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PS 110- Honors: American National Government, Week 2 Class Notes (+Chapter 2 Book Notes)

by: nikki_ziggy

PS 110- Honors: American National Government, Week 2 Class Notes (+Chapter 2 Book Notes) 23898 PS 110

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Political Science > 23898 PS 110 > PS 110 Honors American National Government Week 2 Class Notes Chapter 2 Book Notes
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These notes cover the 2nd week's class notes and book notes for chapter 2.
Honors: American National Government
Dr. Edward M. Yager
Class Notes
political science, honors, american, National, Government, week 2, Book notes, class notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by nikki_ziggy on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 23898 PS 110 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Edward M. Yager in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 50 views. For similar materials see Honors: American National Government in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
The Constitution Origins of the Constitution  Constitution­ a nation’s basic law. o WHAT IT DOES: 1. Creates political institutions. 2. Assigns or divides powers in government. 3. Often provides certain guarantees to citizens. o Can be written or unwritten.  The Americans were FED UP  with England bossing them around from across the  Atlantic Ocean & putting heavy taxes on them.  Declaration of Independence­ The document approved by representatives of the  American colonies i1776  that stated their grievances against the British monarch &  declared their independence.  Natural rights­ Rights inherent in humans that cannot be given or taken away by  governments. o INCLUDES: Life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness in Jefferson’s Declaration  of Independence.  John Locke, English philosopher, believed that the natural rights of  mankind included life, liberty, & property.  This idea was central in his philosophies and theories.  Locke argued that people had the righrevolt  if these rights were  violated.  Consent of the governed­ The idea that the government got its power & authority from  the people.  Limited government­The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on the  government to protect the natural rights of citizens. The Americans won the American Revolution! Woo­hoo! …now, what? Articles of Confederation  The first loose national security alliance among the states, adopted by the Continental  Congress.  Governs the states while we are at war.  WHY IT FAILED: 1. It gave the states too much power. a. Each state had state sovereignty. b. The state legislatures had to give resources, but they had no tax  authority. 2. The central government had no authority to regulate the domestic economic  policy, which destabilizes the economic policy. 3. The nation had no common currency, which puts up trade barriers, an  impediment on economic integration.  Only 1 branch of government under the Articles (legislative branch).  One state had one vote (Virginia had the same power that a Delaware or a Connecticut  had because each was sovereign).  We did have a president—weak office, was a figurehead, & had no power.  There was a provision for policies to be adopted (2/3 had to vote for it, a super majority).  Amendments had to be agreed upon by all the state Talk about the gridlock!  The states began to drift apart, began trading with other countries: created an impediment on national integration. o BASICALLY : The states were like, “Yay! We beat England! … Okay, now we can go do our own thing.” o States started trading with different countries—could’ve started trade wars with  other countries. o They weren’t acting like a united nation.  States threatened border disputes (2 examples: Virginia & Pennsylvania).  Shays’ Rebellion­ Massachusetts, a series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of  farmers led by Revolutionary War captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings. o BASICALLY : Farmers couldn’t maintain their livelihoods so they  grabbed their pitchforks and stormed the courthouses.  The national government couldn’t get revenue b/c the states didn’t have to pay taxes to  the government.  Private militia ultimately ended Shay’s Rebellion.  New goal after Shay’s Rebellion: To revise & upgrade the Articles of Confederation.  Delegates from 12 of the 13 states convene Federalist Anti­Federalist Main message: The Articles of Confederation  Main message: Maintain state sovereignty &  are UNWORKABLE. keep the Articles of Confederation. Strong central government. Those who supported anti­federalists had  different ideas about the extent of central  government on personal liberty. George Washington, James Madison,  Patrick Henry, George Mason. Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin.  Starts with 55 delegates…ends with 38 signers.  Many delegates walked out b/c they were mad & “were not authorized to discuss a new  constitution.” Convention: Theme of Compromise  Compromise #1: Sovereignty be divided between states & central government.  Compromise #2: Whether or not slavery should be abolished o They decided not to talk about it.  Compromise #3: dealt with representation in the legislative body. o a.k.a. “Connecticut Compromise” or the “Great Compromise” o Virginia: votes based on population in house & senate & all of government.  Reflected Federalist argument for stronger government.  Called for new executive branch & judicial branch. o New Jersey: equal representation in Congress.  Reflected more Anti­Federalist argument. o The Continental Congress knew that if they solved this problem the probability of working together is greater. o Final decision: equal representation in Senate (both senators get free conscience  voting) & population­based representation in House of Representatives.  Compromise #4: How to select U.S. president. o Electoral college. o 2 positions—neither had good argument. o 1  position:  majority vote in Congress (both House & Senate) & that will decide.  Violates separation of power & checks and balances system.  It is like an invitation to not care about the governed. o 2  position:  The direct vote from the people  Why it’s wrong: The most popular person might not be the most qualified. o James Wilson advocated for popular vote & he was willing to compromise.  He created the idea of electoral college.  Referred to as “Madisonian model” o Madison played an important role on the design of the Constitution. o He was influenced by Montesquieu’s “Spirit of the Law”


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