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PS103 Week 2 Notes

by: Karma Alvey

PS103 Week 2 Notes PS103-70

Karma Alvey
GPA 3.925

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About this Document

Week 2 of notes including Chapter 2 of the book!
Political Systems
James Newman
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Karma Alvey on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PS103-70 at Southeast Missouri State University taught by James Newman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Political Systems in Political Science at Southeast Missouri State University.

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Date Created: 01/28/16
Ch. 2: The Constitution & the Founding Mitigating the Power of Government  Separation of Powers – The division of government power across the judicial, executive, and legislative branches.  Checks and Balances – A system in which each branch of government has some power over the others  Federalism – The division of power across the local, state, and national levels of government. How does the American political system resolve conflict?  Democracy  Equality  Liberty (Be sure to study table 2.1 in the book!) Human Nature and Its Implications for Democracy  The framers viewed humans as naturally self-interested.  Governments must productively channel this self-interest.  Governments must also be able to handle majority factions.  Republicanism – As understood by James Madison and the framers, the belief that a form of government in which the interests of the people are represented through elected leaders is the best form of government. Our form of government is known as a republican democracy.  Consent of the Governed – The idea that government gains its legitimacy through regular elections in which the people living under the government participate to elect their leaders  Natural Rights – Also known as unalienable rights, the Declaration of Independence defines them as, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The founders believed that upholding these rights should be the government’s central purpose. How Does Government Conduct Business?  Pluralism – the idea that having a variety of parties and interests within a government will strengthen the system while ensuring against “capture” by single groups  Elitism – In any nation, even democracies, there are the few who govern and the many who are governed. The Politics of Compromise at the Constitutional Convention  Majority rule vs. Minority right  Large states vs. small states  Executive power vs. Legislative power  National vs. State and Local power  Paradox of Democracy – when majority rule conflicts with individual rights, which is more important? How It Works: Checks and Balances Small States vs. Large States  Virginia Plan – Favors large states  New Jersey Plan – Favors small states o The outcome? – The Great Compromise Legislative vs. Executive Power  How much power should the president have relative to the legislative branch? National Power vs. State Power  The Articles of Confederation did not provide enough power to the national government.  Many still feared a tyrannical national government.  The compromise was federalism. Constitutional Framework: Exclusive Powers  Constitutional framework has survived for over 220 years despite flaws  Some powers are given specifically to each branch: “exclusive powers”  Executive branch o Executive branch has many fewer powers than congress:  Yet, the executive power “shall be vested” in the president, a phrase presidents have used to argue for greater executive power in recent administrations  Commander-in-chief  Ensures that laws are “faithfully executed”  Legislative Branch o Congressional powers include:  Raise revenue via tax and borrowing  Regulate commerce  Coin money  Establish roads, patents, copyright  Declare war  Control the “purse”  The “Necessary and Proper Clause” also known as the Elastic Clause, which gives congress the ability to stretch its powers Framework in Summary  Shared powers  No branch has exclusive control  President can make treaties and nominate judges, but both are done with the “advice and consent” of the Senate  Congress’ war powers were originally intended to be shared with the president, but the presidents have essentially taken that power away from Congress over time.


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