The Constitution of the United States Blueprints for Democracy
Government During and AfterRevolutionary War In 1777 the government of the United States was 13 separate governments. Each state had their own government running the individual states. The laws of the state rested in a state Constitution . Constitution-A written plan of government.
After the American Revolution the 13states joined together to form theUnited States of America. Thegovernment being established was tobe a Republic .Republic-any government not controlledby a king or queen. The power is withthe people of the nation.
America’s First Government The first Government for the USA was the Articles of Confederation. Confederation-a joining together. In the case of the Articles of Confederation it was a joining together of states.
Articles of Confederation Power was divided between the national government and state governments. Most of the power went to state governments.
Articles Continued Under the Articles of Confederation there was one body of National Government. This was the Congress. Regardless of size or population each state had one vote in Congress . Congress could: declare war,provide mail service,enter into treaties,and coin money. It could not: collect taxes or regulate trade. Only states could tax Americans.
Problems with Articles Congress had trouble raising money Congress could not settle trade disputes between states Concern of foreign powers taking over America again or states would set up as a separate country.
Fixing the Problem Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia to fix problems with Articles of Confederation. As Convention went on delegates decided a change was necessary.
James Madison Considered the “Father of the Constitution”. He was a delegate from Virginia who brought the idea of democracy to the convention. Democracy-the people have a voice in the government ruling over them.
Compromises At the Constitutional Convention the delegates had to compromise on many issues. Compromise-agreements in which each side gives up something it wants in order to gain something else.
Virginia Plan Proposed a gov’t with 3 Branches: Executive-enforce laws Judicial-interpret laws Legislative-creates laws Legislative Branch would have 2 houses (Upper and lower). Representation based upon population
New Jersey Plan Called for a single house congress Every state has equal representation, regardless of size This plan was supported by small states
Great Compromise Representation-in order for there to be equal representation between big states and small states the delegates agreed upon a two house Congress. Senate-every state regardless of size would have 2 senators. House of Representatives -the number of representatives would be based on the population of the state.
Three Fifths Compromise There was a problem in terms of population of slave states and non slave states. (Northern and Southern) How would slaves be counted in population? Three Fifths Compromise-each slave would count as three fifths of one whole person. This made sure that slave states did not have more representation in the House of Representatives because they had slavery.
Ratification Process In order for the Constitution to be ratified each state held their own convention to decide whether or not to adopt the constitution. Federalists-people who supported the new Constitution. Argued that this created a good balance between state and national governments.
Antifederalists Antifederalists -feared the new constitution created a government that left too much power with the national government. Pointed out that the Constitution was missing a Bill of Rights to protect liberty of individual citizens.
Ratification Continued In order for the Constitution to be ratified 9 of 11 states had to approve it before it became law. Pennsylvania, Delaware,Connecticut, New Jersey and Georgia quickly voted to adopt the Constitution. The last two states to approve the Constitution were North Carolina and Rhode Island and both states threatened to become their own country before finally adopting it.
First President George Washington was elected first president of United States. He was sworn in as president in 1789 in New York City (the first capital of the US)
Comparing Articles toConstitution Articles Constitution 1 House of 2 House Congress Congress Power shared Power rested with between states and states National No strong National Government Government