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Unit 3: The Constitution
Unit 3 Objectives � Identify the key leaders at the Constitutional Convention � Summarize the key issues and their resolution at the Constitutional Convention Compare the Virginia and New Jersey Plans Explain the Great Compromise Define the 3/5 th Compromise Describe the form of government established by the Constitution Describe the debate over ratification of the Constitution, and the views of the opposing sides. Explain the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and identify the documents that informed it. � � �
Constitutional Convention � The Founding Fathers made two attempts to establish a workable government based on republican principles � The failure of the Articles of Confederation led to a new Constitutional Convention � During the fall of 1787 Congressman met in Philadelphia to address the issues of the Articles of Confederation. � They created a new form of government.
The Constitutional Convention, 1787 � Key leaders at the Convention: �George Washington: �President (chairman) of the Convention �Quiet but very respected; �Kept tempers cool �James Madison: “The Father of the Constitution” �Author of the Virginia Plan (three branches of govt) �Kept detailed notes! Brilliant! �Would later write the Bill of Rights � Constitutional Compromises They had to balance a lot of competing interests.
Constitutional Compromises: Balancing Power Between Large and Small States Virginia Plan: • 2 houses of Congress (bicameral): • House of Representatives • Senate • Representation determined by population size in both houses • More people more reps! • Big states liked this! New Jersey Plan: • 1 house of Congress (unicameral): • House of Representatives only • Representation determined by state: equal representation (like the Ao. C) • One state one vote! • Small states liked this! The Great Compromise How should states be represented in the govt? • Also called Connecticut Compromise • 2 houses of Congress (bicameral): House of Representatives and a Senate • Senate: House of Reps Equal representation in Senate - Representation based on pop Each State gets two Senators - More people more reps! Elected by the state legislature/assembly - Reps elected by the people
Constitutional Convention – Compromises: Conflicts and Compromises Balancing Sectional (Regional) Interests of the States Northern States: • Slaves should NOT be counted for representation, but SHOULD be counted for taxation. • This position was best for the non-slavery states (mostly northern and smaller). Three-Fifths (3/5 th) Compromise How should population be counted for representation and taxation? • Count some of the slaves. • For every 5 slaves, 3 would be counted for population and taxation. Southern States: • Slaves SHOULD be counted for representation, but they should NOT be counted for taxation. • This position was best for the slave-holding states (mostly southern with large #’s of slaves).
Basic Principles of the Constitution � Federal law is the supreme law of the land, as long as it follows the Constitution. States have a lot of power to govern themselves, but they can’t go against a Federal law. � Popular Sovereignty (Rule by the people) • Power comes from the people’s consent � Limited Government • Limited the powers of the Government to those powers in the Constitution
Basic Principles of the Constitution � Separation of Powers • Three co-equal branches of government • Legislative: Congress (makes the law) �Senate and House of Representatives • Executive: President (enforces the law) • Judicial: Supreme Court (interprets the law) � Checks and Balances • Each branch has some control over the others • No branch can get too powerful
Basic Principles of the Constitution � Judicial Review • The courts (judicial branch) can declare laws unconstitutional • This was added a few years later; not in the Constitution! � Federalism • Power is shared between levels of government: the national government and the states
Federalism National Govt State Govts
Check for Understanding � What was the location of the Constitutional Convention? � Who presided over the convention as chairman…why was he chosen? � What were the main issues discussed at the convention? � What did Great Compromise do? � What are the basic principles of the Constitution?
The Ratification Debate �Ratification = Official approval �Read the handout Ratifying the Constitution and answer the questions on the separate page.
Ratification � Before the Constitution could be put into practice, it must be ratified, or officially approved by the states. • Each state set up a convention to approve or reject the Constitution • Nine states had to accept the Constitution for it to be ratified • Debate over Constitution -- (Federalists and Antifederalists) – What were their arguments?
Federalists: � • • • FOR Ratification Strong central government was good for solving national issues: Order and national security Economic development Commerce between states Did NOT need a Bill of Rights, b/c the Constitution already protected citizens. � Separation of powers, checks & balances, and federalism protected states and citizens from a govt that was too powerful � � � Major Federalists: George Washington **Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay** (wrote Federalist Papers to support ratification)
Anti-Federalists: AGAINST Ratification � Feared that a strong central government would take away rights of citizens and states, and would favor the rich and powerful WANTED a Bill of Rights to protect individuals from power of govt. Refused to ratify w/o it (NY & VA) � Major Anti-Federalists: Patrick Henry, George Mason � * James Madison eventually agreed with them, and wrote the Bill of Rights!
The Bill of Rights � After the Federalists promise to add a Bill of Rights, states begin to ratify the Constitution (Delaware is 1 st) � Bill of Rights is written by James Madison (a Federalist) � Heavily influenced by two Virginia documents: • The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) by George Mason • The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom (1786) by Thomas Jefferson
Activity �Review • The VA Declaration of Rights and the VA Statute of Religious Freedom • The Bill of Rights �How did these two documents influence the Bill of Rights and other founding principles of the United States?
Unit 3 Review �Crash Course! �Liberty Kids