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  • 1. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS Chapter 1 An Historical Overview
  • 2. Where is all Began  Constitution- a system of basic laws and principles that established the nature, functions and limits of a government or other institution   Always written with a capital “C” US Constitution is considered “youthful”
  • 3. Where is all Began Cont….   Rules that become laws are a part of any society Law- a body of rules promulgated (established) to support the norms of a society, enforced through legal means, that is, punishment.
  • 4. Contributions from the Past    American Law is young. Born in 1776. Most countries use years and years of tradition and law to serve them History is the base on which our law was constructed Investigating the events that have led to our present law will help to better understand both HOW and WHY we have the laws we do
  • 5. The Great Melting Pot  There are representatives from every culture in America, and together they share in the historical development of our country and legal system. Their desire for something better is what makes American law unique in serving the pluralistic society.
  • 6. The Great Melting Pot Cont…    Pluralism- a society in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious or cultural groups coexist within one nation, each contributing to the society as a whole Native American began to band together in selfdefense against the colonists Living in a Pluralistic society creates a challenge to exercise tolerance and respect for the opinions, customs, traditions and lifestyles of others
  • 7. Ethnic Population of the colonies in 1775      48.7% English 20% African (slaves) 7.8% Scots-Irish 6.9% German 6.6% Scottish     2.7% Dutch 1.4% French 0.6% Swedish 5.3% Other *Native Americans were not on the list because they were not considered part of the colonies
  • 8. 1775 Three groups coexisted in the US 1. 2. 3.   Native Americans African Slaves Colonists The history of the United States has generally focused on the colonists The colonists with the most wealth and power (white, male property holders) are credited with creating the basic structure of our country
  • 9. Over time… Melting pot-several different nationalities combined into “the American Colonists” This was encouraged by the vast, unlimited resources available, as well as the struggle for survival Pressure from foreign countries to control them, dangers posed by Native Americans and rebellious Slaves, caused them to band together
  • 10. Development and organization   Massachusetts Bay & Virginia entered into businesslike agreements, charters, establishing cooperative government Other colonists entered into compacts with primarily a religious purpose in establishing how they chose to govern themselves
  • 11. Development of the United States of America   Colonists realized their freedom was in jeopardy from abroad and were not going to sit idly by while those asserting power to coerce them into submission When colonies were confronted with attempts by Great Britain, Spain, and France to consume and control the New World, resistance grew, exemplifying the spirit associated with the United States
  • 12. Colonial Dissension Grows   Populations began to grow and did differences between those who saw themselves as free, independent colonies and those who wanted to fly a foreign flag over them Empires positioned themselves politically and militaristically to expand their boundaries into the New World
  • 13. Great Britain’s Problems 1st Major problem: continued westward settlement by colonists and conflict with Native Americans 2nd Major problem: huge debt resulting from English military action to expand the empire British Parliament felt the colonist should share this debt. Colonies resisted the restrictions to westward settlement and paying for Britain’s war debts
  • 14. Great Britain  1765 Stamp Act- required stamps to be purchased and placed on legal documents such as marriage licenses and wills, several commodities, including playing cards, dice, newspapers and calendars.  Colonists resisted increased taxes because they felt it was taxation without representation
  • 15. Great Britain     1765 Quartering Act- passed by Parliament requiring colonists to feed and shelter British troops in America (3rd Amendment) 1766-Stamped Act was repealed 1770 Boston Massacre- colonists taunted British soldiers with snowballs, and the soldiers fired upon them 1773 Boston Tea Party- colonist boarded 3 British ships and dumped cargos of tea overboard
  • 16. Results of the Boston Tea Party Parliament passed several laws in retaliation for an open act of defiance.   Town meeting were restricted to once a year The king was required to appoint people to the governmental court rather than have them elected   Quartering Act expanded, requiring soldiers to be housed in private homes and buildings British officials accused of crimes in the colonies could be tried in England
  • 17. 1st Continental Congress  1774, 55 delegates from 12 colonies met in Philadelphia. The 1st continental congress resulted in the first written agreement among the colonies to stand together in resistance against Britain
  • 18. 1st Continental Congress  1. 2. 3. Congress agreed on three important actions. Adopted a set of resolutions that defined the rights, liberties and immunities of the colonists Addressed King George III and citizens of Britain calling for a restoration of American rights Established a boycott to prevent the buying of British goods until Congress’ demands were met
  • 19. Whose Side Were You On?   Loyalist (Tory)-was someone who bought British goods. Still paid allegiance to the British monarchy Patriot (Rebel)- those who supported the boycott. Owed their allegiance to America
  • 20. The Tension Mounts    1775- colonies were preparing for the confrontation with Britain Minutemen- colonial soldiers that were drilled and equipped to respond within a minute’s notice to protect American live, property and rights March 1775-Patrick Henry’s plea for freedom. “Give me liberty or give me death!”
