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C&E 3 - The Constitution

The Constitution


on 2 September 2014

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Transcript of C&E 3 - The Constitution

Chapter 3 - The Constitution
Section 1 - The Road to the Constitution
Early Issues
By 1786, some delegates believed that the central government needed to be strengthened
Articles of Confederation
were too weak

Annapolis Convention
Few states attended
Some were noticing weaknesses
Planned to meet one year later
Shays' Rebellion
Daniel Shays led a farmer rebellion over high taxation and that taxes had to be paid in gold (1786-1787)

They rioted to keep courts closed so their farms could not be foreclosed on
Shays' Rebellion
The rioting continued for months

The MA militia was helpless
Weaknesses of the Articles
Another call went out for a
Constitutional Convention

This time 12 states sent delegates
Rhode Island decided to boycott

The meeting was held in
, from May 26 – September 15 1787
Constitutional Convention
George Washington
was chosen to lead

No formal records were kept

The framers of the Constitution were mostly in their 30s and 40s

They were highly educated, white men

They had vast experience in their state governments and business

Only delegates were allowed in
No women
No African Americans
No Native Americans
Constitutional Convention
More about the delegates:

They came from large and small states

They came from populated and sparsely populated states

They came from agricultural and manufacturing states

They came from slave and free states
Constitutional Convention
Washington set a rules committee
Meetings could only proceed if 7 states were represented
Decisions would all be made by majority vote
Each state held only one vote

The general public were not allowed into the meetings
Doors and windows were guarded
Remember: No formal convention records were kept

Operational Procedures
The delegates at the
Constitutional Convention
realized fixing the
Articles of Confederation
was not enough

They decided to trash the
Articles of Confederation
and write an entirely new constitution
The Need for a New Constitution
Section 2 - Checking and Balancing the Constitution
Two Opposing Plans
May 29, 1787 - A plan developed by
James Madison
was presented to the
Constitutional Convention

The plan:
Virginia Plan
Central government with 3 branches
(two houses)
Representation in both houses based on population

What states would this appeal to?
Two Opposing Plans
June 15, 1787 - A plan developed by
William Paterson
was presented to the
Constitutional Convention

The plan:
New Jersey Plan
Supreme (strong) central government
(one house)
Representation in the solo house based on
Egalitarianism = equality
What states would this appeal to?
The Great Compromise
A plan developed by
Roger Williams
from Connecticut was presented to the
Constitutional Convention

The plan:
The Connecticut Compromise or
Great Compromise
Strong (supreme) Central government with 3 branches
(two houses)
Representation in one house based on population
Virginia Plan
House of Representatives
Representation in one house based on egalitarianism
New Jersey Plan
Which plan should they choose?

Which is better?
The Three-Fifths Compromise
At the time of the
Constitutional Convention
there were about 550,000 enslaved African Americans in the country.
Southern wanted to count these slaves toward their population, even though the slaves were not considered citizens.
Northern states opposed this

Three-Fifths Compromise
1 slave = 3/5 of a citizen

or in other words

Every FIVE enslaved persons in a state would be counted the same as THREE free people in that state
What is the impact?
Other Compromises
The Northern states felt that Congress should be able to regulate both foreign commerce and trade between the states.

The Southern states feared that Congress would use this power to tax
Exports = goods sold to other countries
The southern economy would suffer because it depended heavily on exports of cash crops like tobacco and rice.

Southern states also feared that Congress might try to stop the slave trade.

finally agreed that:
Congress COULD regulate trade between the states and other countries
aka interstate and foreign commerce
Congress COULD NOT tax exports
Congress COULD NOT interfere with the slave trade before 1808
Other Compromises
Election of a President
Some delegates felt that Congress should choose the president.
Indirect election
Some delegates felt that the People should choose the president.
Direct election

Electoral College
People vote to see who wins the electoral votes in their state
Whichever candidate gets a majority of the electoral votes wins
Approving the Constitution
September 17, 1787
All but 3 delegates signed

Done deal, right?

According to
Article VII
(7) of the Constitution,
9 out of 13
states had to ratify the new constitution before it would become the "
supreme law of the land.

Competition immediately began between supporters of the Constitution (
) and opponents of the Constitution (

(created by the Constitution)
Support a
strong central government

Support strong state governments
Want a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution
Fear that the new Constitution will create a national government that
is too strong.

