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PS 101 Constitution Spring '08

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PS 101 Constitution Spring '08

  1. 1. The Constitution A Christopher Rice Digital File
  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. Populism Hostility of the common person to power and the powerful
  21. 21. 2 Flavors
  22. 22. liberal populism
  23. 23. conservative populism
  24. 24. Problem of Farmer Debt
  25. 25. Fear of Democracy Getting Out of Hand…
  26. 26. Shays’ Rebellion One of the first US populist uprisings
  27. 27. What is the proper role of the majority?
  28. 28. Liberty vs. Equality
  29. 29. 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.
  30. 30. 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.
  31. 31. 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.
  32. 32. A Republic! (...if you can keep it!)
  33. 33. A Republic! (...if you can keep it!)
  34. 34. Objectives of a Republican Form of Government
  35. 35. Government based on Government possesses popular consent limited power
  36. 36. The Constitutional Convention May 25 - September 17, 1787
  37. 37. The Aerogel Revolution?
  38. 38. Structural Compromises
  39. 39. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  40. 40. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  41. 41. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  42. 42. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  43. 43. The Virginia Plan • Bicameral Legislature – Lower House popularly elected, apportioned by population. – Upper House elected by Lower House. • Single Executive • Federal Judiciary • Supremacy Clause
  44. 44. • 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. New Jersey Plan
  45. 45. • 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. New Jersey Plan
  46. 46. “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
  47. 47. • 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. New Jersey Plan
  48. 48. Recognition of hard political reality, NOT an acquiescence to “states’ rights”
  49. 49. • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause New Jersey Plan
  50. 50. • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause New Jersey Plan
  51. 51. • Favored strong national government in principle, opposed domination of large states • Unicameral legislature (one vote each state) • Supremacy Clause New Jersey Plan
  52. 52. Hamilton’s Wacked-Out Monarch-for-Life Plan
  53. 53. “No thanks!
  54. 54. Hamilton’s Wacked-Out Monarch-for-Life Plan
  55. 55. • Paterson lost, but did achieve his purpose… New Jersey Plan
  56. 56. The Connecticut Compromise
  57. 57. The Connecticut Compromise • 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)
  58. 58. The Connecticut Compromise • 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)
  59. 59. The Connecticut Compromise • 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)
  60. 60. The Connecticut Compromise • 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)
  61. 61. The Connecticut Compromise • 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)
  62. 62. Other Compromises
  63. 63. The Three-Fifths Compromise
  64. 64. Presidential Elections
  65. 65. What is the proper role of the majority?
  66. 66. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) • Judiciary • Electoral College
  67. 67. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) • Judiciary • Electoral College
  68. 68. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) Judiciary • Electoral College
  69. 69. Checks on the Majority • Selection of Senators • Bicameral Congress • Independent (non-elected) Judiciary • Electoral College
  70. 70. Constitutional Checks on the Majority House of The People 1 Repesentatives 1 Ap pro val 2 Senate ofN State om ina Legislatures tion s 2 President Supreme Electoral 3 4 Court College
  71. 71. Fragmented Government
  72. 72. #1: Separation of Powers
  73. 73. Central Government / Authority Executive Legislative Judicial
  74. 74. Legislative Executive Judicial
  75. 75. #2: Checks & Balances
  76. 76. Can override president’s veto Can impeach and remove CONGRESS president Can reject judicial nominees Can reject appointees Can impeach and remove Can investigate presidential judges actions Can create lower courts Can reject presidential requests for Can amend laws or propose laws and funds constitutional amendments to Can refuse to ratify treaties Can declare laws change court decisions unconstitutional Can veto bills passed by Congress Can recommend legislation Vice-President can break ties in Senate Can call special sessions Nominates judges, Supreme Court justices Can pardon, commute sentences of those convicted in federal courts SUPREME PRESIDENT Can declare presidential COURT actions unconstitutional
  77. 77. #3: Federalism
  78. 78. Federalism A system of government under which significant government powers are divided between the central government and smaller governmental units.
  79. 79. VS.
  80. 80. American Federalism: A multiplicity of governing levels and units
  81. 81. 1
  82. 82. 50
  83. 83. 1000’s
  84. 84. All of these governments are related to each other in a particular way.
  85. 85. federal system
  86. 86. “The true theory of our Constitution is that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
  87. 87. Federalism A Key Structural Characteristic of American Government
  88. 88. How Federalism is Embodied in the Constitution • Constitution makes central government supreme in certain matters, • BUT makes clear state governments have independent powers. • Supremacy Clause • Article I, Section 8 • Tenth Amendment (Reservation Clause)
  89. 89. How Federalism is Embodied in the Constitution • Constitution makes central government supreme in certain matters, • BUT makes clear state governments have independent powers. • Supremacy Clause • Article I, Section 8 • Tenth Amendment (Reservation Clause)
  90. 90. How Federalism is Embodied in the Constitution • Constitution makes central government supreme in certain matters, • BUT makes clear state governments have independent powers. • Supremacy Clause • Article I, Section 8 • Tenth Amendment (Reservation Clause)
  91. 91. How Federalism is Embodied in the Constitution • Constitution makes central government supreme in certain matters, • BUT makes clear state governments have independent powers. • Supremacy Clause • Article I, Section 8 • Tenth Amendment (Reservation Clause)
  92. 92. How Federalism is Embodied in the Constitution • Constitution makes central government supreme in certain matters, • BUT makes clear state governments have independent powers. • Supremacy Clause • Article I, Section 8 • Tenth Amendment (Reservation Clause)
  93. 93. Tends to prevent fully unified, disciplined parties
  94. 94. Advantages of Federalism •Diversity of Needs can be met. •Closeness to the people. •Innovation and experimentation.
  95. 95. Advantages of Federalism •Diversity of Needs can be met. •Closeness to the people. •Innovation and experimentation.
  96. 96. Advantages of Federalism •Diversity of Needs can be met. •Closeness to the people. •Innovation and experimentation.
  97. 97. Disadvantages of Federalism •Lack of national standards •Low visibility and lack of popular control •Lack of uniformity in rules and programs
  98. 98. Disadvantages of Federalism •Lack of national standards •Low visibility and lack of popular control •Lack of uniformity in rules and programs
  99. 99. Disadvantages of Federalism •Lack of national standards •Low visibility and lack of popular control •Lack of uniformity in rules and programs
  100. 100. How Federalism Promotes Democracy • Permits state governments to counterbalance actions of the national government. • Allows people in each state/ community to do what their own majorities prefer.
  101. 101. How Federalism Promotes Democracy • Permits state governments to counterbalance actions of the national government. • Allows people in each state/ community to do what their own majorities prefer.
  102. 102. How Federalism Hinders Democracy • Responsibility blurred, hard to assign credit or blame. • Democratic processes may not work as well at the state level as at the national level.
  103. 103. How Federalism Hinders Democracy • Responsibility blurred, hard to assign credit or blame. • Democratic processes may not work as well at the state level as at the national level.
  104. 104. Amending the Constitution PROPOSAL RATIFICATION FREQUENCY Used for all amendments save AC the 21st Amendment Amendment proposed Amendment ratified by a 2/3 vote of both by legislatures of at houses of Congress least 3/4 of the states BC Never Used A C B D Amendment Used for the 21st Amendment proposed by a AD only Amendment ratified national constitutional by 3/4 of state convention requested ratifying conventions by 2/3 of state legislatures BD Never Used
  105. 105. Something to Ponder…
  106. 106. Something to Ponder… …Government is slow and “inefficient” because it was designed to work that way!

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