  • 21. The Revolution Begins  April 19, 1775   Waiting minutemen in Lexington saw the British coming. Shots were fired and 8 American died. The British then moved to Concord where they were met again by minutemen These two battles strengthened the colonists’ resolve toward independence
  • 22. 2nd Continental Congress     Established the Continental Army and named George Washington its commander Congress raise money and bought supplies for the new army. They sought out support from other countries by opening diplomatic relations. The colonists were prepared for an all out war with Britain Many great battles showed that America’s people were committed to fight for their independence. Ticonderoga, Bunker Hill, Trenton and Saratoga
  • 23. Declaration of Independence    In May, Congress instructed each of the states to form its own government and assuming powers of independent states. July 4, 1776-the Congress unanimously voted in favor of American Independence. There were six important sections
  • 24. Declaration of Independence 1. 2. First paragraph explains why the Declaration was issued Declares all men to be equal and to have equal claims to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness Stated the government’s right to rule is based on the consent of the governed 1. 2. 3. 4. Charges against British king and how they denied the American colonists their rights Describes the colonists attempts to obtain justice and the British lack of response Proclaimed independence Lists the actions the new United States of America could take as a country
  • 25. What was the cost for the Signers?    Those who signed (56 total) were men of wealth and social standing To sign the Declaration of Independence was an act of treason, punishable by death. Many went on after the war to illustrious careers, 2 presidents, vicepresidents, senators and governors     Other were not so fortunate 9 died in the war 5 captured by the British 18 had their estates burned or looted by the British
  • 26. Articles of Confederation   Formally pledged the states to a “firm league of friendship,” and “a perpetual union” created for “their common defense, the security of their liberties” and their “mutual and general welfare” Established a congress to conduct necessary tasks of a central government, including waging war and making peace, controlling trade with the Indians, organizing a mail service and borrowing money
  • 27. Articles of Confederation   Inadequacies of this document lead to the Constitution, but it was an important stepping stone The founders feared a concentrated, centralized political power and was NOT empowered to      Regulate trade Levy taxes Draft soldiers Establish a court system Regulate money
  • 28. Magna Carta     Considered the most important instrument of English government Established the supremacy of the law over the ruler The original document King John was forced to sign it on June 12, 1215 Showed that no one was above the law
  • 29. Moving toward the Constitution  1. 2. 3. The Magna Carta provided a stable framework from which to start It was a step away from total rule by a single individual Long history of success Provided some security and that not everything needed to start from scratch
  • 30. Moving toward the Constitution    Articles of Confederation were inadequate for effective government due to the lack of balance of power between the states and the central government 1787-Congress called for a convention to revise the Articles George Washington was elected to preside over the meetings
  • 31. Purpose of the Constitution    Was to establish a central government authorized to deal directly with individuals rather than states and To incorporate a system of checks and balances that would preserve the fundamental concepts contained in the Magna Carta, that is, to limit the power of government To prevent one individual from having complete power
  • 32. Constitution takes shape   Structure and powers of legislative, executive judicial branches. The checks and balance would allow the system to work, while achieving the primary goal of limiting power to any individual or section of the government.
  • 33.  Constitutionalism- a belief in a government in which power is distributed and limited by a system of laws that must be obeyed by those who rule
  • 34. Constitutional Convention – Who Was There?     55 delegates 8 had signed the Declaration of Independence 7 were governors of their states 39 were congressmen     More than ½ were college graduates 1/3 were lawyers Most held prominent positions in the Revolutionary War All were highly respected property owners
  • 35. Great Compromise      The agreement reached in drafting the Constitution giving each state an equal vote in the Senate and a proportionate vote in the House All powers were entrusted to the states and to the people Country was to governed by a President to be chosen by electors in each state, a national judiciary and a two-chamber legislature House of Representatives were popularly elected Senate was chosen by individual state legislatures
  • 36. Issue of Slavery     Was omitted during the constitutional debates Zero chance of ratification from the South if it dealt with slavery 10th Amendment left slavery up to the individual states (ratified two years later) This omission from the Constitution and failure to compromise would lead to the civil war
  • 37. Drafting the Constitution    August 7, 1787, the draft was ready for a clause-by-clause review Some material was old, connecting to the Magna Carta, and some was new with some brilliant concepts The final document was put before the Convention on September 1787
  • 38. Current Events: Constitution and Citizenship Day In 2005, Congress mandated that schools receiving federal funding Federal Register Notice provide education about the Constitution  Commemorate the principles and practices protected and Provided for in the Constitution September 17th 
  • 39. The Article of the Constitution  The first three article established the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government and the country’s system of checks and balances.