What is the best way to get public support for something?
Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers
Written by
Alexander Hamilton
James Madison
John Jay

These were widely circulated and touched on a variety of topics

Primary Source Activity
Reaching Agreement
The Federalists eventually agreed with the Antifederalists that a Bill of Rights was a good idea
The Federalists promised that if Antifederalists voted to ratify the Constitution, that the new government would add a Bill of Rights to it

June 21, 1788 -
New Hampshire
became the 9th state to ratify
The Constitution became the
Supreme Law of the Land
Supremacy Clause

New York and Virginia had not yet ratified
Virginia June 25
New York July 26

The last state?
Rhode Island May 29, 1790
Section 3 - The Structure of the Constitution
The Constitution and Its Parts
Creates our government
It represents our system of government and our basic beliefs and ideals, such as liberty and freedom.

The Constitution and Its Parts
The Preamble - an introduction that states the goals and
purposes of the government

- Create the structure of the national (federal) government

- Additions/changes to the Constitution

The Preamble
Explains why the Constitution was written
Power of the government comes from the People
The government exists to serve the People
The six main purposes of government
The 6 Main Purposes of Government
to form a more perfect union
To unite the states and operate as a single nation

establish justice
To create a system of fair laws and courts

insure domestic tranquility
To maintain peace and order among the citizens

provide for the common defense
To have a military prepared to defend our nation from outside attacks
The 6 Main Purposes of Government
promote the general welfare
To help people live healthy, happy, and prosperous lives

secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity
To guarantee the freedom and basic rights of all Americans, including future generations (posterity)
The Articles
The seven articles describe the government

The first three articles describe the powers and responsibilities of each branch of government

The remaining articles address more general matters
Article I: The Legislative Branch
Designed to be the most powerful and important
Makes the laws
Bicameral Legislature
House of Representatives
Qualifications for both
Powers that Congress DOES and DOES NOT have
Article II: The Executive Branch
Enforces the law
Led by the President and Vice President
Election requirements
The removal process
Powers and duties of the President
Article III: The Judicial Branch
Interprets the law
One Supreme Court
Lower courts (such as Congress deems necessary)
Powers of the federal courts
Kinds of cases they may hear
Articles IV - VII

Article IV - States
They must respect each other's laws, court decisions, and records

Article V -
Reveals the foresight of the framers

Article VI -
Supremacy Clause
"supreme law of the land"
If state laws/decisions conflict with the federal law/decions, the federal level prevails

Article VII - Ratification
Amending the Constitution
27 times
- any change to the Constitution

Bill of Rights
First 10 Amendments
Interpreting the Constitution
These changes (
) have taken place through interpretations.

of the Constitution wrote a general (
) document.
Notable Clauses
Article I lists the powers of Congress.
Necessary and Proper Clause
"to make all laws which shall be
necessary and proper
Elastic Clause

Gives our Congress
implied powers
Implied - not specifically listed
Interpreting the Constitution
Through Court Decisions
Supreme Court has the final authority on telling us what the Constitution means

Through Congressional Actions
"high crimes and misdemeanors"

Through Presidential Actions
Executive agreements
Lincoln and habeas corpus
Section 4 - Principles Underlying the Constitution
Fundamental Principles
Popular Sovereignty

Rule of Law

Separation of Powers

Checks and Balances

Popular Sovereignty
Popular Sovereignty
The People are in charge

What is one way the Constitution includes provisions to ensure the sovereignty of The People?
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Nobody is above the law
Even those who are in charge

How does this limit our government?
Separation of Powers
Separation of Powers
Splitting the government into
separate branches
Why do we have this?
Idea of
Baron de Montesquieu
French philosopher

Checks and Balances
Checks and Balances
Each branch has power over the other two branches
What is the purpose of this?
Clarifying Notes
Power is shared between the
(national) and

They each also have their own powers

If there is a conflict, which level usually wins?
Dividing Power
Expressed Powers
A.K.A. -
Enumerated Powers
specifically listed
in the Constitution for the federal government

Reserved Powers
Powers that are
for the states by the Constitution

Concurrent Powers
shared by both
levels of government
Full transcript