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Unit 5: The Constitution

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Joyce Pevler

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of Unit 5: The Constitution

James Madison: “Father of the Constitution”
Proposed Virginia Plan AND extremely active during the convention:
Addressed the group more than 200 times
Took extensive notes

Sat near the front so he could hear & he wrote down nearly every word. From this record, we know what happened at the convention every day.
May, 1787
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
~Independence Hall~
Leader: George Washington
Key Issue: Should states with more people have more representatives, or should every state be represented equally? What about slaves? Do they count?
“You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured…”
Patrick Henry
“They…divided the powers, that each might be a check upon the other…and I presume that every reasonable man will agree to it.”
Alexander Hamilton
The foundation of our ENTIRE country . . .
The MOST important document in our country . . .
This 225-year-old document is entirely relevant today

Unit 5:
The US Constitution


FQ: We know the Articles of Confederation were ineffective . . . what is the MOST important change that needs to occur?
May 1787: Philadelphia
- Met in Independence Hall
(where Declaration was signed)
- George Washington elected leader
12 of 13 states attend -- Rhode Island absent
55 Delegates --
many leaders missing
Rewrite Government
Goal: REVISE Articles
Decide: Can't be fixed
Throw away AOC & start over
1 Vote per State
Meeting discussion secret
Speak freely without public influence
August -- windows SHUT for secrecy
Majority Rules
Delegates divided on where power should come from -- people or states??
Equal or based on population??
Large states: want population
Small states: want equal
Should the US keep it?
Do/how do slaves count in population?
Can the government tax?
How to pay off debts?
Virginia Plan
New Jersey Plan
Proposed By James Madison
"Father of the Constitution"
3 Branches:
Strong national government
Bicameral Congress:
TWO houses
Population based
Number of lawmakers depends on states' population
Favors LARGE states
Proposed by William Paterson
Small State Plan
3 Branches. ONE house Congress
Equal voting
Keep small states from being taken over by large states
Group executive
Promoted states' rights
Great Compromise
(Connecticut Compromise)
Roger Sherman - CT Delegate
Created a two house legislature:
House: Based on population (represents "the people")
Senate: Based on state equality (equal representation)
3/5 Compromise
Census: Count slaves
To determine population:
Slave Count x 3/5 =

Count for representation
Slave Trade Compromise
Political Issue of Slavery
Economic Issue of Slavery
Congress would not tax exports
Slave trading could be banned in 20years
Issue: Congress' power to regulate foreign trade
Issue: Population count for representation
3 of every 5 slaves count
MUCH stronger than
Articles of Confederation
Power to TAX
Regulate trade
Strong executive
Need 9 of 13 to RATIFY (Approve)
Sept 17, 1787: Delegates declare Constitution COMPLETE
Congress AND states
Congress controls interstate trade
President: 1 term = 4 years
Procedure: Special convention
Voters elect delegates for attendance
Delegates: Accept OR Reject Constitution
Political group who SUPPORTED Constitution
Wanted stronger government
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
Political group who OPPOSED Constitution
Lacked a list of people's rights
Want to protect people from federal government
“They…divided the powers, that each might be a check upon the other…and I presume that every reasonable man will agree to it.”
“You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured…”
Federalist Papers: support the new government
Convince Americans to adopt the new constitution
Bill of Right PROMISED
Rights of the people
Won the states needed for ratification
Series of 85 essays defending Constitution
Published in NY newspapers 1787-88
Explained Constitutional provisions
America Gets a Constitution


