The U.S. Constitution


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An in-depth look at the U.S. Constitution for middle school students.

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The U.S. Constitution

  1. 1. A constitution is a document in which the laws, principles, organization and processes of a government are established. It outlines what power and authority the government has received from the people. It also outlines the rights the people have that cannot be taken away. It is a contract that said what he government can and cannot do.
  2. 2. The ideas found in our Constitution can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome.The ideas of selecting the leaders and making laws for themselves came from Ancient Greece. Like the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Romans believed in this form of government. In Ancient Rome however, the government eventually became a dictatorship, ruled by one person. Fear of this led the Founding Fathers to think carefully when writing the Constitution.
  3. 3. The Founding Fathers looked mostly toward the English when writing the Constitution.The English Magna Carta, signed in 1215, limited the powers of King John and also guaranteed individual rights to the people.The English Bill of Rights in 1689 defined the rights of the citizens and prevented the King from taking them away in most cases.
  4. 4. The Enlightenment was the period of time where reason began to be used as the primary way of thinking.John Locke, an English Enlightenment thinker and writer, wrote Two Treatises on Government.In it he said that every person had the right to “life, liberty, and property.” He also said that governments are anagreement between the ruler and the ruled (the social contract). Baron de Montesquieu, a FrenchEnlightenment thinker and writer, suggested that a government must be divided into different branches to keep anyone from having too much power.
  5. 5. The early colonists in America took these ideas further.The Mayflower Compact, formed by the Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth, set up a system of self-government.The Virginia House of Burgesses was set up by the Virginia Company to make the laws for their colony.
  6. 6. As the American Colonies grew, they began to believe the English Parliament (law-making branch) was not treating them fairly. The Intolerable Acts were passed by theParliament and threatened the rights of the colonist. These Acts caused the Colonies to form theFirst Continental Congress to discuss what to do.They asked the King to allow them the right to join the Parliament to make laws that concerned them. When they were denied, the SecondContinental Congress wrote the Declarationof Independence, and the Revolutionary War begun.
  7. 7. Once the United States was born with the Declaration of Independence, a system of government was needed. The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States. It set up a one-house Congress, where each state had one vote. There was no executive (President).It could not collect taxes and it had no way to enforce its laws.As time went on, representatives of the states agreed that the Articles were not strongenough to govern the new nation effectively.
  8. 8. In 1787, 12 of 13 states met in Philadelphia to discuss the problems that existed with The Articles of Confederation. Members included, Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison were among the members. The original plan was to change the Articles, but it was quickly decided that writing a new constitution would be necessary. Washington was elected President of the Convention (not of the U.S…. Yet) Everyone agreed that the new U.S. Constitution needed separation of powers between a legislative, an executive, and a judicial branch.They also agreed that that power needed to be shared between the states and the new national government. There were however issues over which delegates to the Convention disagreed.
  9. 9. James Madison had an idea for the new government. His plan for the government was called the Virginia Plan. It had three branches, and the legislative branch had two houses both with representation based on population.Smaller states disagreed with Madison’s Virginia Plan.William Patterson proposed the New Jersey Planin response. It would also have three branches,but the legislative branch would have one house where every state received one vote.This made all of the states equal in the legislative branch.
  10. 10. Roger Sherman of Connecticut helped to reach an agreement between big states and small states. His Connecticut Compromise proposed a government with three branches, and a legislativebranch with two houses. One would be based on population (for the big states), and the other house would be equal with each state getting two votes. This idea was agreed upon, and set up the way Congress works today.We have a House of Representatives (based on population) and a Senate (each state gets two votes).
  11. 11. With the problem of representationsolved, the delegates of the ConstitutionalConvention had another issue to deal with. Some states wanted their slaves to be counted in their population when figuring out how many representatives each stateshould get in the House of Representatives. Northern states did not want slaves to be counted because they could not vote and were not treated as people. Southerners wanted them to be countedbecause it would give them more power in the House.It was agreed that 3/5’s of the slaves couldbe counted towards a state’s population in what was called the Three-Fifths Compromise.
  12. 12. 9 of 13 states were needed toratify (approve) the Constitution. The Convention ended inSeptember of 1787 and then the states began to debate on whether or not to ratify it. People who supported the Constitution were called Federalists.People were against ratifying the Constitution were called Anti- Federalists.The Federalist Papers were written by Hamilton, Madison, and John Jay to inform people why they should adopt the Constitution.
