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United States Constitution


United States Constitution The who, what, where, when, why, and how of our government – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: United States Constitution

United States Constitution
  • The who, what, where, when, why, and how of our

The Preamble of the Constitution
  • Opening paragraph of the document

The Preamble These are the goals of the
  • The six goals of the Constitution are
  • Form a more perfect union.
  • Establish justice.
  • Insure domestic tranquility.
  • Provide common defense.
  • Promote the general welfare.
  • Secure the blessings of liberty.

  • First 52 Words Most Important
  • 6 Core Purposes of the Constitution
  • 1. Connect the states
  • 2. Establish justice
  • 3. Provide Defense
  • 4. Promote General Welfare
  • 5. Ensure Peace
  • 6. Secure Liberty now and for the future

The Articles of the U.S. Constitution
  • The body of the document or How the goals of the
    Constitution can be met

Article I The Legislative Branch
  • The purpose of the Legislative branch is to make
  • The legislative branch is also known as Congress.
  • Congress is divided into two houses, the House of
    Representatives and the Senate.

The Formation of Congress
  • The Virginia Plan
  • (Large Population States)

  • The New Jersey Plan
  • (Small Population States)

Virginia Plan
  • Proposed by James Madison
  • Called for bicameral legislature.
  • Idea of Proportional Representation.

Formation of Government
  • Called for a Strong National Government divided
    into three governmental branches.

In addition
  • Congress would be able to veto and override any
    state laws.
  • Creation of judiciary appointed by legislature.

New Jersey Plan
  • Looking to refine and amend Articles of
  • Believed in the idea of Equal Representation.

  • Called for Unicameral Legislature.
  • Each State would have 1 vote.

Unicameral vs Bicameral
  • Unicameral
  • Pass laws quicker
  • No other party to blame
  • Less representation saves tax dollars
  • Examples Sweden, China
  • 115 Unicameral vs 64 Bicameral

  • Bicameral
  • Stability
  • More varied representation
  • Pass quality legislation with in depth coverage
  • U.K. , US examples

Great Compromise/ Connecticut Compromise
  • First suggested by Benjamin Franklin, and Roger
    Sherman worked on over the July 4th holiday.

Congress would be established with a bicameral
  • The House of Representatives would be elected on
    the basis of proportional representation.
  • All revenue and tax bills would have to originate
    from here.

  • The Senate would be based on the idea of equal
  • State legislatures would select Senators due to
    the fact that founders didnt believe the people
    were educated enough to select them.

Three-Fifths Compromise
  • Dealt with how to count the slave population of
    the south- major sticking point in passing the
  • South wanted each slave to count as one person.

  • Slave trade would be banned by 1808 by way of
  • The vote on the Great Compromise was won by a
    single vote.
  • Never tell me you vote doesnt matter!!
  • 39 Delegates would end up signing the work.

Legislative Powers Granted By the Constitution
  • Expressed powers power given to Congress
    directly by the Constitution, which includes the
    power to tax, make money, raise an army,
    naturalizing citizens, and the elastic clause.
  • Elastic clause allows Congress to make laws
    when necessary and proper.

113 Congress
  • 42 African Americans House 2 in Senate
  • 100 Female 82 in House
  • 33 Latinos/Hispanic House 4 Senate
  • 8 LGBT
  • Only 19 with military experience down from 80
    in 1977
  • Highest disapproval rate 83

  • 13 Asian House 2 in Senate
  • 2 Native Americans House

States in the Union
  • In over 200 years the size of the United States
    has grown from 13 to 50 states which has altered
    the landscape and size of Congress.

Senate (Upper House)
  • Each state has two senators.
  • They are elected and serve in office for 6 year
  • There are no term limits, therefore they can
    continuously run for re-election.

Senate continued
  • Every two years one-third of the Senate is
  • The minimum age to serve in the Senate is 30
    years old.

Senate Responsibilities
  • The ability to put on trial anyone in government
    that has been impeached.
  • Also the ability to reject, accept or amend bills
    from the House.
  • Confirm all Presidential nominees to fill seats
    in governmental offices by a majority vote.
  • Ex. Supreme Court Justice.

House of Representatives (Lower House)
  • Each state is guaranteed at least 1 Rep.
  • Initially a body of 65 members has grown to 435
    members plus 5 non-voting members.

House of Representatives cont
  • The minimum age to serve is only 25 years old.

Special House Responsibilities
  • The power to initiate revenue bills imposing
    taxes and bills on government expenditures.
  • Impeach governmental officials.
  • Elect the President in electoral deadlocks- only
    happened twice in history, both in the early

Congressional Powers shared
  • The sole ability to declare war.
  • To establish and maintain an Army and Navy.
  • Pass all laws that are necessary and proper.
  • Propose amendments to the Constitution.

Article II The Executive Branch
  • The purpose of the Executive branch is to enforce
  • The Executive branch is also known as the
  • Included in the Executive branch are the
    Vice-President and the Cabinet.

