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Day 3 - The Design of Congress


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Day 3 - The Design of Congress

  1. 1. Day 3 – The Design of Congress June 28, 2013
  2. 2. In the News  Senate passes historic immigration bill. 
  3. 3. Readings  Article I of the U.S. Constitution  Federalist No. 51  DOL Chapter 2 (pp.15-28)
  4. 4. Early National Government in America  Rise of state governments and assemblies as early as 1619.  Why did Britain grant the colonies so much discretion in local government?  This relationship became more contentious in the 1760s.  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 John Dickinson.
  5. 5. Early National Government in America (2)  The late-1760s – mid-1770s characterized as period of increasing tensions between America and Britain.  Intolerable Acts  1774 – First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia.  Delegates from 12 colonies make debate and create resolutions.  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 Independence.  
  6. 6. Constitutional Convention  Clip from John Adams 
  7. 7. 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 Constitution  Federalist #51 – James Madison
  8. 8. 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)
  9. 9. Announcements  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.
  10. 10. In Class Response Essay  In roughly one handwritten page, answer the following question. You can use your notes to answer the question.  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 argument. 
  11. 11. Source: