The Constitution
PS 101 Fall 2013
Dr. Christopher S. Rice
The lesson here?
Political motives are
never neutral…
…and the truth is like an
onion skin.
The Articles (1777) created
in law what had already
existed in practice since
Declaration of
Independence…
The Articles (1777) created
in law what had already
existed in practice since
Declaration of
Independence…
…a loose confed...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Provisions of the Articles
1. Could make war/peace, but no power to
levy taxes to pursue either.
2. Could not regulate int...
Problems with the Articles
Problems with the Articles
• Government unable to finance its
activities.
• Colonial money almost worthless,
government co...
Problems with the Articles
• Government unable to finance its
activities.
• Colonial money almost worthless,
government co...
Problems with the Articles
• Government unable to finance its
activities.
• Colonial money almost worthless,
government co...
Problems with the Articles
• Government unable to finance its
activities.
• Colonial money almost worthless,
government co...
Problems with the Articles
• Government unable to finance its
activities.
• Colonial money almost worthless,
government co...
Shays’
Rebellion
One of the first
US populist
uprisings
What is the proper
role of the majority?
Liberty vs. Equality
The Goldilocks Problem
• Articles too weak –
needed stronger
national government
for nation-building.
• Needed to avoid
st...
The Goldilocks Problem
• Articles too weak –
needed stronger
national government
for nation-building.
• Needed to avoid
st...
The Goldilocks Problem
• Articles too weak –
needed stronger
national government
for nation-building.
• Needed to avoid
st...
A
Republic!
(...if you can keep it!)
A
Republic!
(...if you can keep it!)
Objectives of a Republican
Form of Government
Government based on
popular consent
Government possesses
limited power
The Constitutional Convention
May 25 - September 17, 1787
Structural Compromises
The Virginia Plan
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House popularly
elected, apportioned by
population.
– Upper House electe...
The Virginia Plan
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House popularly
elected, apportioned by
population.
– Upper House electe...
The Virginia Plan
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House popularly
elected, apportioned by
population.
– Upper House electe...
The Virginia Plan
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House popularly
elected, apportioned by
population.
– Upper House electe...
The Virginia Plan
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House popularly
elected, apportioned by
population.
– Upper House electe...
New Jersey Plan
• Cautious revision of Articles, not
a wholly new approach.
• Small-state delegates figured out
they were ...
New Jersey Plan
• Cautious revision of Articles, not
a wholly new approach.
• Small-state delegates figured out
they were ...
“You see the consequences of pushing
things too far. Some members from the
small states wish for two branches in
the Gener...
New Jersey Plan
• Cautious revision of Articles, not
a wholly new approach.
• Small-state delegates figured out
they were ...
Recognition of hard political
reality, NOT an acquiescence
to “states’ rights”
New Jersey Plan
• Favored strong national
government in principle,
opposed domination of large
states
• Unicameral legisla...
New Jersey Plan
• Favored strong national
government in principle,
opposed domination of large
states
• Unicameral legisla...
New Jersey Plan
• Favored strong national
government in principle,
opposed domination of large
states
• Unicameral legisla...
New Jersey Plan
• Paterson lost, but did
achieve his purpose…
The Connecticut
Compromise
• Article I, Sections 2 & 3
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House apportioned by
population, popularly elected.
– Upper Ho...
• Article I, Sections 2 & 3
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House apportioned by
population, popularly elected.
– Upper Ho...
• Article I, Sections 2 & 3
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House apportioned by
population, popularly elected.
– Upper Ho...
• Article I, Sections 2 & 3
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House apportioned by
population, popularly elected.
– Upper Ho...
• Article I, Sections 2 & 3
• Bicameral Legislature
– Lower House apportioned by
population, popularly elected.
– Upper Ho...
Other Compromises
The Three-Fifths Compromise
Presidential Elections
Amendment proposed
by a 2/3 vote of both
houses of Congress
Amendment
proposed by a
national constitutional
convention req...
What is the proper
role of the majority?
Elite
theory of democracy
Instability due to
unrealistic
assumptions
The
masses
are asses
Downgrading role
of masses
Upgrading role of
elites
Hedging on government
responsiveness
Irrational
Politically Intolerant
Low participation
among the masses
Delegate
Representation
Trustee
Representation
Limiting the impact of
universal participation…
Increased
participation costs
Apathy is A-
OK!
Constitutional Barriers
Checks on the Majority
• Selection of Senators
• Bicameral Congress
• Independent (non-elected)
• Judiciary
• Electoral Co...
Checks on the Majority
• Selection of Senators
• Bicameral Congress
• Independent (non-elected)
• Judiciary
• Electoral Co...
