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Creating the US Government

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Lisa Lane

on 28 November 2016

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Transcript of Creating the US Government

Creating the US Government
Articles of Confederation
America's first
plan
of government
Confederation--an association. This document called for a "firm league of
friendship
" among states
Under the articles, the Congress had few
powers
People were afraid to develop another strong
centra
l government
Each state was given
one
vote:
9 were needed to pass a law
States’ Rights-- is a
term
used to describe the ongoing struggle over political power in the United States between the federal government and individual
states
.
Any
amendment
to the
Articles
would need approval of all states

Creating the Constitution
The United States Constitution
Even with disagreement continuing, the Constitution was
ratified
in 1788
One More Step:
At this point, there are 2 different groups of people...
Federalists
--happy with the Constitution the way it was
Anti-Federalists--wanted a bill of
rights
before they would adopt the Constitution
The Declaration of Independence:

Originally discussed in the
First
Continental Congress
Was agreed upon in the
Second
Continental Congress
Declared the US
independent
from Great Britain
Thomas Jefferson was the author
John Hancock was the first to
sign
--dead center and very large!
Approved July
4
, 1776
Prior Documents Declaring Independence:

Albany Plan of Union (created in Albany, NY
Mecklenburg Resolves (created in Mecklenburg County,
NC
)
Halifax
Resolves (created in Halifax County, NC)
Amendment--a change for the better
Articles--a particular section in a written document
The Articles of Confederation:

Set up a system of government where power was divided between the
state
and national governments but with most power to states
Each state, regardless of population or size, had
one
vote in Congress
Congress had the power to declare war, provide mail service, enter into treaties, and make money
States alone could
tax
Americans and control
trade

Weaknesses of the AOC
Without
the power to tax, the Federal Government had a hard time paying back the Revolutionary War
debt
Without the power to control
trade
, the FG couldn't settle trade disputes between states
Bad
roads
provided little travel so people saw themselves as Virginians or North Carolinians instead of Americans
More Weaknesses:
The Federal Government didn't have their own
army
or navy so they had to rely on individual states in case of emergency--See Shay's Rebellion notes :)
Each state printed their own
money
so the values differed from state to state
Paper money (Continental currency) that was printed was not backed by gold nor silver and therefore
worthless
A positive?

Northwest Ordinance of 1787: Congress had the right to govern territorial
lands
. Guidelines were set to become a state.
People like George Washington realized something must be done in order to hold the
Union
together!
Thoughtful Leaders
Founding Fathers--political
leaders
and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of
Independence
, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, and establishing the United States
Constitution
.
The Constitutional Convention: May 1787 representatives from all the states except RI met in Philadelphia to discuss the
weaknesses
of the AOC.
George Washington was elected the
leader
of the Convention
Ben Franklin (who was 81 years old) was the
peacemaker
James Madison kept a journal of the proceedings and is known as the "
Father
of the Constitution"
Alexander Hamilton was very influential due to his powerful support of a federal government
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both serving as foreign ministers and didn't attend the
Convention
Suffrage--the right to
vote
Representation--this was a big conflict between
little
and big states.
2 plans were put into play, but not everyone was
happy
with either one
•Virginia Plan—wanted a strong national government instead of just revising the Articles of Confederation.
•Wanted a bicameral (2 house legislature) system.
•Wanted a chief executive and a court system
•Votes correspond with population of each state
•New Jersey Plan—people unhappy with the Virginia Plan came up with this one
•Wanted to keep the one house legislature (cameral)
•One vote for each state
•Congress could elect a weak executive
What Was Debated?
Other Debates
Presidential Election--decided the president should be elected for by electors (representatives of the
people
of a state)
Slavery--South wanted
slaves
but didn't want to pay taxes on them, North didn't want slaves but wanted them taxed.
Decided that slaves would be counted as
3/5
for both population and taxes
Trade--Congress got the right to regulate trade, but it could not limit the slave trade for
20
years, nor would there be any export tax
Compromise: An agreement where all sides meet somewhere in between their original liking
Ratification--to make official by signing or voting for something
It is based on the concept of
popular sovereignty
--principle that authority of the government is created and sustained by the will of the people...…sovereignty means supreme power or authority, put the word popular in it, and simply put it means the
people
control what happens in government. We do this by
voting
.
The US Constitution is made up of:
Preamble
--explaining what the Constitution is for
Articles--sections that describe how our government will be
run
Amendments--the first
10
are called the Bill of Rights
Constitution
Amendments were added so that the Constitution could stay up with the times
Created a
federal system
--a system that divides the power between the federal, state, and local governments
Set up 3 branches of government
Executive--President
Enforces laws, in charge of the
military
Legislative--Congress--House of Representatives and the Senate
Makes
laws
Judicial--Federal Court System
Judicial Review--the power of a court to
review
a law for constitutionality and strike down that law if it believes the law to be unconstitutional. . In other words, the Supreme Court can overturn a lower court’s ruling.
Congress:
A formal
meeting
or a series of meetings for political purposes

The legislative branch of our government (makes laws)
Some folks weren't happy with the Constitution the way it was written.
Why are checks and balances important in government?
Why didn't the AOC work for the United States?
The
Federalist
Papers
Written by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton
Promoting the ratification of the US Constitution before a bill of rights was added to it
The Bill of Rights!
The Anti-Federalists won the battle!
A bill of rights is added to the Constitution in order to
protect
our basic rights as humans
The Bill of Rights is the first
10
amendments of our Constitution
George Washington is elected our first President because he had been such a
strong
leader
He really
didn't
want to be president, but he took the position anyhow
He was careful to be a good leader and to not abuse his power and make the Anti-Federalists angry
Our First President
Gave the president the power to
veto
--turn down a decision of Congress
Put in a system of
checks and balances
--the balancing of power and having one branch of government
check
on the other
The US was now a
republic
--a government that is not ruled by a
king
or queen
The Great Compromise--Congress has
2
houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives
House representatives are based on
population
of the state
Senate has equal representatives from each state (
2
)
Our First Secretary of Treasury
•Under George Washington
•A
Forefather
•Creator of the First
National
Bank
•A safe place people could keep their money
•Favored
Nationalism
—feeling of superiority
and political independence
Full transcript