Quarter One: Unit Four

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1 SS.7.C.1.5 Articles of Confederation ****At the end of this lesson, I will be able to do the following: Students will identify the weaknesses of the government under the Articles of Confederation (i.e., Congress had no power to tax, to regulate trade, or to enforce its laws; the national government lacked a national court system [judicial branch] and central leadership [executive branch]; and changes to the Articles required unanimous consent of the 13 states). **** Terms I need to know at the end of this lesson. Articles of Confederation (weaknesses) Shay s Rebellion Debt Key Events: Year Event 1775 Revolutionary War begins (the 13 Colonies revolt against the British) Constitutional Convention 1776 Declaration of Independence written and approved by the Continental Congress 1781 Ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all 13 states March 1, The Articles created a loose confederation of independent states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments Revolutionary War Ends Britain recognizes the independence of the USA (Treaty of Paris) US Constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, PA [May 25 - Sept. 17] US Constitution ratified by 9 states [June 22] and becomes the supreme law of the USA Critical Background Information: Mark the text with a purpose! (NUMBER PARAGRAPHS) 1. The main parts of the Articles of Confederation The first government of the United States following the Declaration of Independence was the Articles of Confederation ( ). A confederation is a statecentered system of government where the power is held at the state level. The Declaration of Independence spoke of the many abuses of King George III, who, as a king ruled over the executive, legislative and judicial powers of the government in the colonies. In the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson stated that both King George III and the form of government in place at the time both failed to protect the colonists life, liberty and pursuit of happiness..aka natural rights. What did John Locke say that citizens could do if their government did not protect their rights? The colonists decided to create a government that was quite different from a unitary system where the powers of government were concentrated in a single person, the king. This confederal system reflected the colonists fear of a powerful central government or a king that held all the power. Under the Articles of Confederation, states kept their freedom and independence. Each of the 13 states had a vote in the weak national Congress (appointed by the state governments), a unanimous vote of all 13 states was required for the Articles to be amended. That was difficult when each state was looking out for 1

2 themselves. The national Congress was also denied the power to tax, so it could not pay for the army and navy needed to defend the nation. The national Congress also lacked the power to regulate trade. Congress also could not enforce its own laws. As for the other powers of government, there was no national court system nor was there a national executive. The result of this system was that each state acted in many ways as an independent country. The lack of a national court system meant that criminals committing crimes in one state would often flee to another state where they could not be punished. Without a national military, states that were attacked from outside forces or from inside forces (like a rebellion) could not turn to the national government for support or resources for their defense. The result of these state actions was that the states, despite being part of the same country, did not function as a nation. For instance, fears emerged that the 13 states functioning as independent countries would make the nation vulnerable to attack by Spain, France, by Native Americans. (Or what about if Great Britain wanted to come back???) Responding to Shay s Rebellion Shay s Rebellion was a citizen rebellion that began in Two thousand western Massachusetts farmers marched on county courthouses to prevent their homes and land from being foreclosed upon and taken from them. The farmers land was threatened with foreclosure because they were assured that they did not have to pay taxes and other debts on their land during the Revolutionary War. These promises were not kept, which prompted the farmers to revolt. Congress would not respond because it was too weak and did not collect federal taxes therefore it did not have its own army. Shay s Rebellion made it very clear that big changes needed to be made. The federal government needed the power to collect taxes to be able to form a United States military. **What did Shay s Rebellion make obvious? The lack of a weak national Congress along with each state s independent and often conflicting actions, raised concerns that the Articles of Confederation were not designed in a way to protect the new nation. The Articles of Confederation definitely did not UNITE the states. In February 1787, Alexander Hamilton called for a constitutional convention, a Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government to take place the following May. The original purpose was to amend or tweak the Articles of Confederation. In May 1787, 12 of the 13 states met in Philadelphia, PA for this purpose. It became apparent that tweaking the Articles of Confederation would not do and the outcome of the Constitutional Convention was the U.S. Constitution which was completed on September 17, 1787 and sent to the states for their review and ratification or approval. Purpose ***Why did they meet at the Constitutional Convention? ***What was the outcome of the Constitutional Convention? Outcome 2

