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FoundationsofAmericanGovernmentOutline

TypesofGovernment
Amonarchyisaformofgovernmentinwhichpowerlieswithinanindividualorseveralindividuals,
usuallyakingand/orqueen
Ademocracyisaformofgovernmentinwhichcitizensparticipateinthedecisionmakingprocessofthe
countryandsometimesvotetochooserepresentatives.
Arepublicisanationinwhichthecitizensandrepresentativeshavethepowerandhasanelectedor
nominatedpresident

ArticlesofConfederation
TheArticlesofConfederation,thefirstUnitedStatesconstitution,madethenationalgovernmentweak.
TheArticlesofConfederationreflectedthefearsofoppressionbytheAmericanswhodidnotwantto
createagovernmentsimilartoEnglands.

ShaysRebellion
ShaysRebellionprovedthatthecentralgovernmentundertheArticlesofConfederationwastooweak.

NorthwestOrdinanceof1787
TheNorthwestOrdinanceestablishedanorderlyexpansionofwesternterritory.

ConstitutionalConventionof1787
TheFoundingFathersmetinPhiladelphiain1787tofixtheArticlesofConfederation,butendedup
writinganewConstitution.
TheGreatCompromiseaddressedrepresentationinCongress.Allstatesget2senatorsand
representationintheHouseisdependentonastatespopulation.
TheThreeFifthsCompromiseaddressedslavery.Eachslavecountsas3/5apersonfortaxationand
representation.

Federalistsvs.AntiFederalists
FederalistssupportedratificationoftheU.S.Constitution.
TheFederalistPaperswereessayswrittenbyJamesMadison,AlexanderHamiltonandJohnJay
toencourageratificationoftheConstitution.
AntiFederalistsopposedratificationoftheU.S.ConstitutionunlessaBillofRightswasincluded.
AntiFederalists,includingPatrickHenryandGeorgeMason,wereconcernedtheConstitution
wouldtakeawaysomeoftherightsfoughtforintherevolution.

HistoricInfluencesontheConstitution
TheauthorsoftheConstitutionwereinfluencedbytheMagnaCarta,theMayflowerCompact,the
FundamentalOrdersofConnecticut,andtheEnglishBillofRights
TheMagnaCartawassignedin1215andlimitedthekingspower.

TheMayflowerCompactwassignedin1620andwasthefirstattemptofanAmericancolony
attemptingtoprovideforthecommonwelfare.
TheFundamentalOrdersofConnecticutwastheconstitutionusedbytheConnecticutcolony
from1639to1662.
TheEnglishBillofRightsprotectedtherightsofcitizens.
TheauthorsoftheConstitutionwereinfluencedbyEnlightenmentphilosophersandaBritishpolitical
theorist
JohnLocke,anEnglishphilosopher,believedthemainpurposeofgovernmentshouldbeto
protectpeoplesnaturalrights.
CharlesdeMontesquieu,aFrenchwriter,believedthebestwaytoensureagovernmentwould
servethewelfarewastoseparateandbalancethepowers.
WilliamBlackstone,aBritishattorney,taughtmanisgrantedfundamentalrightsbyGod.

RatificationoftheConstitution
TheConstitutionneededtobeapprovedby9ofthe13statesinordertoofficiallybecomeAmericas
systemofgovernment.

TheConstitution
ThePreambleistheopeningstatementoftheConstitutionandliststhegoals(6)oftheConstitution.
1. ToformamoreperfectUnion...
tocreateabettercountry
2. Establishjustice...
equallawsforallcitizens
3. Ensuredomestictranquility...
keepthepeacewithinourcountry
4. Provideforthecommondefense...
createandmaintainamilitary
5. Promotethegeneralwelfare...
governmentsupportofbeneficialprograms/institutions
6. SecuretheblessingsoflibertytoourselvesandourPosterity...
protectthefreedomforpeople
currentlylivingandanywholiveinthefuture
Thereare7Articles(sections)withintheConstitution
1. LegislativeBranch
2. ExecutiveBranch
3. JudicialBranch
4. TheStates
5. AmendmentProcess
6. Debts,Supremacy,Oaths
7. Ratification

BranchesofGovernment
Thelegislativebranchofthegovernmentcreateslaws.
ThelegislativebranchismadeupoftheSenateandtheHouseofRepresentatives(Congress)
Theexecutivebranchofgovernmentenforcesthelaws.
TheexecutivebranchismadeupofthePresidentandhisCabinet.
Thejudicialbranchofgovernmentinterpretsthelaws.
Thejudicialbranchismadeupofthecourtsystem,includingtheSupremeCourt.

PrinciplesofGovernment
The7principlesofgovernmentare:popularsovereignty,separationofpowers,checksandbalances,
limitedgovernment,federalism,republicanism,andindividualrights.
Popularsovereignty
meanspeoplearethesourceofthegovernmentspower.
Separationofpowers
preventsanyonegrouporindividualfrombecomingtoopowerful.
Checksandbalances
arebuiltintotheConstitutionsothatonebranchofgovernmentcannot
holdallthepower.
Limitedgovernment
limitsthegovernmentspowersbylistingthepowersitdoesnothave.
Federalism
isthesysteminwhichthenationalandstategovernmentssharepower.
Republicanism
allowspeopletoelecttheirpoliticalrepresentatives.
Individualrights
guaranteeallbasiclibertiesofcitizensareintheBillofRights.

ElectoralCollege
Theelectoralcollegeisagroupofrepresentativesfromeachstatewhoofficiallydeterminetheoutcome
ofpresidentialelections.
Apresidentialcandidatemustearnamajorityofpointsfromtheelectoralcollegetowintheelection.
Thecurrentnumberofpointsneededis270towin.

BillofRights
TheBillofRightsisthefirsttenamendmentstotheConstitution.Itdefinestherightsofthepeopleand
limitsthepowerofgovernment.
1. TheFirstAmendment
protectsfreedomofspeech,religion,press,petition,andassembly.
2. TheSecondAmendment
guaranteestherightforstatestohavemilitiasandforindividualsto
keepandbearfirearms.
3. TheThirdAmendment
guaranteesthatnocitizenshallhavetohousesoldiersagainsttheirwill.
4. TheFourthAmendment
protectscitizensfromunlawfulsearchandseizure.
5. TheFifthAmendment
guaranteesthatyoucannotbetriedwithoutevidenceandyoucannotbe
forcedtotestify.
6. TheSixthAmendment
guaranteestherighttoaspeedytrial,tobeconfrontedbyyouraccusers
inpublic,andtohavealawyer.
7. TheSeventhAmendment
guaranteestherighttoajurytrial.
8. TheEighthAmendment
protectscitizensfromexcessivebailandcruelorunusualpunishment.
9. TheNinthAmendment
guaranteesindividualstherightsnotlisted.
10. TheTenthAmendment
givespowersnotgiventothefederalgovernmentandnotprohibitedin
thestates,tothestatesandthepeople.