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Chapter 3.1 The Road to the Constitution. Constitution ► Nation’s most important document ► Written in 1787.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3.1 The Road to the Constitution. Constitution ► Nation’s most important document ► Written in 1787."— Presentation transcript:

1 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, 1787- 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 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 Reaching Agreement ► June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the 9 th state to ratify the Constitution ► Rhode Island was the last to do so in 1790

29 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

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

31 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 Chapter 3.4 Principles Underlying the Constitution

56 ► 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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