Could Washington, D.C. be changed from a small, muddy town to a city as glorious as Paris? A French city planner thought so. Pierre L'Enfant [lahn-FAHN] imagined a great capital city for the United States. Located on the Potomac River, the city would have parks, tree-lined avenues, and grand public buildings. He created a plan for the city in 1791. By 1800, his plan became reality.Washington, D.C. became the capital of the United States. The city center is much as L'Enfant designed it.
Although L'Enfant planned the city, many other people helped make it what it is today. Three of them are shown here.
In 1800, First Lady Abigail Adams and her husband, President John Adams, were the first couple to live in the White House. The building was called the President's House, and it wasn't finished yet. Fires were kept burning in the fireplaces to dry the wet plaster on the walls. The large reception room was used to dry laundry. Even so, Abigail Adams called the building a “great castle.??
Benjamin Banneker was a farmer who studied astronomy and other sciences. In 1791, Banneker helped survey, or measure, the land for the new capital city. As part of the job of surveying the land, Banneker set the boundaries for what would be the city. Today, many buildings and organizations are named for Banneker, including a high school in Washington, D.C.
William Thornton moved to the United States because he admired the ideals of the Revolution. In 1793, he won a contest to design the Capitol Building, where Congress would meet. George Washington liked Thornton's plan for its “grandeur, simplicity, and beauty.?? The Capitol Building has grown and changed, but it looks like Thornton's basic plan.
This map shows L'Enfant's design for Washington, D.C. The President's House and the Capitol Building still stand where they were shown in his plan.
Chapter 9 Review and Test Prep
1–3. Write a description of each branch of government.
Facts and Main Ideas
TEST PREP Answer each question with information from the chapter.
“… Some have weakly imagined that it is necessary to annihilate [destroy] the several states, and [give] Congress… government of the continent.... This however, would be impractical.??
— Freeman's Journal of Philadelphia
What was Hamilton's point of view?
States' interests are more important than the interests of the federal government.
The interests of the federal government are more important than states' interests.
The federal government is not important.
States are not important.
Describe the point of view expressed by the Freeman's Journal in your own words.
TEST PREP Write a short paragraph to answer each question.
Infer What effect did the Northwest Ordinance have on settlers?
Problem and Solution Name two problems caused by the Articles of Confederation. What solutions did delegates at the Constitutional Convention offer?
Use the Chapter Summary Timeline above to answer the question.
When was the first President elected?
Special Section The Government of the United States
Principles of Democracy
All nations have governments. A government is a group of people who make and enforce the laws of a political region, such as a country. Just as your school has rules, the nation has laws to govern its citizens.
Life in the United States would be difficult without government. The government sets up ways to choose leaders and makes laws to protect people at home and in the community. Governments run public schools and libraries and print stamps and money. When governments work well, they protect freedom and keep order.
Governments take many forms. The United States is a democracy. A democracy is a government in which people govern themselves. In a democracy, citizens have the power to make political decisions.
The United States has a form of democracy called representative democracy. That means citizens elect representatives who speak or act for them in making laws.
Majority and Minority
In the United States, the majority of voters usually decides who will win an election. Majority means more than half. Many important decisions are made by majority rule. For example, the majority of lawmakers in Congress must agree on a law before it is passed.
Even though most decisions are made by majority rule, the rights of the minority are protected. Minority means fewer than half. The majority cannot take away the rights of small groups of people to express unpopular views or take part in the government. This limit on majority rule is sometimes called minority rights.
Two Hundred Years Thousands of balloons were released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution in 1987.
REVIEW What does the rule of law promise to everyone?
Structure of the Government
The federal government is our national government. The Constitution created a federal government with three branches. These branches, or parts, are the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
The three branches of government work together, but each branch has its own powers. A system of checks and balances prevents any one branch from having too much power. In this system, each branch limits the power of the other two branches.
For example, the President can veto, or reject, laws passed by Congress. Congress can refuse to approve treaties made by the President. The courts of the judicial branch can rule that laws made by Congress or actions taken by the President are unconstitutional.
All three branches are supposed to work toward the common good of the country's citizens. The common good means what is best for the whole country, not just for a few individuals.
The head of the executive branch is the President. The Vice President and the heads of government departments give advice to the President.
proposes, approves, and enforces laws made by Congress
makes treaties with other countries
leads the military
The legislative branch is called Congress. Congress has two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives.
raises money by collecting taxes or borrowing money
approves the printing of money
can declare war
The Supreme Court and other courts make up the judicial branch. One Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices serve on the Supreme Court.
decides whether laws follow the guidelines of the Constitution
decides what laws mean
decides whether laws have been followed
REVIEW Why is it important that a balance of power exist among the three branches of government?
Levels of Government
The federal government is not the only government in the United States. Every state has a government, which is led by a governor. Some decisions are made by the federal government, while others are made by a state government.
Each state is broken into smaller units that have local governments. These units may include counties (parts of states made up of several towns), townships (small parts of counties), cities, and school districts. Local governments take many forms. Some are headed by a mayor. Others are run by a city manager or by a group of people such as a town council.
