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PSCI 1040 Notes Spring 2016

by: Olivia Brooksbank

PSCI 1040 Notes Spring 2016 PSCI 1040

Marketplace > University of North Texas > History > PSCI 1040 > PSCI 1040 Notes Spring 2016
Olivia Brooksbank
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About this Document

This is information that will be in EXAM 1 of Political Science 1040. It is about a weeks worth, maybe a little more of notes. These are detailed notes taken in class from lecture. We meet 2 days a...
American History
Wendy Watson
Class Notes
political science




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Olivia Brooksbank on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 1040 at University of North Texas taught by Wendy Watson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 225 views. For similar materials see American History in History at University of North Texas.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
Notes: The constitution What is a constitution? - Written document that establish basic rules and procedures for how a society shall be governed; there is a set of documents that structures government. Well, structured constitution: - Brief. Easier for govt. officials to see what it is supposed to look like - Specific. Grant authority to specific institutions, clear about what govt. job is - Provides for orderly change: amend government system, change social values, technology, structure so we can have gov that evolves but doesn't require rebellion to evolve, orderly! Founding of constitution was not singular event, series of events: - 1776 - DOI to send message to England that we didn't want to be governed by them anymore we wanted to govern ourselves, have our independence - 1781 -Articles of Confederation - Governing document, first national govt. document for US. (DISASTER) - 1787-88 - Federalist and antifederalist papers - Change, take power away from the states - 1788 - Constitution - Wrote whole new document - 1791 - Bill of rights - The first ten amendments of Const. Provides protection of individuals from the national government. Why do we have government? - Keep society structured - Reflect the will of the people (popular sovereignty) - (EQUALITY) everybody’s will equally - Separation of powers - (Goat example) - Protects our person and property - TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS - REFLECTING OUR CONSENT, WEALLOW THIS - System that regulates property rights (that is mine! Give it back.) Liberalism: - John Locke - the only reason we have govt. is because we allow ourselves to be governed, serves citizens. - Social Contract - Everyone comes together and agrees to be governed. - We give over a little to get a lot (example: taxes) - Seed liberty in exchange for protection, bound by the same authority for living in harmony Majority Rule: - People with minority interests never get their way, gov. is not equally reflecting their needs. - (Steak and tofu example) Liberal Democracy: - Reflects popular soverighnty - liberty (unalienable rights) - Equality Declaration of Independence: - John Locke’s teachings - Helped structure the government. - Natural Rights - Rights we were born with, a creator - Right of rebellion - Gov. that doesn't reflect will, people can abolish and institute new government. Articles of Confederation - Governed the states until after the revolutionary war - Confederation - An alliance of sovereign states united for common objectives National Govt. - what the states do to cooperate, what states want not people - Congress - legislature - Powers - conduct foreign affairs (deal with other countries,ARMY, NAVY, treaties, declare war, US vs. other countries, currency, post offices) - National govt. could not impose taxes - No Provision for a central leader - No authority to regulate interstate activities (no trade) - Amendment required unanimous consent - Couldn’t raise taxes = debt. Shay’s Rebellion - Daniel shays led a group of thousands of merchants and farmers, they were upset because banks were insisting on paying instead of credit people were losing their homes, people who sacrificed for their country had no money and lost homes and property. - They all rebelled against state of Massachusetts. What to change? - unified currency need to have economy - taxes - regulate interstate commerce (exchange goods across state lines) - An executive branch: executes laws - Congress - enacts laws - full faith and credit clause: congress recognizes agreements made from the states Controversy and Compromise - States came together to amend articles of confederation (tweak them) - Virginia Plan - Virginia and New Jersey Document a product of… - Secrecy - Omission - Compromise Representation - Based on states or population? - How do we count population? - Would we count slaves? The Great Compromise - All legislative powers granted shall be vested in a congress of the US, which shall consist of a Senate - and House of Representatives (population) both bodies must agree for laws Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to respective numbers, states shared what they owed based on their POPULATION - The senate of the US is