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POLS 2311 Test 1 class notes

by: Eunbee Choi

POLS 2311 Test 1 class notes POLS 2311-2162

Eunbee Choi

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About this Document

These are the class notes over chapters 1 through 3
US Government
Dr. Boyea
Study Guide
Political Science: US GOVT
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Eunbee Choi on Monday February 15, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 2311-2162 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Dr. Boyea in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 115 views. For similar materials see US Government in Political Science at University of Texas at Arlington.


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Date Created: 02/15/16
The Founding and the Constitution (Colonial Era through ratification of bill of rights) Timeline: - 1607 – Jamestown colony - 1754-1763 – French and Indian war – Great Britain and France are both trying to conquer the world. England and French are at war because they both want land in US. Began war at Pittsburg VA. British defeats the French. Colonists find security with Great Britain. American colonies are safe from attacks from French Consequences of the war 1. strains within the colonial experience. British drained economically Colonies paid taxes (directly to England) to pay all the debt from war- dismantling of home rule: STAMP ACT - 1765 – Stamp act (create stamps in all paper, first tax- by Great Britain) any kind of paper- has to have British stamp approval: people were mad. “no taxation without representation” Responses to stamp act Massachusetts- resolutions demanding stamp act or any taxed to be revolted. BOSTON TEA PARTY (1733)- rebellion against the stamp act. A lot of tea wasted and British weren’t happy. Responses by the British: (leads the colonists to more anger) 1. Boston port act: if they’re going to keep acting the way they are- they will lose food, money, and goods. No longer things will be coming to Boston Port 2. Massachusetts government act: house of parliament shuts down Massachusetts government so Massachusetts will be having to deal directly with the king in England. 3. Quartering act: British soldiers will have the right to go to your house to stay at your house 4. Justice act: if you commit a crime against England, you will be going back to England to get punished in England by the British court. - fall 1774 – 1 Continental congress First get together with colonies to talk about issues they face with Great Britain; colonies want to be independent from England. They weren’t interacting with each other until this point. In Philadelphia in 1774. Major shift in tone toward the British: they are concerned and Britain need to be dealt with. Decree-> resolutions by Great Britain should be removed. Plans for second congress Individuals: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, - April 19, 1775 – Battles of Lexington and concord - June 17, 1775 – Battle of Bunker Hill - Summer 1775 – 2 ndContinental Congress Start talking about the events and what to do with the events 1. Order by the congress to reconstitute to state government- independent states (no longer colonies) 2. George Washington named leader of the continental army- to create strong military 3. Drafting a declaration of independence (committing treason) Thomas Jefferson* CRAFTS A NEW GOVERNMENT (NEW COUNTRY IS FORMED) - July 4, 1776 – declaration of independence - 1777 – Articles of confederation (first constitution/ government) Doesn’t become ratified until 1781 CONFEREDEATION: loose alliance Loosely formed national government: confederation congress (national government)- very weak < state government National government is making things and state government nullifies the Continental congress: state vote as a block – states had one vote (MAX number of votes was 13 because there were only 13 states). Major issue/law: must get 9/13 votes (super majority) Fundamental Laws: 13/13 to agree (change of taxes or articles of confederation) No president, no court, congress is the only power Miserable failure, why? - October 19, 1781 – victory at Yorktown, VA - 1783 – treaty of revolution - 1786-87 – shay’s rebellion (complain about the article of confederations) - 1787 – constitutional convention - 1789 – ratification of the US constitution - 1791 – ratification of the bill of rights Familiar Names: - Samuel Adams: leader of sons of liberty, protest against stamp act (Boston tea party) - John Adams: Samuel’s cousin. Lawyer for British troops after Boston massacre. Gets British out of US. He helps fund the government- first vice president. Good resume. - George Washington: involved in French and Indian war. Delegate continent congress. First president of US. - Thomas Jefferson: delegate to continental congress. Offer of declaration of independence. Found University of Virginia - James Madison: Father of constitution. Author of bill of rights. - Alexander Hamilton: Federalist. Not born in US. Secretary of treasury. - King George III of Great Britain: king of Britain French and Indian war. Tyrant in the US (but not really). US constitution 1. Stains with colonial experience 2. First and second continental congresses 3. The articles of confederation New constitution; new government. Until 1789- the government of the colonies. Confederation congress (13 states: 13 votes); Basic Law- 9/13; Transformative- 13/13. Congress- acting national government. At war: Troops and supplies- states holds back supplies and troops. Unless a threat- not compliant Congress cannot tax; spend money by devaluing money- then HUGE amount of debt. Disintegration In peace: war torn economy- $25 Million in debt (Americans) $10 million to foreign investors Troops- promised pay Many forms of currency- every state has its own currency (not workable) Trade barriers by the states. You would have to pay sizable fees to use the port to send something to the sister states. 