• Alliance among 13 states
• Each state had one vote in the
• Federal government had limited
PROBLEMS: What problems emerged?
• States functioned independently
• State representatives were not fairly
• The Articles were very hard to amend
• Government did not have power to
raise taxes or regulate trade
•Shay’s Rebellion highlights the issue
Shay’s Rebellion
MA heavily taxed middle incomes
Farmers called for revisions to the state
Shays led a march on a federal arsenal
Governor sent militia to stop rebellion
Illustrated starkly the weaknesses of the Articles
of Confederation
• Constitution written in 1787 at
Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
• The delegates had to solve a
number of problems at the
Fair Representation
in the Legislature
Virginia Plan
• two house legislature (bi-cameral)
• number of representatives based upon population
• lower house would elect upper house
• checks and balances
• supported by large states
Fair Representation
in the Legislature
New Jersey Plan
• one house legislature (unicameral)
• equal number of representatives from
all states
• each state would have one vote
• the house would appoint executive and
• supported by small states
The Great Compromise
Two House Legislature
• state legislature chooses senators
(has been modified)
• equal representation for each state
House of Representatives:
• based upon the population of the
• voters choose representatives
Southern States
• Wanted slaves
counted in the
population when
figuring out the
number of
representatives each
state should have
• Did not want slaves
counted for taxes
Northern States
• Did not want
slaves to be counted
to determine
• Wanted slaves
counted for taxes
The 3/5ths Compromise
 Compromise counted three-fifths of
“other” persons for both
representation and taxation
 Congress also forbidden to interfere
with slave trade until 1808
How do you make sure
the Federal
Government does not
have too much power?
three branches of government
•checks & balances limiting three
branches powers
The President carries out the laws and
can veto a law. He is commander and
chief of the military and can be
impeached if he breaks the law.
BRANCH (Article 1)
The Congress is
made up of a twohouse legislature
(Senate and House
of Representatives).
Congress is
responsible for
making the laws.
(Article 3)
The Supreme Court
and other federal
courts interpret the
law of the land and
decide if it is
• 9 out of 13 states had to ratify
(approve) the Constitution
• Debate ensued between the
Federalists and Anti-Federalist
• The Federalist side was outlined in
the Federalist Papers
Convincing 9 states
to ratify the
Who should have the power?
• form of government where power is
divided between a national
government and state governments
1. In a federal government who should have more power –
the national or state government? Why would this
concern citizens?
2. What about individual powers? How do the rights of
individuals fit into the division of powers? Why would this
concern citizens?
What types of government did
the Federalists and AntiFederalists prefer?
Anti-Federalists wanted more representation.
They worried that 1 person could not
adequately represent 30,000 people.
Federalists disagreed.
After the Constitution was written, it had to be
ratified by 9 states…extensive debates
between Federalists (supported the
Constitution) and Anti-Federalists (opposed a
strong central government).
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
Read document written by
Alexander Hamilton (remind me to give you
my cheat sheet…I always forget!)
Read document by Melancton
Fill in the graphic organizer
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
What was Hamilton’s position on
What was Smith’s position?
What arguments did they make in support of
their claims?
Based on these arguments, what type of
people would you guess tended to be
Federalists? Anti-Federalists?
PROMPT: If you could have chosen, what side
would you have supported?
Do you see versions of these issues being
debated today? (Look something up!)
In favor of ratification
Property owners, landed
rich, merchants
Believed in elitism. Saw
themselves and those of
their class as most “Fit” to
Support concentrated in
coastal areas and large cities
Powerful central
government . 2-house
legislature. Representative
democracy, with single reps
for 30,000 people
Leaders included Hamilton
and Madison (Known as
Opposed ratification
Middle-class, small farmers,
shopkeepers, laborers &
favored civil liberties (ind.
Rights) over strong govt
Believed in decency of the
common man &
participatory democracy
Viewed elites as corrupt.
Included Patrick Henry,
George Clinton, Mercy Otis
Thomas Jefferson, “Brutus”
and “Cato”
What actually happened?
New York ratified
the Constitution
by a vote of 30-27
(the narrowest
margin of victory
of any state that
met in 1787-88)
The Anti-Federalists lost
the battle but won the
war. The first 10
amendments to the
Constitution – the Bill of
Rights – were ratified in
1791. These addressed
many of the issues that
the Anti-Federalists
raised in the
To address these questions our Constitution:
A. Authorizes the Congress to make laws only in areas
granted to it.
B. Some lawmaking authority was left to the states.
C. A Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to
guarantee that the laws passed by the states and
Congress do not violate Civil Rights
Even with distribution of power being
included within the Constitution,
conflict still arises between states,
national government, and individual
Example #1: Medical Marijuana
Example #2: Gay Marriage
• Electoral College
 each state is assigned a number of electors
(number of senators and representatives combined)
 political parties in each state choose who will
serve as an elector
 citizens vote for their president (called the
popular vote)
 the popular vote is supposed to dictate the
electors votes – but four times in history the
candidate with the largest popular vote has lost the
Amending the Constitution
 there are two ways to amend the Constitution
– only one way has ever been used
 a bill can be proposed to amend the
Constitution, it must be passed by a 2/3 vote in
both the Senate and House of Representatives
 then the bill is sent to all the state
 3/4 of the states must approve the bill for
the Constitution to be amended
 there are currently 27 amendments – the
first ten are “The Bill of Rights”
• Impeachment
 House of Rep. must determine if
there is evidence that a crime has been
committed, if so, they submit articles
of impeachment to the Senate
 The Senate oversees the trial of the
accused government official
Andrew Johnson
 2/3 of Senate must vote guilty in
order for him/her to be removed from
 If found guilty, may NEVER hold
public office
 Crimes considered “impeachable” –
treason, bribery, other high crimes and
Bill Clinton
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