January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Civics
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Foundations of the American Political System

The Constitution Chapter 3

Who was the only state that chose not to participate in the Constitutional Convention? Rhode Island

Why? Their leaders opposed a strong central government

Constitutional Convention 1787 Who attended? 55 men of distinction: lawyers, merchants, college presidents, doctors, generals, governors, and planters Who did not attend? Native Americans, Women, and African Americans (not considered part of the political process)

Convention gets Organized Who did the delegates select as the leader of the convention? George Washington, Revolutionary war hero Rules: • Each state gets one vote • Seven states or more must be present • Strict secrecy for all discussions

The Mission Given the task of fixing the Articles of Confederation by Congress, the delegates quickly decided to do what? Scrap the Articles of Confederation and create a new Constitution

Two Opposing Plans James Madison proposed “The Virginia Plan” • Three branches of gov’t: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial • Bicameral “Two House” Legislature • Legislative seats determined by states’ populations William Paterson countered “The New Jersey Plan” • Three branches of gov’t (same three) • Unicameral “One House” Legislature • Legislative seats determined as one vote per state

COMPARISON Virginia Plan favored large states, big populations

Supporters: Massachusetts, NY, Pennsylvania, Virginia

New Jersey Plan favored small states vs

Supporters: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey

The Great Compromise • • • •

Roger Sherman [Connecticut delegate] proposed a compromise plan: A two house “bicameral” legislature Senate ~ equal votes to please the small states House of Representatives ~ people based on population for the large states

The 3/5 “Three-Fifths” Compromise How should the government count slaves in the population calculation for Congress? South ~ Each slave should count North ~ Slaves give the South unfair advantage in Congress; Slaves are property and should not count in equation

Resolution: Count every 5 slaves as 3 free persons to determine House voting power

The Southern states would have had more electoral votes and Jefferson could have won.

Constitution built on Compromises Besides the Great Compromise and the 3/5 Compromise, other Compromises were made

What is Compromise? Main Entry: 1com·pro·mise 1 a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions Translation ~ You give a little, I give a little

Electoral College Debate: • Should the people choose the president? • Should the Congress choose the president? Resolution: Electoral College ~ a group of people who would be named by each state legislature to select the President and Vice President * Now the Electors are chosen by the voters

Slavery and Tariffs Northern States ~ agreed not to tax exports or interfere with the slave trade until after 1808 Southern States ~ agreed to allow the Congress to regulate interstate commerce as well as trade between nations

Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Americans reacted to the Constitution in two separate ways: • Federalists ~ supporters of the Constitution who believed in federalism {a form of government where power is shared between the federal or national gov’t and the states} • Anti-Federalists ~ opposed the Constitution because it gave too much power to the national gov’t and took away from the power of the states

Approving the Constitution (cont.)

Why did the Anti-Federalists oppose the Constitution? They felt it gave too much power to the national government and took too much away from the states. They also felt it needed a bill of rights to protect certain individual liberties, such as the freedom of speech and religion.

The Federalist James Madison stated, “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place… promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison used this publication to defend the need for a strong national government and the proposed Constitution.

Ratification of the Constitution • Federalists agree with Anti-Federalists that a Bill of Rights is needed for the Constitution • Promise of a Bill of Rights speeds approval of the Constitution • June 21, 1788 – New Hampshire becomes the 9th state to ratify the Constitution

Critical Thinking Drawing Conclusions Why were Southerners at the Constitutional Convention fearful of government control of trade?

Southerners feared that Congress might stop slave traders. You should note that without the compromise, Southerners may not have supported the Constitution.

Structure of the Constitution • Preamble An introduction of the goals and purposes of the government • The Articles (7) The structure of the government • The Amendments (27) Additions or changes to the Constitution

Preamble dissected (part I) Six Purposes of Government: • “To form a more perfect Union” ~ Make states operate together efficiently 2. “To establish Justice” ~ Create a fair system of laws and courts 3. “To ensure domestic Tranquility” ~ Maintain peace, order and keep people safe

Preamble dissected (part II) 4. “To provide for the common defense” ~ Have a military prepared to defend 5. “To promote the general Welfare” ~ Help people live happy and healthy 6. “To secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” ~ Guarantee the freedoms and basic rights for future generations

Articles (I - VII) • • • •

Article I – The Legislative Branch Article II – The Executive Branch Article III – The Judicial Branch Article IV – States responsibilities, process for creating new states, federal government promises to protect and defend the states • Article V – Process for amendments • Article VI – Constitution is the “Supreme law of the land” • Article VII – Approval when 9 states ratify it

Making Amendments or Changes • Amendment process is deliberately difficult • Amendments are a two-step process: 1. Proposal a. 2/3 of Congress (Senate and House) can vote for proposing a change b. 2/3 of State Legislatures can vote for a convention to propose a change 2. Ratification ¾ of States must vote to ratify amendments

Amending the Constitution (cont.)

Why did the Framers make the amendment process difficult?

After months of debate and compromise, the Framers knew how delicately balanced the Constitution was. Changing even a small detail could have dramatic effects throughout the government. They wanted to make sure the Constitution could not be altered without the overwhelming support of the people.

Checking for Understanding (cont.) Describe In what two ways can an amendment to the U.S. Constitution be ratified? How are the states involved in these processes?

An amendment requires the approval by three-fourths of state legislatures or threefourths of ratifying state conventions.


Enumerated/Expressed/Designated Powers • These are powers that are given directly to the National Government. We can find them in Article 1 of the Constitution. • What allows these powers to change with the times?

Article I “Necessary and Proper Clause” The Constitution gives Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper” to carry out its duties. Two interpretations: Loose ~ Congress should be allowed to make any laws the Constitution does not specifically forbid Strict ~ Congress should make only laws written in the Constitution

Concurrent Powers • These are powers that are SHARED by the National government and State governments. • Ex: Taxes, enforcing laws

What happens if there is a conflict between the National and State governments?

‘Supremacy Clause’ • Article 6 says that the National government is supreme in conflicts with the individual states. • McCulloch v. Maryland • State law cannot contradict national law – Ex: Slavery is illegal in all 50 states. Even if a majority of people wanted to institute it in a state, they cannot legally do so

Reserved Powers • These are powers reserved for the states. • The 10th Amendment makes it clear that any powers not given explicitly to the National government belong to the states. • How has the National government gained influence on the State’s powers?

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