Chapter 2 Notes
Chapter 2 Notes GVPT 170
Popular in Intro to American Government
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Government & Politics
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tamara Soleymani on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GVPT 170 at University of Maryland - College Park taught by Professor Stella Rousse in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro to American Government in Government & Politics at University of Maryland - College Park.
Reviews for Chapter 2 Notes
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 10/14/16
Ch. 2- The Constitution Monday, September 12, 2016 10:21 AM Serious collective action problems • American revolution in near collapse in 1780 ○ Forces shrunk, abdication ○ Unfit commanders, unwilling troops ○ States were free riding (agreed to provide provisions and then didn't do it in time) Continental congress- ○ § Lacked decision making authority □ Decisions of consequence had to be approved by all state gov'ts § Couldn't even get available supplies to troops § Could not compel states to contribute resources when needed § National gov't couldn't coordinate states' actions ○ Overcome w/ outside help ○ France gave support and money in order to defeat England Why was America so well suited to be the first democracy? • Geography ○ Distance limited Britain's control • America enjoyed home rule (self -governance) ○ British made Americans responsible for managing domestic affairs ○ Elected their own leaders and held politicians accountable • But: ○ Pay was tied to the assemblies § Accommodated popular opinion Strain upon home rule • Trigger: end of french and indian war that drained britain • British citizens were most heavily taxed in world • Colonists would need to share upkeep • Every revenue law after contained provisions that tightened control over colonies and violated home rule Stamp act- Most aggressive challenge to home rule ○ Taxed all printed and commercial goods • Colonists would need to share upkeep • Every revenue law after contained provisions that tightened control over colonies and violated home rule Stamp act- Most aggressive challenge to home rule ○ Taxed all printed and commercial goods ○ Response to stamp act § Colonial assemblies passed resolutions demanding repeal of tax □ "no taxation w/out representation" § Send delegates to national; conference to draft unified response □ First time the colonies unify § Colonists responded w/ □ Boycotts □ Boston tea party □ Sons and daughters of liberty • Escalation: britain responded w/ restraining acts and coercive acts ○ Closed port of boston to all commerce ○ Dissolved Massachusetts assembly ○ Quartering act ○ Americans charged with crimes against britaon had to be tried in england • The other colonies met in 1774 for first continental congress ○ Didn’t establish a national gov't • By time second continental congress met a war had broken out ○ Needed coordination to respond in war • Conventions reconstituted themselves as state gov'ts based on republican principles ○ Adopted bicameral legislatures and created gov'ts w/ limited authority • Issued first national bonds and established a natural currency Declaration of Independence • 1776: common sense by thomas paine calls for independence • 1776: henry lee calls for creation of new nation • A number of Jefferson's listed grievances were removed • July 4, 1776: each member of the second continental congress signed the document Articles of the confederation • Articles are de fact constitution until ratification in 1781 • First gov't was a confederation -a highly decentralized governmental system in which the national gov't derives limited authority from states rather than directl from citizenry • Articles transferred power from the continental congress to the new permanent congress Provisions of the articles: • Major laws needed 9/13 states to agree citizenry • Articles transferred power from the continental congress to the new permanent congress Provisions of the articles: • Major laws needed 9/13 states to agree • Fundamental change required unanimous agreement • National authority was so circumscribed that delegates saw little purpose for an executive or judiciary • Delegates sought to replace home rule they lost Problems in conduct of war under the articles: • States wouldn't give the gov't sufficient authority and thus were responsible for recruiting troops and outfitting them for- shirking • Congress attempted to coordinate the state regiments into a single fighting force, could borrow $, but not - no guarantee for gov't bonds • No administrative branch, congress had to do all the work After the war the nation had new problems: • War torn economy • Trade barriers at home and abroad • Mounting debt • Popular discontent • Tldr: states can't cooper- > major proble- > second continental congress fails Drafting a new constitution: • 55 delegates meet in Philadelphia (all but Rhode island) • Most expected limited change • All youngish, well -educated, white males w/ war experience • All highly conversant in the ideas and theories from enlightenment Philosophical influences: • John Locke (1632 -1704) • popular sovereignty ○ Citizen's delegations of authority to their agents in gov't, w/ ability to rescind that authority • Isaac Newton (1642 -1727) • Laws of physical reactions was analagous to social relations • De Montiesquieu (1689 -1755) • Limited gov't, powerful idea that best gov't can be designed • David Hume (1711-1776) • Competition among contending interests • James Madison • Vices of political system of the US • De Montiesquieu (1689 -1755) • Limited gov't, powerful idea that best gov't can be designed • David Hume (1711-1776) • Competition among contending interests • James Madison • Vices of political system of the US Virginia Plan vs New Jersey Plan: • Virginia plan • Madison's blueprint • Bicameral legislature: ○ Members of lower chamber for state voted by citizens ○ Lower chamber elects members of upper chamber from list generated by state legislature and elect national executive and judiciary ○ Resembled parliamentary system of future, national gov't could veto any state law it regarded as unfit ○ If state failed to fulfill legal obligation, national gov't could use military force against it • High conformity costs for the stas inflamed the opposition • Many saw it as too powerful (despite the check Madison incorporated) • Check = council of revision, but chosen by legislature • Opposition grew from 2 dir: ○ Less populous states b/c less representation than under the articles ○ States' rights delegates b/c worried about sovereignty • New Jersey Plan: • Perpetuated the composition and selection of congress as it functioned under the articles, gave congress power to tax ○ Single house chamber, equal representation for each state regardless of population ○ Plural executive ○ On petition of majority of states executive can be removed • Tldr: power lies in the people The Great Compromise: • Each side got one of two legislative chambers fashioned to its likings • Upper chamber (senate) ○ Equal representation for each state ○ 6 year terms • House of representatives ○ Population based ○ As extra compromise it has the sole authority to originate revenue legislation, declare war, and borrow $ ○ Unanimity replaced w/ majority • Article 1 sec 8 extended authority of national legislature • House of representatives ○ Population based ○ As extra compromise it has the sole authority to originate revenue legislation, declare war, and borrow $ ○ Unanimity replaced w/ majority • Article 1 sec 8 extended authority of national legislature ○ Commerce clause ○ Necessary and proper clause § Allowed for expansion of federal -level power in the future • Madison wasn't happy b/c if state legislatures could congress through hold on senate they could also corrupt the entire national gov't through congress's power to select other offices • Need for insulation to contain the senate's effort to subvert national policy • Argues for separation of powers between branches The executive • Didn’t want to replicate Britain • State executives were purposely weak • To achieve an independent executive that could not abuse its authority: • Limited scope of presidential responsibilities • Attached legislative check to each presidential duty • Gave president veto to check legislature Choosing the Executive • Compromise between state righters and nationalists leading to mix of state, congressional, and popular participation • Indirect democracy • Each state is awarded as many electors as it's # of senators and representatives • The Constitution left it to the states to decide how electors are selected, but Framers generally expectedthat the states would rely on statewide elections. • Today, if any candidate fails to receive an absolute majority (270) of the 538 votes (since 23th amendmentgranting D.C. electors) in the electoral college, the election is thrown into the House of Representatives. • EX: Al Gore got popular vote, but Busch got electoral • Twelfth Amendment corrected the most egregious flaws of the Electoral College, i.e. instead of two votes for president (with the person with the second most votes becoming vice president) ensuring a distinct casting for both offices o Election of 1796 and 1800 (first Jefferson becoming Adams Vice President although from different parties; then Burr same amount of votes as Jefferson) Electoral College, i.e. instead of two votes for president (with the person with the second most votes becoming vice president) ensuring a distinct casting for both offices o Election of 1796 and 1800 (first Jefferson becoming Adams Vice President although from different parties; then Burr same amount of votes as Jefferson) -The Judiciary- The convention spent comparatively little time designing the new federal judiciary. • Jurisdiction of resolving disputes between states and nation -level institutions; supremacy clause (Article VI): national law takes precedence over state laws • They did debate over two (minor) questions o Who would appoint Supreme Court justices? o Should a network of lower federal courts be created or sould state courts handle all casesuntil they reach the federal court? • What were the pragmatic results of their debate? o Appointment and confirmation proceedings split between president and Senate (the states) • Judiciary à plays large role of settling things between the two branchesà legislature can say president acting unconstitutionalà they must then settle disputes between the two • The extent of the Court’s authority to overturn federal laws and executiveactions as unconstitutional – the concept of judicial review– was never quite resolved in the constitutional convention. o Hamilton and others argued that the Constitution implicitly provides forjudicial review for federal-level laws (state laws clearly stated in supremacyclause). o Madisondid not believe an unelected branch should have such authority. o Irony: his involvement as litigant in Supreme Court case that established judicial review: Marbury v. Madison (2803) -Slavery- • Slavery figured importantly in many delegates private calculations, particularly those from the South. • One critical point was during the creation of the national legislature: o Southern states wanted to count slaves as part of their population, thus giving them more