The_United_States_Constitution

The_United_States_Constitution - 5/13/2010...

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5/13/2010 1 U.S. Constitution ‐‐ context y Constitution completed and signed by 55 members of Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia—September 17, 1787 y 1787 1788 Ratification by 12 states (Rhode Island 1787 1788 – Ratification by 12 states (Rhode Island joins union in 1790) y January 10, 1789–first election, beginning of new national government . The U.S. Constitution ‐‐ context y July 4, 1776—Declaration of Independence The Second Continental Congress declares independence from England on behalf of the 13 colonies colonies. Revolutionary War—1776 1783 1781—the states agree to a central governmental body under the Articles of Confederation Articles of Confederation y In effect from 1781 to 1789. y A “firm league of friendship among the several states.” y Creates a CONFEDERATION, much like today’s European Union y Under the Articles, the United States is not really a country, but 13 independent states agreeing to have a central governing body to perform certain functions. y The 13 states are essentially independent, sovereign countries
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5/13/2010 2 Articles of Confederation y Government under the Articles ‐‐ only a Congress, no executive, no judiciary ‐‐ each state had one vote, regardless of size y Functions of the central government Functions of the central government: ‐‐ Make peace ‐‐ Coin money ‐‐ Appoint officers for an army ‐‐ Control the post office ‐‐ Negotiate with Indian tribes Problems under the Articles y Lack of revenue–inability to tax the states y Trade war among the states y Economic class division and strife (poor farmers, unpaid soldiers, urban poor, slaves) y “Too much democracy” y Open rebellion (such as Shay’s Rebellion) Overall, a very unstable situation Solution: A New Constitution and a New Country y October 1786—Congress calls meeting of delegates from the states to consider and recommend improvements in the Articles of Confederation y No recommendations are made, instead, delegates agree to continue meeting in Philadelphia in May 1787 y May 15 1787—Meeting in Philadelphia begins, stated purpose of meeting is subverted, delegates agree to write an entirely new Constitution The New Constitution y Creates one nation, in which the Federal Government is the supreme government; y Many powers are taken from the states and given to the new Federal Government to the new Federal Government; y Would go into effect if ratified by at least nine states, among the states that ratified; y Specific method for state ratification: state constitutional conventions.
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5/13/2010 3 The Federalist Papers y Written by three members of the Constitutional Convention most instrumental in writing the new Constitution: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay under the pseudonym Hamilton, and John Jay, under the pseudonym “Publius.” y Effort to persuade New Yorkers to support ratification of the Constitution y Most famous: Federalist Paper #10, in which Madison explains the necessity of forming one
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course POS 2041 taught by Professor Beck during the Spring '10 term at Santa Fe College.

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The_United_States_Constitution - 5/13/2010...

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