composed of two senators from each state… - The three fifths compromise (slaves) Judiciary - How big the court was going to be? - Lower courts? Electing the president - Small states worried - Solution: Electoral College (how president was picked) - Each state gets a number of electors, these electors were based on representation of house and senate, 3 electors. Size depends on population. The electors put ballots in box and they are the ones who choose president. - Each states electors vote as a group - Must win by electoral college not people 3 TERMS: - Confederation:An organization that consists of a number of parties or groups united in an alliance or league. - Democracy: System of government by the whole population or all the members of a state, typically through elected representatives. - Republic:AState in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. (people exercise their power through representatives) - Ratification: Official method of confirming something, usually by a vote - Tyranny: cruel or oppressive government or rule - Constitution: Written document that establish basic rules and procedures for how a society shall be governed; there is a set of documents that structures government. - Martial Law: Military government involving the suspension of ordinary law - Sovereignty: Supreme Power or authority, authority of a state to govern itself or another state - Bicameral: Having 2 branches or chambers (of a legislative (having the power to make laws) body) - Federalism: Division of power between national and state governments - Legislative Supremacy: Vesting most authority in the legislative branch - Enumerated powers: List of items found in article 1 of the constitution that set forth the authority of congress. (ex: declare war, coin money and regulate commerce) - Direct election: System of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person they desire to see elected. - Due Process: fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen's entitlement - Sovereign: supreme ruler, especially a monarch - Coercive: Relating to, or using force or threats - Checks and balances: Each power can check the other - (2and amendment, federalist papers - People can protect themselves from standing army by being equally well armed) What is the difference between Republic and Democracy? Democracy: is ruled by the omnipotent (all-powerful, unlimited power) majority. In a democracy, an individual, and any group of individuals composing any minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. Republic: A republic is a representative democracy with a written constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority. Fragmenting Power: - Ambition must be made to counteract ambition - Gov should be directed by the people and if it wasn't people had a right to replace a government with a better government - Fear - we were going to create another tyrant, a gov with too much control - James Madison - Before const convent encouraged that. He wrote with other people the federalist papers in an effort to get it ratified. “If people got along we wouldn't have to worry about government, but we need government that controls us as one, limits our behavior.” NEED ORDER BUTALSO RIGHTS - WE HAVE TO HAVE CHECKS IN THE GOVERNMENT How do you create an effective government that does not encourage tyranny? - You don't let one person have all the power - Groups have power spread out and they check each other. TERMS: Republicanism (we elect people to represent us and we let them make the decisions, INDIRECT DEMOCRACY) - Form of government in which power resides in the people and is exercised through elected representatives. Direct democracy = not good Why: Chaos. Federalism: Division of Power between a national government and small regional governments, two different levels of government Separation of powers: We divide power, legislative, executive and judicial branches.Assignment of different components of governmental power to different institutions. Checks and Balances: We give those branches the ability to check the other branches. Constitutional division of power into separate institutions. NEED approval to make decisions. Legislative - congress (HOR, Senate) DECLARE WAR Executive - The president (Executive office of the president) COMMANDER IN CHEIF Judicial - the courts (Supreme court, Courts of appeal, District courts) Amending the Constitution (COMPROMISE) Proposed: (REQUIRES 2/3 vote) HOUSEAND SENATE - Amendment is proposed by a 2/3 vote of each house of congress - Amendment is proposed by a national convention called by congress at the rest of 2/3 of the state legislatures Ratified: (REQUIRES 3/4) - Amendment is ratified by 3/4 of state legislatures - states call conventions, ratified by 3/4 - Always STATE by STATE The fight for ratification: - Federalists vsAnti-federalists - Federalists supported a strong and efficient central government (national govt. that is efficient) -Anti-Federalists said the constitution failed to protect individual liberty - Proposed constitution changed everything. NINTHAMENDMENT: - The enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - This list of bill of rights is not