Federal, state, and local governments have their own powers, but they also share some powers. For example, both the federal and state governments collect taxes, set up courts, and make and enforce laws.
runs the postal system
makes treaties with other countries
collects income taxes
issues licenses, such as marriage licenses and driver's licenses
sets up local governments
collects income and sales taxes
provides police and fire protection
runs public schools and public libraries (with help from the state)
provides public transportation, such as buses and subways
collects sales and property taxes
REVIEW Which level of government has the power to run elections?
The Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. An amendment is an official change or addition to a law. The Bill of Rights is like a promise to the people of the United States. It lists many of the individual rights the U.S. government promises to protect. This chart explains each amendment.
The First Amendment says we have the right to speak our minds.
First Amendment The government cannot support any religion above another. It may not prevent people from practicing whichever religion they wish. People have the right to say and write their opinions, and the press has the right to publish them. People can also meet together and ask the government to make changes.
Second Amendment Because people may have to fight to protect their country, they may own weapons.
Third Amendment People do not have to allow soldiers to live in their homes.
Fourth Amendment The police cannot search people or their homes without a good reason.
Fifth Amendment People accused of a crime have the right to a fair trial. They cannot be tried more than once for the same crime. Accused people do not have to speak against themselves at a trial.
Sixth Amendment People accused of a crime have the right to a speedy, public trial by a jury. A jury is a group of people who hear evidence and make a decision. Accused people also have the right to a lawyer, to be told what crime they are accused of, and to question witnesses.
Seventh Amendment People who have a disagreement about something worth more than $20 have the right to a trial by a jury.
Eighth Amendment In most cases, accused people can remain out of jail until their trial if they pay bail. Bail is a sum of money they will lose if they don't appear for their trial. Courts cannot demand bail that is too high or punish people in cruel ways.
Ninth Amendment People have other rights besides those stated in the Constitution.
Tenth Amendment Any powers the Constitution does not give to the federal government belong to the states or the people.
REVIEW List three rights that are protected by the Bill of Rights.
Special Section Government
Complete two of the following activities.
Art Activity Work with a group to create a poster titled, What Democracy Means to Me. Cut out pictures from newspapers and magazines that illustrate some part of government or something government does.
Writing Activity Choose one of the branches of government and write a short report about it. Give an example of how the branch provides for the common good of the American people.
Research Activity A state capital is a city in which a state's government is located. Make a list of every state's capital. Write a fact card for one capital on your list, including its population and the year it was founded.
Writing Activity Find out who your leaders are at each level of government. Write the names of the President and your senators, representatives, and local leaders. Write to a local leader. Ask questions about that person's job.
Speaking Activity The Bill of Rights still matters today. Prepare an oral report on one of the amendments, explaining how it has affected a current event.
UNIT 4 Review and Test Prep
Vocabulary and Main Ideas
Write a sentence to answer each question below.
Why did American colonists object to the Proclamation of 1763?
Why were the Americans against paying taxes to the British?
What was the main difference between the Patriots and the Loyalists?
Why was the American victory at Saratoga a turning point of the Revolution?
How did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention settle their differences?
What are the three branches of the federal government?
TEST PREP Write a short paragraph to answer each question below.
Drawing Conclusions Why do you think the Patriots would continue to fight the British even when it seemed that they could not win?
Synthesize Write a short paragraph explaining how the system of checks and balances protects democracy. Use details from the unit to support your answer.
TEST PREP Use the paragraph below and what you have learned about cause and effect to answer each question.
Nine states needed to ratify the new Constitution for it to become law. Some of the states, however, thought the Constitution did not protect people's rights. The Federalists agreed to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Then, all 13 states ratified the Constitution.
What caused the Bill of Rights to be added to the Constitution?
Some states wanted to protect people's rights.
Some states did not want a Constitution.
Thirteen states needed to ratify the Constitution.
The Constitution was too short.
What was an effect of adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution?
The government's rights were protected.
The people's rights were taken away.
Thirteen states ratified the Constitution.
Nine states refused to ratify the Constitution.
Unit Activity The Big Idea
Create a Freedom Fighters Portrait Gallery
Choose a person mentioned in this unit who fought for freedom.
Research to find a picture of the person and facts about his or her life.
Create a portrait, or picture, of the person. Write about his or her life underneath the picture.
Post the portraits in your classroom.
At the Library
You may find these books at your school or public library.
The Boston Tea Party, by Steven Kroll
The events of December 16, 1773, changed the course of American history.
If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution, by Kay Moore
What was life like for Patriots and Loyalists during the Revolution?
Connect to Today
Create a bulletin board about freedom and independence around the world today.
Find information about nations of the world and ideals of freedom and independence.
Write a summary of what you find. Draw a picture or map to illustrate each summary.
Post your illustrated summaries on a bulletin board.
Read About It
Look for these Social Studies books in your classroom.