Checks on the Majority
• Selection of Senators
• Bicameral Congress
• Independent (non-elected)
Judiciary
• Electoral Coll...
Checks on the Majority
• Selection of Senators
• Bicameral Congress
• Independent (non-elected)
Judiciary
• Electoral Coll...
Constitutional Checks on the Majority
The People
House of
Repesentatives
State
Legislatures
Senate
Electoral
College
Presi...
Fragmented Government
#1: Separation of Powers
Central Government /
Authority
Executive
Legislative
Judicial
Legislative
Executive Judicial
#2: Checks & Balances
SUPREME
COURT
PRESIDENT
CONGRESSCan override president’s veto
Can impeach and remove
president
Can reject appointees
Can i...
#3: Federalism
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013
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PS 101 Constitution Fall 2013

  1. 1. The Constitution PS 101 Fall 2013 Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. The lesson here?
  3. 3. Political motives are never neutral…
  4. 4. …and the truth is like an onion skin.
  5. 5. The Articles (1777) created in law what had already existed in practice since Declaration of Independence…
  6. 6. The Articles (1777) created in law what had already existed in practice since Declaration of Independence… …a loose confederation of independent states.
  7. 7. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  8. 8. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  9. 9. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  10. 10. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  11. 11. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  12. 12. Provisions of the Articles 1. Could make war/peace, but no power to levy taxes to pursue either. 2. Could not regulate interstate commerce, nor deny states the right to collect customs duties. 3. No independent executive to insure laws passed by Congress enforced. 4. No national court system to settle interstate disputes. 5. All legislation required approval of 9 of 13 states, making action almost impossible. 6. Defects in the Articles were difficult to remedy – amendments required unanimous approval of the states.
  13. 13. Problems with the Articles
  14. 14. Problems with the Articles • Government unable to finance its activities. • Colonial money almost worthless, government couldn’t borrow. • Couldn’t defend US interests abroad because no standing army. • Difficult to make treaties: lack of single executive, Congressional actions could be vetoed by States. • Government couldn’t prevent outbreak of interstate commercial warfare.
  15. 15. Problems with the Articles • Government unable to finance its activities. • Colonial money almost worthless, government couldn’t borrow. • Couldn’t defend US interests abroad because no standing army. • Difficult to make treaties: lack of single executive, Congressional actions could be vetoed by States. • Government couldn’t prevent outbreak of interstate commercial warfare.
  16. 16. Problems with the Articles • Government unable to finance its activities. • Colonial money almost worthless, government couldn’t borrow. • Couldn’t defend US interests abroad because no standing army. • Difficult to make treaties: lack of single executive, Congressional actions could be vetoed by States. • Government couldn’t prevent outbreak of interstate commercial warfare.
  17. 17. Problems with the Articles • Government unable to finance its activities. • Colonial money almost worthless, government couldn’t borrow. • Couldn’t defend US interests abroad because no standing army. • Difficult to make treaties: lack of single executive, Congressional actions could be vetoed by States. • Government couldn’t prevent outbreak of interstate commercial warfare.
  18. 18. Problems with the Articles • Government unable to finance its activities. • Colonial money almost worthless, government couldn’t borrow. • Couldn’t defend US interests abroad because no standing army. • Difficult to make treaties: lack of single executive, Congressional actions could be vetoed by States. • Government couldn’t prevent outbreak of interstate commercial warfare.
  19. 19. Shays’ Rebellion One of the first US populist uprisings
  20. 20. What is the proper role of the majority?
  21. 21. Liberty vs. Equality
  22. 22. The Goldilocks Problem • Articles too weak – needed stronger national government for nation-building. • Needed to avoid strengthening central government too much to avoid tyrannical government.
  23. 23. The Goldilocks Problem • Articles too weak – needed stronger national government for nation-building. • Needed to avoid strengthening central government too much to avoid tyrannical government.
  24. 24. The Goldilocks Problem • Articles too weak – needed stronger national government for nation-building. • Needed to avoid strengthening central government too much to avoid tyrannical government.
  25. 25. A Republic! (...if you can keep it!)
  26. 26. A Republic! (...if you can keep it!)
  27. 27. Objectives of a Republican Form of Government
  28. 28. Government based on popular consent Government possesses limited power
  29. 29. The Constitutional Convention May 25 - September 17, 1787
  30. 30. Structural Compromises
  31. 31. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  32. 32. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  33. 33. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  34. 34. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  35. 35. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  36. 36. New Jersey Plan • Cautious revision of Articles, not a wholly new approach. • Small-state delegates figured out they were getting pwnd. • Madison could have run roughshod over small-state delegates, but didn’t.
