The United States Constitution

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The United States Constitution

  1. 1. The United States Constitution
  2. 2. What is a constitution? <ul><li>Questions that constitutions answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the purposes of government? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the organization of government? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What parts does it have? What do they each do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does the government make laws? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are people selected to serve in government? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is a citizen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What rights do citizens have? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constitution: legal framework for a government </li></ul><ul><li>In other words: How it is organized. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Historical Precedents <ul><li>Magna Carta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1215) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>jury trial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>private property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limits on taxation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>religious freedoms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Petition of Right (1628) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>taxes can be levied only by Parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>habeus corpus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom from martial law during times of peace </li></ul></ul><ul><li>English Bill of Rights (1688) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to elect parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right for Protestants to bear arms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom from standing armies during times of peace. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mayflower Compact (1620) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilgrim’s social contract </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is a constitutional government? <ul><li>Limits on the powers of government </li></ul><ul><li>Even governmental leaders must follow the higher law . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Before the Constitution <ul><li>Confederation: loose union (states have the power, not a central government) </li></ul><ul><li>Articles of Confederation (1781) </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of too much central power because of Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress could not pass taxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress could not force states to obey its laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress could not regulate or manage trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws needed to the approval of 9 of the 13 states </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All 13 states had to agree to changes in the Articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There was no executive branch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There was no judicial branch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debt: major, crippling, war debt </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Constitutional Convention <ul><li>Held in Philadelphia 1787 </li></ul><ul><li>55 men appointed to represent 12 states (Rhode Island did not send delegates) </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington was selected to be President of the Convention </li></ul><ul><li>Realized strengthening the articles of confederation was not enough </li></ul><ul><li>Each state had one vote </li></ul><ul><li>7 out of 12 had to approve </li></ul><ul><li>Public would not be told </li></ul><ul><li>The Articles had to be replaced by a new plan of government </li></ul>
  7. 7. Major Compromises <ul><li>Virginia Plan </li></ul><ul><li>New Jersey Plan </li></ul><ul><li>The Great Compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Three-fifths compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Slave Trade </li></ul><ul><li>Export taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Electoral College </li></ul>
  8. 9. Ratifying the Constitution <ul><li>9 out of 13 needed to ratify </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Federalists: opposed the Constitution, wanted a Bill of Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Federalists: supported ratification, won opposition with Federalist Papers </li></ul>
  9. 10. Preamble: Purposes Article 1: Legislative Article 2: Executive Article 3: Judicial Article 4: Federalism Article 5: Amending Article 6: Supremacy Clause Article 7: Ratification
  10. 11. Basic Principles: <ul><li>Popular Sovereignty </li></ul><ul><li>Federalism </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of Powers </li></ul><ul><li>Checks and Balances </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial Review </li></ul><ul><li>Bill of Rights </li></ul>
  11. 13. Amendments
  12. 14. Bill of Rights <ul><li>Freedom of: Religion, Press, Speech, Petition, and Assembly </li></ul><ul><li>State militias and right to bear arms </li></ul><ul><li>Bans quartering soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Unreasonable search & seizure </li></ul><ul><li>self-incrimination; double-jeopardy; compensation for takings </li></ul><ul><li>Speedy and public trial; right to a lawyer; </li></ul><ul><li>Trial by Jury </li></ul><ul><li>Cruel and Unusual Punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Peoples rights are not limited to the previous rights </li></ul><ul><li>Powers of the states </li></ul>
  13. 15. Other Amendment Highlights: <ul><li>13: abolishes slavery (1865) </li></ul><ul><li>14: Citizenship rights; equal-protection (1868) </li></ul><ul><li>15: Race no bar to vote (1870) </li></ul><ul><li>16: income tax (1913) </li></ul><ul><li>17: direct election of senators (1913) </li></ul><ul><li>18: prohibition (1919) </li></ul><ul><li>19: women’s right to vote (1920) </li></ul><ul><li>21: repeals prohibition (1933) </li></ul><ul><li>22: term limits (1951) </li></ul><ul><li>25: presidential succession (1967) </li></ul><ul><li>26: voting age to 18 (1971) </li></ul>

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