  13. 13. Popular Sovereignty means rule by the people.The people are the source of the government’s power and authority. The Constitution serves as acontract between the people and the government. The people choose representatives to handle the making of laws and decisions.People are able to vote to express their will.
  14. 14. The U.S. government only has powers that are granted to it by the people. There are things the government cannot do, and they are listed in the Constitution.The Bill of Rights was added to reassure that certain rights were protected no matter what. Everyone from you to the president is subject to the law.
  15. 15. Separation of Powers takes the power of the government and puts it in different branches: The Legislative Branch makes the laws. The Executive Branch enforces the laws. The Judicial Branch interprets and explains the laws.
  16. 16. The government is dividedinto branches so that one can not become too powerful. There are also othermeasures in place to makesure the branches can have some influence on what each other are doing. This system is known as Checks and Balances.
  17. 17. Federalism divides power between a national government and the several state governments. The national government deals with national issues.The state governments deal with more local issues. The national (or federal)government has some powers, the state government also has somepowers. Some powers are shared by both.All states are treated equally and must treat each other equally. The Constitution is also listed as the “Supreme Law of the Land.”
  18. 18. Republicanism is the idea of having a republican form of government.Instead of direct participation (everybody votes on laws), we have a republic, where we pick representatives to vote for us (Congress).
  19. 19. The rights of the individual person are protected.Examples are freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.
  20. 20. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.
  21. 21. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution lays out the legislative branch, the lawmaking branch of the U.S. government.Article 1 has 10 Sections outlining the rules, duties, and procedures of the Legislative Branch.
  22. 22. The law-making power will be entrusted to the Congress.The Congress is bicameral, made up of the House and the Senate.
  23. 23. Members of the House of Representatives arechosen every two years. Representatives must be: •At least 25 years old•A U.S. citizen for seven years •Live in the state that he/she is wanting to represent•Our Representative is Aaron Shock.
  24. 24. Representation in the House is based on population. Every ten years a census is taken to determine population for representation. The 3/5’s Compromise no longer exists.There can be no more representatives for each state than would allow for a ratio of 1:30,000.There are only 435 seats in the House of Representatives, which has not changed since 1910. If a representative dies or resigns, the governor of that state calls for a new election to fill the seat in the House.The House elects officers to run things smoothly. The Speakerof the House is the leader of the House and the most powerfulmember. The speaker is usually of the party that has control of the House. Assumed office on January 5, 2011 The Speaker of the House today is John Boehner.The House also is the group that can impeach federal officials.
  25. 25. The Senate is the other house in the legislative branch.There are 2 senators from each state in the Senate. Senators are elected for 6 years. Each senator has one vote. 1/3 of the senators are elected every two years. Senators must be: •30 years old •A U.S. Citizen for 9 years •Live in the state he/she is wanting to represent Our Senators are Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.
  26. 26. The Vice President of the United States is the president of the Senate.The Vice President only listens, he does not get to vote unless there is a tie.The Senate chooses its officers. The President Pro Tempore acts as the President of the Senate when the Vice President isn’t there. Patrick Leahy is the current President Pro Tempore The Senate acts as the jury in impeachment trials. Anyone found guilty in an impeachment trial can only be removed and/or barred from office. They can’t be punished with criminal charges unless they are tried in a normal criminal court.
  27. 27. All members of Congress areelected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This is known as Election Day. Elections are held in even- numbered years. Senators and Representativesare both elected by the people, but Senators were originally elected by the state governments. Congress meets on January 3,and meets for most of the year.They don’t work on weekends, recesses, or vacations.
  28. 28. Members of Congress can be denied their seat if the rest of Congress doesn’t think they should be allowed to be in Congress.Congress cannot start until quorum is present. This is more than half of the members being present (50% + 1). Members of Congress who misbehave can beexpelled if 2/3’s of the members vote to do so. Most of what is done in Congress is made public, but some can be made secret if they vote to.Congress cannot adjourn for more than three days unless both houses do so. Both have to meet in the same city (Washington D.C.)
  29. 29. While Congress is in session, they can not be arrested except for treason or other serious crimes when going to or from the chambers. As long as they are in the Capitol they can not be arrested. Congressmen can say anything while in Congress without it being held against them. Congressmen can’t work in other branches of the government while being Congressmen. Congressmen are not eligible to quit and take jobs that they created while in office. Congressmen cannot take jobs that they decided to pay more money to while they were in office.
