The Declaration to the Constitution

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Chapter Two Notes (Part II)

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The Declaration to the Constitution

  1. 1. The First Continental Congress (1774) • Delegates from 12 colonies met in Philadelphia to discuss problems with Britain • Sent a Declaration of Rights to complain to King George III about his colonial policies • Wanted the taxes and regulations repealed (taken back, cancelled)
  2. 2. *Second Continental Congress* (1775-1776) • All 13 colonies sent delegates to Philadelphia --> became our first national government • Britain would not repeal their policies or compromise (made laws harsher) = time for colonies to declare independence !
  3. 3. The Declaration of Independence • Main writer: Thomas Jefferson • Lists the offenses of King George and why we are breaking away from Britain • Debated and passed by the delegates on July 4, 1776 • the colonies became free and independent states from England and so created the United States of America • ALL 13 colonies had to declare independence or it meant nothing
  4. 4. The Articles of Confederation • The Continental Congress wasn’t based on any law; our gov’t needed a law to run the country and manage the states • The Articles of Confederation were our first “rough draft” government – Formed a “league of friendship” between the states
  5. 5. Gov’t Setup Under the Articles • Each state kept its own power, but they would join with other states for the good of the country • the national government = a unicameral Congress with state delegates – Congress made all the nation’s decisions, even enforced laws and judged them
  6. 6. Powers of Congress Under the Articles • Could declare war and make peace • Make treaties • Borrow money • Set up a money system • Raise an army by asking for volunteers from the states • Settle fights between the states
  7. 7. Weaknesses of the Gov’t Under the Articles • Did not have the power to tax (had to ask states for money or borrow it) • Couldn’t control trade between the states • Couldn’t make the states obey the Articles • 9 out of 13 states had to agree on anything the gov’t did
  8. 8. Problems with the States • The states grew jealous of each other and began fighting • taxed each other’s goods and banned trade with certain states • made foreign alliances • Each state acted like a little country
  9. 9. Shays’ Rebellion • Because the economy was bad, farmers lost their land because they couldn’t pay taxes • Rebellions in Massachusetts to shut down courts and free debtors • Daniel Shays leads a mob to attack an arsenal and get guns
  10. 10. Ch. 2 Quiz • royal colony • proprietary colony • charter colony • delegate • boycott • Magna Carta • bicameral • unicameral • repeal • charter
  11. 11. The Constitutional Convention (1787) • We needed a better system of gov’t --the Articles of Confederation were too weak • They originally met to fix the Articles • 55 delegates from 12 states attended • These men were known as the Framers (they “built” the Constitution)
  12. 12. Organization of the Convention • George Washington was elected president of the Convention • 1.) A majority vote was needed to decide issues • 2.) Each state got one vote • 3.) The meetings were done in secrecy
  13. 13. The Virginia Plan • Author: James Madison • 3 branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) • bicameral Congress (two houses: House of Representatives and Senate) • Each house was based on state population (bigger states got more representatives) or on how much money they gave the national gov’t (more money = more reps)
  14. 14. • Congress would choose who was in the executive and judicial branches • Military force could be used to make the states obey national laws • This plan would mostly replace the Articles
  15. 15. The New Jersey Plan • Author: William Paterson • 3 branches of government (same) • unicameral Congress (one house) - each state had equal representation • Congress would choose the executive branch, and the executive branch would choose the judicial branch • Wanted to make small changes/fixes to the Articles
  16. 16. The Connecticut Compromise • By Roger Sherman • 3 branches of government • Congress would be bicameral (House and Senate) – House based on state population – Senate based on equal representation
  17. 17. 3/5 Compromise • The South wanted to count their slaves as their population, but slaves were considered property • Compromise: For every five slaves, three counted as people
  18. 18. Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise • (The South is afraid the North will interfere with their trade) • Congress cannot tax state exports (goods shipped out) • Could not interfere with the slave trade for 20 years
  19. 19. A Constitution is Born • September 17, 1787: Constitution signed in its final form • Now it’s up to the states to approve it
  20. 20. Ratifying the Constitution • Ratification - to pass, approve • The Constitution couldn’t go into effect until the states ratified it • Led to debate between two groups: the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists (became like our first political parties)
  21. 21. The Federalists • (ex: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams) • Believed: – a strong national gov’t would unite and keep states under control – the common people aren’t fit to rule (educated men should be in power) – Didn’t need a bill of rights to be written down – The Articles of Confederation were weak
  22. 22. The Anti-Federalists • (ex: Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry) • Believed: – State governments knew the needs of the people better – A strong national government would abuse the people’s rights (common people could rule) – A bill of rights was needed to protect the people from the gov’t – The Articles just needed to be fixed – State governments knew the needs of the people better – A strong national government would abuse the people’s rights (common people could rule) – A bill of rights was needed to protect the people from the gov’t – The Articles just needed to be fixed
  23. 23. Federalists Anti-Federalists – a strong national gov’t would unite and keep states under control – the common people aren’t fit to rule (educated men should be in power) – Didn’t need a bill of rights to be written down – The Articles of Confederation were weak – a strong national gov’t would unite and keep states under control – the common people aren’t fit to rule (educated men should be in power) – Didn’t need a bill of rights to be written down – The Articles of Confederation were weak
  24. 24. Ratification • 9/13 states were needed to ratify the Constitution • Big states like New York and Virginia needed to be convinced • The Federalist Papers - a series of essays arguing in favor of the Constitution (by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay) • Constitution ratified and took effect March 1789 • Main author: James Madison (Father of the Constitution)
  25. 25. Ch. 2 Political Cartoons • Interpret the cartoon: Write 3-5 sentences about what is going on in the cartoon, why it is drawn the way it is, and what message the artist is trying to send.

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