The US Constitution


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Powerpoint describing what the US Constitution is, when it was made.

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  • The US Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. It is the basic source of legal authority- It guides us to make laws based off of it’s principles. And it helps to keep our government organized by explaining the different branches of government. (Picture: 1 st page of the original document, there are 4 pages)
  • The Constitution was primarily thought up by Pennsylvania delegates who were led by Gouverneur Morris- who is often credited as the one who wrote the document’s preamble. Other notable men that contributed to it’s formation include: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Thomas Paine. The final draft was handwritten by Jacob Shallus- he was paid $30 It was completed on September 17th, 1787. (Picture: Governor Morris)
  • The different sections of the constitution are called ‘articles.’ The Preamble is the first part- it is essentially, the statement of purpose. It explains what peoples’ rights were. The first three articles explain the balance of power, which are the 3 branches of government: 1. legislative 2. executive 3. judicial
  • Article 4 explains that states must follow the basis of federal government. They have certain freedoms, however, in which they can regulate some acts or proceedings. Article 5 of the US Constitution is made up of 27 amendments. The first 10 commandments are what make up the Bill of Rights- they state our rights Amendments may be added to the constitution, but must be ratified in Federal powers, explained in article six, hold together all the separate state governments. This articles ensures laws that a state makes does not conflict with the supreme law. To ratify the constitution means to comply with what it says- In order for it to succeed, it originally had to be signed by 9 of the 13 colonies.
  • This chart shows which states accepted the Constitution, and when they decided to ratify it. North Carolina and Rhode Island were the only 2 states that did not ratify the Constitution within the first year. Eventually all 13 states adopted the Supreme Law
  • Montesquieu was a major European influence on the Constitution. His idea for balanced powers were incorporated in order to prevent tyranny. Aspects of John Locke’s philosophy were used to form the document- he determined that the knowledge we gain is gained through experience. In 1215, Magna Carta formed what is known as ‘common law’ which is law that is developed by judges through court decisions (Picture: John Locke)
  • Since The Leaders of the 13 colonies could not agree upon how to run the government, they all met to make the constitution. They had to debate among each other to decide what would be best for the new nation, they were forced to compromise- and decided that their final ideas were as perfect as they could be
  • The US Constitution

    1. 1. The US Constitution ( 1787 )
    2. 2. What is the Constitution? <ul><li>Supreme Law of the US </li></ul><ul><li>Basic source of legal authority </li></ul><ul><li>Organizes the government </li></ul>
    3. 3. Writing the Constitution <ul><li>Made up by delegates of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><ul><li>led by Gouverneur Morris </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It was scripted by Jacob Shallus </li></ul><ul><li>Completed in 1787 </li></ul>
    4. 4. Parts of the Document <ul><li>Constitution is made up of ‘articles’ </li></ul><ul><li>The first part is the Preamble </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statement of Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Article 1 – 3: Balance of power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Legislative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Executive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Judicial </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Article 4: States’ Powers and Limits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discusses relationship between state and federal government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Article 5: Amendments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Bill of Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Article 6: Federal Power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Binds state to federal government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No conflict between state and federal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Article 7: Ratification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptance of the Constitution </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Ratification
    7. 7. Influences <ul><li>Montesquieu </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for balanced power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John Locke (1632-1704) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philosopher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Magna Carta (1215) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Law </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Why Make a Constitution? <ul><li>No set power in colonies </li></ul><ul><li>Colonies could not agree upon government issues </li></ul>