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The United States Constitution. By Mr. Westerfeld. Objectives-Stuff You Need to Know. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The United States Constitution

The United States ConstitutionBy Mr. WesterfeldObjectives-Stuff You Need to KnowStudents will be able to identify these terms: Alexander Hamilton, The Virginia Plan, The New Jersey Plan, Great Compromise, Three-Fifths Compromise, Popular Sovereignty, Federalism, Separation of Powers, Legislative, Executive, Judicial, Checks and Balances, AmendmentsStudents will be able to explain the motives of the founders in creating 3 Branches of Government with Checks and Balances.Students will be able to summarize the differences in the Virginia and New Jersey Plans.

The Constitutional ConventionAfter the many Nationalists, people who supported a stronger central government, pointed out some of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation the Confederation Congress called for a convention of all the states for the sole purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.Every state but Rhode Island sent delegates to what became known as the Constitutional Convention, May 1787 in Philadelphia, PA.The Founders (the authors of the Constitution)55 DelegatesMost were lawyers, 7 had been governors, 39 were members of the Confederation CongressGeorge Washington was presiding officer, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander HamiltonThomas Jefferson was absent because he was serving as minister to France at the time.

The Virginia PlanDetailed plan brought by the VA delegation, mostly the work of James Madison.Called for the scrapping of the Articles and creating 3 separate branches of government.Legislative, Executive, JudiciaryLegislature had two houses, with both houses depending on the population of states.Therefore, benefitting states with large populations like VA, NY, and MA.The New Jersey PlanWilliam Paterson a delegate from New Jersey offered a counterproposal.Didnt scrap the Articles completely.Allowed a single houseStates would be equally representedThe house could raise taxes and regulate tradeThe Delegates DisagreeThe delegates agree to proceed with the VA Plan.The smaller states delegates want the legislature to have all states equally represented.Large states want the legislature to be based on population.Roger Sherman of Connecticut proposed a compromise which became known as the Connecticut Compromise or the Great Compromise.One house of Congress based on population, the House of Representatives. The representatives would be elected by eligible voters.One house of Congress where the states are equally represented. The Senate, would be made up of 2 Senators from each state. Named after the Roman Senate. Senators would be chosen by state legislatures not voters.The Great CompromiseSouthern delegates wanted slaves to count towards their population in the House of Representatives.Northerners objected since slaves were not eligible to vote and that if they were counted as population that they should be counted for taxes as well.A compromise was settled upon, every 5 slaves would count as 3 free persons for purposes of representation and taxes.The 3/5 CompromiseSo, how did the delegates limit this national government?Federalism-power was shared between the national, or federal government, and the state governments.Separation of Powers- separating powers of the government amongst the three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative.Checks and Balances-Within this system, each branch of government had the ability to limit the power of the other two branches.Amendments-changes to the constitution can be made anytime but must go through adoption process.

The Great Debate-RatificationIn order to become law the Constitution had to be ratified, or passed, by nine of the 13 states.The people voted for representatives to vote for or against the Constitution at a state convention.The two sides of the debate were given names: Federalists and Antifederalists.FederalistsWanted to adopt the Constitution.The name was chosen because they wanted to emphasize that the power would be shared between the states and the national government.Supports were largely merchants and artisans living in the large cities on the coast. Also, coastal farmers were supportive.The inability of the government to regulate trade hurt these people the most.Anti-federalistsWanted the state governments to be more important than the national government.Wanted a Bill of Rights that guaranteed the rights of citizens in this new government.Many were western farmers living far from the coast who were suspicious of the wealthy and powerful.Why The Federalists Prevailed?The Federalists offered a program that they believed solved problems that most people, including Anti-federalists, acknowledged.The Federalists had an aggressive propaganda campaign present in the large coastal cities of the day.The Federalist Papers were 85 essays supporting the Constitution and rebutting criticisms of it.