Article VI (6)
Article V (5)
Article III (3)
Article IV (4)
The Senate is based on equal representation, with two Senators from every state (today)
The House of Representatives is based on population
Article I (1)
We, the people of the United States, in Order to from 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 II (2)
Article VII (7)
US Constitution
An Introduction
To the whole Constitution
Gives the purposes and goals of government
Article I describes U.S. Congress
Describes the Congress and its powers
(Legislative Branch)
Divides Congress into two Houses
Sets qualifications and terms of members
Describes law making process
Specifically denies certain powers to Congress
(does not give it too much power)
Delegates certain powers to Congress
(Enumerated Powers)
Ex: Taxation, Regulate Commerce, anything "necessary and proper"
Describes the Executive Branch
(President & Vice President)
Term and Qualifications
Electoral method (later amended)
Electoral College
Make treaties, appoint officials upon approval
Execute the laws of the United States
Impeachment process
(Removed from office for illegal actions - President/VP)
Describes the Judicial Branch
(Court System)
Term and qualification of judges
Jurisdiction of Federal Courts
Right to Trial by Jury in Federal cases
Crime of Treason is defined
(Going against your country)
Espionage: spying
ONLY crime defined in the Constitution
Establishes the relationship of states to one another AND the central government
Describes Federalism: Multiple levels of government working together
Full Faith and Credit Clause describes the legal relationship between states
States will recognize and follow each other's laws
Extradition process described
Sending prisoners back to state to have a trial
Addition of new states and territories
Guarantee of Federal protection from invaders for all states
Amendment process
Amend = to change
Establishes two methods of proposing an amendment.
Establishes two methods of ratifying a new amendment.
Supremacy of Constitution and the national government
National government more powerful than any other level
Constitution is the Supreme Law of the nation
(Supremacy Clause)
States cannot challenge national laws, national wins
Requires an oath of office in all state and federal positions to support the Constitution.
Ratification process for the Constitution
(9 out of 13 must ratify)
Ratification of the Constitution
1. Delaware
2. Pennsylvania
3. New Jersey
4. Georgia
5. Connecticut
Bill of Rights Promised
6. Massachusetts
7. Maryland
8. South Carolina
9. New Hampshire
10. Virginia
11. New York
12. North Carolina
13. Rhode Island
North Carolina holds out until the Bill of Rights was submitted for ratification by the states.
Rhode Island was forced to ratify
(Government threatened to cut off ties with RI)
Ratification passed by TWO votes
Reserved Powers
Enumerated Powers
Popular Sovereignty
Limited Government
Separation of Powers
Checks and Balances
Concurrent Powers

Belief that a government's powers should be limited
-- prevent government from having too much power.
Rule of Law:
EVERYONE MUST obey the law, even the rulers
Protects against abusive government
Majority rule is not always acceptable --
prevents abuse by factions (small groups who try to take all the power)
System designed to have the separate parts of government watch over each other
One branch can block actions of another branch to keep them from having too much power
President can veto Congress' laws
Nominates Supreme Court justices

Can override Presidential vetoes
Approves Presidential appointments

Rejects unconstitutional laws
Rejects unconstitutional treaties
Philosophy that the best government is one where the functions of governing are divided.
Each branch of government has its own duties and responsibilities
Keeps the individual parts from
becoming abusive
Makes the laws
Enforces the laws
Interprets laws; uses Constitution to justify laws, punish lawbreakers
Right of the people to rule themselves by voting
Power to rule comes from the consent of the governed -- social contract

Direct Democracy: History of town meeting to practice self government

Representative Democracy
Carried out through elections
Elected representatives rule on our behalf
President, Congress, etc
Makes America a republic
System of two or more governments that operate together and share powers over citizens
(federal, state, local)
Gives greater control to the governments closest to the citizen
Makes ordinances the community must follow, laws impact directly
Makes statutes the whole state must follow
Makes laws the whole nation must follow
Powers given to the Federal government by the Constitution
Powers shared by the different levels of government
Powers given to the state government -- through the 10th Amendment
Ratifying Amendments
Proposing Amendments
Necessary and Proper Clause
2- Interpretation
1- Amendment
Constitution is over
200 years old
Constitution still functions because of its
The Constitution was only meant to be a
blueprint or framework
Changing the Constitution
Two Ways to Change
Detailed in Article V
Must be proposed
Two ways to propose
2/3 of BOTH Houses of Congress propose a change
National Convention called by 2/3 of states (33 currently)
Only method used is 2/3 Congress
First be proposed
Must be ratified by 3/4 of states
(currently 38 states)
Two methods to ratify
By state legislatures
(voting as representatives of the people)
By state convention
(citizens vote themselves)
Difficult Process
Only make changes when really needed
Only amended 27 times in over 200 years
Article I allows Congress to stretch its enumerated powers to do almost anything in the best interests of the citizens
-- Elastic Clause
Power is NOT defined
Caused arguments about what Congress can/not do
Most interpretation occurs with this phrase
Implied Powers
-- not specifically written in the Constitution; interpreted to exist
Constitution is a flexible document
Example: After WWII, Congress created Air Force
Three Types:
Based on actual wording of Constitution
If it does not say you CAN, then you CAN'T
Based on implied meaning of passages
If it does not say you CANNOT, then you CAN
Original Intent:
Based on what Founding Fathers meant the Constitution to say
Final Interpretation:
Handled by the Supreme Court (Judicial Review)
This opinion can change over time
9th Amendment
7th Amendment
5th Amendment
3rd Amendment
The First Amendment protects all Americans’ freedom of speech, which includes speaking freely against the actions of our government. What happens to people who try to exercise this right in other countries?
1st Amendment
10th Amendment
8th Amendment
6th Amendment
4th Amendment
2nd Amendment
FQ: Why are the Bill of Rights so important?
Say what you want
News can report what it wants
Whatever religion you choose -- or even no religion
Can gather in groups
Ask your government for things
Right to bear arms
Ability to own & use weapons
Debated today -- is this for military or private use??
No quartering of troops
Citizens cannot be forced to house or feed soldiers during peacetime
No forced housing
No illegal searches or seizures
Right to privacy
Probable cause for searches
Search warrants
26th Amendment
To keep black people and the poor from voting in the American South, leaders enforced poll taxes.