  30. 30. Any bills having to do with raising money or taxes start in the House. Once a bill (a proposed law) has been approved by both the House and Senate, it goes to the President.The president can approve of the bill and sign it, making it a law. If he does not approve it, it goes back to whichever house created it (Veto). If both houses still want the bill to be a law, then 2/3 of both houses must approve.
  31. 31. A committeeBill introduced in meets and makes Bill is voted on the House changes, and passes House proposes passage House and Final vote in President signs Senate agree on each house of bill, making it a a single version Congress law. of the Bill. A committee Bill is voted onBill introduced in meets and makes and passes the Senate changes, Senate proposes passage
  32. 32. The President has 10 days (not including Sundays) to sign or veto a bill. If he does nothing, the bill becomes a law.If Congress adjourns during the ten days, the President doesn’t have to sign it, and it won’t become a law (Pocket Veto).
  33. 33. These are the expressly stated powers of Congress: • To borrow money. •To regulate trade between other countries or within the country. •To decide how immigrants become citizens. •Decide how bankruptcies are decided. •Coin money. •Set standards for weights and measures. •Punish counterfeiters. •Establish post offices. •Granting patents. •Create courts lower than the Supreme Court. •Punish piracy. •Declare war/Grant Letters of Marque•Raise and support armies for a period of 2 years. •Maintain a navy. •Regulate the army and navy. •Call the militia out to help keep the peace. •Train the militia. •Makes all laws for Washington D.C.
  34. 34. Congress has the power to make all laws which are“necessary and proper” to run the government. Congress can make laws to make sure their powers are being exercised, or any otherlaws that the Constitution will let them.Because this can be “stretched” to fit many different types of situations, it is known as the Elastic Clause.
  35. 35. Allowed for the banning of the slave trade in 1808. Writs of habeas corpus cannot be suspended except during war or invasion. Bills of attainder cannot be passed. Ex post facto laws cannot be passed. Taxes have to be the same for all people (except income tax, 16th Amendment). Congress cannot tax exports. Congress cannot favor one state over another. Money spent by Congress is to be made public.Titles of nobility cannot be granted by Congress, and anyone in office must have permission to receive one.
  36. 36. States cannot enter into treaties or alliances. States cannot grant letters of marque. States cannot coin money. States cannot pass bills of attainders or ex post facto laws.States cannot pass laws allowing people out of contracts. States cannot grant titles of nobility. States can’t tax exports or imports without the approval of Congress. States can’t go to war on their own unless it’s an emergency.
  37. 37. Article 2 of the Constitution sets up the Executive Branch. This branch in in charge of enforcing the laws.Article 2 has 4 sections, outlining the powers and responsibilities of the Executive Branch. Currently the President of the United States is Barack Obama. The Vice-President is Joe Biden.
  38. 38. The executive power of theUnited States is putinto a President ofthe United States. The President serves a four yearterm along with the Vice-President of the United States. The President is elected by electors in each state equal to the number ofrepresentatives and senators in each.
  39. 39. The Electoral College has the duty of choosing the President. Electors are chosen on election day.These electors are pledged to a certain candidate. A person does not vote for president, but for an elector who promises to votefor the person you want to be president. The electors meet in their state (and Washington D.C.) to give their votes.The votes are counted in each state andsent to the President of the Senate (The Vice-President of the U.S.) The votes are counted and a winner is declared.
  40. 40. In order to be President, a candidate needs 270 of 538 electoral votes. Each state has an elector for each representative and senator they have. Most states (except Maine and Nebraska) have a winner-take all format. Washington D.C. also has 3 electoral votes.Election day is every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
  41. 41. Originally the Constitution said that thecandidate with the most electoral votes (assuming a majority) would become President. The runner-up would become Vice- President. The 12th Amendment changed this procedure to allow the President andVice-President to run on a ticket and be elected separately. Before this the President would getelected and the Vice-President (next in line) would be of the opposing party, setting up conflict between the two most important people in the country.
  42. 42. In order to be the President: You must be a natural-born citizen of the United States.Be at least 35 years old. Be a resident of the United States for 14 years.
