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The Key People, Events, and Ideas that Shaped the Document

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Presentation on theme: "The Key People, Events, and Ideas that Shaped the Document"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Key People, Events, and Ideas that Shaped the Document
The Constitution The Key People, Events, and Ideas that Shaped the Document

2 The Constitutional Convention
When: May 1787 Where: Philadelphia – at the State House – now called Independence Hall Purpose: Amend the Articles of Confederation

3 The Constitutional Convention
Who: 55 representatives from 12 states Includes: Ben Franklin - oldest James Madison – important!! George Washington - elected president of the Convention

4 Issues at the Convention
Some wanted to make small changes to the Articles Others wanted to rewrite the whole document States were divided on major issues Representation in the national government Slavery Tariffs How strong to make the national government

5 The Virginia Plan Written by James Madison
Central government would have supreme power 3 Branches Bicameral (2 house) legislature Representation based on population Good for large states

6 The New Jersey Plan Written by William Paterson Keep Congress the same
Unicameral (1 house) Based on equal number per state Congress’ laws become “supreme law of all states” Power to tax Power to regulate commerce Good for small states

7 Debating Argued about the formation of the government for over a month
Created a committee to decide on issue of representation Decided on a compromise

8 The Great Compromise

9 Slavery and the New Government
Southerners wanted slaves to count as part of population Would get more representatives in the House of Representatives Northerners wanted slaves to count for the purposes of taxes Not to be considered for representation

10 Slavery and the New Government
The Northern and Southern states were divided about slaves as members of the population

11 Slavery in the New Government
At the time, the majority of the states used slave labor. However, there were more slaves in the southern states than in the northern states.

12 Slavery in the New Government
Decided to count slaves, but only as a fraction Each slave would count as 3/5 of a person in determining representation for Congress Called the Three-Fifths Compromise

13 Another Compromise Some delegates wanted an immediate end to the slave trade Some southerners threatened to leave the Union if the slave trade ended Compromise: Southerners give up fight about having 2/3 of Congress pass laws IF Northerners wait 20 years to stop the slave trade

14 Major Constitutional Ideas
Want to protect popular sovereignty Establish a system of federalism Shared power between central and state governments States must obey authority of central government States DO get local control over some issues Local government, education, provide for the welfare of citizens


16 A Balance of Power Created 3 branches of government
Legislative – proposes and passes laws “Congress” Senate = 2 members from each state House of Representatives = members based on population Executive – carries out the laws Creates departments to enforce the laws Judicial – interpreting the laws Court system


18 A Balance of Power Established a system of checks and balances
Keeps each branch from becoming too powerful Most actions of one branch must be “checked” by another branch Ex: Congress passes a law. The president can “veto” (reject) that law. Congress can override the veto with a vote of 2/3 of its members Judicial branch can review that law and declare it “unconstitutional” = power of judicial review

19 Wrapping up the Convention
Lasted for 16 weeks Final draft finished in September 1787 Sent Constitution to Congress Congress sent it to the states to be ratified

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