Executive Powers Created By the Constitution
  • Most power is not specifically defined.
  • President is commander-in-chief of the armed
  • Pardon criminals.
  • Appoints ambassadors.
  • Executes laws passed by Congress.

Article III The Judicial Branch
  • The purpose of the Judicial branch is to
    interpret laws.
  • The Judicial branch is better known as the court
  • The most powerful court is the Supreme Court.

Judicial Powers Created By the Constitution
  • Federal courts may only hear cases that they have
    jurisdiction of.
  • Federal cases include cases involve
  • Federal laws.
  • Issues with foreign nations or diplomats.
  • Maritime laws.
  • Issues that involve the states.
  • Issues that involve interpretations of the U.S.

Article IV Full Faith and Credit Clause
  • Each state will recognize the sovereignty of the
    other states of the union.
  • In other words, each state will recognize the
    rules, licenses, and regulations of the others.
  • For example, if you get your drivers license in
    PA and you move to Tacoma, WA, the state of
    Washington will not make you take your drivers
    test all over again.

Article V The Amendments
  • This article provides the process for amending or
    changing the Constitution.
  • It is a difficult process to amend the
  • To amend the Constitution, a 2/3 majority must
    approve the amendment and ¾ of the states must
    approve it also.

Article VI National Supremacy
  • This article establishes the Supremacy Clause.
  • If a state or local law comes in conflict with a
    federal law, the federal law will prevail.
  • The Constitution is the law of the land.

Article VII Ratifying the Constitution
  • Ratify mean to approve.
  • The people that did not approve of the
    Constitution (Anti-Federalists) had two major
  • 1 There was no freedoms given to the
    individual that Jefferson called for in the
    Declaration of Independence.
  • 2 There was no one that they could trust with
    the responsibility to be President.

Responding to the Complaints
  • The people that approved of the Constitution
    (Federalists) responded to the Anti-Federalists
  • They created a Bill of Rights that would become
    the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
  • They volunteered the one person in the country
    that everyone would trust and rally behind. Who
    was it?

  • Power is divided amongst
  • A federal government.
  • 50 state governments.
  • Many local governments.

The Arguments
  • Anti-Federalists
  • Stronger state govt
  • Multiple presidents
  • Wanted a list of peoples individual rights
    listed in the Constitution
  • Led by John Adams, Patrick Henry, and George
  • Federalists
  • Stronger federal govt
  • One president
  • Did not see the necessity in listing individuals
    rights because federal power was limited
  • Led by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and
    John Jay

Separation of Powers vs. Checks and Balances
  • The separation of powers is the idea that powers
    are divided up between the three branches of
  • Checks and balances are the actions that the
    branches can act upon one another to maintain
    control so that no branch becomes too powerful.

Ratification of the Constitution
  • To ratify or agree to the Constitution, nine of
    the thirteen states had to agree. Many states
    were on board right away, but two of the biggest
    states, New York and Virginia, held out because
    of their disagreements to the document.

After the Convention
  • People for the Constitution as is were known as
    the Federalists. They were opposed by people that
    wanted changes to the Constitution, known as the

Jeffersons Involvement
  • The anti-federalists wrote to Jefferson in France
    asking for his intervention in this situation.
  • Jefferson wrote to the Convention, imploring them
    to consider the words of the Declaration, that
    all men have inalienable rights that must be
    addressed and protected by the Constitution.

The Agreement
  • To reach an agreement, the Federalists included
    as the first ten amendments to the Constitution a
    Bill of Rights, mans individual rights against
    an oppressing government.
  • As for the leadership, Alexander Hamilton
    nominated George Washington as the one and only
    President. Washington reluctantly agreed.

The Amendments
  • The changes made to the Constitution

The Bill of Rights
  • These were the personal freedom amendments that
    had to be guaranteed to many of the
    Anti-Federalists before they would ratify, or
    approve, the Constitution.
  • These are the first ten amendments of the
  • 1st Amendment Personal Freedoms.
  • 2nd Amendment Right to bear arms.
  • 3rd Amendment Prohibits housing of soldiers.
  • 4th Amendment Prohibits illegal searches and
  • 5th Amendment Disallows self-incrimination.
  • 6th Amendment Fair and speedy trial.
  • 7th Amendment Right to a jury trial.
  • 8th Amendment Prohibits cruel and unusual
  • 9th Amendment People retain rights not in the
    bill of rights.
  • 10th Amendment All powers not granted the
    federal government is given to the states.

Other Notable Amendments
  • 13th Amendment outlaws slavery.
  • 14th Amendment protects peoples legal rights.
  • 15th Amendment protects the right to vote based
    on race.
  • 19th Amendment protects womens right to vote.
  • 22nd Amendment limits the President to two term
  • 24th Amendment prohibits poll taxes.
  • 25th Amendment establishes an order of
    authority in case of the Presidents death.
  • 26th Amendment lowers the voting age to 18.
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