87765-piy-ch05-01.pdf_119843

87765-piy-ch05-01.pdf_119843 - CHAP TER The Constitution L...

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Articles of Confederation The first constitution of the United States of America; it established the union of states. CHAPTER 5 The Constitution LEARNING OBJECTIVES In this chapter, we will discuss the federal U.S. Constitution and how it affects businesses. Specifically, you should be able to answer the following questions: 1. What are the main purposes of the U.S. Constitution? 2. How does the Constitution grant authority to the government to regulate business? 3. How does the Bill of Rights provide basic civil liberties to all persons in the United States? 4. How do due process and equal protection operate to constrain governments from acting unfairly? Video Clip: Schoolhouse Rock, the Preamble Many schoolchildren in the United States are familiar with the words in the U.S. Constitution, starting with the famous “We the People.” Many of those same schoolchildren have traveled to Washington, DC, to see an original copy of the Constitution displayed at the National Archives. When pressed, however, many schoolchildren—and even many adults—are unable to speak with any level of authority on the content or meaning of the Constitution. It is rare to find a text so beloved, and yet so misunderstood, by so many people. The Constitution is not the first constitution adopted by the original thirteen colonies. During the time of the Revolutionary War against Great Britain, the states were governed by the Articles of Confederation . The articles granted limited authority to a federal government, including the power to wage wars, conduct foreign policy, and resolve issues regarding claims by the states on western lands. Many leading scholars and statesmen at the time, known as Federalists, thought that the articles created a federal government that was too weak to survive. The lack of power to tax, for example, meant that the federal government was frequently near bankruptcy in spite of its repeated requests to the states to put forth more money to the federal government. Larger states resented the structure under the articles, which gave small states an equal vote to larger states. Finally, the articles reserved the power to regulate commerce to the states, meaning each pursued its own trade and tariff policy with other states and with foreign nations. In 1786, work began in a series of conventions to rewrite the articles, resulting in the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. View the video online at: http://www.youtube.com/v/30OyU4O80i4 Personal PDF created exclusively for Wendy Ruan (rwl1989@163.com)
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Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. FIGURE 5.1 Constitution of the United States of America © Thinkstock In this chapter we explore the Constitution in depth. We’ll examine how the Constitution sought to rectify the weaknesses in the articles, especially in commerce. We go beyond the meaning of the words and explain how judicial interpretation of the Constitution, while still evolving, has forever changed its original place in U.S. political economy. We’ll explore the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the
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87765-piy-ch05-01.pdf_119843 - CHAP TER The Constitution L...

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