Title: Chapter Three Establishing the Constitution (Through a Series of Political Compromises)
1 Chapter ThreeEstablishing the Constitution(Throu gh a Series of Political Compromises) Instructor Kevin Sexton Course U.S. Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University 2 constitution versus Constitution The document by which the U.S. Government operates rules or guidelines by which an organization (country) operates How many constitutions has the United States had TWO Articles of Confederation U.S. Constitution 3 Colonial Experience Influences New Government Much of what we are as a country is based on what we experienced as colonies. Three Primary Colonial Influences On The Government of the United States 1. Mayflower Compact 2. Governance of the Colonies 3. European Philosophers 4 Mayflower Compact(November 11 1620) We whose names are underwritten do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid and by virtue hereof to enact constitute and frame such just and equal laws ordinances acts constitutions and offices from time to time as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony unto which we promise all DUE submission and obedience. Pilgrims placed an emphasis on the fact that it was they who created the government and gave it legitimacy or authority to govern the members of the Plymouth Colony. This premise is also seen in the works of the philosophers that influenced the colonists political beliefs. 5 Governance of the Colonies
Each of the thirteen colonies were independent colonies.
Each with there own colonial legislature that made rules
and regulations by which the citizens of the colony operated.
Two Types of Colonies
Royal Colony operated by representatives of the Monarchy.
Proprietary Colony operated by a company for profit.
The colonial legislatures were made up of two chambers
Colonial Assembly elected by the eligible voters.
Colonial Council Appointed by British Officials based on the
Recommendation of the Colonial Governor.
Basically the colonies had self-rule over local issues 6 European Philosophers Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Wrote Levithan (1651)
stated that governments are created by the governed.
people are warlike and selfish.
the only reason people are not in a perpetual state of war
is that the people consent to be governed by a single
all powerful leader or government.
power must be concentrated
John Locke (1632-1704)
Wrote Treatise of Two Governments (1690)
agreed that people were selfish.
but disagreed with Hobbs on the point of concentration
Instead called for the separation of powers.
Pit selfish powers against each other.
7 Why Seek Independence If the colonies had self rule why did they seek Independence from England. After all on most issues England let the colonies make their own rules. Something changed Englands Treasury started running low because 1. The French and Indian War 2. The continued cost to protect the colonies from the Indians. 8 England Tightens It Hold In response to its need for money England begins trying to extract more from the colonies in the form of new taxes. The major concern is that these taxes are being levied by a group that does not have a representative of the colonies. These new laws and actions of England begin to erode away at the colonists belief that they have self rule. In response the colonies convene the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress. In 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress issues the Declaration of Independence. 9 Declaration of Independence
Primary author was Thomas Jefferson.
Concepts presented in the document were not
new or unique concepts.
Most of the concepts or premises presented
in the document were from John Locke.
Three Major Premises Presented in The Declaration
Men have inalienable rights.
Authority to govern comes from the governed.
The governed have the right to change or overthrow a
government that is not fulfilling its responsibilities.
10 We hold these truths to be self evident.. That all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are.. LIFE LIBERTY T he Pursuit of Happiness Why the change from John Lockes idea of LIFE LIBERTY PROPERTY 11 We hold these truths to be self evident.. that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed As Locke and Hobbs stated the government does not have A DEVINE RIGHT to govern. The government only governs When they are given that right by the PEOPLE (or the governed) 12 We hold these truths to be self evident.. that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. This premise which comes from John Lockes Treatises of Two Governments provides legitimacy to the colonies War for Independence. 13 Articles of Confederation
Created a confederation between the 13 States.
The said states hereby enter into a FIRM
LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP..
Each state retained all sovereignty over itself.
National government had no real power to enforce
the national laws.
National government had responsibility to provide
for the protection of the members.
But had no power to tax the members.
Each State gave what they wanted to give.
14 Articles of Confederation (continued)
National government had the power to coin money.
So did each of the states.
All states were equally represented.
Small States had same power as large states.
No independent executive (president) to make decisions
when Congress was not in session.
Committee of the States (9 or 13 had to agree).
All IMPORTANT DECISIONS (ie. passing a law) needed a
supermajority (9 of 13)
To Amend the Articles of Confederation all of the States had to
agree to the changes.
15 Articles in Action
Each State was totally sovereign.
This meant they could negotiate with other governments
even foreign governments.
France demanded that the U.S. pay back loans given
to the states/colonies during the Revolutionary War.
National government had trouble negotiating because
States were negotiating independently.
16 Articles in Action (continued)
Money and Interstate Commerce
The national currency was not the only legal tender in
Each state had their own currency.
This caused problems when states tried trading
with each other.
i.e.. If New York tried to pay Maryland with
New York currency the two sides had
to agree on an exchange rate. Most of
the time they could not agree on such
17 Articles in Action (continued)
In 1786 farmers and other debtors in Massachusetts
begin an uprising related to foreclosures on their farms
and prison for those not being able to pay their debts.
The State of Massachusetts had a difficult time putting
down this uprising and the national government was
unable to provide very much help.
This event and the inability of the State of Mass. to
react in a timely and efficient manner is said to be
one of the prime reasons that Constitutional Conventions
were held to review the Articles of Confederation.
18 1786 1787 1786 5 of 13 State come together in Annapolis to discuss modifications to the Articles of Confederation. NOT ENOUGH THERE TO AMEND THE ARTICLES 1787 12 of 13 States show up in Philadelphia to discuss modifications to the Articles of Confederation. NOT ENOUGH THERE TO AMEND THE ARTICLES IT IS DECIDED THAT THEY MUST START OVER AND CREATE A WHOLE NEW DOCUMENT. THE U.S. CONSTITUTION 19 Creating the Constitution In creating the U.S. Constitution the writers had many important issues to deal with. Our study of the Constitution and how and why it was created will focus on three primary issues. Each of those issues will deal with EQUALITY.
