The Constitution
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The Constitution


Welcome to our next study in American
Government. In this unit, we’re going to be taking a look at the
constitution. We know that there were three founding
documents that are very essential to the current United
States of America. These documents laid the groundwork for what
we are today as a nation. Of course, there was the Declaration of
Independence, which was penned by Thomas Jefferson. That was not a governing document but it was a
declaration of war against Great Britain, laying out all the grievances that the young
nation had towards Great Britain. And then there was the Articles of
Confederation, considered by some to have been the first
constitution of the United States. It was a rather weak document in that it did not
provide for a national or executive power; nor did it provide for a federal judiciary. So it was considered very weak- could not resolve a number of the issues that
were confronting the young nation at that time, and so it had to be resolved. And then we have the current day Constitution. We’re going to begin our study by looking at
some of the obstacles that confronted this young nation and the framers as they were
putting together the Constitution. Of course, there was the large-state, small-state
argument over how they would be represented in Congress; and we know the resolution to that is what we
call The Great Compromise. Then there was the North and South State
Argument that dealt with the whole issue of slavery and how that
would be resolved. and that was resolved by what we call the
Three-Fifths Compromise. And, of course, there was a lesser debate that
went on, and that was the debate over whether there would be national sovereignty
or state sovereignty, and the whole idea of Federalism – which we’ll
talk about in the next unit – was the resolution to that particular issue. We’re going to look at the founders and the
framers commitment to limited government and representative
government. These were vital for the new nation; and were clearly written in the document that we
call the Constitution today. So with that brief inroduction, let’s take a look at
the United States Constitution.

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