  43. 43. If the President were to die, be impeached, or could no longer carry on his duties, the Vice- President becomes President. If the Vice-President were to die, be impeached, or could no longer carry on his duties, the President appoints a new Vice-President.Starting in 1947, the Presidential Succession Act set up an order for who becomes President in case something catastrophic were to happen. The list goes: 1. Vice-President 2. Speaker of the House 3. President Secretary of State 4. Pro Tempore of the Senate 5. Secretary of Treasury 6. Secretary of Defense 7. Attorney General The list continues on.
  44. 44. The President makes $400,000 a year. He gets $50,000 for expenses, plus money for travel and official entertainment. The Vice-President is paid $181,400 a year plus $10,000 for expenses.In addition the President is given planes (Air Force One), cars, helicopters (Marine One), a home (The White House) as well as servants to help them.
  45. 45. In order to become President, thecandidate must recite the oath ofoffice on Inauguration Day, which is on January 20 The Oath is recited as follows: “I, _________________________, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the UnitedStates, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…” While not part of the actual Oath, all Presidents have also added “So help me God” to the end.
  46. 46. Section 2 lists the powers of the President. He is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He can make treaties with other countries. He can nominate and make appointments to federal positions.He is in charge of enforcing the laws of the U.S. by meeting with department heads known as the Cabinet. The Cabinet includes the Vice-President and the Secretaries for the Departments ofState, Treasury, Defense, Justice, and 11 more. The Cabinet follows the President’s instructions and gives him advice.
  47. 47. Joe Biden John Kerry Jacob Lew Chuck Hagel Eric Holder Vice- Secretary of Secretary of Secretary of AttorneyPresident State Treasury Defense General
  48. 48. Section 3 outlines the duties of the President. Once a year the President must report on the condition of the United States in a speech called the “State of the Union.”The President can call for Congress to meet or adjourn in special occasions.He also receives guests from other countries like foreign leaders or ambassadors.His most important job however isto make sure laws are carried out.
  49. 49. The President and Vice-President and other officials can be impeached.The House accuses (impeaches) and the Senate tries (acts as the jury) the case. If found guilty, the official can be removed or banned from office.
  50. 50. Article 3 of the Constitutionsets up the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch judges and interprets the laws and the Constitution. Article 3 has 3 sections that outline the duties andresponsibilities of the Judicial Branch.
  51. 51. Section 1 says that the judicial power of the United States is given to the Supreme Court. Congress is given the power to create lesser courts as needed. Supreme Court Justices cannot have their salary lowered while in office.
  52. 52. You must be: *Appointed by the President *Confirmed by the Senate AND THAT’S IT!After confirmation, the justices serve for life,until they die, retire, resign, or are removed from office. This was done so that they could focus on fairness and not on reelection.Currently there are 9 Supreme Court Justices (judges), 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices
  53. 53. One of the Supreme Court Justices serves as the Chief Justice. The other 8 are the Associate Justices. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is John Roberts. He is the senior member of the Court (not longest-serving) and leads discussion and gets to speak first. The Chief Justice administers the Oath ofOffice to the President on Inauguration Day.He also presides over the impeachment trial of a President.The Chief Justice writes a report to Congressabout the state of the federal court system.
  54. 54. The Judicial Branch has the power to hear all cases regarding:Cases dealing with issues with the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties. Cases involving diplomats and ambassadors. Cases dealing with issues on waterways. Cases in which the U.S. is one of the parties involved. Cases between two or more states. Cases between citizens of two different states. Cases dealing with land rights.Cases dealing with states and a foreign country, citizens of a state and a foreign country, or citizens of a state and citizens of a foreign country.
  55. 55. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction (hears the case first) in cases where: *A state is one of the parties. *Cases where ambassadors or some other public officials are involved. Most of the time the Supreme Court hasappellate jurisdiction. They listen to appeals from lower federal courts.Anyone accused of a crime has a right to trial by jury, except for impeachment. Trials must be held in the state and district where the crime was committed.
  56. 56. There are 12 regional circuitsthat have a total of94 judicial districts.Each district has afederal court. Any appeals go to a court of appeals for that district. Illinois is part of the 7th Circuit. Peoria is part of the United States District Court forthe Central District of Illinois.
  57. 57. Treason is being disloyal or doing something to hurt your own country. To be convicted of treason, two witnesses have totestify or there has to be an open confession in court.Anyone convicted of treason cannot be punished in a way that will affect thefamily of the person who is convicted.
