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The Constitution


9 out 13 needed for passage of legislation and amendments ... Amendments. 27 amendments. First 10 are the Bill of Rights, they include: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Constitution

The Constitution
  • Lecture 2

  • "That there are men in all countries who get
    their living by war, and by keeping up the
    quarrels of Nations, is as shocking as it is
    true but when those who are concerned in the
    government of a country make it their study to
    sow discord, and cultivate prejudices among
    Nations, it becomes the more unpardonable."
  • Thomas Paine

Setting the Stage
  • Trade
  • Mercantilism British policy to amass large
    quantities of gold and silver by controlling
  • Taxation
  • The Sugar Act of 1764 No taxation without
  • The Stamp Act of 1765 All documents must pay a
  • The Townshend Acts of 1767 Duties on products
    including tea
  • Another tax on tea in 1773 and into the harbor it

Declaration of Independence
  • The First Continental Congress (1774)
  • The rights of petition and assembly, trial by
    peers, freedom from a standing army, and the
    selection of representative councils to levy
  • The Second Continental Congress (1775)
  • Call for Independence from Virginia delegates.
  • Initially 6 of 13 colonies agreed
  • Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Jan, 1776
  • July 4, 1774 the Declaration of Independence was
  • Thomas Jefferson was primary author
  • Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Articles of Confederation
  • A national government and national legislature
  • Congress would have power to coin money, make
    peace, appoint officers to military, run the post
    office, and negotiate with the Indian nations
  • Each state would have equal representation (1
  • 9 out 13 needed for passage of legislation and
  • Members of Congress chosen and paid for by state

Constitutional Convention
  • Philadelphia, Pa in 1787
  • 55 delegates (Founding Fathers)
  • Virginia Plan
  • Strong central government (3 branches)
    population-based, bicameral legislature (one
    elected, one appointed by state legislature)
  • New Jersey Plan
  • State-based, unicameral legislature appointed by
    state legislature (one vote per state)
  • Great Compromise
  • Bicameral (lower by population upper equal)
  • Three-Fifths Compromise
  • Counting of slaves for the purpose of

Basic Principles of the US Constitution
  • Federalism
  • Power divided between federal and state
    government (vertical control of power)
  • Separation of Powers
  • Each branch of government (legislative,
    executive, and judicial) would be independent and
    equal. (horizontal control of power)
  • Checks and Balances
  • Power of one branch is checked by power of
    another branch
  • Supremacy Clause
  • In arguments between Federal and State
    government, the Federal government wins

Articles of the Constitution
  • Article I The Legislative Branch
  • The Elastic Clause
  • Article II The Executive Branch
  • Article III The Judicial Branch
  • Judicial Review established via decision in
    Marbury vs. Madison (1803)
  • Article IV The States
  • Full Faith and Credit Clause
  • Article V Amendment
  • Article VI Debt, Supremacy, Oaths
  • Article VII Ratification

  • 27 amendments
  • First 10 are the Bill of Rights, they include
  • Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
  • Right to Bear Arms
  • Quartering of Soldiers
  • Search and Seizure
  • Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings
  • Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses
  • Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Proposed by Congress (2/3 vote in both chambers)
    ratified by state legislatures (3/4 vote)