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Road to a Constitution

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Blake Barnes

on 24 August 2016

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Transcript of Road to a Constitution

Road to a Constitution
The US Constitution from Colonial America to the establishment of today's US Federal Government
Colonial Government
- Early foundation for Federalism
- Local government
- Legislative government
- Limited government
- House of Burgesses (Virginia)
- First representative assembly
- Influence of Magna Carta
- Englishmen believed they had rights the govt could not infringe upon
- 1760s
- Beginning of Revolution (John Adams)
- End of French/Indian War (1760)
- George III takes crown (1760)
- Stamp Act (1765)
- Peacetime army
- Petition of Right


Boston Massacre
March 5, 1770

First Continental Congress(1774)
Delegates from all colonies, except Georgia, assembled in Philadelphia for two months to issue grievances to King George.
This is the first time they would declare their specific rights as independent colonies and not British subjects.
Second Continental Congress
- 1775 - 1789
- Set out to deal with military emergency around Boston and formally declare independence from Britain
- "These United Colonies are and ought to be free and independent states." - Richard Henry Lee
- Youngest member, Thomas Jefferson would write the Declaration
U.S. CONSTITUTION
After 10 tumultuous years, colonists were growing more alarmed with the interference of Parliament. Growing alarmed that taxes and troops were imposed without consent. Tempers flared on both sides culminating with this bloody confrontation.

Articles of Confederation
After a formal declaration was announced,
the Second Continental Congress set about establishing a central government.
The Articles of Confederation served as first central government, creating a confederacy with the colonies

Weaknesses of the
Articles
Lacked power to enforce laws

Lacked power to tax
Lacked power to regulate trade and commerce
Couldn't raise an army
Regardless of size, each state had only one vote
Needed unanimous vote from states to ratify
No federal courst system
Unicameral
No national currency
Federalism
System in which governmental power is divided into two or more levels, central government and state governments

Belief that limited government restrains tyranny
National Power
Powers are delegated, given by the Constitution, that define its limits.

-
Enumerated powers
- specifically granted by the Constitution
-
Implied Powers
- no specifically stated in the Constitution but derived from enumerated powers

Necessary and proper clause
- to support implied powers
-"Article 1, Section 8

State Power
Powers not delegated to the national government are reserved for the states and citizens. Simply referred to as
Reserved Powers
.

These powers are granted by the
10th Amendment
.

"The powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states repectively or to the people."
Article 4 Clause 2
"This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the the land, and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or law of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Federalism: Sovereign and Separate
- Read Lee's struggle, p. 115
- Founding fathers defended states' rights and decentralization
- National government still held supreme power but did not exercise full implied powers
- Early America was a system of Dual Federalism where national and state powers were sovereign in their own areas

Federalism in America was gradually redefined through the 20th century. Today, economic, political and social factors have changed the nature of federalism in America
With the potential for conflict being high between state and national governments: this clause was added.


The states were granted the Constitutional right to pass their own legislation and judge their own cases but cannot contradict national laws
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.
Article 1
The Legislative Branch
Section 1
Legislative power vested, bicameral system
Section 2
House of Representatives
Section 3
The Senate
Section 4
Election of Senators and Representataives
Section 5
Rules of House and Senate
Section 6
Compensation and Privileges of Members
Article 2
The Executive Branch
Article 4
The States
Article 3
The Judiciary Branch
Article 5
The Amendment Process
Article 7
Ratification
Article 6
Legal status of the Constitution
Section 7
Passage of Bills
Section 8
Scope of Legislative Power
Section 9
Limits on Legislative Power
Section 10
Limits on States
Section 1
Election and Removal of the President
Section 2
Presidential Power
Section 3
State of the Union, Receiving Ambassadors, Execute law faithfully, and commission of officers
Section 4
Impeachment
Section 1
Judicial Power Vested
Section 2
Scope of Judicial Power
Section 3
Treason
Section 1
Full faith and credit
Section 2
Privileges and Immunities, extradition and fugitives
Section 3
Admission of States
Section 4
Guarantees to States
The Constituion
Amendment 1
Freedom of speech, religion, assembly and petition
Amendment 2
The Right to Bear Arms
Amendment 3
Freedom from quartering soldiers in private homes
Amendment 4
Protection from illegal search and seizures
Amendment 5
Right to a fair trial, right to remain silent and protection against double jeopardy
Amendment 6
Right to speedy trial, right to an attorney, right to oppose witnesses
Amendment 7
Right to trail by jury
Amendment 8
Protection from cruel and unusual punishments
Amendment 9
Rights retained by the people
Amendment 10
Powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states and people
Amendment 11
Limits the jurisdiction of federal courts
Amendment 12
Clarify process of electing President and Vice President
Amendment 13
Abolished Slavery
Amendment 14
Rights of citizens
All persons born in the US are granted citizenship
No state can deny the equal protection of the law
No state can deny life, liberty or property without due process
Amendment 15
Voting rights: no denial of vote because of race, color, or status
Amendment 16
Government can collect income tax
Amendment 17
Senators no longer appointed but directly elected by citizens
Amendment 18
Prohibition of Alcohol
Amendment 19
Women's Suffrage
Amendment 20
"Lame Duck Amendment"
Sets the date of the start of term for Congress and the President
Amendment 21
Amendment 18 repealed.
Amendment 22
Presidential terms limited to 2
Amendment 23
Voting rights for residents of Washington DC
Amendment 24
Poll tax Abolished
Amendment 25
Process established to pass duties if President is unable to fulfill. The powers pass to VP
Amendment 26
Voting age set to 18
Amendment 27
Laws affecting Congressional salaries don't take effect until the next session begins
The Constitutional Convention
Virginia Plan and Great Compromise
Respresentation based on population
3/5ths Compromise
3/5ths of a state's slaves would count towards representaion
Commerce
Congress granted power over foreign and interstate commerce
Three compromises
Federalists
vs
Anti-federalists

Federalists were in favor of the Constitution while Anti Federalists opposed the new plan of government.

The Federalist Papers were a series of newspaper articles written in defense of the US Constitution.
“As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity annd institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipiate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.”


About four months later he wrote to his sister, on April 20, 1861:
“With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.”

That same day Lee wrote a letter to General Winfield Scott, tendering his resignation of the U.S. Army:
“I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted the best years of my life, and all the ability I possessed.”

“Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South, I should sacrifice all for the Union but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia?”“As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity annd institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipiate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.”

Robert E. Lee, January 23, 1861 (in a letter to his son Custis)
When Lee wrote this, six southern States had already seceded.

About four months later he wrote to his sister, on April 20, 1861:
“With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.”

That same day Lee wrote a letter to General Winfield Scott, tendering his resignation of the U.S. Army:
“I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted the best years of my life, and all the ability I possessed.”

“Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South, I should sacrifice all for the Union but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia?”
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