POLS 1101, Week 4 Notes
POLS 1101, Week 4 Notes POLS 1101
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melanie Bagyi on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1101 at Kennesaw State University taught by James Martinez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see American Government in Political Science at Kennesaw State University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
POLS 1101 Notes cont… - from 1779 delegates think the U.S. should have a central government - 3 choices for a democratic government: 1.) confederation: central government vs. states (too weak) 2.) federal system: central government vs. states (“perfect”) 3.) unitary system: one undivided government (too strong) IV. The Articles of Confederation A) Major provisions: 1.) state sovereignty was paramount (most important) 2.) Congress could direct foreign affairs, BUT domestic affairs were left to the states 3.) no standing armies were allowed 4.) Congress DID NOT exercise exclusive power to print money 5.) Congress had few enforcement powers 6.) 9 of 13 states (3/4 majority) had to approve legislative measures 7.) unanimity was required to amend 8.) each state was responsible for its own Revolutionary War debt B) Positive features: 1.) a weak central government COULD NOT oppress its citizens 2.) states could exercise sovereignty 3.) the dream of rural, agrarian American “townships” was theoretically possible 4.) it highlighted the need for strong government C) Negative features: 1.) big states (VA, PA, NY) vs. small states (NJ, DE, southern states) became an issue 2.) “super-majorities” led to gridlock (= unresolved major issues; 50% + 1) 3.) each state was its own little nation 4.) the problem of economic growth V. The U.S. Constitution A) Prelude, part 1: The Annapolis Convention 1.) organized to discuss trade problems 2.) firmly embraced capitalist principles 3.) highlighted the need to fix the AOC 4.) a dress rehearsal for 1787 & made Madison (father of the Constitution) and Hamilton important figures - Montesquieu’s idea to have: legislative, executive and judicial branches B) Tipping point: Shays’s rebellion 1.) farmers is western MA were upset at farm foreclosures 2.) Daniel Shays led a mob to the Springfield armory to seize weapons (private militia supported by Benjamin Lincoln and mayor of MA) 3.) the state militia quelled the rebellion, but this highlighted the AOC’s weaknesses C) Virginia Plan vs. NJ Plan: 1.) Virginia: bicameral (= chamber) legislature power from individual unspecified executive; majority rule; Congress impeaches; national judiciary ratification by citizens 2.) NJ: unicameral legislature power from states executive committee; super- majority rule; states impeach; no national judiciary ratification by states - ultra vires: going beyond an individual’s authority - Edmond Randolph: he was asked to present plans to everyone - William Paterson: spoke on behalf of the people, who were upset by the Virginia Plan D) The Great Compromise aka “Connecticut Compromise” (Roger Sherman) 1.) Bicameral legislature a) The House of Representatives: proportional (favored big states) – 2 year terms in the People’s House b) The Senate: equal (favored small states) – 6 year terms in the Upper House 2.) Presidency a) a single chief executive with a 4 year term; eligible for reelection b) electoral college: - interposes electors between a demagogue & the electorate - # based on a state’s MOCs 3.) 3/5 compromise a) each slave was counted as 3/5 of a free white person for purposes of representation and taxation b) international slave trade was abolished after 1808 c) in 1790, 697 thousand people – 18% of the population – were slaves E) Final product: 4 principles 1.) Republicanism – people exercise power through elected representatives 2.) Federalism – the division of power between a central government & subunits 3.) Separation of Powers – make laws (legislative), enforce laws (executive), interpret laws (judiciary) 4.) Checks and Balances – veto legislation (executive), override executive veto (legislative), review legislative acts (judiciary)
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