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Political Science Class Notes 1

by: Savannah Tucker

Political Science Class Notes 1 PS 101

Marketplace > University of Kentucky > Political Science > PS 101 > Political Science Class Notes 1
Savannah Tucker

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About this Document

Covers everything discussed in lecture from 1/20 to 1/27.
American Government
Stephen Voss
Class Notes
Politcal Science, Voss, PS101
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Savannah Tucker on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PS 101 at University of Kentucky taught by Stephen Voss in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see American Government in Political Science at University of Kentucky.

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Date Created: 01/27/16
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 The Founding Declaration of Independence signed: July 4, 1776 Constitution ratified: 1787 The time period between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was arguably the most important 11 years in U.S. history. Founders vs. Framers External Threats - threats outside of the country On every side of the new country were threats. In the North, the British were still trying to move southward in hopes on encroaching on the new country. In the South, the Spanish, who had taken advantage of the war to stake claims. To the West, the french was still trying to take claims in the New Worlds, with no promises that they would not invade. The indigenous people has been pushed West as well, and there was always a threat that they would attack. To the east, they were still open to the Atlantic, leaving them open to the British as well as pirates. Internal Problems - conducting affairs inside a new country Problems with the Articles of Confederation: the original plan, a loose national government consisting of all of the states (colonies). They did not at first see themselves as joining a larger country, but rather as a collection of separate states joining a union or committee. The Articles did not have an executive branch. Congress often lacked quorum, unanimity. Lack of attendance to meetings lead to an inability to pass laws. Financial weakness: NO source of capital. It could not impose taxes. The government did send bills to the states, but they did not often receive payment. They were vastly underfunded, not even able to pay back revolution debt. 1 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Military weakness: NO real army, navy. They had to power to draft a military. The only military they had were state militias, controlled by the state, who were not always cooperative. International Weakness: No foreign policy. There was no one clear voice, rather a bunch of people (states) chattering. Internal disputes over taxes, borders. The government had no way to control the states. Annapolis Convention - A meeting held in an effort to amend the Articles, so many states didn’t show up that they could only make plans for another meeting. Shays Rebellion (1786-1787) - Just fought a war against a european power, taxes increases to pay for it, Economic hardship at the time, angry with the financial interests (banks), those paying poorly represented, rebellion far from the seat of power. Very threatening to the national government. Held “conventions” nullifying laws, gathered a western Massachusetts militia, seized weapons from state armories, harassed public officials, took over court houses, occupied land illegally, marched on state legislature. Protests gaining support in other states (most notably Rogue Island) Here’s how some ex-rebels responded to Shays Rebellion: Sam Adams - who had previously been involved in the Boston Tea Party, allows public flogging of rebels. John Hancock - Who has the largest signature on the constitution, did not approve, put together mercenaries and sent them for Shay’s rebellion and gunned them down. Nathaniel Gorham - Head of Congress under the Articles of Confederation, sent a letter to a German Prince asking for help. Ultimately: The Constitutional Convention The Framers carried out a counterrevolution. Internal Threats - threats inside of the union. Breakdown of the 55 Framers They were not a random sample, there was a process by which they were selected. They were the people that had problems with the Articles. 2 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 They were suffering from selection bias because they were all people who wanted a stronger national government. They bulk of the U.S. citizens were not really represented, instead they were represetenb by a higher class. 9/10 Americans were yeoman farmers, but none of the framers were farmers. 40/55 Framers were national government bondholders They went into the hall with an idea that they would create a government that could pay their money back to them. 24/55 were money lenders They want a government that can defend contracts. 15/55 were plantation owners They wanted to protect their property (slaves) 14/55 were land speculators (people who own a lot of property to sell) They wanted a government that had a military that could protect their land and run off the Natives, and build canals, that would up their property values. 