  58. 58. Judicial Review is the powerto interpret the Constitution to decide if something is constitutional. Judicial Review was established in 1803 in a court case known as Marbury v. Madison. The Supreme Court had ruled that part of a law called the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional and therefore invalid.John Marshall, the 4th Chief Justice of the U.S., is responsible for the idea of judicial review.
  59. 59. Marbury v. Madison (1803)- Established Judicial ReviewMcCulloch v. Maryland (1819)- Made the federal government supreme over the state governments. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)- Ruled that “Separate but Equal” facilities for blacks and white were indeed constitutional.Brown v. Board of Education (1954)- Ruled that segregation in schools is unconstitutional.Miranda v. Arizona (1966)- Ruled that someone accused or suspected ofa crime must be read their rights (Miranda Rights… “You have the right to remain silent…”)Roe v. Wade (1973)- Ruled that pregnant mothers have the right to an abortion until a fetus is viable.Bush v. Gore (2000)- The Supreme Court did not allow Florida to recount its votes by hand, effectively giving the 2000 Presidential Election to George W. Bush.
  60. 60. Article 4 has four sections.Section 1 says that full faith and credit will be given to the records and judicial proceedings of every other state. Section 2 says that citizens of one state must obey the rules of their state or any other state that they visit. States can also assist each other in the capture of criminals and return them to where a crime was committed (Extradition). Section 3 discusses how states and federal lands are organized. Section 4 ensures that all states will have a republican form of government where the people elect representatives.Section 4 also promises protection to the states in case of an invasion.
  61. 61. Section 3 discusses how newsates are admitted to the Union.New states are admitted to the Union by Congress.States cannot be formed inside existing states.States cannot be combined into one state unless both state legislature as well as Congress approve. Congress also sets up the territories that are to become new states.
  62. 62. Article 5 sets up the rules for amending (changing) the Constitution.An amendment to the Constitution requires a 2/3’s vote in each house of Congress.2/3’s of the state legislatures can call for a convention for proposing amendments. 3/4’s of the state legislatures must ratify (approve) of a constitutional amendment. Conventions for ratification can also be called and if so 3/4‘s of the conventions must ratify the amendment. Once the amendment is ratified, it becomes part of the Constitution. The only way to repeal (cancel) an amendment is with another amendment (ex. 21st Amendment).
  63. 63. Article 6 ensures the supremacy of the national (federal) government. The U.S. government agreed to paythe debts of the former governmentunder the Articles of Confederation. The laws of the Constitution are the“Supreme law of the land.” Whatever the Constitution says has to be considered first before any other law (federal or state). All federal officials of all threebranches take an oath to uphold the Constitution.Federal jobs cannot have any religious conditions attached to them.
  64. 64. Before the Constitution could beratified, 9 of the original 13 states had to ratify (approve) the Constitution.New Hampshire was the 9th stateto ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788.
  65. 65. Amendments are nothing more thanchanges that have been made to the Constitution. A constitutional amendment requiresa 2/3’s vote in favor by both the House and the Senate.If passed, the amendment goes to thestates where 3/4‘s of state legislatures or state conventions must ratify the amendment for it to take effect. There have been 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution since its ratification in 1788. The first 10 Amendments are called the Bill of Rights.
  66. 66. Those who did not like the Constitution when it was written were upset that therights of the people were not expressly written in the Constitution. The first 10 amendments guarantee rights to thepeople and to the states, andare thus known as the Bill of Rights.Some of the most importantrights that U.S. citizens have can be found in the Bill of Rights.
  67. 67. The 1st Amendment guarantees the civil rights of U.S. citizens. No laws can be passed that establish an official religion of the U.S. No one can be stopped from practicing their religion peacefully. Freedom of speech cannot be denied except for in cases that ruin someone’s reputation or that could cause danger. Slander is saying something to damage someone’s reputation. Libel is printing something to damage someone’s reputation.Freedom of the press allows the government to be criticized without fear.Freedom of assembly means that people can meet to discuss issues. Finally, U.S. citizens have the right to petition the government for grievances (correct a wrongful situation).
  68. 68. The 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms in order to maintain a “well regulated militia.” Some people think this allows all people to own all types of guns, but the courts have ruled otherwise.The framers of the Constitution intended forthis amendment to allow for the defense of the country and its people. The 3rd Amendment protects citizens frombeing forced to quarter (house) troops in their homes except during a wartime emergency. This practice was used by the British during the Revolutionary War and angered the colonists.