representatives in House, yet these “citizens” had no rights in those states After much debate, the southern states were allowed to count a o slave as three-fifths of a citizen (The 3/5’s Compromise) • Left much of the issue to future government Why did the northern delegates give in to the southern ones, which were fewer in number? • The need to get then Constitution passed o After much debate, the southern states were allowed to count a slave as three-fifths of a citizen (The 3/5’s Compromise) • Left much of the issue to future government Why did the northern delegates give in to the southern ones, which were fewer in number? • The need to get then Constitution passed • Fearof defection • Logrolling– a standard bargaining strategy in which two sides swap support for dissimilar policies: o New England accommodated the South and in return the South dropped their opposition to commercial issues that were important to New England o TWO GUARAUNTEES FOR THE SOUTH: § Unrestricted right to continue importing slaves (In end they managedto negotiate a ban on regulation of the slave trade until 1808) § The return of runaway slaves residing in northern states -Ratification- “The Ratification of the Conventions ofnine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” (nine à not requiring unanimous consent) (Constitutions à took power away from state legislatures) • This statement did two important things: o it removed the unanimous assent rule of the Articles of Confederation o it withdrew authority form the state legislatures, which might have misgivings about surrendering autonomy -Amending the Consitution - • The menthos incorporated in part the desires of both the states’ rights and nationalist delegates. o The Consituiton allows amendment to be proposed either by a two thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by an “application” from 2/3rdsof the states. th o Enactment occurs when 3/4sof the states, acting either through their state legislatures or in special conventions, accept the amendment. o o • Since its ratification,the Constitution hasbeen amended 27 times:!! o Most recent amendment == raising salaries of those in Congress o in every instance Congress initiated the process o in all but one case, the state legislatures did the ratifying • Six additional amendments (including the Equal Rights Amendment) were sent to the states but failed to win the needed number of endorsements. • Recent examples of failed proposed amendments include: Restriction of marriage that between one man and one woman o o Assuring “God” is included in the Pledge of Allegiance -Ratification:Federalistsvs. Antifederalists - • Federalists:rhetoric of nationalism • Antifederalists: rhetoric of states rights • Antifederalists argued that only local democracy could approach true democracy. o A country so large and diverse could not be ruled by a single set of laws. • Federalists:rhetoric of nationalism • Antifederalists: rhetoric of states rights • Antifederalists argued that only local democracy could approach true democracy. o A country so large and diverse could not be ruled by a single set of laws. o Stronger national government must come with safeguards against tyranny, • Madisonmade a strategic move and announced that he would introduce the constitutional amendments that would protect individual rights • For this reason, the Bill of Rights was included almost immediately after ratification. • The responses mustered to counter the Antifederalist argument against the Constitution collectively make up eighty-five essays, known as the FederalistPapers: o Written by Hamilton (wrote the most), Madison (wrote the best), and John Jay (who wrote five) o Were directly primarily at the state of New York, which had not yet voted in 1788 o Provide insight into the “genuine” meaning of the Constitution o According to the most historians, the actual impact of the Federalist essayswas negligible; positions were grounded in economic and other self-interests and were not likely to be shifted by abstract arguments (more meaning later in U.S. history) • Two of the Federalist Papers (Nos. 10 and 51) focus on the fundamental problem of sel- fgovernance. • We are not “angels” as Madison writes, so how do we get a government of non -angels not only to government the government, but to “govern” itself as well? In order words: How do we keep the people’s agents honest as o well as avoid tyranny of the majority (democracy already eliminated minority tyranny)? o Solution: pit politicians against one another through the mutual vetoes embedded in the Constitutions seperation of the powers and checks and balances. • Federalist No 10: Madisonargues that a large, diverse republic is not only capable of controlling the tyranny of faction, but when properly designed, the best means of doing so • Direct Democracywould allow for majority usurpation of minority rights. • However, a representative government would: o Dilute factious spirit (to get elected politicians would need to not only capable of controlling the tyranny of faction, but when properly designed, the best means of doing so • Direct Democracywould allow for majority usurpation of minority rights. • However, a representative government would: o Dilute factious spirit (to get electedpoliticians would need to play to more than one audience) o Negate the ability of potential majorities to attempt any form of collusion • Larger size, instead of being problematic, the linchpin of the republic: larger means greater variety of interes- tless likely that a majority will have a commonmotive to invade rights of the other citizens (pluralism) •
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'