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American Government

by: Courteney Feld

American Government Gov 310L

Courteney Feld
GPA 3.2

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About this Document

My personal class and book reading notes :)
American Government
Mr. Benjamin Hardee
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Courteney Feld on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Gov 310L at University of Texas at Austin taught by Mr. Benjamin Hardee in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 253 views. For similar materials see American Government in Political Science at University of Texas at Austin.


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Date Created: 01/31/16
Week 2 Class and Reading Notes Locke, Chapter V: Property  God gave world to men (including reason); food, animals to eat, etc.  Property of own per son- his own work and labor  Don’t need consent of mankind or anyone to take something from the earth as own property (ex: flowers or nuts)  Labor that is someone’s to remove item out of common state it was in  property appropriation  Still property has bounds- do not overtake what is meant to be shared with others  God didn’t make anything for us to spoil or destroy  Bounds set by reason  Land and water are not as much of an issue because they are so plentiful  Problems arise when you take more than needed  Labor, making use out of land/earth  No right to property farther than its use because someone else could have used it if you let it go to waste  Value of objects based on labor  All this led to invention of money  People trading things not of equal value  money enlarges one’s possessions  Enlightenment- reason; not force of violence  Government and society are not radically conventional  Society is not natural  Human character is natural world without government  Peaceful, rational, industrious  People who aren’t the norm are the problem to society  From reason/nature to conventional positive law  True freedom is not state of nature because it has no security- you’ll get killed  States of nature and war have no earthly judge  Tyrannical governments create state of war with people  Force without right; taking away “fence of freedom”  Thomas Jefferson- right of revolution, Declaration of Independence  Human societies started by force  People naturally are quarrelsome and violent Locke on Property: When he refers to America, he’s talking about Native Americans in state of nature Property comes from labor- people only own oneself and that which they can produce/create Natural law- preserve self and all mankind Everything we do must make moral sense and give us moral rights God gave us earth to preserve/sustain ourselves and command us to subdue the earth Spoilers rule Bible suggests not to focus or distract with material wealth, but wealth and faith of god Money came out of need for wealth and property Locke wants property because it rewards labor  material progress Property precedes civil society Money is vehicle of material increase Money doesn’t spoil or go bad Governments must provide legal and material means for progress, society, technology Money gives value to labor and creates economic inequality Chapters IX-XIII Locke  Children born into freedom, but have to answer to/give control to parents  Grow up with reason  Men can’t enjoy freedom because it is always unsecure/unsafe  Therefore, willing to join society and unite for mutual preservation of property  Established and known standard law  Known and indifferent judge  Power to back and support the sentence and give due execution  In state of nature, man has 2 powers: 1. Do whatever is fit to preserve himself and others within permission of law of nature 2. Power to punish crimes  He must give up 2 powers to comply with law: Equality, Liberty, Executive Power from state of nature  hands of society for common good  Community may make compounded/mixed forms of government  First and fundamental positive law of commonwealth- establishing legislative power (supreme)  Preservation of society and individuals in it  Cannot be total/arbitrary power  Obligations of law of nature important in society  Authority bound to justice  Society = joint power/force of multitude  Supreme power can’t take property  Taxing without consent is violation of fundamental law of property  end of government  Legislative can’t transfer power of making laws to any other hands  Legislative and executive power should be separated  Federative power- power of war and peace, leagues an alliances, and all transactions  Should be a body to check legislative and make sure not abusing power or infringing on rights  Executive has power to assemble/dismiss legislative- “fiduciary Trust” for safety of people  Locke is materialist  Comfortable living and property  God doesn’t provide for us, humans do for themselves  Property = reap benefits of labor  incentive for technology and progress and science  Foundation for capitalism- benefits everyone and serves needs of the body  Of equality:  Equal political right and independence should be standard political ideal  Intelligent people have claim to be in government (not a matter of equality)  Society should have a place for people who have merit/do better than others  Freedom but not security (fear)  willing to join society  Property includes lives and liberty  Not just preservation, but growth/increase  State of nature has no set law, judge, or continuous power (3 problems)  Law of nature not binding or known to all  Leaving state of nature = exchange of rights for protection  Contract with everyone in society to cooperate at all levels  Forms of commonwealth- legit forms of government = consent and protection (not just democracy)  However, democracy is best form of government  Vote to establish legislative power leads to preservation of society st  Arbitrary power = state of war- 1 limitation  Requirement that power must be through laws- 2 nd limitation  3 limitation- power cannot take property without consent  Executive and Federative power  separation of powers  Prerogative power- power to go against law if necessary to protect public good Montesquieu:  Liberty- power to do what one wants without constraints on what they don’t want to do  Liberty is right to do everything laws permit  Power must check power to avoid abuse  States purpose is to maintain itself  Political liberty = tranquility of spirit and not fearing the government  No liberty without separation between law makers, executers, and judges  Danger of a single power (ex: in other countries’ forms of government)  Criminal chooses judges  Judge is an individual; other two are bodies  People’s representatives must do all they cannot do  Choose representatives from own town/state  All citizens have right to vote on representatives  Body checks enterprises of people, and people check theirs  Faculty of enacting- right to order or correct  Faculty of vetoing- right to render null  Executive power should decide when legislative meets  Army made of citizens  answer to executive  State will perish when legislative power is more corrupt than executive power


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