U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution
[audio] Cooperation
Solution: The Great Compromise

  • The Senate gives smaller states the most influence.
  • The House of Representatives gives the larger states the most influence.
    1. Large States wanted representation (votes) by population
    2. Small states wanted equal representation for every state
    1. The House of Representatives allows large states to have more votes
    2. The Senate gives all states an equal amount of votes
    3. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate must agree to pass a law.

[audio] Solving the Problem of Sharing Power
Separation of Power and Checks and Balances kept government from having too much power.

Separation of Powers

  • Separation of Powers: government is divided to spread out the amount of power.
  • The purpose of separation of power is to make sure that one part of government can't get too much power and break rules.
  • Branch of Government: each part of government
    1. Executive Branch: President, Carry out laws
    2. Judicial Branch: Supreme Court, Interpret laws
    3. Legislative: Congress, Make laws

[audio] Checks and Balances

  • Check: each part of the government can stop another parts actions.
  • Balance: each part of the government can balance the others by making sure all members help make decisions.


Checks and balances of the President over the other branches

  • Bill: An idea for a law that is sent to Congress
  • Veto: President can stop a bill from becoming law

Checks and balances of Congress over other branches

  • Override : Way Congress can pass a bill even with a veto
  • To override, the Congress must vote again and get two-thirds votes in favor of the override
  • "The power of purse strings" is an example of balance of powers: Congress controls how much money the President can spend carrying out laws.
  • The Legislative Branch can check the Supreme Court through impeachment of the justices and check the President through an override veto.

Checks and Balances of the Supreme Court over the other branches

  • Judicial Review: Supreme Court makes last decision on what state and federal laws are allowed.
  • Nullify: Decide a law can not be a law.
  • The Judicial branch can check the congress by nullifying a law and check the president because they can serve for life.

[audio] The Supporters of the Constitution Worked for Ratification

  • Politics: working to get votes to pass something in the government
  • Political Tactics: ways to solve a political problem
  • Supporters of the Constitution used three political tactics:
    1. Domination: example: have more representatives in favor
    2. Debate: example: Federalist writings
    3. Compromise: example: Bill of Rights
  • The Federalist was so well written that it convinced people to support the constitution. Delaware, New Jersey, and Georgia all used domination because all of their representatives voted in favor of the Constitution. Massachusetts was the first state to use compromise