Intro to American Politics Week 2
Intro to American Politics Week 2 POL 10100-002
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kiera Drymalski on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 10100-002 at Kent State University taught by Odeh Halaseh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Into to American Government and Politics in Politics-American Politics at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 09/03/16
American Politics Week 2 Notes Kiera Drymalski ▯ Founding of United States Monday, February 1, 2016 Purpose of Government o Makes and enforces public policies o Public policy Those things a government chooses to do or not to do American Government English Heritage o Shape of american government is based on the following english political ideas: Limited government The idea that government is not all-powerful Basic principle of the american system of government that government is limited in what it may do and each individual has certain rights that a government cannot take away Representative government The idea that government should serve the will of the people System of government in which public policies are made by officials who are selected by the voters and who are held accountable to the voters in periodic elections Royal control of the colonies o Because of distance between england and America, royal control of the colonies was relaxed for much of the colonial period Made self government more possible o Each colonial legislature assumed broad lawmaking powers o Power of the purse became very important o Colonial legislatures held power to vote on money to pay the governors salary Able to persuade governors to bend their will o After 1760- british imposed taxes and restrictive regulations to support British troops in north america Acts represent phrase “no taxation without representation” o Colonists saw little need for presence of troops since French had been defeated and their power broken in the french and indian war o Colonists considered loyal to crown but took issue with parliaments right to control their local affairs o Colonists resented having to pay taxes that they had no part in levying those taxes Growing colonial unity o The Albany Plan (1754) Franklin proposed an idea for uniting the 7 colonies After debate it was passed unanimously by delegates to the albany congress Called for a single president-general to be appointed by the king who would be responsible for indian relations, military preparedness, and execution of laws regulating various trade and financial activities Called for a grand council to be selected by the colonial legislature where the number of delegates would be based on the taxes paid by each colony Plan submitted as a recommendation and was rejected both by King George II and the legislatures of the individual 7 colonies since it would remove some of their existing powers o The Stamp Act Congress (1765) Harsh British trade policy (sugar act of 1764 and stamp act of 1765) caused colonists to meet to denounce the practices and to organize boycotts and other acts of protest Colonists prepared a “declaration of rights and grievances” against the British policies and sent it to King George III o British parliament passed a new law designed to tie the colonies closer to the crown o Rebellion and boycotts ensued o Boston Massacre March 3, 1770 British troops fire into a crowd, killing 5 o Boston Tea Party December 16, 1773 342 chests of tea owned by the east india company are dumped into Boston harbor to protest new British tax on tea First Continental Congress o 1774- “Intolerable Acts” caused colonists to send delegates to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia to discuss matters and to make plans for action o Congress sent a “Declaration of American Rights” to King, reasserting home rule and endorsing an agreement to ban all trade with Britain until it rescinded the taxes and restrictions Second Continental Congress o May 1775- second continental congress met… revolution had already begun o The congress organized a government and established an army led by George Washington o Second continental congress served as the first national government of the US from July 4, 1776 to March 1, 1781 until the articles of confederation went into effect o Second continental congress was unicameral (consisting of one chamber) exercising both legislative and executive powers o Each colony had one vote Declaration of Independence o Signed by members of second continental congress on July 4, 1776 o Announces the United States independence from Great Britain and listed reasons for rebellion o Much of the work was done by Thomas Jefferson (Virginia) who was influenced by the philosophical works of John Locke o Declaration is one of the most important statements of american political philosophy o Declaration is an argument that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed Popular sovereignty Articles of Confederation o United States has has had 2 not 1 governing document o Following declaration the second continental congress set out to create a structure for a national government for the new nation o Articles of Confederation were adopted November 15, 1777 (ratified by last state MD, March 1, 1781) o Created a confederacy in which the national government derived its power from the states and not the other way around o Limited form of government o “Firm League of Friendship” Article III Articles of Confederation: Government Structure o Created loose alliance of states more than a form of central government o 1 legislature o Delegates chosen annually determined by states o No executive or judicial branch instead these function