of Confederation (1st Attempt)Weak Central Government – No Powerone brancheach state = 1 voteno national currencyContinental Congress had no power totaxsettle disputes between the statesDomestic and Foreign ProblemsShays’s RebellionLots of debt (can’t pay it back)
3 Two Options Amend (change) the Articles of Confederation Write new articles
4 The Constitutional Convention Meeting of delegates from all states (except Rhode Island) to create a new plan for the United States governmentBegan May 25, 1787 in Philadelphia, PA55 delegates attended, including James Madison & George WashingtonConstitution was written to solve problems of a weak central government under the Articles of Confederation.
5 Issues #1 w/ the Constitution RepresentationLarge states -- all representation should be proportional -- based on the population of each state -- Therefore states with larger populations would have more representatives in CongressSmall states -- all representation should be equal -- each state has the same number of delegates
6 Solution to Issue #1 New Jersey Plan (small states) Revise articles of Confederation - give Congress power to tax & regulate commerceVirginia Plan (large states)Create a new form of government with 3 branches & proportional representationcreates a system of checks and balancesGreat (Connecticut) CompromiseTwo houses of Legislature (Bicameral)Senate: equal representation -- 2 votes for each stateHouse of Representatives: votes based on population
7 Issues #2 w/ the Constitution SlaveryHow should slaves be counted? As property or as Population?How should they be taxed?
8 Solution to Issue #2 Three-fifths Compromise Each slave counts as 3/5 of a white man for purposes of taxation and representation
9 Issues #3 w/ the Constitution Who was more authority (power)?the States -- or–the National Government
10 Solution to Issue #3 Federalism (Division of Power) Made federal law the supreme law of the land, but otherwise gave the states considerable leeway to govern themselvesLimited the powers of the federal government to those identified in the Constitution
11 Issues #4 w/ the Constitution Free Flow of Commerce among the StatesTariff Issue (Tax)
12 Solution to Issue #4 Commerce Clause gave Congress the power to regulate trade between the states as well as with foreign nations.
13 Important People George Washington, Chairman of the Convention Washington presided at the Convention and, although seldom participating in the debates, lent his enormous prestige to the proceedings.James Madison, “Father of the Constitution”Madison, a Virginian who kept copious notes—the best record historians have of what transpiredAuthored the “Virginia Plan,” which became the foundation for the structure of the new government.He later authored much of the Bill of Rights.
14 RatificationBefore the Constitution can be put into practice, it must be ratified, or approved by the states.Debate over Constitution -- (Federalists and Anti-federalists)Each state sets up a convention to approve or reject the ConstitutionNine states must accept the Constitution for it to be ratified
15 Federalists -v- Anti-Federalists Federalists (In favor of the Constitution)Favor a strong national government that shares power with the statesBelieved that separation of powers created checks and balancesBelieved that the individual rights of citizens were implied in the Constitution and that there was no need for a Bill of RightsAnti-Federalists (Against the Constitution)Believed that a federal Government would favor the interests of the rich and powerful and ignore the rights of the poorBelieved that one central government would be too powerful and would threaten individual rights and libertiesAnd therefore believed that individual rights must be protected in a Bill of Rights
16 Federalists -v- Anti-Federalists Federalists write a series of papers called the “Federalist Papers”actually written by: Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madisonpresent arguments for the ConstitutionAnti-Federalists also write papers, but are not as organizedPresented arguments against the Constitution
17 The Constitution is Born After promising a Bill of Rights will be added, states begin to ratify the Constitution. (Delaware is 1st)In December 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments), written by James Madison are added to the Constitutionguaranteed the rights of individual citizensthese rights can not be taken away by the Federal governmentwithout the Bill of Rights, the Constitution could not have been ratified
18 Organizing the New Gov’t Federal System of Gov’t (Federalism):governmental power is divided between the central government and various state governmentsUS GovernmentGuiding PrinciplesSeparation of Powers - separate branches with independent powers and responsibilities so one doesn’t become to powerful.Checks and Balances – each branch can limit the powers of the others, to assure that one branch doesn’t becomes too powerful
19 Branches of Gov’t Legislative– Congress (makes the laws) House of Representatives -- representation based on populationSenate -- equal representation (2 per state)Delegated and Reserved powersExecutive – President (enforces the laws)elected by Electoral Collegepowers: veto over laws and nomination of certain positionJudicial -- Supreme Court (interprets the laws)
20 The Essential Understanding The Constitution of the United States of America established a government that shared power between the national government and state governments, protected the rights of states, and provided a system for orderly change through amendments to the Constitution itself.