Presentation on theme: "Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings of U.S. Government"— Presentation transcript:
1 Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings of U.S. Government Chapters 1-3
2 Chapter 1: The Study of American Government “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” - James Madison
3 Key Questions Who governs? ~How is political power actually distributed in America?To what ends?~What values matter most in American democracy?~Are trade-offs among political values inevitable?
4 Politics and Government Politics: the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government“Who gets what when and how.” LaswellGovernment: institution in which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges
5 Why is government necessary? To Maintain Order:Maintaining peace and security by protecting members of society from violence and criminal activity is the oldest purpose of government.To Preserve Liberty:The greatest freedom of individuals that is consistent with the freedom of other individuals in the society; can be promoted by government.
6 What is political power? Definition- the ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first person’s intentions. (Ex.)Increasing extension of power into everyday “private” issues (Ex.)~FDA ~New Deal ~Patriot Act
7 Authority and Legitimacy Authority is the right to use power~Formal authority refers to the notion that the right to exercise power is vested in government office.Legitimacy is political authority conferred by law or state/national constitution.~In the United States political authority is perceived as legitimate if it conferred by the Constitution.~Our history has been molded by a struggle over what constitutes legitimate authority.
8 Forms of Government Forms of Government Totalitarian Regime Government controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.AuthoritarianA type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under the government’s control.AristocracyRule by the “best”; in reality, rule by an upper class.DemocracyA system of government in which political authority is vested in the people. Derived from the Greek words demos (“the people”) and kratos (“authority”).
9 Types of DemocracyDirect or Participatory Democracy (Aristotelian “rule of the many”)A government in which all or most citizens participate directly.Fourth century B.C. Greek city-state (polis), most notably the Athenian Assembly, practiced direct democracy.Characterized by political equality, citizen participation, the rule of law, and free and open debate.Limitations were scale and exclusivity (free adult male property owners)New England town meeting most closely approximates the Aristotelian idealMost have abandoned the town meeting style of government because of size and complexity. They have replaced it with representative government.Examples of direct democracy in America today: Initiative, Referendum, Recall
10 Types of Democracy (continued) Representative Democracy or Elitist DemocracyA government in which leaders make decisions by winning a competitive struggle for the popular vote (economist Joseph Schumpter)Justified for two reasons: impractical for people to decide public policy and dangerous to allow people to make decisions on critical issues.The framers use the phrase “republican form of government” to mean representative democracy. For this system of government to work there must be competition for leadership.~Individuals and parties can run for office~Communication is free~Voters perceive that there is a meaningful choice
11 Is Representative Democracy Best? The Framers of the Constitution favored representative democracy because:The will of the people was not synonymous with the “common interest” or “public good”.The masses lacked knowledge and were susceptible to manipulation.It minimized the abuse of power by a popular majority or officeholders.Were the framers right?
12 How is political power distributed? Majoritarian PoliticsElected officials are the delegates of the majority of the people and act in accordance to their will.Applies when issues are simple and clearElitismRule by identifiable group of persons who possess a disproportionate share of political power.Occurs when circumstances do not permit majoritarian decision making.
13 Theories of Political Decision Making MarxismFounded by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto(1848)Government is controlled by the dominant social classPower EliteFounded by C. Wright Wills in The Power Elite (1956)Power elite (corporate, military, political leaders…others?) control and are served by the governmentBureaucraticFounded by Max Weber in Economy and Society(1922)Power is in the hands of appointed officials who are able to exercise power when deciding how public laws are turned into actionPluralistBernard Berelson, Paul Lazarsfeld and William McPhee in Voting (1954)Competition among all affected interests shapes public policy. System is to complex to be controlled by one group within or outside of government.
