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Chapter 1 Notes so far

by: Kirsten Swikert

Chapter 1 Notes so far Political Science 110

Kirsten Swikert
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About this Document

I don't have my book yet so these are just the notes we've taken in class plus a few examples, future notes will include notes from the book as well.
American National Government
Jeffrey Budziak
Class Notes




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Swikert on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Political Science 110 at Western Kentucky University taught by Jeffrey Budziak in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.

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Date Created: 02/10/16
Chapter 1 • Desert Island Experiment o What are we going to struggle over? § Resources: shelter, food, water o What’s the most important resource? § Power: the ability to get other people to do what you want o What decisions do we have to make? § Politics: who get’s what, when, how o How can we create stability? § Government: a system for exercising control over people o How can we organize our new government? § Institutions: structures of mechanisms of social order that govern the behavior of individuals • Create rules: sets of requirements • Politics: a way of determining without violence who gets the powers and resources in society and how they get them • Social order: the way we organize our collective lives • Politics is about getting our own way o Always will be winners and losers • Politics= process •Government=system of organization o Ex: congress, campaigns °Ex: system of organization • Authority: power that’s legit o Enforces decisions • Legitimacy: level of support for the enforcement of government’s authority o Diffuse support (high level) = legitimate o Concentrated support (low level) =illegitimate • Declaration of Independence: creating a legitimacy o Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem • Rules: directives that specify how resources will be distributed or what procedures govern activity o Provides framework • Institutions: organizations where government power is exercised • Economics: production and distribution of a society’s materials and resources o The country’s wealth • Capitalist economy: an economic system where the market determines the production and distribution and price decisions o Relies on the market • Regulated capitalism: system where the government intervenes to protect rights and make procedural guarantees o US has this system • Socialist economy: the state determines production, distribution, and price decisions; property is government owned o Decisions are based on what society needs • Procedural guarantees: government assurance that the rules will run smoothly and treat everyone fairly with no promises of particular outcomes • Substantive guarantees: government assurance of particular outcomes and results • Social democracy: hybrid democracy combining a capitalist economy and government that supports equality • Collective action: government is primarily in charge of managing, actions taken by a group of people whose goal is to achieve a common goal o Problem is created by public goods and free riders § Public goods: individual can’t be excluded from use and the use by one person doesn’t reduce availability of goods to another § Free riders: those who benefit from public goods but do not pay them • Popular sovereignty: concept that citizens are the ultimate source of political power • Elite democracy: theory of democracy that limits citizens to choose among competing leaders o Leaders chosen through media, military, etc. • Republic: a government where decisions are made through representatives of the people The Role of People • Subjects: individuals who are obliged to submit to a government authority against which they have no rights o Must do whatever the government says o Have obligations to the state but no privileges • Citizens: members of a political community having rights and responsibilities o Government must act with their will o Can vote • Social contract: a notion that society is based off an agreement between the government and citizens in which they agree to give up some rights for protection of others Types of Government • Monarchy: independent representative of a royal family • Totalitarianism: a small group of leaders or one specific individual makes all political decisions for society (TOTAL control) • Authoritarianism: similar to totalitarianism; leader only has control over government but not economic life • Aristocracy: rule by leading members of wealthy families and have close approximation to monarchies • Theocracy: God • Fascism, oligarchy, dictatorship, etc. No government Limited government Government has total control Types of Democracy • Direct (participatory) Democracy: citizens participate in government as individuals o Have direct control over choices of government o A theory saying citizens should control all aspects of their own lives o Ex: initiatives: procedure by which voters can propose a law • Pluralist Democracy: citizens participate in government through groups o NRA, labor unions • Advanced Industrial Democracy: democratic system that allows citizens to have a lot of freedom and maintains a free market • Communist Democracy: utopian system where property is communally owned and all decisions are made democratically • Republican form of Democracy: retains the ultimate power over the government with the people, but policy decisions are made by elected officials • Democracy: a type of government that vests in power of the people o Tries to maximize freedom Social Democ atic Christian Democratic Fascist Communist parties parties Democratic parties parties Socialist Republican Conservative Parties parties • Classic liberalism: society structured around the individual o Instead of viewing individuals as the product of a political society… liberalism makes society the product of individuals o Based on the notion of the “social contract” • Civic