America Political Beginnings • Colonial Period & The Colonial Mindset:

America Political Beginnings
• Colonial Period & The Colonial Mindset:
– Ordered Government
• Organized government institutions/roles
– Limited Government
• Government is NOT all powerful.
– Representative Government
• Government served the will of the people
The Road to Independence
• King George take the British throne in 1760
– New taxes & more taxes on the colonies
– Colonists feel as if they are being mistreated
– Taxation without representation!
– Protests, organized resistance, etc. (Boston
Massacre, Boston Tea Party).
The Road to Independence
The First Continental Congress – 1774 in
– 1774 British Parliament passed the
Intolerable Acts in response to the troubles
in Boston
– Delegates from every colony except Georgia
– Discussed the situation
– Boycott British goods
– Sets up the Second Continental Congress
The Road to Independence
The Second Continental Congress – 1775 in
– British government has refused to compromise
– Revolutionary War had already begun
– All 13 colonies sent representatives
– Army is created and Georgia Washington
appointed commander in chief
– Adopts the Declaration of Independence in 1776
After Declaring Independence
• First State Constitutions
• Articles of Confederations
Problems with the Articles of
• Powerless to lay and collect taxes
• Powerless to regulate foreign and interstate
• Couldn’t enforce act of congress
• No national court system
• 9/ 13 required to pass laws
• Shay’s Rebellion is the last straw for the
Articles of Confederation
Need for a Stronger Government
• Constitutional Convention (May 1787)
– Virginia Plan
• Population-based representation in Congress
• Bicameral Congress
• 3 Branches
– New Jersey Plan
• Equal representation in Congress
• Unicameral Congress
The Great Compromise
• The Great Compromise leads us to what we
have today:
– Bicameral Congress, 3 Branches of Government.
• House of Representatives: Population
• Senate: Equal Representation
• 3/5th’s Compromise: Slavery.
– Slaves count as 3/5’s of a person towards
Ratifying the constitution
• Federalists
• Anti- federalists
The Constitution
“Supreme Law of the Land”
• Outline of the Constitution
– Sets out the basic principles & framework of
• Preamble
– Introduction
• Articles
– Outline basic organization and powers
– Relationship w/states
– Requirement for ratification
Six Principles
Popular Sovereignty
Limited Government
Separation of Powers
Check and Balances
Judicial Review
• A change to the constitution
• Four methods of adding an amendment.
– 1st proposed by 2/3 in congress, ratified by ¾ of
– 2nd proposed by congress, ratified by convention
in ¾ of states
– 3rd proposed by a national convention called by
congress at the request of ¾ of the states, ratified
by ¾ of state legislatures
– 4th proposed & ratified by a national convention
in ¾ of the states