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The constitutional convention

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The constitutional convention

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The constitutional convention

  1. 1. The Constitutional Convention
  2. 2. The Philadelphia Convention • May 1787 – 55 delegates 12/13 states (no RI) • Secrecy imposed • Vote by state, needed only 9/13
  3. 3. Virginia Plan
  4. 4. New Jersey Plan
  5. 5. The Great Compromise
  6. 6. The Great Compromise • Each state = two delegates Senate • House of Representatives = delegates based on population • 3/5 Compromise - slave pop counted for House representation • Money bills must originate in House
  7. 7. Compromising with Slavery • Slave trade permitted to continue to 1808 “Great as the evil is, a dismemberment of the Union would be worse.” —James Madison
  8. 8. We the People • Ratification by special state conventions to bypass vested interests of state legislatures • Effective upon approval by nine states • Phrase “We the People” made Constitution a government of the people, not the states
  9. 9. The Constitution
  10. 10. Parts of the Constitution • Preamble o Explains why the Articles of Confederation were replaced, it also list six goals of our government • Articles o Describe the structure of the US government • Amendments o Additions or changes to the Constitution
  11. 11. The Preamble We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.
  12. 12. Preamble – establishes purpose • “to form a more perfect union” - to unite states so they can operate as a single nation • “establish justice” - to create fair laws and courts to insure all citizens are treated equally • “insure domestic tranquility” – to maintain peace and order • “provide for the common defense” – to protect citizens from foreign attacks • “promote the general welfare” - to help people live healthy, happy, and prosperous lives • “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” - to guarantee freedom and basic rights of all Americans, including future generations (posterity)
  13. 13. Principles • The framers agreed that the government should be representative of the people and limited in power
  14. 14. Principles • Popular Sovereignty – the People rule (“We the People”); government reflects the will of the people through elected officials
  15. 15. Principles • Limited Government - law applies to equally to everyone, even those who govern • Article I section 9 - Writ of Habeas Corpus (protection from arbitrary arrest) cannot be suspended • The Bill of Rights
  16. 16. Principles • Separation of Powers (checks and balances) – allows each of the three branches of government to limit the powers of other two
  17. 17. Principles • Federalism (division of power between state and national gov.) • Enumerated powers: powers specifically given to the national govt. - control immigration, maintain army, establish postal system • Reserved powers - powers given to the states – establish public schools, rules for marriage & divorce , police organizations • Concurrent powers: shared by national & state govt. - collect taxes, borrow money, set up courts & prisoners
  18. 18. The Articles • Seven part plan for federal government • Articles I-III describe the power and responsibilities of each branch of govt. – legislative, executive, judicial
  19. 19. Article I – the Legislative Branch • Framers intended for the legislative branch to take the leading role in govt. • Congress made of two houses - Senate and House of Representatives • Have all lawmaking/ legislative authority (most important)
  20. 20. Article II – the Executive Branch • Law-enforcement branch headed by the president
  21. 21. Article III – the Judicial Branch • One Supreme Court and lower courts as Congress deems appropriate • May hear cases involving the Constitution and disputes between states
  22. 22. Article IV – the States • Full Faith and Credit - states must respect each other’s laws, court decisions, and records • Process of creating new states and promises of the federal government to protect and defend the states
  23. 23. Article V – Amendments • Amendment = any change to the US Constitution • Two ways to amend: • 2/3 of both houses to vote yes on amendment • National convention requested by 2/3 of the states • Ratification: 2/3 of states must ratify
  24. 24. Article VI – “Supreme Law of the Land” • Constitution is highest law in the American legal system • Federal law prevails over state law if in conflict
  25. 25. Article VII – Ratification • Took nine states to ratify
  26. 26. Federalists • Supported the Constitution • The Federalist Papers – James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay
  27. 27. Anti-Federalists • Opposed to Constitution • Distrusted government removed from direct control of the people • Feared the new Constitution favored the rich and powerful - ideas later reflected in the Age of Jackson
  28. 28. Ratification of the Constitution
  29. 29. Adding the Bill of Rights • From anti-Federalist activism • Purpose: protect individual rights from government interference • Freedom of assembly, speech, religion, the press, bearing arms; speedy trial by a jury of peers; no unreasonable searches • First ten amendments added by Dec. 1791
  30. 30. Amendments 1-10 - The Bill of Rights • Guarantee basic civil liberties – freedoms to think and act w/o govt. interference or fear of unfair treatment
  31. 31. Amendment 1 • Protects 1. Freedom of Religion 2. … Speech 3. … the Press 4. … Assembly 5. … to Petition
  32. 32. Amendment 2 • right to serve in a militia and bear arms
  33. 33. Amendment 3 • Limits the power of national govt. to quarter soldiers • Peacetime - soldiers may not move into private homes without owners’ consent • Wartime - prohibited unless requested by law
  34. 34. Amendment 4 • No unreasonable search and seizures of property - need a search warrant or probable cause http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nyc-stop-and- frisk-policy-violates-constitutional-rights- federal-judge-rules/
  35. 35. Amendment 5 • Protects people accused of a crime • No trial without formal charges • No double jeopardy - cannot be tried twice for the same crime • Right to remain silent – no self incrimination • Right to due process – must follow established legal procedures • Right to eminent domain - govt. cannot take property without paying a fair price
  36. 36. Amendment 6 • Additional rights to people who accused of crimes • Right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury in the state or district where the crime was committed • Right to be told the charges; to call in witnesses on their behalf; and to be represented by a lawyer.
  37. 37. Amendment 7 • Guarantees right to a jury trial in civil cases (about individual rights and legal obligations )
  38. 38. Amendment 8 • Prohibits excessive bail or fines • Bail: sum of money used as a security deposit. If person returns to trial, money is returned. If person flees, money is forfeited. • Forbids cruel and unusual punishment
  39. 39. Amendment 9 • The rights listed are not the only rights; protects our unwritten rights (i.e. confidentiality in our medical record and financial records.)
  40. 40. Amendment 10 • Powers not specifically assigned to the national govt. are reserved powers (belong to the states)

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