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Philadelphia Why? 1787 Articles of Confederation had called for a WEAK CENTRAL GOVERNMENT – this was not working. Who? James Madison (the Father of the Constitution), Benjamin Franklin. George Washington was chosen as president of the Convention. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were not there! No women, African Americans or Native Americans – no rights as citizens! Even though the Articles of Confederation had failed, the influences remained the same when the convention started. The Magna Carta The English Bill of Rights Both were designed to limit the power of the monarch and increase the power of Parliament Some wanted small changes to the Articles of Confederation Some wanted to rewrite the Articles completely. Even those that wanted to rewrite completely had different ideas Representation Tariffs Slavery The strength of the central government Virginia Gave more power to the national government A bicameral legislature (two houses) Number in both houses would be based on population! New Plan – favored by the large states Jersey Plan – favored by the small states Gave more power to state governments Unicameral legislature (one house) Number of representatives are equal from every state Making The Great Compromise Bicameral legislature (two houses) Lower house – the House of Representatives it work! Representation based on population of the state Upper house – the Senate Representation based on equality (2 senators from each state) Investigative Question: Why did the Founding Fathers keep slavery in the Constitution? (SHEG – Reading Like a Historian) The Southern states wanted enslaved Africans to be counted in their state populations for representation in Congress but did not want to count them for taxation because they were considered property. The Northern states were in favor of counting slaves for taxation purposes but not for representation in Congress The Three-Fifths Compromise • A slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person when determining representation and taxation. Congress makes up the Legislative branch It is covered under Article 1 of the Constitution It is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate Duties Makes (writes) the laws Confirms presidential appointments Approves treaties Grants money Declares war 435 members The U.S. Census every 10 years determines how many representatives each state has. Requirements: Must be at least 25 years old Must live in the state/district where they were elected Must have been a U.S. citizen for seven years Term Two years 100 members Two members (senators) per state – equal representation Requirements Must be at least 30 years old Must live in the state they represent Must have been a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years Term Six years Two Senators Diane Feinstein Barbara Boxer 53 Representatives from California in the HOR Roseville is in the 4th Congressional District. Representative from the 4th District (represents Roseville) Tom McClintock Members terms. of Congress can serve unlimited The political party with more members in each house is the majority party The Speaker of the House is the leader of the HOR and is elected by the majority party. The V.P. of the U.S. serves as president of the Senate – he does not participate in Senate debate but does vote if there is a tie. When Congress meets they are in “session” Both houses do their work in committees which are smaller groups of congressmen. Each committee studies certain types of bills. Only the HOR can introduce bills of revenue (that deal with money or spending). How bills become laws Bills can be introduced in either the HOR or the Senate (except money bills which have to start in the HOR) Example – a bill is introduced in the HOR. It goes to committee (and subcommittee) in the HOR. It is then presented to the entire HOR. If it passes it goes over to the Senate for the same process. If both houses pass the bill it goes to the President for his signature. If he signs it, it is a law. He may choose to not sign it – this is a veto. Other paths If the President does not respond to the bill within 10 working days it becomes a law If the President does not respond to the bill within 10 days and Congress has adjourned in those 10 days, the bill dies - this is a Pocket Veto. Congress may override the Presidents veto The bill goes back to Congress who can override the veto with a 2/3 vote in each house. The bill then becomes a law without the President’s signature – Checks and Balances!!! Necessary and Proper Clause “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Congress has to stretch its delegated powers to deal with new or unexpected issues – Congress may “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper” for carrying out its duties. This clause can be stretched (like elastic) to provide flexibility for the government. Covered under Article II of the Constitution Enforces the laws passed by Congress The President is the head of the executive branch. Qualifications to be president or vice president Must be at least 35 years old Must be a native-born U.S. citizen Must have been a resident of the U.S. for 14 years The president and vice president serve four year terms The 22nd Amendment limited the president to two terms. George Washington set the standard for presidents to step down after two terms. FDR was elected to four terms. He was the only president to serve more than 2 terms. If the president dies, resigns or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president. How is a president removed from office? House of Representatives can impeach, or vote to charge president with serious crimes; Senate tries impeachment cases; Congress can remove president from office if found guilty 1. Vice President 2. Speaker of the House of Representatives 3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate 4. Secretary of State 5. Secretary of the Treasury 6. Secretary of Defense 7. Attorney General 8. Secretary of the Interior 9. Secretary of Agriculture 10. Secretary of Commerce Veto Executive Orders Pardons • President can veto, or cancel, laws that Congress has passed • Congress can override veto with a two-thirds majority vote • President can issue executive orders, commands that have the power of law • These orders carry out laws affecting the Constitution, treaties, and statutes. • President may grant pardons, or freedom from punishment • Granted to persons convicted of federal crimes or facing criminal charges Presidential Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Appoints ambassadors and other officials Conducts foreign policy Makes treaties Executive Duties: Cabinet The executive departments do the work of the executive branch. There are 15 departments. The heads of the 15 departments make up the president’s cabinet – his advisors. Video: Constitution Hall Pass: The Presidency (22:09) The Founding Fathers felt an Electoral College was necessary for a few reasons: First, they questioned whether the electorate was capable of selecting an adequate leader for the nation if the people chose the “wrong” President, the EC could override the vote. Second, voters had very little knowledge of candidates outside of their local area or state voting was based primarily on REGION Step 1: The Popular Vote On election day, voters choose who they want to be President & Vice President What we’re actually choosing are ELECTORS who represent the political party of the candidate we like These electors are then supposed to vote for the candidate that wins the popular vote in a given state Step 2: “Winner Take All” The EC system is “winner take all.” That is, the candidate with the most popular votes gets ALL of the electoral votes (except in Maine and Nebraska where the electoral votes can be divided) Step 3: The electors then meet in the State capitol to cast votes for the candidate they represent (Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December). Those votes are then sent to the President of the Senate in DC The president of the Senate counts the votes on January 6 (this is done before Congress) If no Presidential candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the US House of Representatives takes a vote to determine the winner (this happened in 1800 & 1824) Richard M Johnson 1824 Andrew Jackson (41.3% of the popular votes, John Quincy Adams 30.9% of the popular vote) Jackson received 99 of 261 electoral votes more than any other candidate but not enough to win The House of Representatives had to decide the election! Samuel J. Tilden 4,288,546 popular votes 184 electoral votes Rutherford B Hayes 4,034,311 popular votes 185 electoral votes Grover Cleveland 5,534,488 popular votes 168 electoral votes Benjamin Harrison 5,443,892 popular votes 233 electoral votes Al Gore 50,992,335 popular votes 266 electoral votes George • W Bush 50,455,156 (537,179 votes less) 271 electoral votes Florida was decided by only 537 votes! Judicial branch—system of federal courts headed by U.S. Supreme Court Article III of the Constitution outlines courts’ duties – to interpret the laws Federal courts can strike down a state or federal law if the court finds law unconstitutional Federal court judges are appointed by the president for life. The lower federal courts are divided into 94 districts. The Courts of Appeals review cases from the lower courts. The Supreme Court Hears appeals of decisions by the Court of Appeals Cases usually involve important constitutional or public-interest issues. Has nine justices, led by a chief justice The current Chief Justice is John G. Roberts, Jr. WHY? TO KEEP ANY ONE BRANCH FROM GROWING TOO POWERFUL Federalists Federalists – supporters of the Constitution who wanted a strong central government. vs. Anti-Federalists The Federalist Papers – essays supporting ratification of the Constitution written by Madison, Hamilton and Jay. Anti Federalists – opponents of the Constitution because they believed it gave too much power to the central government and it did not guarantee individual rights.