Unit 9: New Nation
(Source: americaslibrary.gov)
In unit 9, lessons will be about the challenges faced by the new nation of the United States of America.
SOL USI 7 states that:
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the challenges faced by the new nation by:

b) describing the historical developments of the Constitution of the United States
c) describing the major accomplishments of the first five presidents of the United States

Read the outlines or the study maps to learn about this new unit.
USI 7b: Development of the U. S. Constitution
  • The development of the Constitution of the United States was significant to the foundation of the American republic.
Confederation to Constitution
  • Weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation led to the effort to draft a new constitution.
The Constitutional Convention
  • State delegates met in Philadelphia and decided not to revise the Articles of Confederation but to write a new constitution.
  • George Washington was elected president of the Constitutional Convention.
  • Delegates debated over how much power should be given to the new national government and how large and small states should be represented in the new government.
  • The structure of the new national government included three separate branches of government:
  • The Great Compromise decided how many votes each state would have in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
  • The Constitution was signed at the end of the convention.
Ratification of the Constitution
  • A minimum of nine of the thirteen states had to vote in favor of the Constitution before it could become law.
The Bill of Rights
  • Based on the Virginia Declaration of Rights (George Mason) and the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom (Thomas Jefferson)
These first ten amendments to the Constitution provide a written guarantee of individual rights (e.g., freedom of speech, freedom of religion).

A Federal Government Federalism
  • The Constitution of the United States of America established a federal system of government based on power shared between the national and state governments.

USI 7c The First Five Presidents Five
• Congress and the first five presidents made decisions establishing a strong government that helped the nation grow in size and power.

Unit Vocabulary: Read and learn the vocabulary for the New Nation.
Constitution: Document that sets out the laws, principles, organization and processes of a government

Delegates: Somebody chosen to represent or to act on behalf of another person or group

Legislative Branch: Branch of government that passes laws

Judicial Branch: Branch of government that decides if laws are carried out fairly

Executive Branch: Branch of government that carries out laws

Senate: The smaller of the two bodies that make up the legislative branch of the United States government; based on equal representation, with two senators for each state.

House of Representatives: The larger of the two bodies that make up legislative branch of the United States government; representation based on population.

Ratification: To approve

Amendments: A change or addition to a document

Astronomer: Somebody who specializes in studying outer space

Surveyor: Somebody who measures the land

Two-Party System: Government “controlled” by two political parties

War of 1812: Fought between the United States and Britain. Created a sense of pride for America.

Review the Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

How It Began: Read this excerpt from "Ben's Guide to U. S. Government" for background on the writing of the U.S. Constitution.
(Source: bensguide.gpo.gov)

The Constitutional Convention:
Read "Creating the Constitution" about the convention from the Library of Congress. Creating
The Branches of Government: Three branches of government were created at the Constitutional Convention. The chart below from Ben's Guide show the branches. Read the chart and then click on the link to Ben's Guide for a description.
The Branches of Government on Ben's Guide: Branches
The Great Compromise: The convention almost ended over the argument that was solved by the Great Compromise! Read a discussion of the compromise on this link. This link also tells about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution. Convention and Compromise

History of the Bill of Rights:
Read about it on Ben's Guide. Rights
Complete the notes about the Bill of Rights:(ushistory.pwnet.org)

Virginia Declaration of Rights: Complete this cloze paragraph about this document. Declaration of Rights
The sections of the Declaration of Rights are shown on this link. Sections
This chart shows the important parts of this document. (pwnet.org)

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Thomas Jefferson wrote this statute. Read an explanation of what it says by clicking on the link. VA Statute

Federalism: Read the chart to understand what Federalism means. Powers are shared by and divided between the states and the national government under the principle of Federalism.

The First Five Presidents
Read about the first five presidents in the outline printed below.

1. First Five Presidents Match Five
2. Articles Quiz Articles
3. First Five Again Five
4. New Nation Documents Documents
5. New Nation Matching Match