Evolving Constitution Timeline

  • The Continental Congress

    The Continental Congress
    The first body of individuals that met about national concerns. The members of the convention had limited power to make laws. The primary role of the members of the convention was to raise an army as well as conduct diplomacy.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    A document drafted mostly by Thomas Jefferson which declaied that the "United Colonies" were no longer having any allegiance to Britain and any connection between the colonies and Britain were to be dissolved.
  • The Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation, was the first constitution of the United States. The Continental Congress replaced by the Confederation Congress. According to the Articles, "[e]ach state rtains its soverenity, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." Thus, making the United States a loose alliance of independently sovereign states. Problems with this alliance of states woud soon arise.
  • The Philadelphia Convention

    The Philadelphia Convention
    Realizing that the national government had too little power and the sovereign states had too much power a meeting was held in Philedelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. At the convention the Virginia Plan was presented and it did not take long for the members to realize that the Articles of Confederation needed to be overhauled and a stronger centeral government was necessary.
  • The Constitution

    The Constitution
    Adopting many ideas from the Virginia Plan the Constitution set up a strong national government divided into three major branches, the judicial, the executive, and the legislative. The legislative branch created laws, the executive enacted laws, and the judicial interpreted and enforced the laws. Power was divided between these brances to ensure that power was divided evenly between the branches. A process for represention and elections was set up through the Constition as well.
  • The Early Court

    The Early Court
    John Jay- first chief justice in 1789 1793- Chisholm v. Georgia- first major decision from the Supreme Court This case led to the ratification of the 11th amendment- which clarified Article III section 2 of the constitution and let the courts hear cases between a state and citizens of another state
  • The Bill of Rights

    The Bill of Rights
    Realizing that there was a lack of protection of individual rights James Madison sugguested that a Bill or Rights should be included in the Constitution. Madion's original bill contained 17 amendments these were revised by Congress down to 12, eventually 10 of the 12 were ratified. The Bill of Rights includes many ammendements to the Constitiution designed to protect individuals rights and liberties. The Bill of Rights, like the Constitution, has undergone many revisions through time.
  • The Marshall Court

    The Marshall Court
    · From 1801- 1836 John Marshall was Chief of Justice
    · President John Adams nominated him
    · Known for making the national government the bigger power
    · Important cases:
    - Marbury v. Madison (1803)- judicial review was created
    - Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (1816) – concerned how state and national government authority was divided
    - McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) –power of congress was addressed
  • The Taney Court

    The Taney Court
    · In 1836 Chief of Justice, John Marshall, was replaced by Roger Taney.
    · This era was the era when courts started to favor state rights
    · Dred Scotts v. Stanford Case in 1856
    - This was a case about slavery
    - It used judicial review for the second time
    - The final decision was that slaves had no rights under the constitution
    - Court decided that slavery would be a local concern not a national one
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    Reconstruction era

    The Reconstruction Era was responsible for the following amendments to the Constitution: Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in 1865:
    forbids slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868:
    Provides that every state shall extend to all persons due process and equal protection of the law. The Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870:
    establishes the franchise to persons of all color and race.”
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    Pre-New Deal Era

    Two major cases were tried during the Pre-New Deal Era Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905)
    This case invalidated a state statute that set maximum
    working hours for bakers. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
    This case established the separate but equal standard.
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    New Deal Court

    Some important cases from this era includes:
    West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish:
    This case fixed the major discrepancy for minimum wage for women and minors. National Labor and Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation:
    This case established employees have a right to self-organization and representation without discrimination or coersion.
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    Warren Court

    § Earl Warren was chief justice between 1954 and 1969 § His court is best known for decision protecting individual rights § Several important cases were decided during his term: § Brown v. Board of Education o This case invalidated the separate but equal doctrine § Griswold v. Connecticut o This case established that privacy is protected by the Constitution § Katz v. United States o This Case enhanced the First Amendment free speech law o This case also enhanced the protec
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    In a uninanimous decision (9-0) the Warren Court ruled that "seperate education facilities are inherently unequal." The decision in made in this case got the ball rolling for desegregating public schools. In this case Oliver L. Brown felt it was unfair that his daughter had to walk one mile to a bus stop to go to a segregated school when there was an white school three blocks away from his home.
  • The National Defense Edcuation Act

    The National Defense  Edcuation Act
    After the lauch of Sputnik, the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) authorized funding for four years to increase the number of students attending college because it was believed that US scientists were falling behind Soviet scientists. This act was designed to create more defense oriented personal as well as make a post high school education more affordable for the growing number of students enrolling in college.
  • The Civil Rights Act

    The Civil Rights Act
    This landmark legislation banned discrimination against race, sex, laguage, religion, political opinion, social origin, economic condition, or birth. Under this legislation any schools recieving federal funds must not desciminate in its enrollment. The Civil Rights Act effectively put an end to segregation in public school.
  • The Bilingual Education Act

    The Bilingual Education Act
    The Bilingual Education Act (BEA) spearheaded by Texas senator, Ralph Yarborough, provided school districts with federal funds to establish education programs meant to assist students with limited English speaking ability. The BEA shifted thinking from one of creating equal educational opportunities to one of equalizing educational outcomes.
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    Burger Court

    § Warren Burger served as chief justice from 1969 to 1988
    § Two major cases during the Burger Court were: § Roe v. Wade o This case protected a woman’s right to elect her abortion in some situations § Nixon v. United States o The Burger Court was responsible for requiring President Nixon to give up recording of Oval Office conversations pertaining to the Watergate affair. § Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to join the Supreme Court, happened during the Burger Court in 1981.
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    Rehnquist Court

    § William Rehnquist was chief justice from 1988 to 1991 § Three important federalism cases were decided during his term: § United States vs. Lopez § Morrison v. United States o These two cases limited Congress’s Power over interstate commerce. § United States Term Limits v. Thornton o This case invalidated state imposed term limits on Congress members. Judge Rehnquist died in office in 2005 § Judge Rehnquist died in office in 2005
  • The No Child Left Behind Act

    The No Child Left Behind Act
    The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) required that all public school recieve federal funds based up standardized test scores. Schools that do not make Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) are labeled as "needing improvment" and are required to make a two year plan to show the growth required to make AYP. Schools that continually fail to make AYP can lose federal funding and may be required to close. While the NCLB holds schools accountable, it has shifted education philosophy to teaching to the test.