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Notes from the Text2

by: Rachel Rusnak

Notes from the Text2 130

Rachel Rusnak
GPA 3.2

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About this Document

Covers the reading from Ch.2- The Constitution. The Foundation of Citizen's Rights.
American National Government
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Rusnak on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 130 at Ball State University taught by Wheeler in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Ball State University.

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Date Created: 09/04/16
Chapter 2 (p.15-35). The Constitution. The Foundation of Citizen’s Rights. Constitution Controversy.  More than 160 nations had based their own constitutions directly/ indirectly on our founding document. o National constitutions are today more likely to include protection for women’s rights, rights to work, rights to education, rights to unionize, and the right of freedom movement.  Our constitution has been amended 27 times. o More subtly with institutional adaption to social change and the gradual development of public policy.  “Parchment guarantees”. 1. The Foundation of American Democracy. a. Early colonization. i. Jamestown- 1607- by the Virginia Company of London. ii. 1619- Created assembly known as The House of Burgesses. 1. The British crown took control of failing colony in 1624, while the H.O.B survived. iii. Mayflower Compact. 1. “Constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and officials…as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony”. b. The Colonists Respond to Economic Pressure. i. British policies limited economic progress in the colonies. ii. The Seven Years War (1756-63) brought home dramatically to Britain the cost of protecting their North American colonies from France, and its allies while maintaining a vas empire elsewhere in the world. 1. Defray cost by implementing tax on sugar and printed materials. a. “taxation without representation”. iii. The Boston Tea Party. c. Colonists mobilize for action: the Continental Congress. i. Approved a declaration of grievances and urged a boycott of British goods. ii. Lexington’s “shot heard around the world”. 1. Marshaling military forces; financing by borrowing funds; issuing bonds. 2. Articles of Confederation. d. Declaration of Independence. i. Philosophy of natural rights. ii. A tool to rally support from a population that lacked consensus about separation from Britain. 2. The Birth of a Nation. Chapter 2 (p.15-35). a. The Articles of Confederation: a document whose time had come and gone. i. Created Congress. ii. Recognized colonies as sovereign units. iii. Congress responsible for: 1. Maintaining army and navy. 2. Conducting foreign policy. 3. Declaring war and peace. iv. 1787 Shay’s Rebellion. b. The Road to Philadelphia. i. “Express purpose for revising the articles of Confederation”. c. Constitutional Convention. i. Bicameral- 2-house legislature. ii. New/ easy plan. 1. Unicameral- single body legislature maintaining the equal state representation and granting Congress additional powers over trade and security. a. Great Compromise. d. Regional Tensions: Slavery and the 3/5 Compromise. i. Many northerners opposed slavery on economic, moral and religious grounds. ii. Based representation on the whole number of free citizens, and 3/5 of all others, excluding Indiana. 3. Constitutional Principles. a. Enshrines the principles of liberal democracy buttressed with protections achieved through the separation of powers, checks & balances, and federalism. i. Liberal Democratic Principles. 1. Signed a new unity of transcended state loyalists. ii. Separation of Powers and Checks & Balances. 1. Dividing the functions of government ensured that no one branch could consolidate power into its own hands. 2. Providing each branch with overlapping power so that no one branch could exercise complete control of any functions of government. iii. Federalism. 1. Some powers are properly controlled by the national government whereas others are reserved to the states. 4. Constitutional Construction. a. Elastic clause- by the effect it has had on expanding congressional authority. b. Supremacy clause- that gives federal law precedence over state law. 5. The Fight for Ratification. a. Suspicion emerged about the motives of the delegates who had shrouded themselves in secrecy. i. Some did not sign because it lacked a bill of rights. ii. Federalist believed the document limited the power of federal bodies, making a bill of rights unnecessary. b. Antifederalist Opposition. Chapter 2 (p.15-35). i. Drawn from various quarters and expressed concern over a range of issues. ii. Worried the new country was so large that only a strong central government could maintain order and unity. c. The battle in the states. i. Constitution found support in commercial centers, western territories and Native Americans. ii. Quickly ratified by 5 states. 1. Pennsylvania. 2. Massachusetts. 3. Virginia. 4. New York. 5. Rhode Island. iii. The Federalist (1787). 1. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. 2. 85 articles to sway public opinion; propaganda weapon; analysis of the principles of American government. 3. Factions- distinct groups most often driven by economic motives. d. Making good on a promise: The Bill of Rights. i. The first 3 amendments emphasized political liberties. 1. Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, right to bear arms, protection against being forced to quart troops in peacetime. ii. Did not restrict states from depriving their own citizens of some of these same freedoms. 6. Constitutional Change. i. The Farmers made provisions for change. b. Amending the Constitution. i. Farmers proposed 2 methods for submitting amendments. 1. Introduce and approved by 2/3 vote may be submitted. 2. If requested by 2/3 vote, congress can call a National Convention where amendments can be proposed. ii. Did not want change to come easily. c. Institutional Adaptation. i. To remain viable, it must be able to adapt to changing times and deal with matters that its authors could hardly anticipate. ii. Flexible enough to survive the reoccurring power struggles among the competing branches of government. iii. Expanded its power by the way it has interpreted the language of the Constitution. d. Judicial Review. i. The decisions of the Supreme Court have effected greater challenges in our system of government than have any other actions save constitutional amendments. ii. Judicial review- the power to review the acts of other political institutions ad declare them unconstitutional. e. Expanding the Franchise. Chapter 2 (p.15-35). i. Astute eastern politicians could increase their base of popular support by expanding the franchise to those without property. ii. Women and African American voting barriers. 1. Passing of the 19 Amendment 1920 (women). th 2. Passing of the 13 Amendment- African Americans. 3. Passing of the 15 Amendment- black males. 4. Passing of the 26 Amendment- allowing 18 years or older to vote. 7. The Constitution and Civic Engagement Today. a. Constitution and Citizenship Day- September 17 . th b. Rights are never totally secure. i. Interest of security. ii. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”- Thomas Jefferson.


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