America’s First Government With the Treaty of Paris - 1783, the Colonist’s had secured their independence from Britain. Now they faced the daunting task of organizing a new government. The Articles of Confederation served as the new nation’s constitution from 1777-1790. After the end of war, Americans began to noticed how unsettling the new government structure actually was.
America’s Under the Articles of Confederation Congress was the only federal institution. Each state got only one representative. 9 out 13 vote was required to pass laws. Votes had to unanimous to changes the Articles. Congress could not collect taxes. States issued their own money and each regulated international trade. Lacked a standing army.
Constitutional Convention By 1787, most Americans agreed the Articles were flawed. However, with competing interests, not every state ready was to willing cede most of their power and autonomy to a strong central government.
Concerns To Be Addressed At The Constitutional Convention The power of the federal government. Would the states or the federal government have the most power? Representation in Congress (How many members on Congress would each state get? – small states wanted equal representation, large states wanted it to be determined by population of the states Slavery – How would slaves be counted? Would the slave trade continue?
The Federalist Papers Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John way under pen name Publius (Latin word for public). A series of letters published in newspapers Written for three reasons: To influence the vote in favor of ratification To explain the Constitution for future interpretation Outlined how the Constitution should be set up
The Virginia Plan Called for a new national government. Threw out the Articles of Confederation Three separate branches of government. – a legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch Representation in the legislative branch based on population of state Large states like the plan, small states don’t.
The New Jersey Plan Legislature - has one house. Each state gets one vote. Small states like the plan, the large states hate it. There would have to be a compromise.
The Great Compromise Legislature would have two houses (parts): House of Representatives and a Senate House - based on the population of state Senate - two senators per each state
Slavery The Southern states refused to approve the Constitution unless slavery continued. It was a terrible compromise to make, but the Northern states had no choice if they wanted a Constitution. 3/5 Compromise - Made each slave worth 3/5 of a vote in deciding numbers in House of Representatives Congress can not ban the slave trade until 1808.
Compromise Connecticut Compromise 3/5ths Compromise Bill of Rights added to the Constitution to protect individual liberty and placate the Anti- Federalists.
Government Framework Three Branches – Executive, Judicial and Legislative Federalism - sharing of powers between the national and state governments (reserved powers) Elastic Clause Amendments Checks and Balances
Assignments for Today Name of each branch What each branch consists of What each branch does (interpret laws, make laws, enforce laws) 2 examples of each branch’s powers Current leaders of each branch