History in 3 Minutes Podcast

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Hello everyone from “History in 3 Minutes Podcast.” Welcome back! Today, let’s take a look at “A New Constitution.” During this time, events leading up to the new constitution included debate and compromise, checks and balances, and an amendment procedure for future revisions.

Every state, except Rhode Island, sent delegates to Philadelphia in May 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they ended up abandoning the Articles and setting up a new constitution. This meeting became known as the Constitutional Convention.

The first big argument began with how each state should be represented in the government. The larger states insisted representation be based on population. However, the smaller states wanted each state to have an equal vote. This is how it worked out. Congress would be divided into two houses. The number of a state’s representatives in the House of Representative would be based on a state’s population. In the Senate, each state would have equal representation. This solution became known as The Great Compromise or the Connecticut Compromise.

This new constitution was based on the principle of popular sovereignty or rule by the people with elected officials to speak for the people. It also was based on federalism which divided power between the federal and state governments.

Finally, the judicial, legislative, and executive powers were created. The purpose of this was to ensure checks and balances to prevent any one of the three branches from becoming too powerful.

The delegates realized that the Constitution might need to be revised over time. They established a two-step process for amending the Constitution. The first step is the proposing of the amendment. The second phase is the ratification of the proposal.

An amendment could be proposed with a two-thirds vote of the members in the Senate and the House of Representatives. A proposal of the amendment can also be done by a convention of the states, which requires a two-thirds vote of the state legislatures.  For the amendment to be included in the constitution, it has to be ratified by 38 states or more. Three-quarters of the state legislatures or state conventions are required to ratify an amendment.

So, Homeschoolers: your vocabulary words to look up today are convention, population, checks, balances, ratify.

Younger students: print each vocabulary word 5 times. Draw a picture. Write a sentence using your vocabulary word.

Older students: Read each vocabulary definition 5 times. Sketch an illustration and write a short summary. Create a pamphlet.

All students – read out loud what you wrote.  You can look for a future word search for review.

That’s all folks. Bye. Bye!

About Martha Quinn

Book author, licensed teacher, master's degree (Reading K-12, Social Studies 7-12). Former homeschooler. Happily married Christian with two terrific children. Loves animals, swimming, music, fishing, gardening, cooking, traveling, exciting movies, good books, and the great outdoors.

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