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50 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Shay's rebellion
national government -> not enough power, 1781 paper money outlawed, people must pay in gold or silver
Debtors prison
where many farmers and others went when they lost their land because they didnt have as much gold and silver
Daniel Shays
started rebellion against gold and silver instead of paper money. former soldier in revolution
Shays and followers
marched to Springfield planning to seize arsenal, state militia met and faught them, catching 150 rebels, Shays and others ran to Rhode Island
Reaction to the rebellion
MA voters elected new state government, new leaders promised to change strict laws against debtors
John Hancock
chosen as MA governor, pardoned leaders of revolt
Thomas Jefferson
U.S minister in Paris at time says "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing... it is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."
Why did rebellion upset people?
It proved the National government was weak - had no way to deal with such a crisis
A call for a convention
trade issues also worried people, VA law makers called for a convention of all states to discuss trade disputes
How many delegates showed up at convention?
5, Alexander Hamilton (NY), James Madison (VA) among them, Hamilton wrote statement saying what he thought was wrong with the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
what did hamilton call for?
special convention to stengthen national government - give it power to tax, pay debts, and some power over trade.
what convinced people that hamiltons convention was necessary?
news of Shays rebellion
The convention delegates
12 states sent delegates to the constitutional convention, only RI didnt attend
our founding fathers
55 highly educated delecates, half lawyers, rest planters, merchants, doctors (3/4 sat in continental congress) all were a part of the constitutional convention. NO women, blacks or Native Americans.
the convention assemblies
PA state house may 25, 1787- nominated president of convention- 55 yr old George Washington
The historical record
convention then decided on the rules for its meeting:
-all discussions secret- windows nailed shut
- James Madison kept better notes, called "Father of the Constitution" for his important role
Views on government
1. Necessary to protect natural rights and freedom; 2. people's consent needed - people should choose.
what did delegates design?
a republic that would protect liberty, yet not depend on the virtue of the ppl
the VA plan
4 days after start, Gov. Randolph presented this plan to convention, drawn up largely by James Madison, propsing a nation government of 3 parts
what were the three parts of national govt that the VA plan called for?
-Congress-Legislative branch= makes the laws
- executive branch = carrying out the laws
- US courts would see that justice was done under under laws
the debate begins
VA plan called for congress to have 2 houses. ppl would elect one of the houses directly, members of that house would elect members of 2nd house
why didnt some delegates like this idea?
because they felt that ordinary ppl coudlnt be trusted to do a good job electing representatives. they wanted state governments to choose the members of the congress
what did James Wilson of PA argue?
that govt. is made stronger through the involvement of its citizens- congress would be stronger if more ppl were involved in choosing it
What did the VA Plan call for?
1. members of one house elected directly by people; those members elect members of other house (some didn’t trust people to elect good leaders); 2. base number of representatives per state on state population (worried small states).
What was the NJ Plan?
Wm Patterson – one house, all states have same number of representatives.
What was the Great Compromise?
1. Members of one house – House of Represenatives - elected by people, number of reps according to population of each state; 2. members of other house – Senate - chosen by state lawmakers – 2 senators for each state.
What was the 3/5 Compromise?
Each slave counted as 3/5 of a person when determining population (compromise between allowing South to have much larger populations by counting their slaves, and forbidding them to count them as North wanted).
What tragic consequences did the 3/5 Compromise have?
Constitution officially recognized slavery.
What was the trade compromise?
Congress controlled trade between states and foreign trade – but NOT exports, ONLY imports. Also Congress could end slave trade in twenty years.
What was the Executive Branch compromise?
Didn’t trust the people to elect and really wanted a committee, but trusted George Washington so: 1. One person could be President, but Congress could IMPEACH (have a trial for misconduct); 2. President not elected by the people, but by a group of voters called ELECTORS. They were the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and each state has as many as their senators and representatives combined.
The SHARING OF POWER between a central or federal government and political subdivisions (states for us).
Why did the ANTI-FEDERALISTS oppose the proposed Constitution?
1. They thought it gave too much power to the federal government;
2. They thought liberty would only survive if the republic remained small.
What was Thomas Jefferson's opinion of the constitution?
He liked it but thought there should be a BILL OF RIGHTS included in it.
How did the FEDERALISTS counter the ANTI-FEDERALISTS' arguments?
1. Citizens were already safe because each state had its own Bill of Rights and because the House of Representatives was elected directly by the people and would protect their rights.
What was 'THE FEDERALIST'by Alexander Hamilton, JOhn Jay and James Madison?
Essays that presented the Federalists' arguments in favor of a strong central government.
In what order did the states ratify (approve) the Constitution?
Small states first, followed by Massachusetts. NH was the ninth and last vote needed to adopt the constitution. VA dragged its feet because Patrick Henry opposed it but finally passed it. NY, RI and NC finally ratified it.
What are the terms lengths for the three branches of government?
Legislative: Senate 6 years/House of Reps 2 years.
Executive: President and federal departments 4 years.
Judicial: appointed for life.
What does SEPARATION OF POWERS mean and why is it important?
It means that each of the three branches has its own power. It keeps any one branch from becoming too powerful.
Each branch has some POWER OVER OTHER BRANCHES so that they can keep an eye on each other.
What does UNCONSTITUTIONAL mean and who decides whether a law is unconstitutional?
It means that a law or action is written which contradicts or violates the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The courts decide whether a law or action is unconsitutional or not.
What are some powers that are shared by the federal and state governments?
taxation, borrowing money,building roads and setting up courts.
What are some powers that belong ONLY to the federal government?
Make treaties, coin money, tax imports, declare war.
What powers belong only to the states?
education of citizens, in-state trade, punishments for crimes.
What happens if there is a conflict between a federal and state laws?
The state has to go according to the federal law.
What is the Bill of Rights?
The first ten AMENDMENTS to the Constitution, written by James Madison and added in 1791.
What rights does the First Amendment guard?
freedom of SPEECH, RELIGION, PRESS; freedom of ASSEMBLY (meeting); freedom to have government hear COMPLAINTS.
What is the freedom of DUE PROCESS protected in the Bill of Rights?
Everyone has the right to be protected against UNREASONABLE SEARCH & SEIZURE and FAIR TREATMENT OF THE ACCUSED.
What does Article Five do?
Describes how the CONSTITUTION can be CHANGED (Congress or a state proposes change, has to be approved).
How can the Supreme Court change the Constitution?
By INTERPRETING its language and CLARIFYING language.(For example, abortion was ruled legal based on the Supreme Court's ruling that it fell under the right to privacy which was spelled out in the Constitution)
Congress is allowed to make laws so it can make laws expanding its own powers.