4. Shay’s rebellion (Daniel Shay) Shows how weak the government was Massachusetts: discontent farmers. Farmers have lost their land from failure to pay taxes; marching with their guns to protest and show their unhappiness Shut down of local government (1786)- spread out to sister states Prisoners were free to go because Mob (shays) rule: local government free people in jail who weren’t able to pay taxes and the government listens to them. Revolt demonstrates the weakness of the article of confederations. Most basic function in peace is violated. Age of Enlightenment (influences on the Framers) Founding fathers want to make a stronger national government. Influences on the framers: John Locke (English 1632-1704) - Citizens delegate authority to the government - Can rescind authority as well. Baron de Montesquieu - Promotes tripartite government: executive. Legislative and judicial branches. - Limited scope of government= good government - Size of government should be small David Hume (Scottish 1711-1776) - Treated politics as competition among competing interests - Perpetual bargaining leads to balance - Like Smith’s views of the marketplace James Madison: father of the constitution. - No content of keeping the article - Destiny of US- powerful government - Federal government and national government should have power over the states. - 5. Reform Seize of Yorktown, VA ends the revolution - Places the articles on life support 1. James Madison’s contribution 2. The Virginia Plan 3. The new Jersey Plan 4. The Great Compromise 5. The Executive branch Madison’s problem with the articles: 1) State’s have not honored their tax obligations - soldiers were not paid 2) states failed to make internal improvement 3) blocked interstate commerce 4) debts to foreign countries and not paid 5) 13 separate system of laws Madison’s contribution: - change of logic Pluralist democracy - small republics simply fail - large republics are immune (too many interest for one to prevail) - stronger national government - states- not sovereign, but connected to national government. Convention (May 1787) - 55 delegates - Moderates – looking for reform; way the confederation works and doesn’t work. - Radical (Madison) – remove the articles - Property Virginia plan: - Madison’s plan - 3 branches of government - bicameral legislative- 2 chains - lower house: apportionment based on population - upper house/ chamber: elected reps from lists made by state legislature - lower house would choose the representative in Virginia. - National supremacy - National taxes (simple majority - Revolutionary change - Separation of powers Alternative of VA plan; New Jersey plan - Small state plan - No executive or judicial branch - Only revises the article - One chamber - States would keep votes as block Congress receives the power to tax Simple majority = 7/13 - Neither side is willing to give in to each other The Great Compromise (the Connecticut plan) - 6year terms - geography (senates are equal - treaty authority - appointment authority - VA plan - 2-year term - final legislation starts in House - supremacy clause tie btw- goes to supremacy clause - majority plan: simple majority pass legislation - First chamber of Congress: House of Representatives (lower) 1. Apportioned according to the population in each state- good for Big states. - Second chamber of Congress: Senate (upper) 1. Each state would have equal representation regardless of its population- good for small states. Key terms: Amendment: A change added to a bill Antifederalists: Those who favored strong state governments and a weak national government and were opponents of the constitution proposed at the American Constitutional Convention of 1787 Articles of confederation: America’s first written constitution; served as the basis for America’s national government until 1789 Bicameral: having a legislative assembly composed of two chambers or houses; distinguished from unicameral Bill of rights: the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, ratified in 1791; they ensure certain rights and liberties to the people Checks and balances: mechanisms through which each branch of government is able to participate in and influence the activities of the other branches. - Major example: presidential veto power over congressional legislation, the power of the Senate to approve presidential appointments, and judicial review of congressional enactments. Confederation: a system of government in which states retain sovereign authority except for powers expressly delegated to the national government Elastic clause: article I, section 8, of the constitution, which enumerates the powers of congress and provides congress with the authority to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry them out. Electoral college: the electors from each state who meet after the popular election to cast ballots for president and vice president.


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