SOLUTION: The University of Texas at Dallas The Limitations Placed on the Government Essay

The U.S. Constitution
The Church of England
In the beginning, before England began colonizing the
New World, England was a Catholic country.
 In the 1500s, King Henry VIII (8th) of England broke away
from the Catholic church and established the official
Church of England.
Protestant Reformation
 Was a movement in the 1500’s to challenge the
Catholic Church.
 A German Monk, Martin Luther posted the 95 theses
on the church of Wittenberg Castle.
 Opposed the idea of Devine Right of Kings. This
movement the idea was that people could challenge
the crown and church.
Pilgrims Come to America
In the mid 1600s a religious group called the
Separatists tried to separate from the church of
England..
Pilgrims Want to Escape
At first, the Pilgrims fled to Holland in order to escape persecution
however as time went on, the Pilgrims realized they didn’t like living
in Holland and would rather start a new colony in the Americas.
Social Contract
Once the pilgrims arrived around 1620, they decided to
form a set of rules which is known as a……..
Social contract-an agreement between people and their
leaders in which people give up certain liberties so their
own liberties are protected.
Two Tiered System
 By the 1700’s, there were formal colonies in the Americas
still under British rule. Although they had their own
legislative bodies in the colonies, their allegiance was still
to the crown.
 Along with a king, there was a parliament that passed
many policies that the colonists disagreed with.
 Colonists had no representation in the Parliament.
French and Indian War
 Between 1756 and 1763 Britain and France were at war.
 Battle over who would the world’s super powers.
 France had Native American allies hence the name “French
and Indian War.”
 As a result of the war, Great Britain is in debt and starts to
tax the colonists.
Sugar Act (1764)
 Taxed colonies on imported goods such as sugar,
molasses, coffee, and textiles.
Stamp Act (1765)
 Taxed the colonists on the paper used for all legal
documents, bill of sales, deeds, advertisements,
newspapers.
Quartering Act (1765)
 Demanded that each colonial assembly provide
supplies for British Soldiers.
 Extended the policy to mandate assemblies provide
housing for the soldiers.
Boston Tea Party (1773)
 Tea Act (1773) – Colonists were taxed on tea.
 Colonists revolted against the Tea Act and dumped
thousands of pounds of tea into the Boston harbor.
Origins of the Declaration of
Independence
John Locke
Two Treatises of Government (1680)
“Every person has the right to “life, liberty and
property,” and government may not interfere with the
this right.
Origins of the Declaration of
Independence
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Social Contract (1782)
People enter into a “social contract” with the
government to ensure protection of their lives, liberties,
and property.
Declaration of Independence
Background:
▪ Written by Thomas Jefferson but he wasn’t the only person. The
other authors included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger
Sherman Robert Livingston.
▪ These men were part of the Second Continental Congress and
approved the document for signature on July 2, 1776.
▪ On July 4, 1776 delegates begin signing the document, which
John Hancock was the first to sign with the largest signature.
 What is interesting is that not everybody signed the document on
July 4t. In fact the document was not complete with signatures until
August.
Main Themes of the Declaration of
Independence
Natural Rights
The rights possessed by all humans including the rights to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Themes of the Declaration of
Independence
Consent of the Governed
Government powers are derived from the people.
People have the right to choose their government but
also to abolish it.
Articles of Confederation (1781-1789)
 An agreement among the 13 founding colonies that
legally established the United States of America.
 Also was a written document that served as its first
constitution
Confederation
 A union of independent states in which each state has
its own sovereignty.
 The central government has little authority.
Government Structure under the
Articles of Confederation
 Unicameral Congress
 Every state (colony) had two to seven delegates but
only one vote.
 No legislative, judicial, or executive branch.
 Any legislation required nine out of 13 votes.
 To amend the Articles of Confederation required all 13
votes.
Weaknesses of the Articles of
Confederation
First Weakness
 Central Government did not have the power to tax
the colonies.
 Could only request taxes through the state
legislatures.
Second Weakness
 Central Government did not have the power to
regulate interstate commerce.
 Could not handle disputes amongst the colonies.
Third Weakness
 Central government could not regulate international
trading.
 Colonies had their own trade relationships with
foreign countries.
Fourth Weakness
 The Articles of Confederation were difficult to amend.
 To amend the Articles of Confederation required
unanimous approval from all 13 representatives.
The Virginia Plan-James Madison




Three Branches of Government
Bicameral Legislature (House and Senate)
Each house based on proportional representation.
An executive chosen by the legislature. Included a
President.
 A separate national judiciary
New Jersey Plan-William Patterson




Three branches of government.
Unicameral Congress (one body).
Each state has equal representation.
An executive office composed of several people (no
formal president) chosen by the legislature.
 Supreme Court (Judiciary) would be appointed by the
executive office.
The Great Compromise (Connecticut
Compromise) Robert Sherman






Three branches of government.
Bicameral Legislature (House and Senate)
The House is based on proportional representation.
The Senate is based on equal representation.
An executive branch led by a formal president.
A national judiciary (members of the Supreme Court
chosen by the President.)
3/5 Compromise
 A negotiation made in the Continental Congress to
count each slave as 3/5 of a person.
Separation of Powers
 Each branch of government has a distinct function.
Checks and Balances
 A system in which each branch of government can
monitor the actions of the other branches.
The U.S. Constitution
 On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine convention
delegates signed the Constitution.
 The delegates delivered the constitution to their state
legislatures for ratification.
Federalists
 The name given to individuals who supported the
constitution as presented by convention delegates.
 Supported a strong national government.
Anti-federalists
 Those who opposed the Constitution as it was
presented by convention delegates.
 Opposed the constitution because it gave too much
power to the national government.
The Federalist Papers
 Published papers by James Madison, Alexander
Hamilton, and John Jay in support of ratification of
the constitution.
 First published in the state of New York to convince
ratification of the Constitution.
Structure of the U.S.
Constitution
Preamble
 The introduction of the constitution
 Outlines the goals of the government.
Preamble Language
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a
more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic
Tranquility, provide for the common defense , promote
the General Welfare, and the secure the Blessings of
Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States of
America.
Article I: The Legislative Branch
 Delegates lawmaking authority to Congress.
 Describes the structure of the legislative branch.
Article II: The Executive Branch
 Describes the authority of the President.
 This article gives the President authority to ensure
that the “laws are faithfully” executed.
Article III: The Judicial Branch
 Describes the judicial branch.
 Establishes the Supreme Court and it delegates to
Congress the authority to establish inferior courts.
Article IV: State to State Relations
 Describes how states should respect the rights and
liberties of citizens of all states.
 States must also respect the legal proceedings of
other states.
Article V: The Amendment Process
 To change the Constitution there are Two Methods:
 Proposing an Amendment requires 2/3 vote from
both the House and Representatives and Senate.
 Ratifying an Amendment requires ¾ of state’s
legislatures.
Second Method (Never has been
used)
 Proposing an Amendment requires 2/3 of state
legislatures to petition Congress to consider an
amendment.
 Ratifying an Amendment requires ¾ of special state
conventions.
Article VI: Supremacy of the
Constitution
 Describes how the National Government will be
legally responsible for all debts incurred by Congress.
 The national constitution is supreme over state
constitution.
Article VII: Ratification of the
Constitution
 Discusses how the Constitution must be ratified by
special state conventions.
 Originally required 9 out of the 13 votes in each state
to ratify the constitution.

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