Presentation on theme: "Constitution. What Happened After the War? 10 of the 13 states adopted their own constitutions. Soon after they started having conflicts. States were."— Presentation transcript:
What Happened After the War? 10 of the 13 states adopted their own constitutions. Soon after they started having conflicts. States were independent, but not fully united. Our country’s first central government was the Articles of Confederation.
The Articles of Confederation Under the Articles, each state made its own laws, collected its own taxes, and printed its own money. Years of living under British rule made many Americans distrust a government with a strong central government.
Problems with the Articles of Confederation Money printed by one state was not always accepted in another state. Congress could do little to settle conflicts between states. Congress had no power to enforce laws it passed. Congress did not have money to pay soldiers.
Problems in Massachusetts Massachusetts charged heavy taxes on land. Its courts began jailing farmers and taking their land when they could not pay the taxes. Many of the farmers were owed money by Congress.
Daniel Shays A Massachusetts farmer who organized a group of farmers to protest against the courts. Over 1,000 farmers battled against the local militia. 8 men were killed before Shays’s Rebellion was stopped. Patrick Henry and Washington concluded that the Articles of Confederation were too weak.
Good Part of the Articles Congress did pass some important laws. The Northwest Ordinance was one of the most important. The Northwest Ordinance was a law that organized the Northwest Territory for settlement and eventual statehood. It gave them the same rights. It also outlawed slavery and the hiring of indentured servants. It required towns to set aside land for school too.
Constitutional Convention 12 of the 13 states met in Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation, but they ended up starting over. James Madison took notes (primary source) during the convention. He is called “The Father of the Constitution. The delegates worked secretly behind closed doors in Independence Hall during the hot, sticky summer.
The Great Compromise Smaller populated states wanted everyone to have the same number of votes in the legislative branch. Larger populated states wanted the number to be decided by the number of people living in each state. They settled the argument by having two houses in Congress – Senate & House of Representatives.
Legislative Branch The legislative branch, or Congress, has the responsibility of making laws. Every state is given 2 senators in Congress. The population determines how many representatives each state gets. Larger populated states have more representatives. The Senate must approve the president’s choices for ambassadors, federal judges, and members of the president’s cabinet. The Senate must approve a treaty. Congress declares war. The Senate can impeach. Congress collects taxes and makes money.
How a Bill Becomes a Law A bill is an idea for a new law. If a majority in both houses of Congress votes to pass (approve) a bill, it is sent to the head of the executive branch, the president. If the president signs the bill, it becomes a law. The president can veto the bill. If the president refuses to sign a bill, Congress has the power to overrule it with a 2/3 vote by both houses.
Executive Branch Responsible for carrying out (“executing”) the laws. President or chief executive He can suggest laws. He can sign treaties. In charge of the nation’s armed forces. He can nominate Cabinet members, ambassadors, and federal judges. Cabinet members give the president advice. He can grant pardons. The president represents the U.S. The president serves a four year term. It’s possible to serve 2 terms. If the president is unable to finish, the vice president becomes president.
Judicial Branch Responsible for interpreting laws, settling disagreements between states, and protecting the Constitution. The Supreme Court is made up of nine chief justices. They serve on the Court for life. They decide if a law is Unconstitutional.
Checks and Balances The Constitution gives each branch of government the power to “check” (stop) certain actions of the other branches. It also balances each branch’s powers with the powers of the other branches. This helps make sure that no one branch becomes too powerful. Executive Branch – can veto bills, can nominate Supreme Court Justices. Judicial Branch – Can reject treaties, can reject laws Legislative Branch – Can override a veto, approves appointments of Supreme Court Justices.
What is the Preamble? What does it mean? The preamble is the introduction to the Constitution. The people of the United States make this Constitution for several reasons: to form a stronger and more united nation; to ensure peace, justice, and liberty; to defend its citizens; and to improve the lives of its people.
Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments, or changes, to the Constitution. These amendments protect the rights and liberties of American Citizens. Well known amendments are the 1 st, 2 nd and 5 th amendment.
Political Parties Members of Washington’s Cabinet had disagreements. Hamilton believed the country’s future laid in trade and industry. He argued for a strong federal government. Jefferson saw a country of self-sufficient farmers. He wanted a weaker federal government. These disagreements led to the first political parties. A political party is a group of people who share similar ideas about government. Hamilton organized the Federalist Party. Jefferson formed the Democratic-Republican Party.
Services and Taxes The government provides for our needs and wants. One way is through service workers such as firemen, police, and teachers. Another way our government takes care of us in through keeping our streets and parks maintained. The services our government provides us are paid for through taxes.
What else should we know? The three basic rights are life, liberty, and property. The Constitution set up a federal system of government – that means the states and the central government share power. There are 3 levels to our government – local, state, and national.
How can we help keep our Constitution and government strong? In order for a democratic government to function, citizens must play an active and responsible role (e.g., participating in election process, obeying the law).