BC: Works Cited | "The Making of the US Constitution." Library of Congress. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. | "US Constitution--Bill of Rights--The First Ten Amendments." Rat Haus Reality, Ratical Branch. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.
FC: CA #3 By: Taryn Barry | "All Bark and No Bite?"
1: The Constitution of the United States of America was written in 1787 to replace the Articles of Confederation that were too weak to govern a new country. However, it wasn't ratified by the states until 1788 and didn't even go into effect until 1789. | (The Bill of Rights was later added to the Constitution. Several states that hadn't ratified this document yet did after this addition.)
2: Authors' Intentions | About 40 representative from varying states met and became part of the Constitutional Convention to help write the Constitution over a time span of several months.These delegates were also the signers whose names you can find listed at the bottom of the Constitution. | Constitution (definition): The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution; The composition or structure of something; makeup.
3: When writing the Constitution, the authors' intentions behind it were to create guidelines, laws, and a firm outline of government to build a strong country on, and preferably for it to be a document that could be used for years to come. They reached their goal and did just that. After America won independence from Britain in the American Revolution, but before the Constitution was written, the Articles of Confederation were made to attempt to set up a government for our new country. The idea of these articles was great. Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation were just too weak to use to run a country. Americans needed a more detailed, more specific document with which to build America. Now knowing the pros and cons of the Articles of Confederation, the representatives from different states in the Constitutional Convention could take those into consideration and use them to help them construct the Constitution of the United States of America. America has followed the Constitution for 222 years. In these 222 years, only ______ changes have been made to this document. The authors knew what they wanted, and put it on paper for their wishes for our country to be put into action.
4: The 7 Principles of Government | Popular Sovereignty Federalism Checks and Balances Separation of Powers Individual Rights Limited Government Republicanism | The seven principles of government helped establish our constitution, and I feel each one is represented in the Constitution.
5: I think the whole document is a great example of how limited government is represented in the Constitution. The evidence Americans were given any civil rights at all is a sign that the government has a limited amount of power they can force on the us. Popular Sovereignty broken down is basically that people rule. Nothing can happen in our country without the people's consent. (Ex: "We the people..."). Article 5 of the Constitution is even telling how we can go back to amend the Constitution. No random person can amend it themselves, but people we trust and have voted on can. It all goes back to the citizens of America. Republicanism is almost the same thing as Popular Sovereignty because it just means that American citizens vote on other people to represent us in government because we have a say. (Ex: electing people in congress, electing people as governor or as state senate, etc.) Separation of Powers is shown in the Constitution when it describes how the three branches of government were to be established. Checks and Balances is then shown when it describes what purpose each branch will serve, and how they will rely on one another to maintain a 3- way balance so that no one branch can ever become too powerful. I feel that Individual Rights is the most important principles of the seven. The principle allows American citizens to do things like vote in elections, choose our religion, where we want to work, etc. The individual rights we were given ensures that we can live our life the way we wish. *(Federalism is touched on the next page.)
6: Federalism | Federalism says that America can have smaller systems of government under one large, main system of government that is in charge of everyone. When the people elect a mayor, his/her job is simply to govern and keep peace within a town or a city. A governor is above the mayor, but still below the President. A governor controls and solves problems that are exclusive to their state, and not all of America. As you know, a president is in charge of everyone and addressing all of America's problems. He/ she is above any mayor or governor, but not necessarily involved in their politics. and any citizen in the United States. An example of Federalism in the Constitution would be the 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights where it limits the power of the federal government and gives it to the states and the people.
8: Socially: We are affected 24/7 by the Constitution socially. We were given so many rights in the Constitution, but with those rights comes responsibility. No matter what we are doing, we have to be following laws that have been set for us. If those laws aren't followed, we obviously have consequences. For example, Americans have freedom of speech, which gives us right to a peaceful protest. Even if we don't agree with something that someone else is saying, they are not doing anything wrong by making their opinion public. However, if that protest gets out of hand and starts breaking laws, police officers have every right to step in and put a stop to it. | Politically: Everything about our politics depends on the Constitution. Along with any other citizen of the United States, anybody working for the government has to follow the laws of the Constitution. There are two main political parties in America, and one of them believes they follow the Constitution more precisely than the other. Because each party interprets the Constitution differently, the party that is elected determines the way the country is managed. The Constitution also outlines things like the requirements for running for office such as what age you have to be and how long you have to have been a citizen of America. | How the Constitution affects us politically, socially, and economically...
9: Economically: In Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, it says that Congress has the power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations". Also in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution it states that congress has the power "to coin money, regulate the value thereof,...". This doesn't mean that government can say "This is a nickel and it's worth five cents.". This means that the government can decide what exactly five cents is worth. One of the colonists' main grievances to the King when we were still under British power what the fact that they were being taxed without representation. Now that can no longer happen. Americans also have the right to choose what job they would like to have. Even though we have limited government in our everyday lives, the phrase in the preamble of the Constitution "Promote the general welfare" has been used to justify government involvement in the US economy with minimum wage laws, social security, and unemployment benefits.