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The Constitution

A Look into the Constitutional Convention, Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States

Meggie Lucas

on 9 January 2014

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Transcript of The Constitution

The Debates
The Constitution
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
The Bill of Rights and Ratification
Problems with
The Articles of Confederation
The Creation of the
Constitution of the United States

Meet in Philadelphia to "fix"
these problems
Following the Revolution
*America was 13 independent states
*Had a huge amount of debt
*was scared of a tyrannical central government
Created the Articles- Weak Central Government
*Could not raise taxes, have a standing army, regulate trade or currency
*Had no executive or Judicial Branches
Glaring Problems
*Debt Grew
*Disputes Between States
*Shays' Rebellion
Philadelphia 1787
*a modern city
*Independence Hall
Who was there?
George Washington
*Became the
President of the Convention- ordered it secret
Benjamin Franklin
*Oldest member (81)
*Big mouth
James Madison
*One of the youngest members
*came early with a plan- known as the "architect of the Constitution"
Alexander Hamilton
*Popular Patriot
*wanted a strong central government- like England
Big vs. Small States (Representation)
The Great Compromise
(Roger Sherman)
House of Representatives
*representation based on state's population
The Senate
*each state had equal representation- 2
The New Jersey Plan
*Favored smaller states
One Legislature based on equal representation
The Virginia Plan
(favored bigger states)
Bicameral legislature- one house based on population, other had elected officials from state legislatures
I've been researching ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome. I came to this convention with a plan for a new government. Go me!
Bicameral Legislature- two houses
North vs. South
3/5th Compromise
*3/5 of the slave population would be counted for both the representation in the House of Representatives and for purposes of taxation
Southern States
-Wanted slaves to be counted towards their total population for the representation in the House of Representatives
-did NOT want slaves to be counted when determining the taxes
Northern States
-did NOT Want slaves to be counted towards their total population for the representation in the House of Representatives
-did want slaves to be counted when determining the taxes
The Preamble
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What does that mean?
Article I: Legislature
House of Representatives:
Representatives from each states chosen based on population. There are 435 members in the House of Representatives
There are 2 senators from each state. There are 100 members of the Senate.
*Bicameral Legislature- CONGRESS
Powers of Congress:
Major Role = Make Laws
Enumerated Powers- the right to collect taxes, regulate foreign and domestic commerce, coin money, declare war, support an army and navy, and establish lower federal courts. In addition, Congress can admit new states to the Union and propose amendments to the Constitution
Limitations of Congress:
The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making laws that limit individual liberties. The president can also veto a law passed by Congress
Article II: The Executive
Election of the President:
President and Vice president are elected every four years by the Electoral College.
The Role and Powers of the President:
The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, conducts foreign affairs, can appoint a Cabinet, can make recommendations (suggests laws) to Congress, and executes the laws
*The President of the United States is both the Head of State and Head of Government
Article III: The Judiciary
Powers of the Supreme Court:

The Constitution gives it the power to check, if necessary, the actions of the President and Congress. It can tell a President that his actions are not allowed by the Constitution. It can tell Congress that a law it passed violated the U.S. Constitution and is, therefore, no longer a law. It can also tell the government of a state that one of its laws breaks a rule in the Constitution. It is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress.
Supreme Court:
The Constitution creates a Supreme Court (now with 9 members) and the lower federal courts
Article IV: Relations Between States
Article V: Process to Amend the Constitution
Article VI: The Constitution is the
"Supreme Law of the Land"
Full transcript