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Unit IB : Constitutional Underpinnings

Unit IB : Constitutional Underpinnings. The U.S. Constitution. What is it?? Unique, novel, born of necessity and political division Boring, rational, mechanical prose (thanks Goveneur Morris!) Blueprint for a federal government A bundle of Compromises An experiment

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Unit IB : Constitutional Underpinnings

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  1. Unit IB : Constitutional Underpinnings

  2. The U.S. Constitution • What is it?? • Unique, novel, born of necessity and political division • Boring, rational, mechanical prose (thanks Goveneur Morris!) • Blueprint for a federal government • A bundle of Compromises • An experiment • A conservative movement achieved by liberal means • The “Supreme Law of the Land” • “Novus Ordo Seclorum” • A generational document • An imperfect document

  3. The War for Independence 1765-1781 • Goal: LIBERTY! • Achieved within Empire 1765-1775 • Boycotts (most famous in Williamsburg) • Protests • Boston Tea Party • Stamp Act Congress • 1st CC • Etc… • Achieved through war/independence after 1775

  4. Colonial Thinking • English Constitution failed to check political power (whose?) • All English politicians are corrupt (colonial?) • Liberties fought for based on “natural rights” • War is POLITICAL , not economic

  5. War of Ideology • Make political authority legitimate (how?) • Secure personal liberties (which ones?) • Government based on consent (who votes?) • Political power granted by written constitution • Legislature superior to Executive (why?)

  6. States Adopt Revolutionary Ideas • Written State Constitutions (Fundamental Orders of Conn) • Representative Governments (VA House of Burgesses) • Bill of Rights (based upon Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and F.O. of Conn.)

  7. Writing & Adopting the US Constitution • Historical/Philosophical/Intellectual Foundations • Greeks: Democracy • Equality of all persons • Popular Sovereignty • Voting rights/Citizenship

  8. Ancient Rome • Republican Government/The Republic • Separation of Powers • Checks and Balances

  9. English Constitutionalism • Magna Carta • Signed 1215 by King John • Democratic Ideas • Separate legislatures ( The Great Council/Parliament) • No taxation w/out representation • Freedom from unjust arrest (arrest warrants) • Trial by jury of peers (nobles only)

  10. English Constitutionalism • The Petition of Right • Signed in 1628 by King Charles I • Democratic ideas: • No taxation w/out representation • Can’t be jailed prior to jury verdict (bail) • No quartering of troops in peacetime • No martial law in peacetime

  11. English Constitutionalism • English Bill of Rights • Signed in 1689 by William and Mary of Orange • Democratic Ideas: • “free” speech and press • No excessive bail or fines • No cruel and unusual punishments • “free” election for Parliament (Common created) • All laws require the consent of Parliament (the people)

  12. John Locke • Social Contract Theory • Natural Rights • Government by consent • Right to revolution • Etc…

  13. Henri, the Baron deMontesquieu • Power corrupts • Separation of Powers • Checks and Balances • Need for a written constitution

  14. The Federalist • Creation of/explanation of a federal Republic • Federal: powers constitutionally divided w/ supremacy given to the national gov’t • Republic: people elect representatives to make the laws

  15. Unique American Experience • Location • Land • Diversity (ethnic, religious, racial, etc…) • New “American” Culture

  16. Colonial/American Economic, Political, & Social Developments • “Salutary Neglect” • French and Indian War • Changes in policy

  17. Revolutionary Period • Causes of Revolution • Taxes ! • Trade restrictions • Protests lead to violence (Boston Massacre, Tea Party, Williamsburg Boycott, etc…) • Arrest warrants for legislators, leaders, etc… • Etc…

  18. Declaration of Independence July, 4, 1776 • Social Contract Theory? • “all men created equal” • Natural rights • Purpose of gov : protect rights • Government by consent • Right to revolution

  19. Declaration of Independence • Committee of Five • John Adams • Ben Franklin • Robert Livingston(John) • Roger Sherman • Thomas Jefferson

  20. Declaration of Independence • Jefferson/Democratic Ideals • “All men are created equal…” • “…they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…” • “…that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” • “that whenever any government becomes destructive to these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it…”

  21. Purposes of Declaration • Get international support • Increase enlistments • Turn colonial sentiment to favor Revolution/Independency • Damage “British” troops morale • Propaganda • Explain why we are fighting • Create a democratic gov.

  22. Was it a success? • French gave money, ships, troops, weapons, etc.. • Colonial enlistments increased dramatically • Colonial sentiment appears to favor Independency • “British” desertions increase • Etc…

  23. State Constitutional Conventions • Each State meets to write a new “charters” or State Constitutions • Election of representatives (US Congress) eligibility to vote • Separation of powers (3 branches) • Election of Governors • Checks and Balances • Limited Government • Etc…

  24. The Articles of Confederation • Written by Richard Henry Lee in 1778 • Ratified in 1781 • Need for? National Constitution necessary • Adoption: Unanimous consent required

  25. Articles of Confederation • Weaknesses: • National gov. cannot effectively tax • No national law enforcement • No Executive Branch • No Judicial Branch • Congress cannot international or interstate trade • Each State gets 1 vote in Congress • No mandatory power to raise army/navy • National laws needed a 9 of 13 vote • Amendments required unanimous consent of the States • Only a “firm league of friendship”; not a union

  26. Confederation Period (Critical Period)1781-1787 (89) • Newburg Mutiny, 1783 • Alexandria and Mount Vernon Conventions (1785) • Annapolis Convention, 1786 • SHAY’S REBELLION, 1786