  69. 69. The 4th Amendment protects citizens against unlawful search and seizure of their property. This amendment protects privacy by forcing authorities to have probable cause to search someone’s property.Search warrants are needed for a search and have to be specific as to what they are looking for. The 5th Amendment protects citizens from being forced to testify againstthemselves in court. If someone is at risk of this, they can “Plead the Fifth.” Citizens are protected from double jeopardy, or being tried for the same crime twice. People cannot be imprisoned without due process, the process of protecting rights even as someone is being accused, such as a jury trial. Lastly, the United States has limited eminent domain. People’s property cannot be taken without just reason and fair compensation (Highway construction, public works, etc.).
  70. 70. The 6th Amendment ensures that people accused of a crime are given a “fair and speedy trial.”People have the right to hear their charges when accused. Those accused have a right to be at the trial and be represented by a lawyer. The trial itself must be a jury trial. The 7th Amendment guarantees a jury trial in a case exceeding twenty dollars. This means you are taken seriously in civil cases where someone is suing someone else where the object in question is worth more than 20 dollars. Contracts, accidents, slander, defamation, disability, etc. would all be civil cases.
  71. 71. The 8th Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishments as well as excessive bail.Bail and punishments have to fit the crime someone is convicted of. Some people believe the death penalty is “cruel and unusual,” and question its constitutionality.The 9th Amendment says that rights enumerated (listed) in the Bill of Rights are not the only ones that people have.The 10th Amendment says that any powers not delegated (written in the Constitution) to the federal government or prohibited to the States are reserved for the states.In other words, if the federal government doesn’t handle somethingand the Constitution doesn’t stop states from doing it, the states are allowed to handle it as they see fit.
  72. 72. The 11th Amendment says that states can’t be sued by citizens of another state.The 12th Amendment changed the electoral college so that the President and Vice-President are elected on separate ballots. This fixed the runner-up from another party being the Vice-President.
  73. 73. The 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in the United States. The 14th Amendment gave citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States. The 14th Amendment also dissolved the 3/5’s compromise and counted all people in a state when figuring representation for the House of Representatives.The 14th was passed to ensure that the newly freed slaves would be considered citizens without any challenges from the South.The 15th Amendment went further to help African Americans by ensuring that the right to vote would not be denied because of a person’s race (but not gender).The 15th caused the South to pass laws like literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and poll taxes to try to stop African Americans from voting.
  74. 74. The 16th Amendment allowed for a federal income tax to be passed. Income taxes became legal in 1913.The 17th Amendment allowed the people to elect their senators instead of the state governments doing it. Governors can make senate appointments if a senator dies in office. All of the amendments from 16th on were passed in the 20th Century.
  75. 75. The 18th Amendment outlawed the making, selling, and transportation of alcohol, making it illegal to own, produce, or drink. The period of time where alcohol was illegal was called “Prohibition.”The 21st Amendment provided repeal, or cancelled the 18th Amendment. The 18th is not in effect today.
  76. 76. The 19th Amendment ensured voting rights were not denied based on gender. In other words women could now vote.The 20th Amendment shortened the amount of time between the November election and when new presidents or congressmen took office.This was done so that the outgoing officials would have less time after losing an election to still be in office. Congressional terms begin and end now in January.
  77. 77. The 22nd Amendment limited the President to two full terms. This was done after FDR served 4 terms. A president can serve a maximum of 10 years in office… he can finish someone’s term of two years or less, plus serve two full terms of his own. The 23rd Amendment gave the people of Washington DC the ability to vote for President by giving 3 electors (3 electoral votes).The 24th Amendment made sure that poll taxes were illegal. You don’t have to pay a tax in order to vote. This was done in the 1960’s to discourage blacks from voting and was made illegal in 1964.
  78. 78. The 25th Amendment says that if the President can no longer carry on his duties, the Vice President becomes President because he is first in the line of succession.The office of Vice President is left empty, and the new President appoints a new Vice Presidentthat is confirmed by the Senate. Gerald Ford was the first to be appointed in this way in 1973. If the President is temporarily unable to carry out his duties, the President becomes Acting President. If the President has a reason why he cannot effectively be President, his cabinet can vote to remove him temporarily until he is able to govern effectively again. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 years old. The 27th Amendment made sure that a Congressman would have to be reelected in order to receive a pay raise that they voted for.