Drafting the Confederate Constitution - Reading Comprehension
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Drafting the Confederate Constitution Reading Comprehension
Drafting the Confederate Constitution reading comprehension (sample is shown below)
Drafting the Confederate Constitution
By Phyllis Naegeli
1 It is February 9, 1861. Seven states have left the Union. Others are on the verge of leaving. An interim government has been formed. Twelve men from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas have the task of writing a permanent constitution. Robert Barowell Rhett, Sr., of South Carolina has been appointed chairman. Thomas R.R. Cobb of Georgia will take notes.
2 Let's imagine what it was like. As we enter the room, twelve men are seated around a long table. Outside, the city sounds of Montgomery, Alabama, can be heard. The sun streams through a tall window at the end of the room. Each man has a large stack of paper in front of him. They are discussing their ideas about a new government.
3 "We must reinforce the rights of the states," James Chestnut from South Carolina declared.
4 "Yes, that is of primary importance," said Robert Rhett. "I think it is best to go through the U.S. Constitution and change things as needed. Starting with the preamble and going right through to the Bill of Rights. We must also look at the Articles of Confederation. It created a limited central government for the thirteen original colonies."
5 "I believe we need a government with three branches as in the Union," suggested the delegate from Florida. "The system of checks and balances is important."
6 "There are many things in the Union Constitution that we must keep," stated Cobb. "However, we must be careful to avoid giving the central government too much power."
7 "I agree," said the delegate from Georgia. "The federal government in Washington has become much too powerful. Spending powers must be limited."
8 "I suggest the words ‘each State acting in its sovereign and independent character' be added to the preamble," Cobb said, writing the words on the pages in front of him.
9 Another delegate calls for slavery to be protected. "I believe we must ensure that slavery is an established and permanent part of the Confederacy. The Congress should not be able to make laws ending slavery." said the delegate from Alabama.
10 Cobb begins to write. "No...law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves, shall be passed."
11 "I think we need to change the office of president," suggested the delegate from Louisiana.
Paragraphs 12 to 30:
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