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The Road to the Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "The Road to the Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road to the Constitution
Chapter 3.1 The Road to the Constitution

2 Constitution Nation’s most important document Written in 1787

3 Road to the Constitution
May 25, Constitutional Convention 55 men met in Philadelphia, PA 2 became presidents 7 Had been Governor of their states 8 signed The Declaration of Independence 19 became Senators 13 became Representatives 4 became federal judges 4 became Supreme Court justices The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin of PA, he was 81

4 Road to the Constitution
George Washington presided over the convention His first action was to appoint a committee to set rules for the convention

5 Operating Procedures Meetings could not be held unless delegates from 7 states were present Decisions were to be made by majorities, with each state having only one vote

6 Operating Procedures Meetings were kept private
Delegates were to revise the Articles of Confederation Delegates soon realized the Articles needed to be discarded

7 Need for a New Constitution
The delegates sought to create a new plan for government Thus, the meeting came to be known as the Constitutional Convention

8 Creating and Ratifying the Constitution
Chapter 3.2 Creating and Ratifying the Constitution

9 Two Opposing Plans Virginia Plan- designed by James Madison and the Virginia delegates

10 Virginia Plan Called for 3 branches of government
Legislative branch- lawmakers Divided into 2 houses Representation based on population Executive branch- carried out laws Judicial branch- system of courts to interpret laws

11 Virginia Plan Appealed to larger states, but feared by smaller states

12 New Jersey Plan Designed by William Paterson of NJ

13 New Jersey Plan Called for 3 branches of government
Legislative, executive, and judicial Legislature- made of only 1 house with each state getting 1 vote

14 New Jersey Plan Smaller states approved this plan, however, larger states did not.

15 Compromises Roger Sherman led a committee that proposed the Great Compromise. It proposed that Congress would be divided into 2 houses- a Senate and House of Representatives House representation would be based on population Each state would have equal representation in the Senate

16 Compromises At the time of the Constitutional Convention, more than 550,000 African American were enslaved. South wanted to count slaves as part of the population, the north did not

17 Compromises Three-Fifths Compromise- every 5 enslaved people would count as 3 free people Used to figure representation in House and in figuring taxes

18 Compromises Northern states- congress should be able to regulate foreign commerce and trade between the states

19 Compromises Southern states- feared Congress would use this power to tax exports This would hurt the southern economy because it depended heavily on exports of tobacco and rice

20 Compromises As a result, southern states agreed that Congress could regulate trade between the states and other countries. Northern states agreed not to tax exports and not to interfere with slave trade before 1808.

21 The President Some delegates thought Congress should choose the President, others believed all of the people should decide. Electoral College- group of people named by each state to select the president

22 The President All people from each state would vote.
Each state was given a certain number of Electoral votes based off of its population. Which ever candidate won the majority of votes from that state would receive all of that states Electoral votes! This is referred to a “Winner Take All System”

23 Electoral Votes by State

24 Approving the Constitution
On September 17, 1787, delegates at the Constitutional Convention met for the last time. Delegates decided that when 9 of 13 states had ratified it, the Constitution would become supreme law of the land.


26 Divided Public Americans reacted to the Constitution in different ways
One group called themselves the Federalists

27 Federalists They chose this name to emphasize that the Constitution would create a system of federalism Federalism- form of government in which power is divided between national and state governments

28 Anti-federalists Anti-federalists opposed the Constitution
They felt it gave too much power to the national government and took too much away from the states

29 Reaching Agreement June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify the Constitution Rhode Island was the last to do so in 1790

30 United States The 13 independent states were now one nation, the United States of America.

31 The Structure of the Constitution
Chapter 3.3 The Structure of the Constitution

32 Constitution Highest authority in the nation Basic law of the U.S.
Gives all branches of government their powers

33 Constitution 3 main parts
Preamble- introduction that states the goals and purposes of the government 7 articles- describe the structure of the government 27 amendments- additions or changes to the Constitution

34 Preamble 6 purposes of the government (p.61)

35 Preamble 1-“form a more perfect Union”
Unite the states so they can operate as a single nation.

36 Preamble 2- “establish justice”
Create fair laws for equal treatment of citizens

37 Preamble 3- “insure domestic tranquility” Maintain peace and order

38 Preamble 4- “provide for the common defense”
Ready militarily to protect the country

39 Preamble 5- “promote the general welfare”
Help people live happy, healthy lives

40 Preamble 6- “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” Freedom and basic rights to all Americans, including future generations

41 The Articles The 7 articles that follow the Preamble explain how the government is to work.

42 Article I The Legislative Branch Congress is made of two houses Senate
House of Representatives

43 Article II Executive Branch
Law enforcing branch of government headed by the president and vice-president

44 Article III Judicial Branch
Interprets laws and sees that they are fairly applied

45 Article IV IV-States All states must respect each other’s laws
Explains the process for creating new states

46 Article V-VI V- specified how amendments are to be made
VI- declares that the Constitution is the “Supreme law of the land.” Federal law is more powerful than state law

47 Article VII The Constitution would take effect when 9 states ratified it

48 Amending the Constitution
Since 1787, it has been amended 27 times The first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791.

49 Amendment Process The framers purposefully made the Constitution difficult to amend Article V outlines the 2 steps for amending

50 Amendment Process 2 steps 1- proposal 2- ratification

51 Amendment Process Proposal- 2 methods
1- 2/3 vote by both houses of Congress 2- national convention requested by 2/3 of the state legislatures

52 Amendment Process Ratification
Once an amendment has been proposed, ¾ of the states must ratify it

53 Interpreting the Constitution
Article I- The Necessary and Proper Clause allows Congress “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper” Implied powers

54 Interpreting the Constitution
Supreme Court has the final authority on interpreting the Constitution Presidential interpretation Foreign policy & requesting congressional legislation

55 Principles Underlying the Constitution
Chapter 3.4 Principles Underlying the Constitution

56 Principles Underlying the Constitution
5 fundamental principles Popular sovereignty Rule of law Separation of powers Checks and balances Federalism

57 Popular Sovereignty Popular sovereignty- power that lies with the people The Constitution echoes this idea “We the people”

58 Rule of Law Rule of law Law applies to everyone, even those who govern

59 Separation of Powers Separation of powers
Split of authority among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government

60 Checks and Balances Each branch is able to check, or restrain, the power of others

61 Federalism Power is shared by national and state governments
Expressed powers- granted to the national government Reserved powers- powers that the Constitution does not give the national government, which are kept by the states Concurrent powers- powers both levels of government can exercise

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