Published on

Main topics and information on the Constitution

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. The Constitution Wilson Chapter 2 Mr. Cambou - AP Government
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Explain the notion of “higher law” by which the colonists felt they were entitled to certain “natural rights.” List these rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the basis on which the colonists felt the government could be legitimate. </li></ul><ul><li>List and discuss the shortcomings of government under the Articles of Confederation. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey Plans and show how they led to the “great Compromise.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives Continued <ul><li>5. Explain why separation of powers and federalism became key parts of the Constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Explain why a bill of rights was not initially included in the Constitution and why it was added. </li></ul><ul><li>7. List and explain the two major types of constitutional reform advocated today, along with specific reform measures. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Pathway to Revolution <ul><li>What were the colonists interested in protecting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberty (specifically: independent judiciary, trade without restrictions, no taxation without representation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Could the Colonists achieve this without seeking independence? </li></ul><ul><li>What flaw did the colonists see with the British Constitution? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a single written document; inadequate checks on power </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Problem with Liberty <ul><li>How did the colonists view British politics? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the “natural rights” colonists felt they were being denied? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How was this a war over ideology and not economics? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights were unalienable- based on nature or Providence </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Problem with Liberty <ul><li>What was the “real revolution?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New vision of what could make political authority legitimate and personal liberties secure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What did legitimate government require? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consent of the Governed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Power granted directly from a written constitution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protection of Human liberty: pre-dates our government </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. From Declaration to Constitution <ul><li>How would we characterize the era from 1776-1787? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long, difficult war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited funds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British presence still felt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chaotic and unstable </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Articles of Confederation <ul><li>1781- League of Friendship </li></ul><ul><li>What were the basic structures and principles? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could not levy taxes or regulate commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintained state sovereignty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One vote per state (delegates paid by state leg) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9/13 votes required to pass measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power to make peace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could coin money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No national judiciary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>13 votes to amend Articles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. So, why did this system fail? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Weakness of the Articles <ul><li>No power to tax </li></ul><ul><li>No chief executive </li></ul><ul><li>No National Judiciary </li></ul><ul><li>No power to regulate interstate or foreign commerce </li></ul><ul><li>No national currency </li></ul>
  10. 10. Need for Change <ul><li>Annapolis 1786- Convention to improve articles </li></ul><ul><li>Shay’s Rebellion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex-Revolutionary War soldiers facing high debts and taxes: Prevented courts in Mass from sitting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requests for government troops were denied - Couldn’t raise the funds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer army dispersed the rebellion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How did this change opinions on the need for a new government? </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Framers <ul><li>Well-read (Locke), well-bred, well-fed and well-wed </li></ul><ul><li>Madison: Father of the Constitution (leadership and strong notes) </li></ul><ul><li>Washington: Presiding officer </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin: Statesman </li></ul><ul><li>Gouverneur Morris: final wording of the Document </li></ul><ul><li>Hamilton: advocate for strong central government </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Framers <ul><li>Beard: Constitution written by propertied class and reflected those interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But- Many people owned property or felt the desire to protect property </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Areas of Agreements in the Delegation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scrap the Articles (stronger central government) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish a Republican government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish constitutional government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance in government (no single interest dominates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suffrage for property owners only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protecting property rights = main purpose of gov. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the proceedings secret </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Influences on the Framers <ul><li>Magna Carta (1215): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established rights and liberties for “all free men” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits on the power of the King </li></ul></ul><ul><li>English Bill of Rights (1689): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for consent of Parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Locke (1689): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government based upon Natural Law = legitimate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consent of the governed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Montesquieu: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberty relies on separation of powers </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The Challenge <ul><li>The Virginia Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set the agenda that a whole new national government would be debated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 branches in a strong national union </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bicameral legislature : 1 selected by the people; 1 selected by the legislature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislature was the true power </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Challenge Continued <ul><li>The New Jersey Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feared domination of government by legislature based upon population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amend the Articles, not replace them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All states would have one vote in the legislature </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why was the Jersey plan not the dominant focus of debate? </li></ul>
  16. 16. A Bundle of Compromises <ul><li>1. The Great Compromise (or Connecticut Compromise) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>House with membership determined by pop. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senate with 2 members per state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still didn’t satisfy delegates - passed by slim margin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>President elected by the electoral college (4 year term) - why were these issues so important? </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation of the justices </li></ul><ul><li>4. What about Slavery? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Slavery- The great Silence <ul><li>Northern states wanted slaves counted for taxation, but not representation </li></ul><ul><li>3/5 Compromise - 3/5 would count for taxation and representation (= representation among N and S) </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Constitution and Democracy <ul><li>Why didn’t the Framers go for a pure democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the difference between a pure democracy and republic? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did the people have influence in the new government, where did they not? </li></ul><ul><li>How was the power of the popular majority limited? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial review: Established by Marbury v. Madison 1803 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amendment process (know this process!!!!) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Key Principles <ul><li>Separation of Powers </li></ul><ul><li>Checks and Balances within the national govt. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>intentionally build inefficiency to prevent govt. abuse of power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: veto, veto override, appointments, treaty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Federalism - separate powers among states and national government (seen specifically in amendment process - How?) </li></ul><ul><li>What led the Framers to adopt these principles? </li></ul><ul><li>- Human Nature and seeking of self-interests </li></ul><ul><li>- Factions would compete and prevent a single group from dominating </li></ul>
  20. 20. Some more on Checks and balances <ul><ul><ul><li>Do the following strengthen or weaken checks and balances? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in voting methods (selection of prez, senate) </li></ul><ul><li>Growth of federal Bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in technology </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of US as a world power post WWII </li></ul>
  21. 21. Federalists vs Antifederalists <ul><li>Federalists (pro Constitution = Nationalists) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed ratification from 9 state ratifying conventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property owners, creditors, merchants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hamilton, Madison, Washington and John Jay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elites are most fit to govern </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Antifederalists (anti-constitution = Pro States) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberty only in a small republic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New government is too distant from the people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If strong national government, then more restrictions </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Madison’s Response <ul><li>Jay, Hamilton and Madison wrote the Federalist Papers to rally support for Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Federalist 10 - argument against factions </li></ul><ul><li>Federalist 51- separation of powers will allow for internal control on the power of the gov. More moderate coalitions </li></ul><ul><li>Was he correct? </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages of Federalists: </li></ul><ul><li>Better represented in state legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled the press </li></ul><ul><li>Began ratification process quickly before opposition could organize. </li></ul>
  23. 23. To Bill or not to Bill? <ul><li>Why wasn’t there a Bill of Rights originally? </li></ul><ul><li>What were some of the rights protected by the Constitution? </li></ul><ul><li>- Habeas corpus </li></ul><ul><li>- No Bill of attainder </li></ul><ul><li>- No Ex post facto </li></ul><ul><li>Why did we end up with a Bill of Rights? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Modern Views <ul><li>Reducing the Separation of powers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? What would this do to our government? Who would benefit? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make the system less democratic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-What do they suggest? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal changes to the Constitution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acts of Congress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elastic Clause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial Rulings (Brown v. Board of Ed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presidential Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customs and Traditions ( legislative veto, nominating conventions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is this method preferred to the formal method? </li></ul></ul>