In many cases, this poll tax was too expensive for black voters, and they did not pay it. Therefore, they did not vote.
24th Amendment
23rd Amendment
During Prohibition, organized crime rose to an all-time high as criminals such as Al Capone would smuggle alcohol into American towns and cities.

Because Prohibition was not accomplishing its goals, and because it was causing more problems than it was fixing, the federal government repealed the 18th Amendment with the 21st Amendment.
21st Amendment
19th Amendment
Even with the 14th Amendment, Southern leaders after the Civil War did not want black people to have the right to vote. When they tried to strip freedmen of this right, Congress passed the 15th Amendment.

To limit the black vote, the Southern leaders began literacy tests and poll taxes.
15th Amendment
Places limits on suits against states
11th Amendment
27th Amendment
25th Amendment
22nd Amendment
17th Amendment
16th Amendment
14th Amendment
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation -- freed all of the slaves in the “areas of rebellion” (the South). The other states; however, had not officially freed all the slaves, and there were four states that still allowed slavery.

The 13th Amendment, passed in 1864 just before the end of the Civil War, abolished all slavery in the United States.

Ratification was a requirement for re-admittance to the Union
13th Amendment
12th Amendment
20th Amendment
18th Amendment
Amendments 11 - 27
Rights of the Accused
Due Process:
Equal treatment in court
Eminent Domain:
Government cannot take property without paying for it
Grand Jury:
Decides if there is enough evidence for a trial
Double Jeopardy:
Put on trial for same crime twice
Right to Remain Silent:
Protection against self-incrimination
Speedy, public trial
Begin reasonably close to the time of the crime
& held in public
Right to a Lawyer
Jury Trial
Peers decide
Informed of Charges
Question witnesses
Jury Trial in ALL civil cases
Right to use a jury in a lawsuit that is over $20
NO excessive bails and fines
Bail: Money you pay to get out of jail until your trial.
Bail must FIT the crime
NO cruel and/or unusual punishment
Punishment MUST fit the crime
Rights not listed are still protected
Not all rights are listed

People have more rights

All powers are NOT given to the National Government RESERVED for the STATES

States wanted to keep some power -- to limit Federal government
Changes procedure for electing President & Vice-President

President & VP must come from same party and elected on the same ticket
Before 12th Amendment:
1st Place: President
2nd Place: VP
Bans slavery & forced labor
"Civil War Amendment"
Defines Citizenship
Guarantees due process & equal protection of the law
"Civil War Amendment"
14th: Response to Black Codes established in the South after the war to limit the actions of free black people.
Promises fair treatment under the law to all people.
Right to vote too ALL men regardless of race
"Civil War Amendment"
NO VOTE FOR WOMEN of any color
Income Tax
EVERY working American pays taxes on money they earn
(through work, investments, & even illegal activities)
Income Tax provides money to the government to pay for social programs, federal workers, military . . .
Direct election of Senators
Before: States choose Senators.

