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History-Social Science Content Standards

8.2 Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.
8.2.3 Evaluate the major debates that occurred during the development of the Constitution and their ultimate resolutions in such areas as shared power among institutions, divided state-federal power, slavery, the rights of individuals and states (later addressed by addition of the Bill of Rights), and the status of American Indian nations under the commerce clause.

English Language Arts: 7th & 8th


7 W 1.3 Use strategies of notetaking, outlining, and summarizing to impose structure on composition drafts. Use word meanings within the appropriate context and show ability to verify those meanings by definition, restatement, example, comparison, or contrast.

8 R 1.3

III. Framing the Constitution

With the ideas of the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, and Mayflower Compact as their guide, they were ready to write a new constitution. But It wasnt easy

A. The Constitutional Convention


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It was called to make changes to the Articles of Confederation. Philadelphia, PA at Independence Hall in May of 1787. 55 men, all white, attended including planters, lawyers, doctors, generals, governors, and a college president. Three delegates under 30 and one was over 80. They decided the Articles needed to be abandoned.

Framing NOT Farming

George Washington, who led America to victory in the Revolution, presided over the convention, as president.

Alexander Hamilton, though not content with the final form of the Constitution, wrote 51 of the 85 essays known as the Federalist Papers. He defended the Constitution and called for its ratification.

Benjamin Franklin was possibly the most well known American in the world.

James Wilson read all of 80 year-old Franklins speeches. Was one of the most gifted political minds of his time. Proposed the 3/5ths Compromise.

James Madison came to the convention with the basic plan that was eventually adopted. He had been studying political history, classical republicanism, and modern political theory since the fall of 1786. He is often called The Father of the Constitution.

Roger Sherman suggested The Great Compromise which possibly saved the young United States.

Gouverneur Morris ended up writing the final draft of the Constitution. Credited as the author of the preamble: We the people and has been nicknamed the Penman of the Constitution.

Adams is in England & Jefferson in France. Neither is able to attend the Convention.

B. Organization
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Twelve states sent delegates Each state had one vote on all decisions Decisions would be made by a majority vote George Washington was unanimously chosen to preside over the meetings

Debate #1
The Legislative Branch

C. The Virginia Plan


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A strong national government Three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial A two-house legislature In both houses the number of representatives would be proportional. This would give highly populated states (like Virginia) a larger say in national decisions and passing laws.

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Based on population

Based on population

Under the Virginia Plan

D. The New Jersey Plan


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A one-house legislature Each state would get one vote This would give all states an equal say in national decisions and passing laws

Each state gets one vote

Under the New Jersey Plan

E. The Great Compromise


Compromise - an agreement between two or more sides in which each side gives up some of what it wants. Proposed by Roger Sherman
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A bicameral (two-house) legislature a. House of Representatives number of members from each state would be proportional. Thank Virginia! b. Senate each state would have two members. Thank New Jersey!

One problem down but this presents another problem

Debate #2
Legislative Representation

F. The 3/5ths Compromise


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If seats in the House of Representatives are based on population, do slaves count as population? Southern slaveholders, who wanted more power in government, thought slaves should be counted.

F. The 3/5ths Compromise


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Northerners thought that property should not count toward population. They eventually resolved that each slave should be counted as 3/5ths of a person.

October 1787, Madison wrote to Jefferson that creating the constitution was a miracle.

James Madison

It would take another miracle to get it ratified.

G. Federalist Papers
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Written by Hamilton, Madison and Jay. 85 essays which were reprinted in newspapers. Supported ratification of the Constitution. Reassured Americans the federal govt. wouldnt overpower the states.

H. Ratification
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Nine of thirteen states needed to approve the constitution for it to go into effect. In 1788 the ninth state approved and the constitution became law. Several states wouldnt ratify the Constitution until they were promised the addition of a bill protecting individual rights.

Ratification by State

I. Parts of the Constitution


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The Preamble - Introduces the Constitution and states its purpose. The Articles outline how our government is organized. The Amendments changes made to the Constitution.
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Bill of Rights first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Part III