  27. Constitutional Convention, May-Sept 1787 • Purpose: “revise” the Articles of Confederation

  28. Who are the delegates? • 56 men from 13 States • Primarily well-educated (college grads) • Protestants • Propertied Class • Predominately lawyers • Politicians • Concerned w/ property rights and contract law • Feared the tyranny of the majority • Etc…

  29. Significant Delegates • George Washington: President of the Convention • Alexander Hamilton: advocate of stronger Nat’l Gov.; would have preferred a monarchy • James Madison: author of the Virginia Plan; created Federalism, took copious notes of debates • Edmund Randolph: Gov of VA; presented the VA Plan • William Patterson: author of the NJ Plan • George Mason: champion of Bill of Rights • Gouveneur Morris: author of the Constitution • Ben Franklin: “the negotiator” • Roger Sherman: Quaker Minister and creator of Great Compromise • The Pinkneys: SC delegates who insured the survival of slavery • George Read: creator of the idea of a Supreme Court • Etc…

  30. Who isn’t there? • Thomas Jefferson: Ambassador to France • John Jay: Ambassador to Spain • John Adams: Ambassador to England • Sam Adams: lost election! • Patrick Henry: “smelt a rat” and refused to attend • John Hancock: indicted for war profiteering and awaiting trial (found not guilty)

  31. Reasons for Swearing to Secrecy • Keep the media from influencing outcome • Allow delegates to discuss all issues without interference or fear • Weren’t supposed to be writing a new constitution!

  32. Main(Major) Problem they were sent to resolve! • How strong should the national government be? • Fear of tyranny • What about States’ Rights?

  33. Major Characteristics of Madisonian Model of Government • Federalism • Proportional Representation in the Legislature • Direct election of Executive and Legislative by the people of the States • Single person executive • Independent Judiciary (life appointments)

  34. Slavery Question(s) • Should slavery remain legal? • Should there be restrictions on the slave trade? • Should the States or National government be able to tax slaves as property? • Should slaves be counted in the census? • Should new territories be allowed to determine for themselves if they be slave or free?

  35. Virginia V. New Jersey Plans

  36. Major Compromises • Great/Connecticut/Sherman Compromise • Issue: representation in Congress • VA Plan: proportional two House Legislature • NJ Plan: equal representation in one house legislature • Compromise created by Sherman& Franklin • Bicameral Legislature • Senate: Equal Representation (2 per State) • House of Reps: Proportional Representation (1 rep minimum)

  37. Executive Compromise • Issue: what should the Executive Branch look like and how should it be selected? • VA: 1 person directly elected by the people • NJ: 5 person team, elected by the Governors • Compromise: • One President • Election indirectly by the people via Electoral College • Renewable 4 year terms

  38. 3/5ths Compromise • Issue: should slaves be counted in the census to determine the population of a State for the purposes of determining representation in the House? • South: YES! • North: NO! • Compromise: slaves will count as 3/5ths of a person in the census

  39. Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise • Issue: how will the new national government raise revenue to pay the war debt? • South: fear taxes/restrictions on slave trade • North: fear taxes/restrictions on trade • Compromise: • No taxes on slaves • No restrictions on slave trade for 20 years • No export duties • Trade agreements with other nations will need Senate approval

  40. Basic Changes in Government

  41. Ratification of the Constitution • Method: two part process • 1. Delegates at National Convention (majority needed to propose; 39 of 56 signed) • 2. Delegates at 13 State Conventions (need 9 States to vote yes)

  42. Federalist Arguments for Ratification • National government under the Articles is too weak to protect us from other nations • National government under the Articles cannot effectively tax, regulate trade, or protect rights (property) • National government under the Articles cannot enforce the law • Massive war debts cannot be paid under current system • Economic problems (recession, inflation, debt, et…) require a stronger national government

  43. The Federalist Papers • 65 editorials published in NY newspapers • Written to convince delegates to the New York Convention to vote yes on ratification • Written by Hamilton(40), Madison(20), & Jay (5) • Written under the name “Publius” • Defended and explained every part of the Constitution in the language of the day • One of the best and most effective examples of political propaganda

  44. Anti-federalist Opposition • Famous Anti-federalists include: • George Mason (demanded a Bill of Rights) • Thomas Jefferson • Patrick Henry • John Hancock

  45. Anti-federalist Arguments Against Ratification • No mention of God or religious freedom • Ratification process not required to be unanimous (only 9 of 13 needed) • Took away important States’ Rights • Gave the National Government too much power • No protection of civil liberties (Bill of Rights)

  46. Constitutional Principles • Government by Law: • Definition: government is created by a constitution or charter (rule of law) • History of: more than 3000 years old (Sumaria) • Written Law: began with Hammurabi’s Code in 1750 BCE (Sumaria) • Advantages: • Gives people notice of crimes/punishment • Limits governments powers

  47. Supremacy/Constitution as Highest Law • Article VI, Section 2: The Supremacy Clause • Conflicting law is unconstitutional • Judicial Review of Law • Marbury v. Madison

  48. Representative Government • Definition: government in which the people elect representatives to make the laws • Republican/Republic/ Indirect Democracy • Majority Rule/Minority Rights: Congress represents the majority while the Courts protect the minority

  49. Separation of Powers • Purpose: prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful • Article I: Congress (make law) • Articles II: President (enforce law) • Article III: Supreme Court (interpret law)

  50. Checks and Balances • Purpose: place limits on each of the branches of the National Government

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