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U.S. Constitution For Kids
Transcript of U.S. Constitution For Kids
Once upon a time...
The British owned the original 13 colonies of the United States. The British were mean to the Americans because they would always tax them without representation.
The Americans were tired of being pushed around, so our founding fathers decided to write a declaration of independence, but this caused a war between the Americans and British because the Americans wanted a democracy
Won the Revolutionary War against the British and the United States was formed. Although we were fighting for democracy, we ended up with a republic because the founding fathers wanted to protect their economic interests.
The Founding Fathers...
established the Articles of Confederation, which was the law of the land, but they were very weak because there was no president, courts, national money, and the states had more power than the federal government.
Since the Articles were weak...
many rebellion involving farmers, such as Shays' Rebbellion, broke out because their land was being taken away. This made the founding fathers realize the articles were weak and want to create a new constitution.
When the founding fathers gathered...
there were 2 different groups, which were the Federalist who wanted a strong central government and to keep the elite in power, and there were the Anti-Federalist who wanted strong state governments and protect the liberties of people.
Since the Federalists and Anti-Federalists couldn't agree...
they had to make a compromise, or deal, in which there could be a strong central government as long as it is a limited government so they won't do whatever they want, consider the interest of the people, and include a Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
There were many issues involving equality when drafting the Constitution...
The smaller states wanted an equal representative government (New Jersey Plan), but the larger states wanted representation based off of population (Virginia Plan).
Since both sides couldn't agree, they decided to create a bicameral house, which would include both houses in congress (Connecticut Compromise)
There were also equality issues with the north and south...
The south wanted to count slaves in the census, in order to have more power in congress, but the north didn't think this was fair since the slave couldn't vote, so they compromised that each slave would be worth 3/5th of one person
Since the founding fathers didn't want another tyranny...
James Madison proposed his Madisonian Model, in which the government would limit the power of the majority though people we voted for to represent us. It also included separating the powers of the government (president, congress, supreme court), creating a checks and balances system,so no branch is more powerful than the other, and establishing a federal system.
When the constitution was ratified...
The federal government was more powerful than the state government and the founding fathers were able to protect their power and interests by giving just enough liberties to the people
by Kamila Arias, Andrew Coreas, Jorge Segura