CHAPTER 3 SECTION 2 Mr. Gordon A Constitution for All Generations JEFFERSON AND MADISON ON AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
Jeffersons views Jefferson felt Constitution should not be changed on a whim but could be changed as society and circumstances changed Believed in each generation as a distinct nation, with the right to govern itself but not to bind succeeding generations Jefferson made his arguments in exchange of letters with fellow Virginian James Madison
JEFFERSON AND MADISON ON AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION Madisons views Madison felt laws and constitutions grow in authority and acceptance the longer they go unchanged Worried that changing Constitution too often could split the country into factions
Feared sectional rivalry would leave the nation prey to foreign powers and influence Madison feared periods of chaos might occur between periods of revision A DOCUMENT FOR ALL TIME Original Constitution a product of its
time Reflects wisdom and biases of the Framers; relatively few changes in over 220 years Survived the Civil War, presidential assassinations, and economic crises to become worlds oldest written constitution
A DOCUMENT FOR ALL TIME Original document not perfect Perpetuated injustices with compromises permitting slavery and the slave trade States given power to set qualifications for voting; women, nonwhites, and poor people denied right to vote
Decisions reflected societal attitudes of the times Ability to incorporate changing ideas of freedom and liberty keeps document relevant to each new generation since 1789 AMENDMENTS THE AMENDMENT
PROCESS Gives Americans the power to change the Constitution Is difficult in order to prevent momentary passions and prejudices of the majority from violating the rights of the rest of the citizens Might threaten the democratic structure of the government
THE AMENDMENT PROCESS Article V Describes process for amending the Constitution States that amendments must first be proposed, then ratified, or approved
Provides two ways of proposing and two ways of ratifying THE AMENDMENT PROCESS Different paths Two-step process required ratification by the states and so restricted power of Congress to
change the Constitution Ensured that any change would reflect national will Supported principle of popular sovereignty SUPERMAJORITY REQUIRED Each step in process requires supermajoritya majority that is larger
than a simple majority Difficult process would weed out frivolous amendments SUPERMAJORITY REQUIRED Proposing an Amendment Two ways can be proposed:
by Congress, with the approval of at least two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate by delegates at a national convention that is called by Congress at the request of at least two-thirds of the state legislatures SUPERMAJORITY
REQUIRED Facts All of the amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by Congress Required number of states for a national convention has been nearly reached twice Convention supporters have never persuaded the last few needed states
CONSTITUTION Issues of convention Wording of Article V does not specify if convention is limited to proposing only the amendment it was called to consider Nonspecific wording could allow rest of Constitution to be opened for
reconsideration and change CONSTITUTION Issues of convention Problemconvention could propose amendment to repeal First or Fourteenth Amendments that provide foundation for many rights enjoyed today
Method of national convention has remained unused CONSTITUTION Ratifying an Amendment Congress sends proposed amendment to 50 states for ratification; states can ratify in two waysCongress determines which way is to be used
To be voted on by state legislatures; at least three-fourths of state legislatures must approve an amendment Citizens elect delegates to conventions called in each state specifically to consider the amendment; passage requires approval by conventions in at least three-fourths of the states. RISE AND FALL OF
PROHIBITION Example Passage and repeal of amendment on prohibition good example of ratification methods Prohibitionban on production, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages
RISE AND FALL OF PROHIBITION Reformers 1800s and early 1900s: WCTU and Prohibition Party campaigned to outlaw alcoholic beverages Argued drinking alcohol led to idleness,
violence, and increase in crime RISE AND FALL OF PROHIBITION Eighteenth Amendment 1917: Responding to public demand, Congress proposed amendment 1919: Enough state legislatures had ratified the proposal to make it the Eighteenth
Amendment; but drinking alcohol not banned RISE AND FALL OF PROHIBITION Prohibition unpopular Lucrative trade in illegal alcohol; led to organized crime, political corruption, and
violence Groups of citizens led movement for reform; used many of same arguments CONSTITUTION Twenty-first Amendment Congress responded to new reform movement
Proposed to repeal prohibition and to give states power to regulate transportation and distribution of alcoholic beverages To repeal a lawto cancel or revoke it by a legislative act CONSTITUTION Twenty-first Amendment
Only time method of ratification by state conventions of delegates elected specifically to vote on the issue used 36 states ratified within the year; Amendment XVIII (18) was repealed by Amendment XXI (21) CONSTITUTION
The Fate of Amendments Changing the Constitution difficult More than 10,000 attempts have been suggested or proposed Only 33 amendments have been passed by Congress and sent to states for ratification 27 amendments have been adopted 6 have been rejected
MORE THAN 200 YEARS OF AMENDMENTS Process of adding to the Constitution began with the first ten amendmentsthe Bill of Rights; 17 more amendments added Identify, support, and protect some of most important rights
MORE THAN 200 YEARS OF AMENDMENTS The Bill of Rights Designed to protected specific individual freedoms Various states offered up a total of 210 suggestions for amendments 12 amendments drafted; Congress passed them
and sent on to states 10 of the 12 amendments were ratified; Bill of Rights adopted 1791 MORE THAN 200 YEARS OF AMENDMENTS First Amendment Restrictive; declares what federal
government may not do Intended to guarantee individuals exercise of certain basic freedoms First Amendmentright to practice religion freely, protects freedom of expression, and the right to ask the government to correct injustices
AMENDMENTS Amendment Guarantees 2nd gives right to bear arms 3rd prohibits government from forcing citizens to quarter, or shelter, military troops in their homes 4th protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures of private property 5th and 6th guarantee due process of law; no self-incrimination; right to a speedy trial and the right to an attorney
7th through 10th protect rights or powers that belong to the states and to the people AMENDMENTS The Other Amendments After Civil War amendments passed to ban slavery, to recognize all African Americans as U.S. citizens, and to give African American men various rights, including the right to
vote Not often enforced from 1877 to 1965 in the South; Jim Crow laws put into effect Vigorous social reform; prohibition came and went Popular election of senators; women granted right to vote Constitution provides stable, flexible government WHAT SAY YOU?
Does the Constitution provides stable, flexible government?
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