Intro to American Politics Lecture 2 Notes
Intro to American Politics Lecture 2 Notes POLS 101S
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexa Wolf on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 101S at Old Dominion University taught by MARK E CHECCHIA in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO AMERICAN POLITICS in Political Science at Old Dominion University.
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Date Created: 01/27/16
POLS 101S: Intro to American Politics Chapter 2 Lecture The Setting for Constitutional Change The Articles of Confederation o First national constitution o Loose union of states governed by a weak continental congress o Drawn up with the intent of creating a weak national government Continental Congress o Required 9 of 13 majority for most major decisions o All states had one equal vote Weaknesses of the Articles o No power to tax o No executive branch o No national court system o No national currency or regulation The threat of British troops in Canada, rampant inflation, exploding national debt, economic hardships, and Shay’s Rebellion in 1786 raised serious concerns about the ability of the current government. Annapolis Convention 1786: Met to address trade between states Discussion changed to problems with the Articles Decided to meet again to address changes to the Articles Philadelphia Convention Met to discuss the Articles of Confederation 55 delegates (Rhode Island did not attend) o Included George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin Common threads o Long history of selfgovernance at the state level even in the colonial period o Common intellectual background from the Enlightenment Locke, Hobbes, Montesquieu, and Rousseau o Lessons learned under British rule The Underlying Divisions o Power between states and national government o Relationship between the states The Combatants o Federalists Favored stronger national government Decreased state power James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton o AntiFederalists POLS 101S: Intro to American Politics Only slightly increasing national power Emphasis on state power Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry Establishing Legitimacy Belief of citizens in a government’s right to pass and enforce laws Without legitimacy, citizens may ignore laws or choose to selectively follow them Balancing State and National Authority Many different opinions with positive and negative aspects and differing levels of national authority o Confederacy o Unitary System o Federal System Congressional Representation Virginia Plan o Representation based on population New Jersey Plan o Equal representation Connecticut Compromise o Bicameral legislature; one house based on population, one house with equal representation The Electoral College Awkward compromise to balance state authority and national interest to elect the president Proved to be extremely problematic and largely unsatisfactory to everyone Powers Granted to the National Government “Delegated” or “enumerated” powers o Article I, Section 8 o Granted exclusively to the national government o Coin money, declare war, regulate foreign and interstate commerce Concurrent powers o Granted to both national and state government o Law enforcement, taxation, establishing courts, borrowing money, chartering banks and corporations The Supremacy Clause o Article IV o Laws of the national government trump laws of the state government o Enforced through national and state courts POLS 101S: Intro to American Politics The Necessary and Proper Clause o Also called the “elastic clause” and the “implied powers clause” o Gives Congress the power to create laws to carry out the enumerated powers o Legitimacy was addressed by the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Limiting Powers Habeas Corpus Banning Bills of Attainder and ex post facto laws Full Faith and Credit clause Privileges and Immunities clause Most of the Bill of Rights is aimed at limiting governmental authority over individuals Amending the Constitution Step 1: Proposing an amendment o Congress (2/3 vote in House or Senate) o National Convention requested by 2/3 of the states Step 2: Ratification o ¾ state legislature approval o Conventions in ¾ states approve The Myth of the Living Constitution Framers intended the Constitution to change over time to adapt to a changing society The Myth of the Timeless and Perfect Constitution Constitution has become too adaptable The value of the Constitution comes from providing a firm foundation for solving problems and resolving controversies Five Principles of American Constitutionalism 1. Rule of law 2. Republicanism 3. Separation of powers 4. Checks and balances 5. National supremacy
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