Week 4 Notes
Week 4 Notes POL241
Popular in American Political System
Popular in Humanities and Social Sciences
This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mikayla Notetaker on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL241 at Miami University taught by Tarah F. Williams in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see American Political System in Humanities and Social Sciences at Miami University.
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Date Created: 10/03/16
I. Constitution a. Document that defines the basic structure of a government b. Basic structure: divides the power of government into 3 parts and describes the powers of each c. Separation of powers, checks and balances i. Gives each branch some degree of oversight and control over the actions of the other branches ii. Ex. Presidential veto, senate approval of presidential appointments, judicial review iii. Slowness tension conflict, compromise d. Established government structure very different from what preceded it and withstood the test of time e. Founders were more educated and well off than most (merchants from north, landowners from south, investors, securities speculators f. Areas of conflict i. Representation ii. Majority and minority tyranny iii. Governmental power g. Factors that led to constitutional convention: i. Concern about international position ii. Concern about economic policy iii. Concern about unrest among non-propertied classes iv. Concern about Protecting Individual Liberties h. Shay’s Rebellion i. Merchants in Massachusetts required hard currency to buy goods and pay taxes ii. Subsistence farmers didn’t have access to coin so they would incur large debts iii. Government seized property and imprisoned debtors iv. Farmers protest at courthouse then attempt to seize arsenal i. British relationship with America in 18 century i. British citizens, British controlled trade and America everything else, taxed without representation ii. 7 Years War changed this because colonists needed protection from French and Native Americans j. Precursors to Constitution i. Articles of Confederation: loose association of independent states that agree to cooperate on selected matters ii. Why did they opt for Confederation? 1. Stronger state identities 2. Dissatisfaction with strong central governments had led to revolt iii. Basic institutional structure 1. States keep sovereignty 2. National congress with each state having one vote 3. 9 of 13 must agree to make changes iv. Shortcomings: 1. National government had no power to tax 2. No clear national leader 3. No power to regulate commerce 4. Hard to amend v. Colonists needed to fix problemsConstitutional Convention vi. Virginia plan 1. Division of power a. Legislative = bicameral b. Executive = could override state laws, unspecified # of people c. Judicial = multiple courts, selected by legislature 2. supported by larger states because they had more power vii. New Jersey Plan - small states 1. Goal: amend articles not replace them 2. Unicameral legislature, tax and regulate 3. Equal representation among states 4. Multiple person executive chosen by legislature, no veto power, no national judiciary viii. Final product 1. Basic structure of Virginia Plan but with compromise (“The Great Compromise”) 2. Bicameral legislature 3. Rep in house apportioned to population and senate equally 4. 3/5 compromise: slaves count as 3/5 of a person for representation and tax purposes 5. 1 person executive selected via electoral college a. Each state # of electors = sum of representatives and senators b. Each elector would vote for 2, most votes=Pres nd 2 =VP c. No majority=House of Reps choose d. 4 year term eligible for reelection 6. Bill of rights a. Feds did not see any reason for enumerated individual liberties b. Ratification problemsBill of Rights 7. What’s changed over 220+ years a. Senators directly elected b. Abolition of slavery c. Pres limited to 2 terms d. Electoral college no longer cast ballots for 2 but separate for Pres and VP k. How to amend i. Starts by… 1. Congress proposing w/ 2/3 vote 2. State legislatures 2/3 vote ii. Then ¾ state legislatures iii. Not as common because policies can be passed as a bill
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