Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The making of the Constitution

Similar presentations

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

1 The making of the Constitution
WE THE PEOPLE The making of the Constitution

2 Why Write the Constitution?*
People favored a republic – citizens rule through elected representatives Articles of Confederation (1st Attempt) Weak Central Government – No Power one branch each state = 1 vote no national currency Continental Congress had no power to tax settle disputes between the states Domestic and Foreign Problems Shays’s Rebellion Lots 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 government Began May 25, 1787 in Philadelphia, PA 55 delegates attended, including James Madison & George Washington Constitution was written to solve problems of a weak central government under the Articles of Confederation.

5 Issues #1 w/ the Constitution
Representation Large states -- all representation should be proportional -- based on the population of each state -- Therefore states with larger populations would have more representatives in Congress Small 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 commerce Virginia Plan (large states) Create a new form of government with 3 branches & proportional representation creates a system of checks and balances Great (Connecticut) Compromise Two houses of Legislature (Bicameral) Senate: equal representation -- 2 votes for each state House of Representatives: votes based on population

7 Issues #2 w/ the Constitution
Slavery How 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 themselves Limited the powers of the federal government to those identified in the Constitution

11 Issues #4 w/ the Constitution
Free Flow of Commerce among the States Tariff 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 transpired Authored the “Virginia Plan,” which became the foundation for the structure of the new government. He later authored much of the Bill of Rights.

14 Ratification Before 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 Constitution Nine 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 states Believed that separation of powers created checks and balances Believed that the individual rights of citizens were implied in the Constitution and that there was no need for a Bill of Rights Anti-Federalists (Against the Constitution) Believed that a federal Government would favor the interests of the rich and powerful and ignore the rights of the poor Believed that one central government would be too powerful and would threaten individual rights and liberties And 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 Madison present arguments for the Constitution Anti-Federalists also write papers, but are not as organized Presented 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 Constitution guaranteed the rights of individual citizens these rights can not be taken away by the Federal government without 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 governments US Government Guiding Principles Separation 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 population Senate -- equal representation (2 per state) Delegated and Reserved powers Executive – President (enforces the laws) elected by Electoral College powers: veto over laws and nomination of certain position Judicial -- 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.

Download ppt "The making of the Constitution"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google