3 SS.7.C.1.5 Articles of Confederation Triple D! Define Describe Draw Word/Term Articles of Confederation Paragraph # in the reading Definition/Describe/Draw Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: Confederation (or confederal system of government) Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: Weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: 3

4 Constitutional Convention Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: debt Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: Shay s Rebellion Define: Describe in your own words: Draw: 4

5 NOTES: What does the Constitution look like???? FYI: There are Articles and Amendments Article V (5)= 5

6 SS.7.C.1.5 Constitution Fixes Weakness in Articles of Confederation 1. There was no central leadership (executive branch) 2. Congress had no power to tax 3. Congress had no power to regulate trade 4. The national government lacked a national court system (judicial branch) 5. Changes to the Articles required unanimous consent of the 13 states. 6. Congress Excerpts had no power of the to enforce U.S. Constitution its laws Directions: Below are six excerpts from the U.S. Constitution. Summarize the excerpts in your own words. Then, compare the excerpt to the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and determine which weakness is related to the excerpt. US Constitution: Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the Unites States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? US Constitution: Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To regulate Commerce foreign Nations, and among the several States What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? US Constitution: Article II, Section 3:.he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? US Constitution: Article III, Section 1: The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? US Constitution: Article II, Section 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? US Constitution: Article V: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution What does this mean? Which weakness does this fix? 6

7 SS.7.C.1.8 Federalists and Anti-Federalists We need a strong central government! We need a bill of rights! ****At the end of this lesson, I will be able to do the following: identify the viewpoints of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists about the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. compare the viewpoints of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists about the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. recognize the Anti-Federalists reasons for the inclusion of a bill of rights in the U.S. Constitution. **** Terms I need to know at the end of this lesson. Federalist Viewpoints Federalist Papers Anti-Federalist Viewpoints Anti-Federalist Papers Bill of Rights Ratification Background Reading: Mark the text with a purpose! During the period from the drafting and proposal of the Constitution between May and September, 1787, to its ratification or approval in 1788 there was an intense debate on ratification. During this period, people basically divided into two groups, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. People opposed to the ratification of the Constitution were called the Anti-Federalists. They were concerned that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal, or national, government at the expense of the state governments. They were also concerned that, within the federal government, the legislative and executive branches were too powerful. Specifically, the Anti-Federalists were concerned that the necessary and proper clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which allows Congress to do what it believes is necessary and proper in order to carry out its other responsibilities, was too broad and would give Congress too much power. Anti-Federalists were also concerned that the Constitution lacked a specific listing of rights or a bill of rights. They believed that a bill of rights was essential to protect the people from the federal government. The Revolutionary War had just been fought because the American people needed to defend their rights. With the war experience still in mind, the Anti-Federalists did not want a powerful national government taking away those rights. The lack of a bill of rights became the focus of the Anti-Federalist campaign against ratification. To communicate their concerns, Anti-Federalists such as Patrick Henry wrote essays and newspaper articles to spread their point of view and these writings became known as the Anti-Federalist Papers. Other Anti- Federalists were George Mason and Thomas Jefferson. 7