11/55 were merchants They wanted a government that could provide a larger market to them, that can ensure the free flow of products across state lines. 27/55 were members of the Society of Cincinnati (secret society) Either had to be a military officer or through blood, the head was George Washington. They want a government that can pay their pensions. They also wanted a government that had a strong military. The Constitutional Convention was an Assembly of demigods - coined by Thomas Jefferson; completely unrepresentative of the american people. The real George Washington was not a hero who could not tell a lie, he walked around with a mouth of fake teeth made from the teeth of his slaves. Congress reprimanded him for the beating of his soldiers. These people were not gods, they were just like the leaders of today. When drafting the Consitution, they needed one that could be accepted by the states, they wanted to politicians. 3 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 They had to: 1. Attract political support for holding a constitutional convention, 1. Gathered under false pretenses, they did not talk about what they were going to do when they actually got to Philly. They were sent to amend the Articles, not write an entirely new government. 2. Madison brought a draft go the new charter, the Virginia Plan 3. Agreed early on to start from scratch 4. Ignored the law 1. Articles contained rules for how to amend them BUT… 2. Ignored unanimity rule: required 9 states 3. Ignored requirements to get state legislatures on board: ratification conventions. 2. Keep outsiders from interfering with the convention while it was in progress, They hid what they were doing from the others: gag rule Integrity and respect and trust meant a lot more than it does today, reputation was an important currency. 3. Keep the convention delegates unified enough to agree on a proposal, Famous series of compromises among different sorts of states Connecticut (or Great) Compromise: Large vs Small States They had to make this look attractive to states, some way to reconcile this compromise in representation between large and small states. They were okay with a government that moved slowly. Presidential election systen: Electoral College The point of it was to support voters who wanted to be more involved in the election. It was so confusing that nobody really knows who gets the better end of the deal by the Electoral College. 4 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 3/5 Compromise: North vs. South South - People who owned slaves wanted them represented, except for when it came to taxes. North - Does not want them represented, but want them to have to pay taxes. They count them 3/5 of both. 4. Write a document with the right balance between what the Framers wanted and what other Americans could accept, and The framers knew that the common people were not going to just give in to the new government, so they would have to compromise their wants and needs. They knew that they would not get everything that they wanted, so they anticipated when they thought they could get. So they wrote a constitution that was pretty vague, something that could be filled in later. Supremacy Clause makes constitution the “Supreme” law of the land Supreme to what? Does it rule out state law? Elastic Clause: can pass laws “necessary and proper” Where is necessary and proper defined? Commerce Clause: to regulate interstate trade. What exactly is interstate trade defined? Spending Clause: tax/spend and borrow for general welfare Can they use it to bribe citizens? President has the “executive power” with checks What executive powers? Voting qualifications permitted to the states Who can vote? People with land? People with money? Electoral College So complicated that nobody could figure out who was benefitting from it. 5 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 5. Roll out the proposal in a way that would convince the American states to ratify it. Ratification Controversy During the ratification conventions there were three groups of people: Supporters (federalists) • Replaced the confederalists. • Just about everyone in the convention • Wanted strong national government, executive branch, independent judiciary, insulated senate. • In the original plan, the states would pick there senators. Opponents (Anti-Federalists) • Wanted a government that was highly responsive. • Mostly older men who still conformed to the original plan • Feared threat to state governments, that the government would suck all of the power from the states to the national government. • Wanted a large, powerful House of Representatives (The People’s House) • Wanted descriptive representation (people being represented by people like them, the people representing the people). Conditional Supporters (e.g. Jefferson) • Wanted a Bill of Rights, this was the deal breaker to them, George Mason, governor of Virginia, spoke to a Bill of Rights. • Thomas Jefferson, who was in France, was writing to the Americans telling them that they needed a Bill of Rights to limit the governments power. • Swing voters • During the ratification battle, the conditional voters won the battle. The Framers promised the Bill of Rights and is was ends up getting it ratified. Delaware - Dec. 1787 - 100% Pennsylvania - Dec. 1987 - 66.7% 6 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 They had a real problem getting pennsylvania to ratify the Constitution, which they did not anticipate because it was home to Benjamin Franklin. They actually had to drag the positions back into the hall, and did not record their debate. They put together a pamphlet to oppose the constitution, and sent it around to the states. New Jersey - Dec. 1787 - 100% Georgia - Jan 1788 - 100% Conn. - Jan. 1788 - 76.2% Massachusetts - Feb. 1788 - 52.7% Big political powerhouse in the North. They needed the approval of Mass. John Hancock was one of the Delegates who made a promise to add a Bill of Rights as soon as it was ratified. Maryland - Apr. 1788 - 85.1% S. Carolina - May 1788 - 67.1 N. Hampshire - June 1788 - 54.8% Virginia - June 1788 - 53% Must have state of the South. Patrick Henry is there fighting it. James Madison flip flops saying that he opposes the Bill of Rights, then realizes that it will fail without one, so he promises one anyway. New York - July 1788 - 52.6% New Yorkers are fighting the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton promises a Bill of Rights. In trying to convince New York to vote yes, The Federalist Papers are written are “Publius” who was actually Alexander Hamilton (the only New Yorker to sign the Constitution), John Jay, James Madison N. Carolina - Nov 1788 - 71.6% Rhode Island - May 1970 - 51.5% Recommendations of the Pennsylvania Minority Liberty in religion - 1st Amendment Civil trail by Jury - 7th Amendment 7 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Fair trial guarantees - 5th and 6th Amendments No excessive bail - 8th Amendment No Cruel and unusual punishment - 8th amendment Certain search and seizure forbidden - 4th Amendment Freedom of speech, press - 1st Amendment Right to bear arms - 2nd Amendment Meant the people were allowed to have guns, whether thats what Madison meant or not. No standing army - Sorta 3rd The Constitution does not allow a standing army, so they come up with reasons to have one. Fowl, fishing and hunting rights - No. Limit on congressional revenue to tariffs and postage - N/a State regulate elections - no House of Representatives - no States organize militia - no Strict separation of powers - no Treated cannot violate state constitutions - no Sharp limits on judicial review - 11th James Madison wanted a Constitution that was for the people, not for the states, which explains why the ones that were not added were not approved. Individual rights were added to the Constitution. The Constitution was set up so that over time, the vague language in the Constitution would allow the government to grow. NO amendments protecting state’s rights when it comes to power. Supremacy Clause and the Elastic Clause - McCulloch v. Maryland Any bank not based in Maryland would be taxed (aka the National Bank). Commerce Clause - used to let congress regulate almost any type of commerce 8 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Wickard v. Filburn Man is caught growing more wheat than allowed, even though he was not selling it. But because he was not buying wheat because he was growing it himself, he was effecting the nation wide economy when it comes to wheat. Congress can use this on any economical case. This is what Congress used to oppose opposers of the ACA, because the sale of Health Insurance effects the price of all health insurance, the people can be made to buy it. A Story of Federalism at Work Clarence William Busch, who got into a car drunk, drove off the road and hit 13 year old Cari Lightner. He already had two drunken-driving convictions, and one in the works. Candy Lightner, a Sacramento real-estate agent begins a political crusade called Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It went crazy, and there are 258 chapters all over the United States with 300K members. She wants consequences to be harsher, and the acceptable BAC to be lower, and she succeeds. She then goes on to want the drinking age to be 21. In 1984 only 23 states approved. 19 had killed the bill, actively rejecting it, including Louisiana. When New York rejected it, the bordering states had not, so kids would just go to New York, get drunk, and drive home and wreck. They wanted congress to be involved, but they had already had problems with Prohibition, which was a mess. So they could not get involved because of the 21st Amendment. Spending Clause - congress can withhold federal highway funds from non-compliant states (which had already been done when they lowered the speed limit to 55) Louisiana did not put the limit on the sellers, just on the buyers. Congress said no. So Louisiana says that underage drinkers can drink in private establishments with a cover charge. They were shut down again. 9 Wednesday, January 20, 2016 The National Government had won, however they still could not enforce it because its not like Bill Clinton is standing there checking IDs. Washington Post Interviewing people about buying booze, a 17 year old said that he never had a problem buying Booze on Bourbon Street. Just because the National Government wins the legal battle, doesn't mean that the law gets enforced. 10


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