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Title: Foundations%20of%20American%20Government


1
Foundations of American Government
2
After the Revolutionary War Ended...
  • Adopted a 1st Constitution called
  • ARTICLES OF
  • CONFEDERATION
  • Laid the foundation for a workable government

3
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4
Articles of Confederation
5
Founding Fathers/Framers
  • Wanted to make sure that their new government
    would be very different from the government of
    Great Britain

6
Articles of Confederation
  • Represent the first constitutional agreement made
    between the 13 American states
  • Determined the relative powers of the individual
    states
  • Submitted to the Second Continental Congress on
    July 12, 1776, 8 days after the signing of the
    Declaration of Independence
  • Ratified in 1781
  • Intentionally Established a
  • Weak National Government

7
Pros Cons
  • Nations 1st Constitution
  • Gave the 13 States a Basis for Uniting During the
    War for Independence
  • Most Power Was Held by the States
  • No Executive Branch
  • No Judicial Branch
  • No System of Checks Balances
  • No Power to Tax
  • No Power to Regulate Interstate Trade

8
Problems
9
Reaction
George Washington and others were alarmed at what
was happening...
Openly Called for Change
Called for a Return to a Monarchy
10
Constitutional Convention
  • A movement began to examine and revise the
    Articles of Confederation.

11
Constitutional Convention

February 1787
Independence Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
George Washington was elected to preside.
12
Convention Delegates
  • 77 delegates were named to attend, but only 55
    actually attended
  • well-educated
  • wealthy land owners
  • 41 had served in the
  • Continental Congress
  • others had served in
  • state government
  • 8 were Governors
  • relatively young /average age 42 (many were
    under 30)
  • Every state represented except Rhode Island

13
Georgias Delegates
Abraham Baldwin
William Few
William Pierce William Houston also attended
but did not sign the Constitution
14
Shhh!!!!
  • The Convention was so secret that a full account
    of what went on there was not made public until
    almost 60 years later.

15
A Republican Form of Government
The delegates put personal feelings aside and
worked together to create a form of government
for ALL people... A form of government that has
guided the United States for over 200 years!
Great Seal of the United States Symbol of the
Nation
16
Where to Start?
  • Discussed theories and ideas from the past
  • Read the writings of philosophers
  • Studied ancient Roman government

the common people aristocracy shared political
power and were able to govern themselves without
a king
Republic provided for the common welfare of
its citizens
17
James Madison provided a clear image...
Known as Father of the Constitution
Republic representative democracy which gets
its right to govern from the people it governs.
18
Two Major Plans...
Virginia Plan New Jersey Plan
Representation Based on Population All States Would Have Same Equal Representation Regardless of Population
?3 Branches of Government 1) Legislative 2 Houses House of Representatives elected directly by the people of each state. Senate elected by the members of the House of Representatives from persons nominated by each state legislature 2) Judicial 3) Executive ?Congress would have a 1 house legislature ?Levy Taxes ?Control interstate and foreign trade ?Make laws and treaties with foreign nations ?State laws could not override the laws made by national Congress ?Executive Branch composed of several persons selected by Congress ?Appoint a Supreme Court, which would have the power to handle conflicts
19
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20
The Great Compromise
21
Georgias Role in the Constitutional Convention
  • When a vote was called on July 2, the small
    states threatened to walk out if they lost.
  • Vote was very close.
  • Georgias interests were with the large states,
    but no one wanted the small states to leave.
  • The large states led the vote by one.
  • Abraham Baldwin was the last to vote...

22
Baldwins Important Role
  • Baldwin broke ranks to vote with the small
    states.
  • The result was tie!
  • In so doing, he was instrumental in bringing
  • about the compromise.

23
3/5 Compromise
  • Slaves were a large percentage of the population
    in the south.
  • Debate over Slaves Votes
  • Northern States Did not want to count slaves
    because that would give the southern states more
    control.

3/5 Compromise total number of free persons
would be counted, but only 3/5 of all other
persons (slaves) would be counted.
24
Georgia Slaves in 1790
25
Who Should Elect the President?
  • ?The Citizens or Congress??? -- Created an
    Electoral College
  • ? Each state was allowed to select as many
    electors as it had members in Congress (House
    and Senate)
  • ? Electors would be allowed to vote for two
    people.
  • ? Person who received highest number of votes
    would be named president.
  • ? Person who received the second highest number
    of votes would be named vice president.
  • ? People would be indirectly selecting the
    president and vice president because their state
    representatives would choose people to vote on
    their behalf.

26
  • Today, there are a total of 538 electoral votes
    in the Electoral College.
  • Every 10 years, the 435 U.S. Representatives are
    reapportioned among the states in accordance with
    the latest federal census, thereby automatically
    reapportioning the membership of the Electoral
    College.

27
Ratification (Approval)
Federalists Supported a Strong National
Government
Anti-federalists Opposed a Strong National
Government
28
Bill of Rights
  • ?First 10 Amendments were added so that citizens
    individual rights be specifically protected in
    the new Constitution.
  • ?9 States had to ratify the Constitution before
    it could become the official
  • Constitution.
  • ? Delaware was the first.
  • ? Georgia was the fourth.

29
Why Did Georgia Ratify So Quickly?
  • The Articles of Confederation had failed to
    create an effective national government for the
    new nation.
  • Georgia needed the protection that a strong
    national government could provide against the
    Indian population.
  • With promises of a Bill of Rights and the
    compromises in the constitution, individual
    liberties would be protected, and the national
    government would not be too strong.
  • There was also a potential threat from Spain.

30
First Amendment
Freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, and
the right to assemble and petition government.
31
Second Amendment
Right to keep and bear arms.
32
Third Amendment
Prohibits stationing of troops in homes without
consent.
33
Fourth Amendment
Protects against unreasonable searches and
seizures and requires probable cause for search
warrants.
34
Fifth Amendment
Establishes grand jury protects against double
jeopardy and self-incrimination guarantees due
process and eminent domain.
35
Sixth Amendment
Ensures right to speedy trial, to be informed of
charges against defendant, to counsel.
36
Seventh Amendment
Provides for trial by jury.
37
Eighth Amendment
Prohibits excessive bail or fines and prohibits
cruel and unusual punishment.
38
Ninth Amendment
Does not deny people any rights that are not
specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
39
Tenth Amendment
Gives the states or the people all powers not
specifically granted to Congress or denied to
states.
40
The United States Constitution
  • 1,800 words
  • Been changed only 27 times since first adopted
  • Written in a very terse (brief) general style
  • A living document can be changed/amended

41
Parts of the Constitution
  • Preamble
  • Articles
  • Signatures
  • Amendments

42
Overall...
  • The Constitution is the highest law in the US.
  • All other laws come from the Constitution in some
    way.
  • It provides a framework for the government of the
    United States.
  • It creates the Presidency, the Congress, and the
    Supreme Court.
  • Each state has its own constitution that is the
    highest law for the state - but even then, the
    United States Constitution is higher.

43
Principles of the U.S. Government
Idea of supreme power or source of authority
power rests with the citizens.
The national government and state governments
share authority over the same territory and same
people.
Representatives are bound by the US and state
constitutions.
Three branches of government with separate duties.
Ensures that no one branch becomes too powerful.
44
The Nations First President
  • George Washington

45
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