TheConstitution of United States of America was signed on September 17, 1787.
TheConstitution is what established America’s National government, laws, and basicrights to the citizens of America. Before the Constitution was written, the UnitedStates operated under The Articles of Confederation. The national government wasvery weak and had very little control, which allowed states to run as if theywere induvial countries. At the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia, the delegatescame up with a system for a strong federal government. Naming this document,The Constitution of the United States of America. TheConstitution is broken up into seven articles, each article then has multiple sections.Article 1 being the longest with ten sections. Article 1, section 1 is where congressis broken up into two sections, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Section 2 then goes on to explainwhat is expected of and what is needed to be a member of the House ofRepresentatives. A Representative is position that is up for reelection every 2years and is elected by his or her state’s citizens. A member must meet a fewqualifications before running for office, these qualifications are, they mustbe 25 years of age, has been a united states citizen for 7 or more years, andmust be a resident of the state in which the wish to represent. Each state getsone representative per 30 thousand citizens, but each state gets at least one,even if they do not have 30 thousand constituents. If a representative, quitsor dies, executive authority can have appoint/elect someone to fill their spot,and serve the rest of their two-year term. Section two also states that theHouse of Representatives will be able to choose their own speaker of the houseand other officers. The House of Representatives have the sole power onimpeachment. Section three explains thequalifications and duties of the Senate.
Each state, no matter the size, gettwo Senators. Each Senator has their own vote and serve a six-year term onceelected. In order to be elected as a state senator, one must be thirty yearsold at least, be a citizen of the United states of America for nine years. Heor she must also be living in the state that they are trying to become asenator for. Section 3 also says the Vice President of the united states is thePresident of the Senate. The President of the Senate does not get to vote ofanything, unless the Senate is voted a tie, then the Senate President is the decidingvote. Like the House of Representatives, the Senate gets to choose theirofficers and the “President pro tempore” who acts as President with the VicePresident is absent. The Senate is also when impeachment cases are tried.
Two-thirdsof the senate must be in agreement to impeach the President of the unitedstates.Section four is basically sayingthat it gives the states the power to organize elections but gives congress thepower to make new rules for federal elections. Section five gives the House andSenate the power to “judge” or make the qualifications of their members. Italso states that a majority of their members must be present to have a quorum.
If the majority of members do not show up, then they will that a temporary adjournment.The House and Senate also have the power to set their own rules regarding parliamentprocedure. Section five also tells the Houseand Senate that they must have official recording of their sessions, and thatone of them isn’t allowed to take an extended vacation without permission fromthe other. Section six is where theConstitution talks about how put congressmen get paid. They are paid by thenational government, and they also get to set their own salaries. It also saysthe congressmen have legislative immunity, which mean anything that they say incongress cannot be charged against them in a court of law. Section six statesthat no member or the executive or judicial branches can serve in congress atthe same time, and vice versa.
Which is to makes sure that there is separation ofpowers between our three branches of government. A member of the Judicialbranch cannot quit his or her job for a place in congress or any other branch.Section seven states that all billsthat have to do with revenue, or in other words taxes, must originate from theHouse of Representatives.
The Senate is then able to propose changes oramendments to those bills. Once bills have been passed in the House or Representativesand in the Senate must be signed by the President in order to become law. Ifthe President does not like the bill, he can send it back to be amended. Section eight lays out the powersthat congress has. The very first of these powers, is the power to tax. Thisgives congress an immense amount of power, because money is power.
Congress isalso allowed to go into debt if need be, in order to pay for government programs,which may have become a huge problem today. Congress has the power to regulatecommerce or trade with foreign nations and between states. Congress can printmoney and punish people who counterfeit money. Congress establishes roads andpost offices, promote and progress science. They also have the power to declarewar, raise and support armies, and make rules and regulations for those armies.Congress has the power to set up lower-level federal courts that report to theSupreme Court. Finally, they are able to make laws that aid in executing thepowers that the Constitution has given them.Section 9 is a fairly dark section,because it is about America’s disgraceful history with owning slaves.
Sectionnine is basically saying that congress is not going to do anything about theslave trade until 1808, instead they help themselves but taxing a maximum often dollars per salve that is bought/sold. Section nine also establishes HabeasCorpus, which means no one can be held in a jail, unless they are under arrestand being charged for a crime. They did leave in a loop hole of “rebellion orinvasion of public safety.
” Section nine restricts congress of taxing statesbased on their population, unless it is a census. Congress also does not havethe power to tax exported goods from any state. All shipping ports must betaxed the same. Congress is they only branch that has control over governmentspending. Anything regarding money must be approved by congress. Which is animportant check on the power of the President.
Finally, section 10, says that nostate can create treaties, coin money, and they can’t make laws that go againstfederal laws or break contracts, or “grant titles of nobility” which basically restrictsstates from acting as their own independent counties. States also cannot taximports or exports from other states. Most importantly, states are not allowedto raise up their own armies and cannot declare or start wars.Article 2 of the constitution is onthe executive branch of the government. Executive power is given to the Presidentof the United States of America. He (or she) can be in office or a total oftwo, four-year terms, along with their Vice President. Section one establishesthe electoral college. Each state gets a certain number of votes, which is equalto their number of senators and representatives.
Then the people of that statevote for how they would like the members of the electoral college to vote forthem. This is how a President might with the presidency but lose the popularvote. Congress is allowed to set the date for the presidential election. In orderto run for Presidency, one must be 35- years old, be a natural born citizen onthe U.
S., and has to have been living in the U.S. for at least 14 years. If thePresident dies, resigns, or is impeached, the Vise president takes office, ifhe dies, resigns, or is impeached the speaker of the house takes office.
ThePresident is a paid position and has a pre-set salary, which cannot be changedthroughout his term. The president must be sworn in by taking an oath.Section 2 lays out the roles of thePresident, first and foremost being the commander in chief of the military.
Hehas the power to pardon crimes, and he is the head of all the heads of civiliandepartments in the government. The president is able to make treaties withother countries, with 2/3 approval of the Senate. He can also appointgovernment officials, and if there is an open stop on the supreme court he canappoint a new member. Section 3 list the duties of the president, which arereporting to congress with the state of the union address.
The president cancall congress into session when they are out on vacation. He also must commissionofficers of the military.Article 3 talks about the Judicialbranch of the government. It grants the supreme court all of the judicial powerof the united states. So, it is saying that that the supreme court is basicallythe head of the judicial branch. The Federal courts settle disputes of federalcrimes and between states. The supreme court gets original jurisdiction, whichmeans it will hear the case first.
A person in federal courts has the right tobe heard by a group of citizens versus only by a judge. Treason is the onlycrime that was specifically laid out in the constitution, saying that theremust be two eyewitnesses to convict someone of treason. And if convicted of treason,that person’s descendants cannot be punished for that crime.Article 4 states that each statehas to recognize the laws, court rulings, and records of other states.
Statesalso cannot discriminate against citizens of other states. If a fugitive fleesthe state they committed the crime in, once caught they have to be sent back tothe state the crime was committed. No state is allowed to become a dictatorshipand must have representatives in the government.Article five states that the constitutionmay be amended. Article six promises to take on the debt that the government underthe articles of the confederation had racked up. It also says that theconstitution is the supreme law of the land.
No laws made by the states cantrump the constitution. All government officials must swear an oath upon beingelected or appointed into office. Article seven says that they need 9 out of 13states must agree in order for the Constitution to take effect.
41 of the 55 men in attendance of the conventionsigned the constitution.