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by: Charlene Scavone

chapter3-founding.pdf 805209

Charlene Scavone
GPA 2.1
American Political Thought
Douglas Steinel

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Notes for Chapter 3: Founding, from Political Thought in America by Philip Abbott.
American Political Thought
Douglas Steinel
One Day of Notes
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This 3 page One Day of Notes was uploaded by Charlene Scavone on Saturday October 11, 2014. The One Day of Notes belongs to 805209 at George Washington University taught by Douglas Steinel in Fall2014. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see American Political Thought in Public Relations at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 10/11/14
Political Thought in America Chapter 3 Founding Introduction the establishment of new political economic and social institutions is often elusive after the revolution in America there were two establishments the first was unsuccessful but the second was not in 1781 after three years of ghting without a constitution the States ratified the Articles of Confederation in 1786 however Shays Rebellion revived fears of the Articles being too weak and a Constitutional Convention was convened which decided to start from scratch in 1789 the new Constitution was rati ed the second Founding represented an ideological shift in America that examined the viability of republicanism The First Founding and its Critics the states created three types of constitutions the Virginia model of legislative supremacy the Pennsylvania experiment with a unicameral legislature and the mixed approach of Massachusetts Virginia maintained the colonial twohouse legislature but replaced the royal govemor with an executive with far lesser powers the govemor would be elected by a vote of both legislative houses and was further constrained by a required reliance on a council of advisers Pennsylvania abolished both the upper legislative house and the govemor in place of a chief executive there was a rotating executive council all male taxpayers and their adult sons were given the right to vote a unique institution called the Council of Censors based on similar Spartan and Roman bodies was formed designed to be a check on govemment with the power to impeach and censure in 1790 however the Council of Censors mandated a new constitution be written and its new incamation banished the Council and added an upper house and a bicameral legislature Massachusetts bicameral legislature the powers of the govemor were dramatically increased the new state executive was elected by the people at large eligible for reelection indefinitely you had to have at least 100 pounds to your name to be elected to the lower house but 300 or an estate taxed at 60 pounds to be elected to the upper house tellingly compared to these state constitutions the development of the national constitution was an afterthought the Articles of Confederation a single legislature and a rotating executive office no congressman could serve for more than three out of 6 years and no president could serve for more than one year in three a committee consisting of one representative from each state would meet when the legislature was not in session and its powers were extremely limited this was all part of a national model that thought of the states as participants in a limited union Congress was given the power of war and peace monetary coinage and Indian affairs but not taxation or the ability to conclude treaties due to not being able to limit a state s right to collect custom duties John Adams introduced executive authority to American republican thought by believing that an executive was necessary to mediate between the common people and the aristocracy James Madison through his research on the history of confederacies came to the conclusion that a confederation would only promote warring factions and came to support a more centralized form of govemment revisionist republicanism The Second Founding and its Critics three major interpretations of the Constitutional Convention as a new founding a hurried patchwork sewn together by talented politicians Roche innovativeness and ingenuity of democratic politicians an economic document based on the concept that the fundamental rights of property are anterior to govemment and morally beyond the reach of popular majorities Beard belief that the Constitution itself was causing the country s problems the design of a regime based on reason Diamond gratitude unto the second Founders T he Federalist partisan political documents no writer of any essay was completely satisfied with the Constitution written by Alexander Hamilton James Madison and John Jay as Publius critiqued the confederate model philosophical diagnosis of the diseases of the first republic a general set of remedies for these diseases defense of specific features of the Constitution as these remedies a third of the essays attacked the deficiencies of the Articles many of the arguments derived from Madison s study of confederacies while attacking the confederate model they were still able to ward off attacks on republican theory itself Hamilton writing as Publius wrote that prerevisionist republicanism was too conservative disaster scenarios appear in many of the essays to reassure the audience there is also a lot of philosophical analysis of the failings of republican govemment Federalist No 10 written by Madison on the subject of faction is probably the classic statement of American political thought the concept of extended republic is also explored with the practice of federalism being put forward as the solution to the endurance of the republic advanced the idea of a government that did not fully abandon constituent units but departed from the republican method of a constituent league of states Publius criticized direct democracy large legislatures and the inability of ancient republics to protect their people from faction however Publius also rejected great powers such as a full executive veto due to its potential for abuse AntiFederalists however objected to the convention s complete rejection of the Articles as well as new method of rati cation unanimity was not required Lee believed that Publius arguments were proof that an equal government could not be founded The Federal Farmer sharp criticism of the House of Representatives which feared corruption AntiFederalists also adamantly wanted a Bill of Rights feared the allowance of a standing army the Senate made people fear an emerging aristocracy the complexity of govemment was a sign of dangerous decadence


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