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Articles of Confederation to Constitution
Transcript of Articles of Confederation to Constitution
Supporters of the Constitution
Opposed to Constitution
Set of 85 essays written in Support of Constitution and published
Letters to a Federal Farmer written by Richard Lee arguing what rights should be protected.
A Bill of Rights
a formal summary of
citizens' rights and freedoms.
9/13 states needed
SEPARATION OF POWERS
Washington takes Oath
Articles of Confederation
Most called for no state religions
1. Nations Finances ENORMOUS DEBT
Congress wants tax on imports to finance national budget & guarantee payment of war debts
1781 - Rhode Island votes no
1783 - New York votes no
Government Financially Helpless due to States Power
2. Westward Challenge
3. Government's Ability to maintain law & order
Caused by Depression, Inflation, & High Taxes
made life miserable for most Americans
No executive branch
No power to tax
No reg. interstate commerce
Cannot make binding treaties
Could only request taxes from the states NOT DEMAND THEM
Could not regulate currency or raise money for the nation.
FEAR OF BRITISH SYSTEM SHOWS
State constitutions were written:
Different from Britain due to documents that were written & ratified by the people and could be amended by popular vote
1784 - All States have Bill of Rights recognizing civil rights and freedoms
Constitutions called for weak Executive branches with responsive legislatures. Most called for bicameral legislatures & for appointed rather than elected Officials
Most reduced property rights requirements for voting & increased social equality
State Gov'ts, Settlers, speculators all pushed for settlement in new lands from Treaty of Paris 1783
-outlines protocol for settlement
Land Ordinance of 1785
- creation of square mile plots
Northwest Land Ordinance of 1787
- forbade slavery North of Ohio River
- settlers' Bill of Rights
- Defined Process of territories becoming states
FACED OPPOSITION FROM
Natives & Spanish - denying Validity of Treaty of Paris
Closing port of New Orleans in 1784
Leads to panic nationwide
EXPOSES GOVERNMENTS INABILITY to Control Revolt and Impose Order
Sept. 1786 members of 5 states meet.
Propose convention to AMEND Articles
The "9th" was New Hampshire.
The first to pass it was
For formal ratification:
Virginia & New York
Virginia debates the issue of ratification while New Hampshire approved it.
VERY CLOSELY DEBATED!
Governor Clinton opposed it and tried to gain more strength. Alexander Hamilton was able to help convince those in doubt to support.
May 1787 - 55 delegates from Every state except
Drafting of the Constitution
Propose plan called
NEW JERSEY PLAN
James Madison presents the Virginia Plan
Achieving a balance between large & small states
Bicameral Legislature - 2 House
SMALLER STATES OPPOSED
They would name Pres & National judges
both with representation by proportion to population
Wanted only a unicameral house with Equal representation
Feared Representation by Population would lead to them being left out of National Government decisions
WHY was this needed again?
National Government was too weak
Compromise is the only way to survive
concern over Small States & Large States not coming to an agreement
Created a bicameral legislature.
Upper house = Senate - Equal representation
Lower house = House of Representatives - Proportional based on Population
2 topics debated
Large vs Small States
Interests of North vs South
Representation of Slave states & how to incorporate slaves
Discussion related to counting for taxes & representation
Wanted Slaves to count for Population =
NOT WANT THEM TO COUNT FOR TAXES
Northern States -
If South counts slaves in Population would give them unfair advantage
But North wanted them to count in terms of taxes
since states would be giving up power to national government.
really pushed for rights to be spelled out
Each colony became a state after the Revolution
Most states limited voting rights
Had to be a property owning male to vote
Who are “The People?”
3 branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial
Each state had their own constitution limiting power to the government
Passed in November of 1777
Articles of Confederation
Each State gets one vote
Settle disputed between States
Print and borrow money
Declare war/sign treaties
Federal Government could:
Much more power in the individual states
Very limited central power
Loose confederation of the United States
Ratified in 1781
No authority to raise troops
No judicial branch
Washington said, “What a triumph for our enemies…to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves.”
Actually written by Madison, Hamilton, & John Jay
A. US Constitution is simple and brief compared to other constitutions.
B. Establishes structure and powers of government but does not spell out each function.
C. Contains about 7,000 words.
D. Broken into three parts: 1. Preamble 2. Articles 3. Amendments.
B. Founders indicate that they want a government that would provide stability and protect citizens’ liberties and serve the people.
A. States why the Constitution was written.
V. Major Principles
6. Limited government.
5. Judicial Review
4. Checks and balances
3. Separation of Powers
1. Popular Sovereignty
A. Constitution contains 6 major principles:
B. US government is based upon the consent of the governed and the authority of the government flows from the people
A. Constitution is based on this concept, which is rule, by the people.
A. Term describes the basic structure of the American government.
B. Means power is divided between national and state governments.
C. Both levels have their own agencies and officials and pass laws that affect citizens.
Federalism is in the middle.
People were still afraid to give to much power to a central government.
Articles of Confederation with a weak central government had not worked
VIII. Separation of Powers
A. Powers of the central government is limited by dividing powers between legislative, executive and judicial branches.
B. This is used in hopes that one branch will not gain too much power.
IX. Checks and Balances
A. Each branch of government exercises some power over the other.
B. Congress passes laws; the President can check Congress by vetoing or rejecting the law.
C. The veto is balanced by the power of Congress to override the veto by a 2/3rds vote of each house.
D. The federal courts restrain Congress by ruling on the constitutionality of the laws.
E. This power is balanced by the power of the president to appoint federal judges, which is in turn balanced by the Constitutions requirement that the Senate must approve all appointments.
X. Judicial Review
A. This is the power of the courts to declare laws and actions of local, state and the national governments invalid if they violate the Constitution.
B. All federal courts have this power but the Supreme Court has the final say on the meaning and interpretation of the Constitution.
C. Judicial Review is not spelled out in the Constitution it is established in the Supreme Court case of Marbury vs. Madison in 1803.
D. A Supreme Court decision on the meaning of the Constitution can only be changed if the Court itself changes its views or if an amendment is added.
XI. Limited Government
A. The Constitution limits the actions of government by specifically listing powers it does and does not have.
B. First 10 amendments set specific limits in the areas of freedom of expression, personal security and fair trials.