Bribery was COMMON
Prohibition of Alcohol
Illegal to make, sell, buy, or consume alcohol in the US
Women get the vote
Changes beginning of Presidential & Congressional terms
Election 1st Tuesday November
Inauguration (take office): middle of March
Election 1st Tuesday November
Electoral College beginning of December
Inauguration: January 20th
REPEALS Prohibition
Production, distribution, & consumption of alcohol is OK
Term Limits for President
Two 4-year terms OR
A total of 10 years
Roosevelt's Time in Office
Great Depression (elected)
New Deal Era (His programs)
Pearl Harbor attack
World War II
Passed in reaction to FDR's 4 elections to President
Right to vote: Residents of Washington D.C. in national elections
Washington D.C. not a state, nor in a state . . . had NO electoral votes
Abolishes poll taxes in voting
Can't charge a "fee" to vote
Succession for the Presidency
Due to death, disability, or even temporary incapacity (surgery, mentally unstable . . . )
1. Vice President of the United States -- Joe Biden
2. Speaker of the House of Representatives -- John Boehner
3. President pro Tempore of the Senate -- Patrick Leahy
4. Secretary of State -- John Kerry
5. Secretary of the Treasury -- Jack Lew
6. Secretary of Defense -- Chuck Hagel
7. Attorney General -- Eric Holder
8. Secretary of the Interior -- Sally Jewell
9. Secretary of Agriculture -- Tom Vilsack
If succession occurs new VP MUST be chosen
MUST meet qualifications for Presidency, if not, they will be skipped.
10. Secretary of Commerce -- Penny Pritzker
11. Secretary of Labor -- Thomas Perez
12. Secretary of Health & Human Services -- Kathleen Sebelius
13. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development -- Shaun Donovan
14. Secretary of Transportation -- Anthony Foxx
15. Secretary of Energy -- Ernest Moniz
16. Secretary of Education -- Arne Duncan
17. Secretary of Veterans' Affairs -- Eric Shinseki
18. Secretary of Homeland Security -- Rand Beers
Vote at 18
Passed in response to Vietnam
Limits Congressional pay changes to the beginning of the next term.
Establishment Clause
: No official religion in the U.S.

Separation of Church and State
-- Famous phrase from a letter by Thomas Jefferson that discusses his belief in the role between the government and religion
The government cannot be based on religious ideas (freedom of religion)

Faith Based Social Welfare Programs
Freedom of Religion
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
MUST be peaceful
- Cannot incite a riot or attack people violently, must be lawful

Permits may be required
- Might have to get permission first
Freedom to Assemble
: Legal term for the false and damaging printing of a statement about a person
Cannot print/publish lies about someone
National Security
: The press cannot print information that is threatening to our safety
: The press cannot print names or pictures of juveniles without parental consent
Freedom of the Press
qual Protection of the
Law & Due Process
4th Amendment
Gun Control Laws
: Should there be tougher rules and requirements for getting and keeping a weapon?
Automatic Weapons Ban
: Should automatic weapons be taken off the markets?
Firearm registrations
: Should all guns be registered with the state and national government?
Right to Bear Arms
: Legal term for publicly telling a false and damaging statement about someone
(You can't tell lies about people and get away with it)

Clear and Present Danger
: Idea that one’s speech is not free if that speech could endanger the lives of people around them
(You can't yell "FIRE" if there is no fire)
Freedom of Speech
Government is not required to RESPOND or take action
Freedom to Petition
Constitution Debated
Why are we still debating this document??
14th Amendment: nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person... the equal protection of the laws.
Disabled persons rights
Americans with Disabilities Act
Illegal Aliens
Should they be given the same rights as all other people??
8th Amendment: no cruel and unusual punishment inflicted
Legality of the death penalty
Some consider it cruel and unusual punishment.
Should it still be used? Reformed?
Juveniles and death penalty
The document is complete & the law of the land up to today.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.
Right to privacy on your home
Probable Cause
: Government MUST have a good reason to search your personal property
Search Warrants
: Search records for suspected terrorism; "Patriot Act"
Abilities of Modern Technology
: Federal government can look into your records and home without your knowledge' NSA
Abortion Issues
: Right to privacy??
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
People can own and use weapons
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.
Regardless of content (usually)
Freedom of expression covers actions and clothing
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Every person allowed to believe and practice their own religion without harm or punishment
Allowed to NOT have religion also
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press
All news is free to publish whatever they want, as long as it is true.
The press frequently does not name the victim in a case of sexual assault, in the interests of victim privacy.
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble
People ARE allowed to gather in groups for whatever lawful purpose
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the right of the people . . . to petition the government for a redress of grievances
Citizens have a right to write to Congress and ask them for anything.
Simply a request
President Obama has taken this one step further by creating an online petition system. Any petition that receives 100,000 signatures within 30 days is forwarded to the White House.
Under increased scrutiny due to mass shooting events in the US.
Full transcript