Equality of States
Equality of Government Institutions
20 EQUALITY OF STATES All our experiences in governance have included a legislature of some kind. As colonies we had the colonial legislatures and under the Articles of Confederation we had Congress. For this reason we knew we would have a national legislature. BUT.. What would it look like How would the states be represented What powers would it have 21 Equality of States (continued)
Two plans suggested by members of the Convention
Large State Plan
Suggested by Virginia.
Called for a Bicameral Legislature based on
Small State Plan
Suggested by New Jersey.
Called for a Unicameral Legislature based on
22 Equality of States (continued) Connecticut Compromise
Created a Bi-Cameral Legislature (two houses).
One house (Upper) would have equal representation.
Two Senators from each state.
One house (lower) would have representation based on
the population of each state.
One representative for each 30000 in population.
WHO MAKES UP THE POPULATION 23 Equality of States (continued)
Slaves States (south)
wanted slaves counted for representation
in Congress but not for taxation purposes.
Free States (north)
wanted slaves counted for taxation purposes
but not for representation in Congress.
3/5th Compromise Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to their respective Numbers which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons including those bound to Service for a Term of Years and excluding Indians not taxed three fifths of all other Persons. 24 Equality of States (continued) Process for Amending The Constitution Under the Articles of Confederation smaller states like Rhode Island had an enormous amount of power. This was due to the fact that they had the power to prevent the Articles from being amended even if that change would have benefited all of the other states and the country as a whole. To overcome this unequal distribution of power the writers of the U.S. Constitution created a new set of rules by which the Constitution could be amended. The process to amend the U.S. Constitution is now a two step process Step One Proposal Step Two Ratification 25 Equality of States (continued) Process for Amending The Constitution
First Step Proposing the Change.
Could be proposed by a two-thirds vote in EACH chamber
of the U.S. Congress.
Could be proposed by a national constitutional convention called by
two-thirds of all the state legislatures.
Second Step Ratifying the Change
Approval of three-fourths of all state legislatures.
B. Approval by three-fourths of all states in a special national convention.
26 Equality of Government Institutions Created three co-equal branches of government
Each had its own powers.
Each branch had to share some powers.
Each branch had a series of checks on the powers
of the other branches.
MUCH MORE ON THESE ISSUES TO COME 27 Personal Equality What are we talking about here SLAVERY What does the Constitution (in 1787) say about slavery. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
THE 3/5th COMPROMISE 28 Political Equality What are we talking about here VOTING The Constitution said absolutely nothing about who could And could not vote. It was assumed by the writers that This should and would become a power of the state. This power was officially given to the States With passage of the Bill of Rights. Specifically The 10th Amendment. 29 Government Created By the Constitution The Constitution set out the basic guidelines by which our government is created. With that in mind during the semester we will look more closely at what the Constitution says about each branch of the government. Right now we need to take a broad look at the government created by the Constitution. While we do this keep several things in mind 1. The view of Human Nature that was prevalent among the writers of the Constitution. 2. The political and social make-up of the country. 3. The past experiences of the writers of the Constitution. 30 View of Human Nature Locke and Hobbes both stated that men are SELFISH Creatures. The writers of the Constitution believed this in fact the term they used were SELF INTERESTED. Realizing that ALL MEN were SELF INTERESTED they Created a form of government with the expressed Desire to offset or counteract the SELF INTERESTED Nature of man. 31 The Social Make-up of The United States Most Americans in 1787 were not of the same social And/or economic class of the writers of the Constitution. With this in mind the writers of the Constitution knew if The masses gained control of the government they would Do things that would cause them to lose power. TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY In short They were acting at least partially in their own SELF INTEREST when they created the structure by which The United States government would operate. They truly felt that the masses did not have the ability to run the country. 32 Past Experiences of the Writers The Writers of the Constitution had 1. Just been through a War with a country where most of the power rested with one person. 2. Just been through a period of government under the Articles where the power of the national government had been eroded by a single branch of government. 3. Were very much influenced by the works of Locke. 33 Madisonian Model In creating the new government the writers were attempting to prevent TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY. The Tyranny of any majority. To do that Madison and the other writers came up With a governmental design that had three (3) Key points. 1. Place as much of the government as possible Beyond the control of the masses. 2. Separate the Powers of the different governmental Institutions 3. Construct a system of Checks and Balances. 34 How the Government Created Accomplished those three things. 35 Protection of Individual Freedoms The Constitution itself addresses very few individual freedoms.
Cant Suspend Writ of Habeas Corpus
No Bills of Attainder
No Ex Post Facto Laws
Why didnt the Constitution Address more Individual Freedoms.
1. Most of the States already addressed them in their
Writers felt they should remain State issues.
Writers felt that making a list of protected rights
would cause the national government to feel those
were the only protected rights.
36 Federalist versus Anti-Federalist Anti-Federalist felt the new Constitution placed too Much power in the hands of the national government. Felt it did little to protect individual freedoms. They threatened to oppose the ratification of the Constitution. (9 of the 13 States had to ratify before it took affect.) Federalist wrote a series of papers addressing the concerns of the Anti-Federalists. In the end the Federalist promised to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution as soon as the new Congress was seated. One of the first acts of Congress was to begin amending The Constitution to include a Bill of Rights (The first ten amendments to the Constitution)
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