8 The supporters of the proposed Constitution called themselves Federalists. For the Federalists, the Constitution was necessary in order to protect the liberty and independence that was gained from the American Revolution. The main arguments in favor of ratifying the Constitution were stated in a series of essays published in newspapers written by James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay called the Federalist Papers. They believed that the three branches of the national government separated the powers and protected the rights of the people. Each branch represents a different aspect of the people, and because all three branches are equal, no one group can assume control over another. They also believed that a listing of rights can be a dangerous thing. If the federal government were to protect specific listed rights, what would stop it from violating or abusing rights that were not listed? Since they cannot list all the rights, the Federalists argued that it is better to list no rights at all. Overall, the Federalists were more organized in their efforts. By June of 1788, the Constitution was close to ratification or approval. Nine states had voted to ratify it (eight voted yes and New York at first voted no ), and only one more (New Hampshire) was needed. To achieve this, the Federalists agreed that once Congress met, it would draft a bill of rights. Finally, New York and Virginia approved, and the Constitution was a reality. Interestingly, the Bill of Rights (1 st Ten Amendments) was not originally a part of the Constitution, and yet it has proved to be highly important to protecting the rights of the people. Bill of Rights Video: Use the first chart to take notes after reading and while watching the video. The notes will help you complete the next activity. Ideas for notes: Federalist Anti-Federalist Beliefs Who? Essays Reasons 8

9 View Points of the Federalist and Anti Federalist From the background reading, the video and your notes tell me what you know. Question: Answer in a complete, well-developed sentence. What were the Federalist viewpoints? Who were some Federalists? Paragraph # What were the Federalist papers? What were the Anti-Federalist viewpoints? Who were some Anti-Federalists? What were the Anti-Federalist papers? What is the Bill of Rights? What does ratification mean? If you were alive in 1787 would you be a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist? Why? 9

10 SS.7.C.1.7 Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances ****At the end of this lesson, I will be able to do the following: Students will explain the concept of limited government as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Students will describe and distinguish between the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances. Students will analyze how government power is limited by separation of powers and/or checks and balances. Students will be able to recognize examples of separation of powers and checks and balances. **** Terms I need to know at the end of this lesson. Limited Government Separation of Powers Checks and Balances Constitutional Government ************************************************************************************* The framers of the Constitution feared too much centralized power. Therefore at the national level, they created three different branches of government to administer three different types of power. (Which Enlightenment thinker came up with this idea? ) The legislative branch made the laws through a Congress of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The executive branch enforced the laws through a president and many advisors called cabinet members. And the judicial branch interpreted the laws through a Supreme Court and other lower courts. In the words of James Madison: The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. (What does Madison mean? ) Within the separation of powers, each of the three branches of government has checks and balances over the other two. For instance, Congress makes the laws, but the President can veto them and the Supreme Court can declare them unconstitutional. The President enforces the law, but Congress must approve executive appointments and the Supreme Court rules whether executive action is constitutional. The Supreme Court can strike down actions by both the legislative and executive branches, but the President nominates Supreme Court justices and the Senate confirms or denies their nominations. ************************************************************************************* Complete: The legislative branch is made up of, comprised of the House of and the. The executive branch is made up of the and his. The judicial branch is made up of the and lower federal courts. 10

11 SS.7.C.1.7 Principles of the Constitution:

12 SS.7.C.1.9 Rule of Law "Ours is a government of liberty by, through and under the law. No man is above it, and no man is below it." - Theodore Roosevelt ****At the end of this lesson, I will be able to do the following: distinguish between the characteristics of a society that operates under the rule of law and one that does not. assess the importance of the rule of law in protecting citizens from arbitrary and abusive uses of government power. evaluate the impact of the rule of law on governmental officials and institutions (accountability to the law, fair procedures, decisions based on the law, consistent application, enforcement of the law, and transparency of institutions). Explore the RULE OF LAW Tutorial and complete the following: Define RULE OF LAW in your own words: List and describe the principles of RULE OF LAW: What if RULE OF LAW did not exist? List some characteristics of a society that does NOT operate under RULE OF LAW? * * * * *****QUICK REVIEW***** Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation: Congress had no power to OR to regulate to its laws the national government lacked a national system [judicial branch] the national government did not have central leadership [ branch] changes to the Articles required unanimous consent of the 13. Legislative, executive, judicial= Congress makes the laws, but the President can veto them and the Supreme Court can declare them unconstitutional This is an example of 12 Which group of people wanted to ratify the Constitution as it was? Which group of people wanted to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution?

Quarter One: Unit Four

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