the united states constitution was it a revolution, progress or conservative backlash?

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  • The United States ConstitutionWas it a revolution, progress or conservative backlash?

  • Post-revolutionary conditions Economic difficulties Political / social mobilization Social unrestShays' Rebellion, winter, 1786

  • Constitution ConventionMain Players?Purpose?NationalismRepublicanismConservatismCentral AuthorityScrap the A of C.

  • The Federal Constitution (1787): A bundle of compromisesVA Plan Large state planNJ Plan Small state planThe Great (Connecticut) CompromiseSlavery Compromises:3/5 CompromisePreservation of the slave trade for 20 years 1807Fugitive Slave LawMobocracy Compromises:Electoral collegeIndirect election of senatorsFederal judges appointed for life

  • Key principles of the ConstitutionSeparation of powers - assignment of law making, law interpreting and law executing functions to different branches of governmentChecks and balances - the power of scrutiny and control of each branch over the other two branches of governmentRepublicanism - not classical democracy, but based on representation, calibrated popular inputFederalism - two levels of government, with central government supreme

  • Separation of Powers "Ambition should be matched with ambition" (Madison)Prevents power accumulation in one branch

  • The Structure of the US Constitution

  • What is the responsibility of the US Government?

    Preamble of the US Constitution

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  • Article I The Legislative BranchThe delegated / enumerated powers (Section 8, Clauses1-17)The elastic clause (Section 8, Clause 18)Article II The Executive BranchElectoral college (Section 2, Clauses 2-3)Article III The Judiciaryone supreme court and such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time establish (Section 1)Article IV Relations of the states to one anotherThe Fugitive Slave Clause (Section 2, Clause 3)

  • Article V The Amendment process

    2/3 of Congress & 3/4 of the states

    Article VI General Provisions

    Supreme law of the land (Clause 2)

    Article VII Ratification

    9 states required

  • Ratification of the ConstitutionFederalistsAnti-Federalists