POSC 100: Week 3 Notes
POSC 100: Week 3 Notes Posc 100
Long Beach State
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Laura Pratt on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Posc 100 at California State University Long Beach taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Intro to american government in Political Science at California State University Long Beach.
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Date Created: 01/29/16
Outline of Presentation on Wasserman, chap. 2 I. Why have a Constitution? A. Would politics be possible without a Constitution? The constitution defines our idea of politics If we didn’t have rules those with resources would be able to impose themselves on the rest Politics would be possible without a constitution because we still have rules in society and power is still present but people will want to coexist Pg. 19 we need a constitution to put limits on the game – it means that the participants in the game aren’t going to restrain themselves but outside forces need to restrain the players in the political game Constitution limits the political game for the elites – they may take liberties at the expense of others The question of who gets what where and how (the who is left open because it is possible that the people with little resources can benefit from the constitution) II. The Articles of Confederation, our first, failed constitution A. Distinctive features of the Articles, and how they were different from our present Constitution. There was only power put in state governments Had no executive or judicial system established The states had to approve Amendments to articles (needed 9/13 state’s approval) Congress could NOT impose taxes Confederation DID have the power to declare war These established a feeble central government The states did not want a national government because they wanted to govern themselves Confederation is an alliance that depends on circumstances Did not want to have a repeat of what happened under British crown B. How can the Articles be defended? Why were they regarded as a failure? Tried out a system where only the states have power – gave an example of what to do in future constitutions Shay’s rebellion – mob action – their target was the elite – there will be more have nots than haves III. Our present Constitution—the longestlasting written Constitution of any country A. Politics in the writing of the Constitution. Great Compromise – giving each state equal representation or based on population Threefifths compromise – states wanted to count slaves as a full person to have more representation in the house of representative but other states did not want them to count as a full vote because certain states had so many of them and did not consider them as citizens Differences between the two major parties (Federalists and antifederalists) B. Could the Constitution have been written without politics? No – politics is what guided the creation of the constitution C. Public and private interests in the writing of the Constitution. The framers are said to have had private interests for why they wanted to draft the constitution (e.g. maintain power, maintain property) However, the framers also wanted to establish the inherent freedoms the citizens of America had so that the government could never infringe upon them IV. Contradictions in the Foundations of the Constitution Framers wanted to establish freedoms but also wanted to establish limits Contradictions are inherent in the Constitution as the motives surrounding its creation were wide and varied Limited government – powers of the government are limited by the rights and liberties of the governed
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