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The History of our Constitution

The History of our Constitution

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The History of our Constitution

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  1. The History of our Constitution

  2. The Declaration of Independence • Created on July 4th, 1776 (slightly more than a year after the Revolution began). • Promoted mainly by John Adams. • Written by Thomas Jefferson.

  3. Declaration of Independence Continued…. • Proclaimed the Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. • Justification for separation: “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…”

  4. Comparison between: John Locke’s “Concerning Civil Liberties” Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence”

  5. State Constitutions • Congress urged each of the colonies to adopt: “such governments as shall in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents.” • Common features among all state constitutions were: popular sovereignty, limited government, civil rights and liberties, and separation of powers and checks and balances.

  6. States still remembered the evils of a monarch…They made sure to have: • Short elective terms of office • Limited right to vote to adult males with property ownership • Authority given mostly to the legislature – not the governor.

  7. Articles of Confederation • 1st attempt to establish a national government. • Power was in the STATES. Small central government. • Each state kept “its sovereignty, freedom, and independence”. • Came together only for “common defense, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare”.

  8. Structure under the Articles of Confederation State State State Central Government State State State

  9. What were the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

  10. “We are one nation today and 13 tomorrow. Who will treat with us on such terms?”- George Washington • States bickered among themselves and grew jealous and suspicious of one another. • States often refused to support the new central government. • Some made agreements with foreign countries without approval. • Most organized their own military forces. • Printed money without backing – Economic chaos.

  11. Federalists Anti-Federalists Constitutional DEBATE!

  12. A Stronger Government is Created

  13. The Preamble We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. * How has the US government accomplished each of these things? View the Preamble PPT.

  14. Constitutional Principles The 6 basic ideas that make up the Constitution. • Popular Sovereignty • Limited Government • Separation of Powers • Checks and Balances • Judicial Review • Federalism

  15. Constitutional Principles 1-4

  16. Constitutional Principles 5 & 6 • Judicial Review: The power of the Federal courts to determine if Government Action is Constitutional. The interpreter or final judge on what the Constitution says and means. • Federalism: A system of government where power is divided between the national and state governments.

  17. We can find the Constitution in our daily lives…Find an example of each principle in the current events.