  • 40. Article 1- Legislative Branch    Legislature may pass laws, but cannot enforce or interpret them Contains the Great Compromise Congress has 2 chambers  Senate     Each state has 2 senators Each senator has 1 vote Sole power to try all impeachments House of Representatives    Membership based on state populations Power of impeachment 1st to consider bills for raising taxes
  • 41. Powers of Congress  Section 8 of Article 1 grants specific powers to Congress          Coining money Establishing post offices Lay and collect taxes Borrow money on the credit of the United States Regulate international and interstate commerce Naturalize foreign-born citizens Raise and govern the military forces Declare war Elastic clause  Reserve of power to do what was “necessary and proper” to pass laws for the nation. Enact laws that
  • 42. Article 2- Executive Branch    Created to carry out the law Provide a commander and chief of the military forces Carry out nation’s foreign policy    Entering into treaties with other nations To appoint ambassadors, judges and officials needed for the government to function Chosen by electors
  • 43. Article 2- Executive Branch       The president’s most significant actions must be approved by the Senate Treaties require 2/3 vote Judges and appointed executive officials need a majority vote to be confirmed Must report periodically to Congress on the state of the Union May recommend laws Congress should enact MOST IMPROTANT DUTY-”shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”
  • 44. Article 3-Judicial Branch      Vesting Judicial power in the U.S. Supreme Court Federal court judges are appointed by the President and hold office for life Congress is authorized to regulate the court’s dockets by deciding what kinds of cases the Supreme court can hear on appeal Congress regulates the courts’ jurisdiction Courts interpret the laws
  • 45. Federal v. State power  The powers not specifically delegated to the federal government, are reserved for the states and the people.
  • 46. Checks and Balances  The President has veto power   President nominates Supreme Court justices   Congress can override with 2/3 majority vote Legislative branch confirms or denies the nomination President is the commander in chief  Legislative branch declares war and pays for it
  • 47. Article 4- Other Provisions   Contains a variety of provisions, some taken from the Articles of Confederation, further describing the creation of the federal union Article 4 also deals with:    Criminal extradition Formation of new states Congress’ power to govern in territorial lands not yet states
  • 48. Article 5- The Amendment Process  Dictates how the Constitution may be amended 1. 2.   Must be approved by 2/3 vote in each house of Congress Submitted to the states for ratification requiring the approval of ¾ of the states to pass the amendment The people may begin the amendment process if the legislatures of 2/3 of the states call for a constitutional convention Bill of Rights (1791) were added to the Constitution using the Amendment Process
  • 49. Article 6- The Constitution as the Supreme Law    Supremacy clause- federal law will reign when there is conflicting state law The article permitted the Supreme Court to become the ultimate decision maker in whether laws and actions of the government circumvent the Constitution and to invalidate them if they do so Requires the allegiance of every federal and state official to the Constitution
  • 50. Signing of the Constitution     Ben Franklin moved that the Constitution be approved unanimously and signed by those states present September 17, 1787 the U.S. Constitution was sign in Philadelphia 42 of the 55 delegates were present to sign the Constitution 3 members refused to sign  George Mason-because of the lack of a bill of rights
  • 51. Ratification   Ratify- to approve a constitutional amendment Each state had to ratify the constitution even though the delegates agreed to the makeup of the Constitution  Delaware was the first to do so
  • 52. Ratification Cont…   Federalists- favored a strong central government Anti-Federalists- favored a weaker central government   Didn’t not want to ratify without a bill of rights guaranteeing individual liberties Amendments- changes to the Constitution or bylaws  December 15, 1791- states had ratified 10 of 12 proposed amendments to ensure that the national government would not interfere with individual liberties
  • 53. Current Events The President has nothing to do with the Amendment process      27 Amendments to the US Constitution The 27th amendment which restricts raises in congressional pay is the most recent amendment Proposed in 1789 Was not ratified until 1992 Took 74003 days to ratify
  • 54. Bill of Rights   Aimed at balancing the rights of the states and of individual citizens against the powers of the central government The Constitution was general, and the Amendments were specific
  • 55. Bill of Rights 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1st Amendment - Freedom of speech, Freedom of religion, Freedom of press, Right to assemble, Right to petition 2nd Amendment – “to keep and bear arms” 3rd Amendment – prohibition from housing soldiers 4th Amendment – privacy and security 5th Amendment – restrictions as to how government can treat people suspected of crimes
  • 56. Bill of Rights 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 6th Amendment - Informed of nature and cause of accusation, Confront witnesses against him, Obtaining witnesses in his favor, Assistance of Counsel for his defense 7th Amendment - Right to trial by jury in common law cases where the value exceeds $20. 8th Amendment – cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive bail and fines 9th Amendment – answered objections to those who thought that naming some rights but not all might result in government claiming more power than intended 10th Amendment - Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.