  37. 37. New Jersey Plan • Cautious revision of Articles, not a wholly new approach. • Small-state delegates figured out they were getting pwnd. • Madison could have run roughshod over small-state delegates, but didn’t.
  38. 38. “You see the consequences of pushing things too far. Some members from the small states wish for two branches in the General Legislature and are friends to a good National Government; but we would sooner submit to a foreign power than…be deprived of an equality of suffrage in both branches of the legislature, and thereby be thrown under the domination of the large States.” John Dickinson, Delaware
  39. 39. New Jersey Plan • Cautious revision of Articles, not a wholly new approach. • Small-state delegates figured out they were getting pwnd. • Madison could have run roughshod over small-state delegates, but didn’t.
  40. 40. Recognition of hard political reality, NOT an acquiescence to “states’ rights”
  41. 41. New Jersey Plan • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause
  42. 42. New Jersey Plan • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause
  43. 43. New Jersey Plan • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause
  44. 44. New Jersey Plan • Paterson lost, but did achieve his purpose…
  45. 45. The Connecticut Compromise
  46. 46. • Article I, Sections 2 & 3 • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House apportioned by population, popularly elected. – Upper House equal representation (2), selected by State Legislatures. • Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2) The Connecticut Compromise
  47. 47. • Article I, Sections 2 & 3 • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House apportioned by population, popularly elected. – Upper House equal representation (2), selected by State Legislatures. • Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2) The Connecticut Compromise
  48. 48. • Article I, Sections 2 & 3 • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House apportioned by population, popularly elected. – Upper House equal representation (2), selected by State Legislatures. • Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2) The Connecticut Compromise
  49. 49. • Article I, Sections 2 & 3 • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House apportioned by population, popularly elected. – Upper House equal representation (2), selected by State Legislatures. • Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2) The Connecticut Compromise
  50. 50. • Article I, Sections 2 & 3 • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House apportioned by population, popularly elected. – Upper House equal representation (2), selected by State Legislatures. • Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2) The Connecticut Compromise
  51. 51. Other Compromises
  52. 52. The Three-Fifths Compromise
  53. 53. Presidential Elections
  54. 54. Amendment proposed by a 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress Amendment proposed by a national constitutional convention requested by 2/3 of state legislatures Amendment ratified by legislatures of at least 3/4 of the states Amendment ratified by 3/4 of state ratifying conventions Used for all amendments save the 21st Amendment Never Used Used for the 21st Amendment only Never Used PROPOSAL RATIFICATION FREQUENCY Amending the Constitution A B C D AC BC AD BD
  55. 55. What is the proper role of the majority?
  56. 56. Elite theory of democracy
  57. 57. Instability due to unrealistic assumptions
  58. 58. The masses are asses
  59. 59. Downgrading role of masses Upgrading role of elites
  60. 60. Hedging on government responsiveness
  61. 61. Irrational
  62. 62. Politically Intolerant
  63. 63. Low participation among the masses
  64. 64. Delegate Representation
  65. 65. Trustee Representation
  66. 66. Limiting the impact of universal participation…
  67. 67. Increased participation costs
  68. 68. Apathy is A- OK!
  69. 69. Constitutional Barriers
  70. 70. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) • Judiciary • Electoral College
  71. 71. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) • Judiciary • Electoral College
  72. 72. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) Judiciary • Electoral College
  73. 73. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) Judiciary • Electoral College
  74. 74. Constitutional Checks on the Majority The People House of Repesentatives State Legislatures Senate Electoral College President Supreme Court 1 1 2 2 3 4 Approval of Nominations
  75. 75. Fragmented Government
  76. 76. #1: Separation of Powers
  77. 77. Central Government / Authority Executive Legislative Judicial
  78. 78. Legislative Executive Judicial
  79. 79. #2: Checks & Balances
  80. 80. SUPREME COURT PRESIDENT CONGRESSCan override president’s veto Can impeach and remove president Can reject appointees Can investigate presidential actions Can reject presidential requests for laws and funds Can refuse to ratify treaties Can veto bills passed by Congress Can recommend legislation Vice-President can break ties in Senate Can call special sessions Can reject judicial nominees Can impeach and remove judges Can create lower courts Can amend laws or propose constitutional amendments to change court decisionsCan declare laws unconstitutional Can declare presidential actions unconstitutional Nominates judges, Supreme Court justices Can pardon, commute sentences of those convicted in federal courts
  81. 81. #3: Federalism

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