“But surely the constitution, as it did with the ones we wrote for our own states, is meant to establish the stability, and long-term legality essential to the continuation of civilized society.”“What is government, ultimately, but the putting into effect of the lessons which we have learned in dealing with the contradictions in our own characters?”
Day 3 - The Design of Congress
Day 3 – The Design of Congress
June 28, 2013
In the News
Senate passes historic immigration bill.
Article I of the U.S. Constitution
Federalist No. 51
DOL Chapter 2 (pp.15-28)
Early National Government in America
Rise of state governments and assemblies as early
Why did Britain grant the colonies so much discretion in
This relationship became more contentious in the
In 1765, delegates from 9 colonies meet in New York City
in reaction to the Stamp Act.
Concerns over high taxes levied by the British without the
same rights and representation.
Declaration of Rights and Grievances, mainly written by
Early National Government in America (2)
The late-1760s – mid-1770s characterized as period of
increasing tensions between America and Britain.
1774 – First Continental Congress convenes in
Delegates from 12 colonies make debate and create
56 delegates, each state gets 1 vote
1775 – Second Continental Congress convenes
Petition for “happy and permanent reconciliation”
George III’s response:
Reconvene and debate and eventually sign the Declaration of
Clip from John Adams
The Federalist Papers (1787-1788)
Written and published in three New York
newspapers: the Independent Journal, the New-York
Packet, and the Daily Advertiser.
Authors: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John
Jay under the pseudonym “Publius”.
A response to Anti-Federalists
An argument to the states deciding on ratification of the
Federalist #51 – James Madison
The Call for a Strong Legislature
“Although the three branches supposedly are
coequal, the legislature is empowered to define the
structure and duties of the other two.”
Examples of Congress’ authority over the Executive
Branch? Judicial Branch?
Congress’s powers greatly enlarged by the Civil War
amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments)
In Class Response Essay #1 on Monday
Look over the Legislative Portfolio assignment.
Decide if you want to work alone or with somebody.
Decide which states you would be interested in.
I will pass around a sign-up sheet both for preferred state
and meeting times next week.
In Class Response Essay
In roughly one handwritten page, answer the following
question. You can use your notes to answer the
Both the text (DOL pp.28-40) and Polsby (1968) discuss
the increasing “institutionalization” of Congress. Many
argue that institutionalization is bad for the country and is
the reason why Congress is ineffective. This has led to
a number citizens and groups to advocate imposing term-
limits on members of Congress (e.g. establishing a
maximum number of terms they can serve). Would you
support a constitutional amendment that imposed term-
limits on members of the House of Representatives?
Why yes or no? Use the course material to support your