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The American Revolution is over…but now the colonists have to decide how they want to frame their government. Take the first 5 minutes of class and imagine.

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Presentation on theme: "The American Revolution is over…but now the colonists have to decide how they want to frame their government. Take the first 5 minutes of class and imagine."— Presentation transcript:

1 The American Revolution is over…but now the colonists have to decide how they want to frame their government. Take the first 5 minutes of class and imagine that you were a colonist that just fought against the British. Take out a sheet of paper and write a letter (using full sentences!) to George Washington telling him what you want him to remember when the delegates are making our Constitution. Hints: taxes, voting, your region, religion, etc. (I will be choosing people to share their answers!)

2 The Road to the Constitution

3 3

4 Quick Review Declaration of Independence Second Continental Congress Approved July 4, 1776 The Articles of Confederation 1777, our first constitution Weak federal government Shay’s Rebellion, 1786-1787

5 Strengthening the National Government 1787 Problems with the Articles of Confederation States sent delegates to Philadelphia to fix the A.O.C. Rhode Island did not go…they did not want a stronger central government

6 The Constitutional Convention May 25, 1787 Independence Hall, Philadelphia An extraordinary group of men 55 men Well-educated Lawyers, merchants, college presidents, doctors, generals, governors, and planters with considerable political experience

7 Who was there? Who missed it? Benjamin Franklin 81, oldest delegate George Washington & James Madison Both would become president Thomas Jefferson & John Both were in Europe Patrick Henry Prominent Virginian He was invited but did not attend; he was against the convention

8 The Boss Who was chosen to preside over the convention? George Washington Respected for his leadership during the Rev. War

9 Procedures of the Convention Each state was only allowed one vote Majority votes from all states made decisions All discussions were a secret! Why…? This way, delegates could speak freely, without worry about how the public would react

10 Importance of the Constitutional Convention “I would bury my bones in this city rather than leave the Convention without anything being done.” -George Mason at the Constitutional Convention *Everyone knew that failure could mean disaster*

11 What happened to the… Articles of Confederation??? The throw it away, decided to write a new constitution

12 Two Opposing Plans VS. Virginia vs. New Jersey

13 Two Opposing Plans The Virginia Plan James Madison 3 branches of government Bicameral legislature (2 houses), determined by population Favored big states

14 Two Opposing Plans The New Jersey Plan William Patterson 3 branches of government Unicameral legislature (1 house) with equal representation Favored smaller states

15 Two Opposing Plans What was the big issue? How representation in Congress would be decided Larger states wanted more power, smaller states wanted equal power

16 The Great Compromise Roger Sherman of Connecticut comes up with the answer…a compromise Lower House House of Representatives Determined by population 2 year terms Favored larger states Upper House Senate Equal representation 6 year terms Favored smaller states Also known as… The Connecticut Compromise What is a compromise??? A way of resolving disagreements in which each side gives up something but gains something else


18 More arguing? What now? Controversy over counting slaves as a part of the population… At this time, there were 550,000 enslaved African Americans, mostly in the South

19 More arguing? What now? Southern states said… part of the population = more representatives for southern states Northern states said… slaves cannot vote or participate in government, they should not give the south more representatives

20 The Three-Fifths Compromise The conflict was finally resolved… Three-Fifths Compromise Every 5 enslaved persons would count as 3 free people Used for representation in Congress & figuring taxes

21 Another compromise How to elect a president? Some say… “Let Congress pick!” Others say… “Let the people choose!” The compromise…

22 Electoral College A group of people would be chosen by each state to choose the President Each state given a certain number of votes, determined by their representation in Congress

23 One last compromise Conflicts over commerce & the slave trade Congress could regulate (control) trade between states & other countries However, they could NOT tax exports or interfere with the slave trade for 20 years


25 Finished…finally! September 17, 1787, finished up the Constitution Delegates signed it, said the Constitution would become the law of the land when… 9 out of 13 states ratified (approved) it

26 So everyone in the entire United States of America loved the Constitution and every state ratified it immediately and we all had a big party and we all lived happily ever after, right…?

27 Wrong!

28 A Divided Public Some people liked the Constitution, others did not Federalists = supporters of the new constitution & a strong federal government Federalism = A form of government in which power is divided between the federal (national) government and the states

29 A Divided Public Some Federalists wrote papers to rally support for the Constitution They were called the Federalist Papers (duh) Who wrote ‘em? Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay

30 A Divided Public What about those who didn’t like the Constitution? Anti-Federalists = People opposed to the constitution & a strong federal government “Don’t forget individual rights!”

31 Reaching an Agreement Anti-Federalists wanted to add… The Bill of Rights The Federalists promised to do so, and did New Hampshire, 9th state to ratify June 21, 1788 The Constitution went into effect The last state to ratify…? Rhode Island, 1790

32 The Federalist Papers

33 The importance of the media…





38 Federalist Number 51 “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” -James Madison

39 Federalist Number 51 continued “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” -James Madison

40 40 Who:Hamilton, Madison, Jay Patrick Henry Central Government Strong:provide protection Weak : focus on states InterpretationLooseStrict Bill of RightsEventuallyWithout a doubt!!!! SupportersWealth/industri al common/farme rs Power of President LotsLittle - no Kings! FederalistAntifederalistIssue

41 41

42 42 Lesson questions What does interpretation mean? What does strict interpretation of the constitution mean? What does loose interpretation of the constitution mean?

43 43 Founding Fathers The Framers of the Constitution wrote a very generalized document. Purpose? To allow future Americans flexibility. Look at Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the U.S. Constitution on page 99 on the textbook. Read it carefully. The nick name of this passage is the Elastic Clause. Can you tell why?

44 44 Competing interpretations Who interprets? The Supreme Court! How? Strict or literalist Which Means? The Constitution means exactly what it says! Framers had an exact plan

45 45 Competing interpretations The counterpart of strict interpretation is? Loose interpretation Which means? Meaning of certain portions of the Constitution can stretched to the user’s needs

46 Ticket out the door

47 1. What is a form of government in which power is divided between the federal (national) government and the states?

48 2. What did the Anti-Federalists want to add to the Constitution?

49 3. Who was the father of the Constitution?

50 4. The Anti-Federalists thought that the supremacy gives too much power to who?

51 5. Were the Anti-Federalists or the Federalists mostly made up of older, Southern men?

52 6. Who wrote the Federalist Papers?

53 7. What was one argument against the Constitution by the Anti-Federalists?

54 8. What was one argument for the Constitution by the Federalists?

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