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The US Constitution

There will be a "Surprise" Vocab Quiz on Wednesday 9/20. Please be sure to read Federalist Papers No. 10(http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm) & No. 51(http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm) and in your notebook, briefly summarize each

Nicholas Antonucci

on 16 September 2017

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Transcript of The US Constitution

Ratifying the Constitution
The Madisonian Model
The Agenda in Philadelphia
Philosophy into Action
Human Nature, which is self-interested
Political Conflict, which leads to factions
Objects of Government, including the preservation of property
Nature of Government, which sets power against power so that no one faction rises above and overwhelms another
The Philadelphia Convention
The Government That Failed
Declaring Independence
In May and June 1776, the Continental Congress debated resolutions for independence.
The Declaration of Independence, which listed the colonist's grievances against the British, is adopted on July 4, 1776.
Politically, the Declaration was a polemic, announcing and justifying revolution.

Origins of the Constitution
The Constitution and Democracy
The Constitution is rarely described as democratic.
There has been a gradual democratization of the Constitution.
The Constitution and the Scope of Government
Much of the Constitution reinforces individualism and provides multiple access points for citizens.
It also encourages stalemate and limits government.
Understanding the Constitution
The Constitution is short, with fewer than 8,000 words.
It does not prescribe every detail. (There is no mention of congressional committees or independent regulatory commissions.)
The Constitution is not static, but flexible for future generations to determine their own needs.

The Importance of Flexibility
The Informal Process of Constitutional Change
Judicial Interpretation
Marbury v. Madison (1803): judicial review
Changing Political Practice
Increasing Demands on Policymakers

Constitutional Change
Constitutional Change
Lacking majority support, the Federalists specified that the Constitution be ratified by state conventions, not state legislatures.
Delaware first ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787.
New Hampshire’s approval (the ninth state to ratify) made the Constitution official six months later.
Ratifying the Constitution
Federalist Papers
A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name “Publius” to defend the Constitution
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns about the lack of basic liberties
Ratifying the Constitution
Ratifying the Constitution
The Constitutional Republic
Republic: A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws
Favors the status quo – change is slow
The End of the Beginning
The document was approved, but not unanimously. Now it had to be ratified.

The Madisonian Model
The Madisonian Model
To prevent a tyranny of the majority, Madison proposed a government of:
Limiting Majority Control
Separating Powers
Creating Checks and Balances
Establishing a Federal System
The Madisonian Model
The Individual Rights Issues
Some were written into the Constitution:
Prohibits suspension of writ of habeas corpus
No bills of attainder
No ex post facto laws
Religious qualifications for holding office prohibited
Strict rules of evidence for conviction of treason
Right to trial by jury in criminal cases
Some were not specified
Freedom of speech and expression
Rights of the accused
The Agenda in Philadelphia
The Agenda in Philadelphia
The Economic Issues
States had tariffs on products from other states
Paper money was basically worthless
Congress could not raise money
Actions taken:
Powers of Congress to be strengthened
Powers of states to be limited
The Agenda in Philadelphia
The Equality Issues
Equality and Representation of the States
New Jersey Plan—equal representation in states
Virginia Plan—population-based representation
Connecticut Compromise
Three-fifths compromise
Political Equality and voting left to states

The Agenda in Philadelphia
Gentlemen in Philadelphia
55 men from 12 of the 13 states
Mostly wealthy planters and merchants
Most were college graduates with some political experience
Many were coastal residents from the larger cities, not the rural areas
Making a Constitution:
The Philadelphia Convention
The Aborted Annapolis Meeting
An attempt to discuss changes to the Articles of Confederation in September 1786
Attended by only 12 delegates from 5 states
Called for a meeting in May 1787 to further discuss changes—the Constitutional Convention
The Government That Failed
Economic Turmoil
Postwar depression left farmers unable to pay debts
State legislatures sympathetic to farmers and passed laws that favored debtors over creditors
Shays’ Rebellion
Series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
Economic elite concerned about Articles’ inability to limit these violations of individual’s property rights

The Government That Failed
Changes in the States
Liberalized voting laws increased political participation and power among a new middle class.
An expanding economic middle class of farmers and craft workers counterbalanced the power of the old elite of professionals and wealthy merchants.
Ideas of equality spread and democracy took hold.
The Government That Failed
The Articles of Confederation
The first document to govern the United States, it was adopted in 1777 and ratified in 1781.
It established a confederation, a “league of friendship and perpetual union” among 13 states and former colonies.
Congress had few powers; there was no president or national court system.
All government power rested in the states.
The Government That Failed
Winning Independence
In 1783, the American colonies prevailed in their war against England.
The “Conservative” Revolution
Restored rights the colonists felt they had lost
Not a major change of lifestyles

The English Heritage: The Power of Ideas
Natural Rights:
rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on government
Consent of the Governed:
government derives its authority by sanction of the people
Limited Government:
certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect natural rights of citizens
Origins of the Constitution
The Road to Revolution
Colonists faced tax increases after the French and Indian War.
Colonists lacked direct representation in parliament.
Colonial leaders formed the Continental Congress to address abuses of the English Crown.

Origins of the Constitution
A constitution is a nation’s basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens.

Sets the broad rules of the game
The rules are not neutral; some participants and policy options have advantages over others.
(Can you think of any examples?)

Origins of the Constitution

Read Federalist Papers
No. 10
No. 51
and in your notebook briefly summarize each. Be prepared for a class discussion on
The Back-Story
Full transcript