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NJCU POLI 102 - The Constitutional Convention

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The Constitutional ConventionOverviewConstitutional ConventionSlide 4Slide 5Slide 6Slide 7Slide 8Basic PrinciplesSlide 10Slide 11Checks and BalancesSlide 13Basic features of the ConstitutionStructure/OrganizationSlide 16Slide 17Slide 18Amending the ConstitutionSlide 20Slide 21Constitution TodaySlide 23Slide 24Slide 25Ratification CalculationsThe Constitutional ConventionUS PoliticsOverview•Basic Principles•The Organization/Structure of the New Government•The Road to RatificationConstitutional Convention•Virginia Plan (Edmund Randolph)–bicameral legislature, lower house elected by people, upper house elected by lower house from names submitted by state legislatures. –seats in both allocated by population size–executive chosen by legislature, single term–national judiciary, chosen by legislature, life terms–national gov sovereignConstitutional Convention•New Jersey Plan (William Paterson)–unicameral legislature, each state equal–legislature regulate trade/commerce and tax states (proportional to population)–legislature elects “collegial” executive–executive selects national judiciary–national gov sovereignConstitutional Convention•Connecticut (Great) Compromise (Roger Sherman) –bicameral legislature•one house based on proportional representaion•one house based on state equalityConstitutional Convention•But if one house based on proportional representation, what should serve as basis? –geography?–wealth?–population?Constitutional Convention•They settle on population, but that in turn raised the question as to who should count as part of the population•In particular, should slaves count as part of a state’s population?Constitutional ConventionConvention works out a compromise, whereby each slave counts as 3/5ths of a free personBasic Principles•Three guiding principles of the Constitution:–Separation of Powers–Checks and Balances–FederalismBasic Principles•Separation of Powers:–The division of the national government into three distinct branches corresponding to the basic functions of government:•Legislature (make laws)•Executive (administer the laws)•Judiciary (interpret and enforce the laws)Basic Principles•Checks and Balances–Powers/Responsibilities given to one branch of government are offset by powers delegated to another branch.•e.g., Congress may pass a bill, but it doesn’t become law until the President signs it.•President can veto legislation, but Congress can override the vetoChecks and BalancesBasic Principles•Federalism–Shared power relations between the national government and the states–An attempt to forge a path between the strong central government of a unitary model and the weakened central government of a confederationBasic features of the Constitution–Creates bicameral legislature (Congress)•People elect the House of Representatives•State legislatures elect Senators–Creates independent executive (President)•Chosen by the Electoral College–Creates national judiciary (Supreme Court)•Nominated by President; Confirmed by SenateStructure/Organization•Legislature: Congress–bicameral (2 houses)•House of Representatives–based on population; the more people in the state, the more representatives it receives•Senate–each state equal representation–2 senators per state, each senator receives one vote»contrast with Articles where each state delegation had a single voteStructure/Organization•Executive–President–Vice President–Cabinet–Executive AgenciesStructure/Organization•Judiciary–Supreme Court–Other federal courts created by CongressBasic features of the Constitution•Power concentrated at the national level–“Supremacy” Clause (Article 6)•New Powers (most are given to Congress)–Power to levy/collect taxes–Regulate interstate commerce–Raise and maintain a standing army–enact all laws “necessary and proper”Amending the Constitution•Two primary means for amending the constitution:–Formal •actual changes in language of Constitution through addition or deletion)–Informal•changes in ways in which we interpret the language of the ConstitutionAmending the ConstitutionProposa l2/3rds vote of both houses of CongressNational Convention called by 2/3rds of statesRatificationLegislatures of 3/4ths of statesBy conventions in 3/4ths of the statesAmending the Constitution•Informal method–Supreme Court reinterprets language of the Constitution•“Judicial Review”•Marbury v. Madison (1803)Constitution Today•Includes Amendments •Significant changes:–Bill of Rights (1st through 10th Amendments)–judicial review (Marbury v. Madison)–no slavery (13th Amendment)–expanded federal power (14th Amendment)–expanded voting rights (15th, 19th, 24th, 26th)–direct election of senators (17th Amendment)–terms limits on president (22nd Amendment)Constitutional Convention•17 September 1787 Convention adopts Constitution•Sends to the states for ratification (approval) •9 states required to ratify and adopt the Constitution•Ratification by special convention in each stateDelaware 12/7/1787 30-0Pennsylvania 12/12/87 46-23New Jersey 12/19/87 38-0Georgia 1/2/1788 26-0Connecticut 1/9/1788 128-40Mass. 2/6/1788 187-168Maryland 4/28/1788 63-11So. Carolina 5/23/1788 149-73New Hamp. 6/21/1788 57-46Virginia 6/25/1788 89-79New York 7/26/1788 30-27No. Carolina 11/21/89 187-77Rhode Is. 5/29/1790 34-32Delaware 12/7/87 30-0Pennsylvania 12/12/87 46-23 (12)New Jersey 12/19/87 38-0Georgia 1/2/1788 26-0Connecticut 1/9/1788 128-40Mass. 2/6/1788 187-168(10)Maryland 4/28/88 63-11So. Carolina 5/23/88 149-73New Hamp. 6/21/88 57-46 (6)Virginia 6/25/88 89-79 (6)New York 7/26/88 30-27 (2)No. Carolina 11/21/89 187-77Rhode Is. 5/29/90 34-32Ratification Calculations•The Constitution would not have been ratified if as few as 14 votes (about 1% of total cast), had changed sides in the debate•If 36 votes had changed, a majority of states would have voted against ratification•Given that it was so close, and that we think of the Constitution as a great success•Why was it so


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