Unit 1.1


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This presentation covers the section titled: Considerations that Influenced the Formulation and Adoption of the Constitution. You will be expected to contribute in an interactive format wherever a definition or question is posed. Definitions are marked by a page number next to it.

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Unit 1.1

  1. 1. UNIT #1: Constitutional underpinnings of the u.s. government Considerations that Influenced the Formulation and Adoption of the Constitution (p.p. 28-52) LEQ: How do we reconcile economic inequality with political freedom?
  2. 2. Origins of the ConstitutionDeclaration of Independence (31)John Locke’s Natural Rights (32)John Locke’s Consent of the Governed (32)John Locke’s Limited Government (32)
  3. 3. Origins of the Constitution (cont’d)Traditional view of government: King had divine rightto absolute rule over his subjectsNew view of government: certain things are beyondthe realm of government
  4. 4. What did the framers think the purpose of government was?Property=wealthThe government should preserve individual propertyPatient Sufferance (33)Thomas Jefferson: the government should securerights, e.g. “life, liberty...”
  5. 5. Articles of ConfederationArticles of Confederation (35)Government dominated by states, failedFear that a strong central government would becometyrannical (remember the King?)Congress had little power, they could not: regulatecommerce, tax, develop strong national economy
  6. 6. Dissatisfaction over the Articles of ConfederationDemocracy/liberty for white males onlyPositive change: power shift, new middle classEconomic turmoil/post Revolutionary War depressionShay’s Rebellion (37)Congress can’t raise militia to deal with conflict(s)Annapolis Meeting calls for meeting of the states
  7. 7. The Philadelphia ConventionPurpose of Convention: revise Articles ofConfederationRepublican Government (38)Delegates agreed on four things: human nature,political conflict, objects of government, and the natureof republican government
  8. 8. What is Human Nature?Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (38)Without a strong government, life will be “solitary,poor, nasty, brutish and short.” (The premise of everyzombie movie. Ever.)People are self-interestedGovernment should play a key role in containing self-interest of people
  9. 9. Roots of Political ConflictJames Madison’s view: distribution of wealth is thesource of political conflict. (2012 Campaign?)Factions (39)
  10. 10. The Writers of the ConstitutionThey’re all wealthy, they all want to preserve thatwealth (property)Primary objective: preserve individual rights to acquireand hold wealth
  11. 11. Nature of GovernmentPower should be set against power, so no one factionwould overwhelm the otherTo avoid tyranny, checks and balances and theseparation of powers
  12. 12. Equality & Representation of the StatesNJ Plan (41)VA Plan (41)CT Compromise (41)3/5 Compromise (42)States decide voting qualifications
  13. 13. Economic IssuesFederalists (43) (49)Anti-Federalists (43) (49)Under Articles of Confederation, there was a chaoticunion of states, e.g. New Jersey may not haveaccepted money brought from New York
  14. 14. Constitution Give Congress PowerIt granted Congress the power to create the conditionswith which markets would flourish: They became the chief economic policy maker They had power to tax and borrow for revenue They could regulate interstate/foreign commerce
  15. 15. Individual Rights IssuesConstitution says little of personal freedoms, what isprotected?Writ of Habeas Corpus (45)Bills of Attainder (45)Ex Post Facto Laws (45)
  16. 16. The Madison ModelWhat is tyranny of the majority?Fear of factions, majority could out-vote minorityfactionHow would Madison avoid a tyranny of the majority?
  17. 17. The Madison Model (cont’d)How would Madison avoid tyranny of the majority?Limiting Majority Control, e.g. only House is withindirect control of the votes of the majoritySeparation of Powers (46)Checks and Balances (47)Division of power between national/state governments(federalism)
  18. 18. The Constitutional RepublicRepublic (48)Checks and balances & separation of powers slowschangeIf you desire change you must have a sizable majority,this makes it hard for the majority/minority to tyrannizeWhat do critics say about the Madisonian Model?
  19. 19. Federalists & Anti- FederalistsFederalists (49)Anti-Federalists (49)Federalist Papers (49)Table 2.5 (50)What does ratify mean?9/13 states need toapprove Constitution
  20. 20. Bill of RightsBill of Rights (51)Table 2.6 (51)Bill of Rights restrained national government fromlimiting personal freedomsConstitution weakened the power of the statesWhat are some fears of the Anti-Federalists?