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Chapter 2 Constitution
What is a Constitution l Constitution: a document that describes three basic components of an organization: Mission, foundational structure, and essential processes. l The United States Constitution was ratified March 1789, thus the 13 colonies between one nation. l The Mission of the Article of Confederation carried over to the Constitution.
Mission of the Constitution l l l l Government in US: By the people and for the people Is democratic Protects individual liberties Guarantees citizens rights to participate in Gov. Allows citizens to elect government officials regularly Ensures court system will up hold the laws. Republic: a government that derives its authority from the people and in which citizens elect government officials to represent them in the process by which laws are made; a reprehensive democracy.
Separation of Powers l Separation of powers: taken from Baron de Montesquieu spirit of the laws.
Article I l Bicameral: composed of two chambers l Describes structure of legislative branch l Outlines the chambers of house and senate. l The representation of the house is based on the population. 7 states only have 1 rep. l California has the largest at 53 reps.
Article I l Senate is set up to have 2 from each state only. l To pass a bill 50% plus one vote in both houses is needed to make it a law. l Thus the House and Senate can check each other by killing the bill. l Another check that can occur is after it passes the two houses the president can reject it.
Article II l Describes the Authority of President. l It ensures that the president can execute the laws faithfully, appoint people to assist, negotiate treaties, command military. l Also sets up checks and balances for the president to enact on the other two branches.
Article II l All bills passed by both houses have to go to presidents desk. l 10 day limit for pres. or it becomes law automatically. l Within 10 days the president can pass it or veto it. That means rejected and sent back to congress with objections noted. l Congress can override the veto by 2/3 vote in both houses.
Article II l Senate has an extra check on pres. and it comes when President is making treaties. l Also advice and consent: the authority to approve or reject presidents appointments. l Ex: Supreme Court Judges and Cabinet members
Article III l Establishes the Judicial Branch and more specifically the Supreme Court. l This also establishes inferior courts. l Marbury v. Madison: Court can decide if action by government is unconstitutional. Thus it established judicial review.
Marbury vs. Madison l The court struck down the a portion of the Judiciary Act of 1789 which gave the Supreme Court new authority which was not specified in the Constitution. l Thus through this case the Supreme Court established a check and balance that can strike down anything from the other two branches that they deem unconstitutional.
The Federal System l The framers created a two tiered system. l Article one specifies what powers the Federal government has over the state. Ex: states cant make treaties. l The primary clause that separates the Fed. from the state is the tenth amendment.
Essential processes of National Government l The Federal government left the selection of its officials up to the state and the state could determine who can vote. l Changes to voting : l 15 th amendment : Race and color don’t matter l 19 th amendment: Women can vote l 26 th amendment: 18 years old can vote l 24 amendment : No fee to pay to vote
Selection of National Government l We the people elect our representatives. l When you vote for the president you are electing a slate of officials to make the selection for President/Vice President. This is known as the Electoral College.
Article V: The Amendment Process Step 1: 2/3 House and Senate Propose l Step 2: 3/4 states legislature vote for approval Or Step 1: 2/3 state legislature request special convention Step 2: 3/4 Vote of special state conventions l
Article VII Constitutional Ratification l Constitutional ratification required a special convention in nine of the thirteen original states. l The states had to hold a special convention and select delegates to vote on the ratification, not representatives of the government.
Colonization and Governance of America l Colonist view themselves as loyal subjects of England but eventually became upset with the shut out from England the taxes. l In the 1600’s large groups of people came to America. l Those with close ties to the crown were rewarded with large sums of land to govern.
Colonization and Governance of America l l l Most came over as indentured servants and worked the land to pay off voyage debt. Others came for religious reasons or were forced such as the African slaves. By the 1800’s a two tier government had grown: One in England one in the colonies. Colonist government ran day to day things and collect taxes for the king. British gov. no representation for colonies in parliament and had to obey England's laws.
British Policy l Seven year war and French and Indian war caused England to raise taxes in the colonies to pay for the debt. l Sugar Act 1764: sent all money to England l Stamp Act 1765: Taxed paper, documents and even play cards. This effected daily life.
British Policy l l l Boycotts of British goods started to occur. Sam Adams: Boston Brewer led Sons of Liberty against Stamp Commissioners. P. S Good Beer!! Oct. 1765: “No Taxation without Representation” Quartering Act 1765: basic needs of soliders. 1766 House soldiers. Townshend Duties Act 1767: Expand export tax and told colonist the crown can do what ever it wants.
Boston Massacre and Tea Party l By 1770: 4, 000 British troops lived in the homes of 16, 000 civilians in Boston. l These troops took Bostonians jobs. l Mob of 1, 800 struggling colonist clashed with British soldiers, who shot and killed 5 and leaving 6 wounded Bostonians. l Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere spun the story around and called it the Boston Massacre. They said that the only way to get away from England was to end its relationship with her.
Tea Party l Adams continued to spread the idea of a rebellion against England with the Committee of Correspondence in 1772. l 1773 Tea Act: Gave East India Trade company a monopoly. l Boston Tea party: Colonist dressed up like Mohawk Indians and dumped thousands of pounds of tea into Boston Harbor.
Resolute of the Tea Party l Catalyst for not only conflict between England the Colonies but also between the Colonist. l Coercive Acts( Intolerable Acts): Closed the port of Boston until the colonist repaid tea lost. It also increased the Quartering Act and outlawed assembly of the colonist.
