Presentation on theme: "The United States Constitution Was it a revolution, progress or conservative backlash?"— Presentation transcript:
The United States Constitution Was it a revolution, progress or conservative backlash?
Post-revolutionary conditions Economic difficulties Political / social mobilization Social unrest –Shays' Rebellion, winter, 1786
Constitution Convention Main Players? Purpose? Nationalism Republicanism Conservatism Central Authority Scrap the A of C.
The Federal Constitution (1787): A bundle of compromises VA Plan – Large state plan NJ Plan – Small state plan The Great (Connecticut) Compromise Slavery Compromises: 3/5 Compromise Preservation of the slave trade for 20 years – 1807 Fugitive Slave Law “Mobocracy” Compromises: Electoral college Indirect election of senators Federal judges appointed for life
Key principles of the Constitution Separation of powers - assignment of law making, law interpreting and law executing functions to different branches of government Checks and balances - the power of scrutiny and control of each branch over the other two branches of government Republicanism - not classical democracy, but based on representation, calibrated popular input Federalism - two levels of government, with central government supreme
Separation of Powers "Ambition should be matched with ambition" (Madison) –Prevents power accumulation in one branch
What is the responsibility of the US Government? Preamble of the US Constitution We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I – The Legislative Branch The delegated / enumerated powers (Section 8, Clauses1-17) The elastic clause (Section 8, Clause 18) Article II – The Executive Branch Electoral college (Section 2, Clauses 2-3) Article III – The Judiciary “…one supreme court and… such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time… establish” (Section 1) Article IV – Relations of the states to one another The Fugitive Slave Clause (Section 2, Clause 3)
Article V – The Amendment process 2/3 of Congress & 3/4 of the states Article VI – General Provisions Supreme law of the land (Clause 2) Article VII – Ratification 9 states required
Ratification of the Constitution FederalistsAnti-Federalists