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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by jaxxgrace on Wednesday April 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ECON 201 at James Madison University taught by Bruce Brunton in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Principles of Economics: Microeconomics in Business at James Madison University.
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Date Created: 04/27/16
History 225 LECTURE Notes The Four Ghosts that Haunt Constitution Hall 1. Constitutional Convention: -Who were the delegates? (55) Wealthiest merchants, slaveholding planters, lawyers, businessmen, men of property, men of property, college grads, “money men” -Could elites draft a constitution that serves their own material interests? Or will they create a constitution that incorporates the wishes of the people? How do these rich men define the public interest? -Alexander Hamilton’s 6-hour speech: (July) To convention: this is what we need to create; hierarchical proposal for a new constitution People are changing, can’t be trusted, don’t have property or knowledge to know what’s right for the country Protect new government from “prudence” of democracy Advocates president and senate elected for life (elected monarchy) Extremely undemocratic Everyone agrees good idea, but recognized that that is impossible/impractical o Lacks popular legitimacy o Would create instability, riots -Idea that the people, although not present, had a “presence” at the convention Accommodated into the new constitution (“ghosts”) 2. Ghosts that Haunted the Delegates -Thomas Paine voice that encourages ordinary farmers, working men, to demand a voice in political affairs -Paper money laws that enables debtors to pay their debts in money than in hard currency (sterling silver, gold, coin) -Daniel Shays Rebellions -Specter of Slave Rebellion LECTURE 3. Compromise (The Constitution) -Mix of accommodation and coercion of powers Grants federal gov’t authority to suppress and protect the states from domestic violence National army that can take down rebellions (state militias) -Accommodations to the “people” Coercive powers against the people would be seen as “heavy handed” Implementation of laws that restrict Tom Paine and money legislators of what they can do in the states States cannot issue own currency (only federal gov’t can) Fed Gov’t can also regulate contracts, regulate commerce Declares Fed Gov’t/ Constitution is the supreme law of the land Grants popular election of representatives into the House of Representatives o HOR becomes democratic part of the constitution o One delegate for every 30,000 (Tom Paine argues one for every 300) o States determine who has the right to vote Federal Constitution says nothing about the right to vote (later amendments change this) STATES REGULATE -Legacy Constitution is neither democratic or aristocratic but BOTH o More hierarchical, but more democratic than it is today o Opens up amendment process and Bill of Rights o First act of congress- amendments of the Constitution o First 10 amendments of the constitution- Bill of Rights 10 Amendments- Liberties/Rights that are protected by the federal gov’t (cannot be taken away) Constitution incorporated democratic components due to influence of popular movements (Tom Paine, Shay’s rebellion) Elites could not ignore the people “outside” of the hall (taken them into consideration) History 225 LECTURE Notes The Politics of the New Nation The 1790’s became one of the most politically contentious decades in American History 1. First Congress and Slavery -Enhanced rights of property over rights of people -Presented to abolish slavery and they decided not to (why did they not abolish slavery?) Slaves were demanding rights, petitions, legislatures State constitutions in North put in provisions for immediate, or gradual freedom -Slavery is a political metaphor and a political contradiction -Slave Self-Activity and Protest Slaves running to British side, protests -Contagion of Liberty First emancipations Free Black communities in the North New Virginia laws loosen regulations of slavery o Law in 1782, gives masters the right to free their slaves -Thomas Jefferson and the Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson says no to abolition) -Robert Carter III: Deed of Gift Emancipation through Deed of Gift 200 Freed Slaves Slaves began claiming their a “carter” slave for freedom -Why did congress not act to abolish slavery? -1790 Debated in Congress to Abolish Slave Trade Where would they go? What would happen? How do you ensure freedom? Congress decides to free a slave it requires an act of powerful political authority -Fear of tyrannical power of British, to use power of Fed Gov’t to free slaves will be too powerful of a gov’t Weakened federal gov’t protects rights/liberty Social justice requires more than good deeds if private citizens -Congress wont act on slavery due to the fear of a too powerful government Tyrannical gov’t is more to fear than the emancipation of slaves Why did the revolutionary generation not abolish slavery? -Many recognized slavery and liberty were incompatible One of the core contradictions -It’s not that they didn’t consider slavery and the declaration of independence wasn’t compatible Jefferson: Conclusion that blacks and whites cannot live in social harmony Washington: Provided education and liberty upon death o Isn’t supporting slavery, recognized contradiction but can’t figure out how to get rid of it Robert Carter III: Most moved by revolution -No one had the imagination that using the power of the federal gov’t under the constitution could be used to emancipate -Social justice requires more than private deeds of citizens -Revolutionary generation too afraid of powerful federal gov’t Fear of gov’t killed initiatives to empower the powerless/protect them For freedom of slaveholders, a weak fed gov’t preserves their properties For slaves, a strong fed gov’t would be useful in protecting their rights to freedom -Does a strong fed gov’t invade or protect liberties/rights? -Fear: if federal action towards emancipation happens, will ask if gov’t has right to do that
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