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The development of the Constitution of the United States was significant to the foundation of the American ________________.

federal system

power shared between the national and state governments

Articles of Confederation

Weaknesses in the _____________________ led to the effort to draft a new constitution.


written plan for government


Site of the Constitutional Convention


Delegates decided not to ___________ (fix) the Articles of Confederation but to write a new constitution.

George Washington

elected president of the Constitutional Convention


Delegates debated over how much ___________ should be given to the new national government.


Delegates debated over how large and small states should be _________________ in the new government.

3 separate branches

The structure of the new national government included _____________

Legislative, Executive, and Judicial

The 3 branches of government

Legislative Branch

makes laws

Executive Branch

carries out laws

Judicial Branch

interprets laws (decides if laws agree with the Constitution)

Great Compromise

decided how many votes each state would have in the Senate and the House of Representatives


equal representation - 2 per state

House of Representatives

representation based on state population

The Constitution

signed at the end of the convention.


approval by a formal vote

ratification of the Constitution

required at least 9 of the thirteen states to vote in favor of the Constitution before it could become law.

Bill of Rights

first ten amendments to the Constitution

written guarantee of individual rights

Bill of Rights

Basis for the Bill of Rights

Virginia Declaration of Rights and Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Thomas Jefferson

author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

George Mason

author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights

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