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            The American Constitution


            The American Constitution
            By Zheng Min

            Articles of Confederation

            ? The first constitution is the Articles of Confederation. ? 1777 passed by the Continental Congress ? 1781 ratified by the states ? Our 1st form of government had many problems

            Articles of Confederation
            National Government Problems ? No national courts No power to tax No money meant no army Important laws had to be approved by at least 9 states ? No executive officer to enforce laws ? No way to control trade between states ? No way to settle quarrels between states

            Articles of Confederation
            State Government Problems ? States had more power ? They could tax ? They had courts ? States could make currency

            Constitutional Convention

            ? ? ? ? ?

            1787 Philadelphia, then the largest city in 1787 Independence Hall All 13 states came except Rhode Island Delegates include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington.

            Constitutional Convention
            ? Conflicts focus on the following issue: Representation,

            Slavery, Trade and Taxation On Representation Issue ? Virginia plan-large state plan According to this plan,
            the central government would be strong. The legislature would have more power than under the Articles, and a national executive and national judiciary also would have considerable power. The legislature would be divided into two houses, with representation based on population in each.

            ? New Jersey plan-small state plan According to this
            plan, the central government would be relatively strong, the legislature would be one house, with representation by states, which would have one vote each.

            ? Compromises made also called Connecticut Compromise

            Constitutional Convention
            On Slavery Issue: Delegates from the South, where slaves were one-third of the population, wanted slaves to count fully in order to boost the number of their representatives. Delegates from the North, where most states had outlawed slavery after the Revolution, did not want slaves to count at all. The Three-fifth Compromise, 3/5 of the slaves would be counted in apportioning the seats.

            Preamble to the U.S Constitution

            We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

            The U.S Constitution The Constitution is the supreme law of the land ? The American System of Government (政体) —federalism( 联邦制)based on the division of
            powers between federal (national) government and the state government

            ? Three Branches (三权分立) —power delegated to the federal government is
            divided into Legislative Branch(立法), Executive Branch(行政), and Judicial Branch(司法)

            The U.S. Constitution Quick Facts
            ? Primary Author: James Madison (Drafted the Virginia Plan) ? Origins: Proposed, Debated and Drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the Summer of 1787. The meetings of the Convention took place at Independence Hall. ? Ratified: June 21, 1788 (New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify, meeting the requirements set forth in Article VII of the Constitution.)

            The U.S Constitution

            Checks and Balances (制约平衡) 制约平衡)
            ? The framers of the Constitution established a system of checks and balances to prevent any branch government from getting too powerful. ? Example: Congress has the right to pass bills into law, but the president can veto them, which means the bill does not become a law

            Ratification of the Constitution ? Ratification was closely contested nationally during 1787 and 1788. ? Any 9 of 13 states were sufficient for ratification. ? People who advocated the establishment of a strong federal government and the adoption by the states of the Constitution are referred as Federalists. ? Opponents of the ratification of the U.S Constitution are referred as AntiFederalists.

            Ratification of the Constitution

            Any 9 of 13 states were sufficient for ratification. Delaware was the first to ratify the Constitution. The first large state to take action was Pennsylvania. New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify.


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