Continental Congress First Continental Congress 1775: A meeting of delegates from all the colonies. GA no show. l They drafted demands to King George for right to petition and assemble. l Second Continental Congress 1775: Meet to read the Kings response but before that could happen fighting broke out in Lexington and Concord. l SCC: decided to put George Washington in charge of a military and told him to raise Continental Army. l
Declaration of Independence l l SCC: tried again in July 1775 to reason with the King but he sent more troops instead. People unsure about cutting ties w/ England. Common Sense was published. May 1776: Declaration of Independence was thought of and by July 4, 1776 it was finalized and unanimously voted on. Jefferson wrote the doc. off the ideas of Locke and Rousseau. See table 2. 1 on pg 53
Declaration of Independence l This document created two things: described the demands against the crown and united hatred towards the crown. l 1777 war raged on and the SCC meet to create and unite the states under Articles of Confederation.
State Constitutions l Similar to the U. S. Constitution. l Establish Mission Statement for state to follow l 3 branches of Government l Checks and Balances l Bill of Rights l Used to run day to day operations of the state.
Articles of Confederation (1781 -1789) SCC borrowed the Iroquois League of government as the base for the first four Articles. l This allowed reps. from the tribe to be a council and these reps. had limited power. l Confederation: A national government composed of a league of independent states and in which a central gov. has less power than the states. l Also allowed nation gov. to make treaties with other nations. l
Structure of Articles l l l Under the Articles federal gov. was unicameral meaning one house and every state had two – seven delegates but one vote as a body. Each state determined its own delegates. To approve policies or treaties nine votes were needed. Articles did not create a judicial or executive branch. Amending the articles required all thirteen colonies to approve.
Weaknesses of the Confederation l States controlled commerce: nations would not trade. l Each state taxed other states for goods coming in. l Each state had their own money. l This hurt the economy.
Weaknesses Cont. l This all came to a head when Farmers that fought in the Revolution could not pay their debt for their land were going to loose it. l Daniel Shay led a rebellion and broke into county court houses and burned all the records of debt. Then tried to take over a federal arsenal. Massachusetts asked for money to raise a militia to put rebellion down.
Crafting Constitution l l l Constitutional Convention 1787. 80% of members were on from Continental Congress. One major concern was the economy. The others were power to central gov. , insure rep. democracy, and slavery. South feared North would abolition slavery or dilute Southern power. North feared gov. more taxes on industry bc they were on cusp of Industrial Rev.
Virginia Plan l Virginia Plan: bicameral leg. , chief executive, separate national judiciary. l Favored large population states, and based rep. off of population. Lower house would be elected by popular vote and upper house elected by lower house. l Separation of powers l Individual rights and liberties protected.
New Jersey Plan l Reworked Articles of Confederation. l Unicameral leg. l All states would have equal representation. l Smaller states would be equal and rep not based on population.
Connecticut Compromise (a. k. a The Great Compromise) l l l Took parts from both plans and combined them. Bicameral House Rep. in congress based on population Senate equal for each state, but chose by House of Rep. (2 per state). Head Executive Individual rights protected: later added Bill of Rights.
Checks on Reprehensive Government l Senate was elected by House of Reps. 1913 changed by 17 th amendment l Electoral College elected President and VP l Limited voting rights. l Biggest sticking point was national legislature took 2 months to decide l The rest of the issues only took a month.
Slavery Issue l l l 1790: slaves made up 20% of population and most of them resided in the south. South feared a strong central gov. would threaten slavery. They would not budge on a strong central gov. North feared a weak national gov. bc it would effect trade, thus wanted strong central like under Articles. For the North to get what they wanted they compromised the issue of slavery. Article I section 9 postponed the debate on slavery thus making it legal still. Article IV made sure that slaves were returned to their owner and made sure people insured that slaves were property of slave holder.
Three Fifths Compromise l Article I section 2 established a formula for counting slaves for the purpose of population for the House of Reps and taxes. l Each slave counted as 3/5 of a free man. l South had more rep. in government than North l North paid less taxes than the South
Finalization of Constitution l l l Now all issues were either agreed upon or set aside for another time The Constitution focused on what the Government promised in the Declaration of Independence for a select group of people. Also Life, Liberty, and Property protected. To insure these were for White property owning men, two arrangements were put into place 1 st: Separation of powers and checks and balances. 2 nd: Federal system in which national and state govs. had distinct ultimate authorities.
Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist l 39 delegates signed Constitution on Sept 17, 1787 and published it in the newspapers two days later. l Opponents started to give speeches and write letters against it. l Federalist: favored the document l Anti-Federalist: opposed it bc it gave national gov. too much power.
Federalist Papers l To explain their view on the Constitution and to try to help quell fears by the Anti-Federalist; Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers. l l Key Papers are No. 9: Firm Union will keep the peace in states. No. 51: explains separation of powers and checks and balances. No. 10: reassuring majority heard by Representation. No. 84: People gain all the power and liberties and give nothing away.
Anti-Federalist Opposition l l Two key players Thomas Jefferson and Mercy Warren author of Anti-Federalist papers. Anti Feds argued that a list of individual freedoms was need so the government could not over step its bound like England did. People feared w/o list of freedoms the National government would have more power than state government and over step its bounds. Plus all 13 states were needed to ratify constitution and MA, SC, NH, and MD were holding out because of no individual right protection.
Bill of Rights l In the first session of Congress on March 1789 James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights. l All 12 amendments were made to reflect public concern on limiting gov. power on individual freedoms and to preserve state authority. l All 12 were passed by congress and all the states ratified 10 of 12 by 1791. Thus the Bill of Rights was born and added to the Constitution.
Formal Amendment of Constitution l Every term Congress introduces 100 -200 proposals for new amendments. l Amendments have tend to fit into 3 categories: l 1. extending civil liberties l 2. alter branches of government l 3. deal with policy issue
Brown vs. Board of Ed. Topeka Kansas l Supreme court declared segregation of schools unconstitutional and it went against the fourteenth amendment. l This is an example of extending civil liberties.