Chapter 1 TXBK Notes
Chapter 1 TXBK Notes POSC 103
Popular in American National Government
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tiara Notetaker on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 103 at Towson University taught by Joseph Rudolph in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Towson University.
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Date Created: 09/03/16
Chapter 1 – The Constitution of the United States 1.1 What is the Constitution? Fun Facts Each of the 50 states has a constitution Presidential oath: to “preserve, protect, and defend” the constitution Functions: Outlines the design of the government Grants power / authority to the government to act Lists the rights of the people (which limits governmental power) Serves as a symbol of the country 1.2 The Road to Nationhood Colony – a territory under the direct control of a parent state 17631776 colonies organized resistance against British authority 1776 Declaration of Independence, themes: Humankind shares equality: the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” Government is the creation and servant of the people (the government maintains authority by the consent of the governed) Governments are bound by their own laws 1781 Articles of Confederation – first national constitution giving the states the majority of political power “Confederation” – loose union of separate states Congress represented the states, not the people Central government had power over foreign affairs and the military, but not over taxes or trade There was no executive branch or national courts It was very hard to make amendments 1.3 The Making of the Constitution 1787 Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia, PA) Virginia Plan, suggested: o Stronger national government o Congressional representation based on state populations New Jersey Plan, suggested: o Changes to the Articles of Confederation o States retain their power Great Compromise: o House based on state populations o Senate has equal representation for each state 1787 The Constitution Federalists = supporters of the Constitution o The Federalist Papers – 85 essays by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton spreading support for the constitution Antifederalists = nonsupporters of the Constitution 1.4 Features of the Constitution Republican government – where people elect representatives to make decisions in their place Popular election (House of Representatives) Indirect popular election (Senate) Presidential appointment (National Judiciary) 3 branches of government: Legislative (Congress), Executive (President), and Judiciary (Supreme Court) > division of responsibilities > checks and balances Electoral college (to elect the president) It’s short (open for interpretation) Necessary and Proper Clause (“elastic clause”, gives Congress “implied powers”) 1791 Bill of Rights (= 10 Amendments (today there are 27), limits the government) How Amendments are commonly made: Proposal by 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress, ratification by 3/4 of the state legislators 1.5 Judicial Review Comes to the Supreme Court Court cases are examples of the Judicial Branch giving meaning to certain parts of the Constitution Judicial Review – the authority of courts to say if a legislative act is unconstitutional First occurred in Marbury v. Madison (1803)
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