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The U.S. Constitution

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Robert Velez

on 10 September 2018

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Transcript of The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution
U.S. Constitution
A constitution:

* outlines the organization of government

* grants power

* serves as a symbol
U.S. Constitution
A little history . . .
U.S. Constitution
U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution
Constitutionalism: limiting governmental power by a written charter
U.S. Constitution
26th amendment: voting age 18 (1971)
U.S. Constitution
U.S. Constitution
Formal constitutional amendment has only happened 17 times since the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments)
U.S. Constitution
WE THE PEOPLE, Ginsburg, et al., ch.2
All 50 states have their own constitutions as well
"Its a living thing . . . "
Includes 'intangibles', "clues to the political ideas . . . in a nation."
* English colonies established in America since early 1600's

* 6/7/1776 - Richard Henry Lee (VA) proposes resolution for independence
* 12 states accepted
* Declaration of Independence 7/4/1776

* Independence was NOT a 'done deal'
A little history . . .
* July 1776: Articles of Confederation introduced

* Nov 1777: Congress approved Articles

* May 1779: 12 states 'assent'
Articles of Confederation
* state autonomy
* equal representation
* limited central government
* no separate executive
* extremely difficult to amend
* insufficient power for central government
* too much state power
U.S. Constitution
SEPT 1786: Annapolis convention

FEB 1787: Congress authorizes the Philadelphia convention

MAY 1787: Convention commences
- delegates adopt a 'rule of secrecy'
- Virginia plan
- New Jersey plan

Dispute: representation in the states
The Great Compromise
Delegates from Connecticut

* numerical representation in lower house

* equal representation in upper house
ALSO: the "three-fifths compromise"
Sept 28, 1787: Congress resolves articles unanimously to be sent to states for ratification

June 21, 1788: 9th state ratifies
* June 25 & 26: Virginia & New York ratify

Sept 13, 1788: date set for electors to choose president

April 1789: First Congress convenes

1790: SCOTUS constituted

1791: Bill of Rights
Features of U.S. Constitution
Republican: people elect representatives to make decisions

Divided powers: checks & balances

Federalism: power vertically divided between federal and state governments
Generally, the popular vote prevails
BUT . . .
1824: J. Q. Adams -v- A. Jackson

1876: R. B. Hayes -v- S. J. Tilden

1888: B. Harrison -v- G. Cleveland

2000: G. W. Bush -v- A. Gore

2016: D. Trump -v- H. Clinton
FEATURES (not bugs!)

* brevity

* elasticity

* procedure over substance
Amendments that never made it:
Equal Rights Amendment
The Founding & The Constitution
Q: What is the purpose of business?
The Founding & The Constitution
YAHOO! What a country!
The Founding & The Constitution
Q: What other things occur as a result of the pursuit of profit?
The Founding & The Constitution
Businesses -
local all the way through international
- also 'give back' to the community . . .
The Founding & The Constitution
Q: What's the purpose of 'government'?
Is there someplace we can FIND it?
The Founding & The Constitution
Full transcript