lecture5 - UCLA PS 40 Department of Political Science...

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1 UCLA Department of Political Science Fall 2007 PS 40 Introduction to American Politics Prof. Thomas Schwartz Hunk 5 The Constitution and Whence it Came The Founding Fathers took these steps to create our Constitution: 1777 The Articles of Confederation are proposed. 1781 The Articles of Confederation are ratified. 1786 The Annapolis Convention settles water problems among Potomac states and asks Congress to call a wider convention of states to address problems of governance under the Articles. 1787 Congress does four things: 1. A Congressional committee under Charles W. Pickney III starts revision of the A of C. 2. Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance. 3. Congress calls a Federal Convention to revise the A of C. 4. Congress submits the new constitution to the states for ratification. 1787-1788 The states ratify the Constitution (now with a capital C ). Eventually 27 amendments are added. But apart from them the U.S. Constitution consists of a Preamble (We the people…) and seven articles : -- Article I - Congress Congress, the national legislature, consists of a House of Representatives, with state representation proportionate to state population, and a Senate, in which each state has two votes. The House is popularly elected for two-year terms. The Senate was elected by state legislatures (no longer) for six-year terms, staggered so one-third is chosen every
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