A More Perfect Union - Ector County Independent School District


Each of the 13 states created their own governments.

 they all limited the power of the governor

 they wanted to keep the power in the hands of the people.

Americans won their independence, but not respect .

Other countries viewed the new gov’t as weak .

America needed to establish their own political institutions.

Constitution – plan of gov’t.

Republic – a gov’t in which citizens rule through elected representatives .

Americas 1 st constitution provided a central government, but states did not give up their power.


Not strong enough to handle

America’s problems

Could not pass laws easily.


America won independence.

Expanded foreign trade.

Overall - Articles of

Confederation did not work.

Thomas Jefferson proposed a plan for the new territories to become states.

Ordinance – law that established a procedure for surveying and selling the western lands north of the

Ohio River.

Northwest Ordinance –created a single northwest territory – eventually added 5 new states

Depression – a period when economic activity slows and unemployment increases.

The Revolutionary War brought a depression. Southern farms were damaged. Serious currency shortage.

1786 – Angry farmers lashed out.

Daniel Shay led more than 1000 farmers in Mass. to the state arsenal before being stopped by state militia.

Shays Rebellion frightened

Americans - they saw it as a government that could not control its people.

Questions were raised because of the American

Revolution for freedom.

Quakers - first antislavery society 1774.

Many slaves found freedom by fighting during the war.

States in the North began to make slavery illegal.

States in the South clung to slavery – would not give it up.

The leaders of the new nation saw that the Articles of

Confederation was not working and something needed to be done.

James Madison and

Alexander Hamilton proposed a Constitutional Convention with Washington as presiding officer.

Virginia Plan – called for a two-house legislature, a chief executive, a court system, and a proportional vote.

New Jersey Plan – called for a one–house legislature with one vote for each state

There were problems with both plans, a compromise was called for.

Roger Sherman of

Connecticut proposed a two-house legislature that consisted of a lower house – the House of

Representatives, elected according to the state’s population, - and an upper house – the Senate, each state would have 2 members.

The question was how to count slaves – the answer was to count each slave as 3/5 of a free person. (Out of 5 slaves, they would only count as 3 votes)

Was adopted on September 17, 1787

Known as the Supreme Law of the Land

Magna Carta – 1215 – limited the power of the king

English Bill of Rights – 1689 – gave the people the right to a fair trial

John Locke – English philosopher that believed all men have natural rights

Baron de Montesquieu – French writer that said the powers of gov’t should be separate and equal

The first three articles of the

Constitution describe the powers and responsibilities of each branch of gov’t

Legislative Branch –makes the lawscomposed of the House of Representatives and the Senate

Executive Branch – president – carries out the laws

Judicial Branch – court system of the U.S. – established the Supreme Court and all other courts

System of Checks and Balances – limits the gov’t

Constitution had to be ratified by the states

Federalists – supported the


 Benjamin Franklin and George


Anti-Federalists – against the


Insisted on a bill of rights

Patrick Henry

The Federalist Papers – essays written to encourage the acceptance of the constitution