were handled by committees of congress o Congress chose one of its members as “president” but not president as we think of today Just a figurehead o Each state had 1 vote and all states were equally represented in congress regardless of geographic size or population o Major laws required the approval of 9 of the 13 states More fundamental changes required unanimous consent of all 13 states to amend the constitution o Most powers of the national government under the articles related to common defense and foreign affairs National congress had power to maintain and army and navy ▯ Founding of United States Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Articles of Confederation: Years of Chaos o Revolutionary War ended in 1783 1780s time of economic chaos in America o national government under articles was plagued by weakness o government lacked power to levy taxes, regulate trade between states, and had no power to make the states obey the Articles o Under the Articles states acted as independent countries —> getting into alliances with foreign countries, minting their own currencies, taxing other stats goods resulted in trade wars between states states clashed over rights to claim western territories Connecticut settlers and Pennsylvania troops violently clashed over a disputed area o efforts to improve articles were informal conferences to deal with commerce disagreements between the states Shays Rebellion o high taxes and bank foreclosures caused Massachusetts farmers (led by Daniel Shays) to hold open and sometimes violent protests in 1786-87 o Massachusetts appealed to congress to send a militia but congress was unable to raise funds because the various states refused to pay for such a militia o militia was finally raised from private donations and eventually ended o Shays’s rebellion demonstrated weakness of the central government under the articles giving momentum for the constitutional convention ▯ The Convention and The Constitution Philadelphia Convention o constitutional convention convened on May 25, 1787 o all states except rhode island sent delegates The Framers: Who were they? o The Founding Fathers 55 white males who were powerful political figures of the time and much wealthier and better educated than the average person were young… most had come of age during the revolutionary decade many owned property half were lawyers some were nationally and internationally respected figures many had experience with governing in state or colonial capacities most of them were from cities or coastal regions even though most of the country was rural at the time James, Madison, Franklin, Washington, Hamilton included Jefferson and Adams were not there because they were serving abroad as ambassadors at the time Majority Political Views of the Founders o major sources of ideas for the constitution included the political writings of John Locke, British tradition and colonial experiences o Locke believed that “the end of government” was the preservation of property o People are self-interested and use power to advance their own goals Federalist 10 & 51 o property was an important right to be protected by government and much of the constitution deals with property issues o some type of government was necessary direct democracy was distrusted and frowned upon o strong national government was necessary to protect property, to check the power of the states, and to promote commerce Decision to Write a New Constitution o Shays Rebellion demonstrated weakness of central government under the Articles gave momentum for constitutional convention o sole purpose of the convention in Philly was to revise the Articles of Confederation once there delegates agreed a new constitution was necessary o Edmund Randolf (VA) moved that a national government be established consisting of the 3 branches of government which would be supreme over state governments in national matters Compromise at the Convention: The Legislative Branch o New Jersey Plan William Patterson support for only modification of the articles with a weak national government equal representation (1 note per state unicameral legislature favored small states o Virginia Plan James Madison and Edmund Randolf proposed a strong national government congress would choose a national executive and a national judiciary favored representation based on population or on the amount of money a state gave to support national government a bicameral legislature was proposed: lower house would be elected directly by the people upper house would be selected by the lower house from lists of persons nominated by the state legislature both houses would have numbers based in proportion to a states population favored large states number of votes in legislature would be based on a state population o Connecticut Compromise strong national government bicameral legislature house of representatives based on population and popularity elected for 2 year term senate based on equal representation with appointment by the state legislature for a 6 year term changed to popular election with 17th amendment in 1913 Compromise at the Convention: Slavery o constitution recognized slabery as a legitimate institution o constitution allowed the importation of slaves into the U.S. until 1808 The Three-Fifths Compromise o constitution treated slaves as property by allowing them to be counted as 3/5 of a person to determine how many representatives a state could send to Congress ironically North didn't want them counted as citizens because it of representation and South wanted them counted as 1 person o known as 3/5 Compromise sidestepped the slavery issue ▯ ▯ ▯
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