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Unit 1 Notes 4 The Constitution.

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1 Unit 1 Notes 4 The Constitution

2 GPS SSUSH5 The student will explain specific events and key ideas that brought about the adoption and implementation of the United States Constitution. a. Explain how weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation and Daniel Shays’ Rebellion led to a call for a stronger central government. b. Evaluate the major arguments of the anti-Federalists and Federalists during the debate on ratification of the Constitution as put forth in The Federalist concerning form of government, factions, checks and balances, and the power of the executive, including the roles of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. c. Explain the key features of the Constitution, specifically the Great Compromise, separation of powers, limited government, and the issue of slavery. d. Analyze how the Bill of Rights serves as a protector of individual and states’ rights. e. Explain the importance of the Presidencies of George Washington and John Adams; include the Whiskey Rebellion, non-intervention in Europe, and the development of political parties (Alexander Hamilton).

3 The Convention Congress met in Philadelphia to “revise” the Articles of Confederation. Every state except Rhode Island sends delegates (55 total) James Madison kept records of debates Debates closed to public Delegates were not allowed to speak about the proceedings outside of the building The delegates soon decided to “throw out” the articles and write a new document.

4 The Constitutional Convention

5 Conflict and Compromise

6 Conflict and Compromise

7 Ratification In order to make the constitution official, 9 of the 13 states had to approve Special elections were held delegates were chosen by voters for a state convention Those delegates would vote to approve or reject the constitution

8 Two Sides Federalists Antifederalists Supported the constitution
Believed a strong central government was needed Believed separation of powers and check and balances would protect individual freedoms Antifederalists Disapproved of the constitution Believed power should stay with individual states Believed the Constitution did not go far enough to protect individual freedoms

9 Federalists Led by George Washington, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton Were supported by urban centers and small states Published a series of essays called “The Federalist” Analyzed and explained the constitution to voters

10 Antifederalists Led by Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams
Supported by rural farmers and large states Published “Letters from the Federal Farmer” to explain that they believed freedom of the press and religion needed to be protected

11 Another Compromise Antifederalists demanded a Bill of Rights
Federalists yielded, and promised a Bill of Rights would be added if the states ratified the Constitution

12 Ratification After a series of debates, most of the states approved the Constitution New government became official in 1789

13 Bill of Rights Added to the Constitution in 1791 First 10 Amendments
Secured individual freedoms and limited government power


15 Questions for Class Discussion
Did the Convention exceed its authority?  If the Convention did exceed its authority, should it have anyway?   Would the United States have been better off if the Virginia Plan had been adopted as presented?  If the New Jersey Plan had been adopted?

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