republicanism o Place great emphasis on civic virtue and the notion of the public good o Limitations of civic republicanism? • Primary individualism o Responsibility of the individual to take care of his or her self o US has this way of thinking • The primary cause of diversity in the US is immigration o It's easier to let people believe what they want, than to impose an idea on them American Political Culture Today • Driven in theory by ideology o Collection of orientations a person uses to order the political world o Distinct from “issue by issue” judgments • American Ideologies o Libertarianism: places strong emphasis on the role of the individual and places strong limits on the role of the government § Rand Paul is considered a libertarian o Conservatism: endorses less government regulation, particularly on economic matters o Liberalism: active government, particularly in the economic sphere The Constitution: Structures and Choices • Pre-Constitutional History o The Articles of Confederation o In what year did America declare independence from England? 1776 o In what year did the Revolutionary War end? 1783 o In what year did we ratify the Constitution? 1789 § What happened in the interim (6-year gap)? • Articles of Confederation: first codified governing document • Confederation: association of independent states • National government lacked independent power: only powers granted to it by the states o The states didn’t want to grant too much power to one group, so they limited the government’s power and split it between the states • The Constitutional Convention o The Virginia Plan § Advanced by federalists § Supported the notion of a strong central, federal government with substantial independent powers • Total departure from the Articles of Confederation § Representation in both houses is based on population § Laws passed by the majorities decision § Strong single executive o The New Jersey Plan § Advanced by anti-federalists § Supported states rights over a limited central government with few independent powers • More consistent with Articles of Confederation § One vote per state § Extraordinary majority to pass laws § Multiple executives o Compromise: The Constitution § Approximately 4500 words (not including the Amendments) • Pretty short considering it’s the foundation for a country • They either got sick of each other, were prepared for the Amendments, or were prepared for it to be a general statement that can be changed or interpreted with time (200 years later it might not make sense) § Bicameral legislature: the House of Representatives and the Senate o The House of Representatives: states represented proportionally, 2 year terms directly elected by districts o The Senate: states represented equally, 6 year terms elected by state legislatures (changed in the 1900s, the people now vote for senators) § Independent, single executive: President • Indirectly elected by Electoral College § Supreme Court • With power of Congress to establish a federal court system § Granted federal government substantial independent powers • All other powers were retained to the state governments • An Overview of the Constitution o Article 1: Legislature § Symbolic importance of being first: most important because it is directly related to the people § 2268/4500 words (50.4% of the total words in the Constitution) § Detailed list of government powers • Enumerated Powers: powers specifically listed as given to Congress o Ex: power to lay and collect taxes, power to declare war • Implied Powers: powers of Congress implied by the Constitution o Ex: power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper • Reserved Powers: powers not given to Congress but reserved to the states o Ex: 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 o Article 2: The Executive § Less attention to the Executive (1019/4500 words, 22.6%) § General state of executive powers and responsibilities • The office of the President • The selection method (Electoral College) • Presidential Powers o Article 3: The Judiciary § Sparse attention (375/4500 words, 8.33%) § Few brief discussions • The creation of “one Supreme Court” • The creation of “inferior Court as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish” o Any other court is created by Congress • The cases the Supreme Court must hear • The definition of treason The Ratification Process • Likelihood of success o 9 of 13 states need to approve it before it could take effect o many small and southern states feared too much power was being transferred from state to the national government • Two groups emerged during debate o Federalists: favored stronger national government (favored ratification) o Anti-federalists: favored comparatively weaker national government (generally unfavorable to Constitution) § Generally farmers • The Federalist Papers o Collection of 85 essays o Used to persuade people into ratifying the Constitution (written in favor of the new Constitution) o Published in newspapers so they would be available almost anywhere to anyone • The Bill of Rights o Federalists’ willingness to include a Bill of Rights was vital for the ratification of the Constitution o Creation of the Bill of Rights § Madison became primary supporter of a Bill of Rights and worked in First Congress to pass amendments • Over 200 recommended amendments from states • Madison (and committee) returned with 17 o Through some combination, Congress reduced the number to 12 Characteristics of the Constitution • Separation of powers o Dividing power among specialized branches of government o Split powers between: legislative (creates laws), executive (enforces laws), and judicial (interprets laws) • Compare to Parliamentary System o Power is said to be fused § Executive is chosen by the legislature from among its members • Checks and Balances o Each branch of government can limit the actions of another Federalist 10 • We must either dominate (destroy liberty or force common belief) or control factions (direct democracy or large republic)


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