exhaustive, we have rights that aren't listed (ex: privacy rights) - Important because - just because the right isn't listed doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 10THAMENDMENT: - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people - Powers not specifically given to us, national gov. but not prohibited either are distributed to the people. EVALUATING THE CONSTITUTION - REALLY difficult to amend - Interpretation varies - Bill of rights: preserved individual liberty, kept away from tyranny - Expanding voting rights (18, women, blacks) - Electoral college - The ability for the people to participate has expanded Notes: Texas Constitution 2/2/16 UNIT 1 Consisted of a preamble and 17 Articles Awell constructed constitution should be… - Brief (not everything listed however some laws remain, open for interpretation) - grant authority to specific institutions (distributing power) - Provide for orderly change Reconstruction Constitution (1869-1876) - Centralized political power and strengthened public institutions - Promoted an activist social agenda supported by higher taxes and public debt (Schools) - Supporters of the Confederacy were banned from voting Constitutional convention of 1875 • Reaction to the Radical Republicans • Majority of delegates were Democrats Texas constitution of 1876 - Creaked weak, decentralized government - Limited power of branches of government - Limited use of public funds and deficit spending - Expanded local government power - (Reduced salaries for public officials) - Expands local government control Characteristics of the Texas constitution: - Long - Detailed - Confusing in organization - Poorly written (hard to understand, written quickly) - Restrictive (Government can’t do what we think it can, not enough authority granted) - Confusing… Principles of Texas Constitution - The big difference between TX and national has to do with how limited national government power is Bill of Rights - Located at the beginning of article 1 - Similar to those protected in the US bill of rights - Intended to protect the rights of the people in the state from national - Meant to protect Texans from the federal and state governments Notes: Texas Constitution 2/2/16 UNIT 1 Legislative branch - Article 3 - Bicameral legislature, with House and Senate - Nonprofessional legislature - Constitution is very specific about bills, amendments, and procedures, which limits legislative powers - Much more specific in legislative acts Executive branch - Article 4 - Governor is chief executive (Veto power) - Suggest legislation of legislature - Plural executive: Power is dispersed among governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, comptroller (keeps track of money)…etc… - Texas governors are NOT STRONG Judicial branch - Article 5 - Six different types of courts - Highly fragmented - Judges are elected - Dispersed power of courts (high level court - Tx supreme court, High criminal court - criminal appeals) Amendments - State level: people decide, 50% plus one - National level: requires 3/4 vote - Published twice in newspapers - Election - The first amendment that was adopted increased amount of resident US constitution Texas constitution - 7,000 words 90,000 words continually amended - Amended only 27 times 470 amendments - Flexible document Restrictive document - Vague Language Compilation of detailed positions Consequences of the Texas Constitution: - Point o access for interest groups - Little role for judicial interpretation/DIFFICULT FOR OUR GOVERNMENT TO GOVERN Notes: Texas Constitution 2/2/16 UNIT 1 What were the people who wrote the constitution responding to? responding to radical government after the civil war expansion of state power Higher Taxes Designed to fragment power among branches / exec branch so governor wasn't too strong We vote for our rep and direct say in what they do rhtpugh amendment process Judicial process - we elect judges As messy as it is, its on purpose Difficult to govern? - Example: Pay for school based on property taxes, not equal, people who are more land rich/wealthy cause people to spend more on their school, inequity. - ROBIN HOOD PLAN: The Robin Hood plan was a nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. state of Texas in 1993 to provide court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state, in light of the state supreme court's decision in Edgewood Independent School District v. Kirby. The law "recaptured" property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts and distributed those in property-poor ditricts, in an effort to equalize the financing of all school districts throughout Texas.You have to fund schools equally… - Richer school districts had to pay into a fund that goes to poor school districts - Tax at a certain rate WHY?…cant over tax poor districts - Unconstitutional STILL NOT FUNDING SCHOOLS EQUALLY SO WHAT DO WE DO????? - Statewide property Tax :( - Robin Hood…again - No taxes, students can buy their own books, students buy their own stadiums - Sales tax (Bad for poor people: Regressive tax, poor cannot afford what richer can because taxing) - Income Tax: no


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