14 Is democracy driven by self-interest ? Individual vs. Common Good John Locke and Thomas Hobbes (Social Contract Theory)Humans are reasonable creatures who can use reason t to improve their own social existenceHumans are self-interestedPolitical society exists to allow for prosperityAlexis de ToquevilleAmericans often act spontaneously and on behalf of the disinterested.Honor principleLocke’s Key Principles“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”~ Alexis de Toqueville
15 “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which treats everyone equally…Being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, or possessions.” -John Locke
16 “The old traditions are apt to lead men into mistakes, as this idea of fatherly power’s probably has done, which seems so eager to place the power of parents over their children wholly in the father, as if the mother has no share in it. Whereas if we consult reason or the Bible, we shall find she has an equal title.” -John Locke
17 “Whensoever the government shall put into the hands of any other an absolute power over the lives, liberty, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power of the people…who have a right to resume their original liberty, and by the establishment of the new government provide for their own safety and security.” -John Locke
19 Key QuestionsWho governs?~What is the difference between a democracy and a republic?~What branch of government has the greatest power?To what ends?~Does the Constitution tell us what goals the government should serve?~Whose freedom does the Constitution protect?
20 The Problems of Liberty Colonists were focused on individual libertyThe right to bring legal cases before independent judgesThe right to not have troops in their homesThe right to trade without restrictionsThe right to pay no tax that was levied without direct representationThe colonial mindBelieved men sought power because they are ambitious, greedy and easily corruptedBelieved in a higher law that embodied natural rights (life, liberty and property)Declaration of Independence was designed to inform George III of ways that their unalienable rights were being violated. The list of 27 grievances was aimed at protecting the colonists rights as British citizens.
21 Problems (continued)The “Real” RevolutionThe real revolution was the “radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people” (John Adams) as it relates to legitimate authority and liberty.Government exists by the consent of the governed, not by the will of a kingPolitical power can only be granted by a written constitutionHuman liberty exists prior to government and government must respect libertyLegislative branch would be superior to the executive branch because it directly represents the people.
22 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation Problems(continued)Weaknesses of the Articles of ConfederationCould not levy taxes or regulate commerceSovereignty retained by the statesOne vote in Congress for each state9/13 states required for any measure in CongressArmy was small and dependent on state militiasTerritorial disputes between states led to hostilityNo national judicial systemAll 13 states needed for any amendmentsProblems (continued)
23 -- Thomas Jefferson in response to the rebellion Shay's Rebellion"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is the natural manure.“-- Thomas Jefferson in response to the rebellion
24 The Constitutional Convention May 25 – September 17, 1787 Philadelphia, PA Delegates- 74 appointed, 55 attendedPurpose- Revise the Articles of ConfederationAbsent-Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Patrick HenryConvention president- George WashingtonCritical question- How could the government be strong enough to preserve order but not threaten liberty?
25 Key Challenges Plan Key Points The Virginia PlanJames MadisonStrong national government organized into three branchesBicameral legislature (one by the people, one by the other house)Executive (1 term) and judiciary (life) chosen by the legislatureNational legislature had supreme powerThe New Jersey PlanWilliam PatersonCreated for fear that legislative representation would be based on population , allowing more populated states more powerAmend, not replace the Articles of ConfederationProposed one vote per state, so that Congress would be responsible to states. Congress could raise revenue and regulate commerce; acts of the Congress would be binding to the statesProtected small states’ interests while expanding the role of the national governmentThe Great Compromiseor the Connecticut CompromiseOliver EllsworthHouse of Representatives based on population and elected directly by the people (65 members)Senate composed of two members from each state and elected by state legislaturesLegislation had to be approved by both chambers, so it reconciled interests of large and small states
26 A New Constitution is Approved September 17, 1787 Ben Franklin’s SpeechRatification ProcessDelaware- December 7, 1787Pennsylvania - December 12, 1787New Jersey - December 18, 1787Georgia - January 2, 1788Connecticut - January 9, 1788Massachusetts - February 6, 1788Maryland - April 28, 1788South Carolina - May 23, 1788New Hampshire - June 21, 1788Virginia - June 25, 1788New York - July 26, 1788North Carolina - November 21, 1789Rhode Island - May 29, 1790Debating Ratification:Federalists v. Antifederalists
27 Why were the Bill of Rights not included in the Constitution? The Constitution included liberties before the addition of the Bill of RightsWrit of habeas corpus may not be suspendedNo bill of attainder or ex post facto law may be passed by Congress or statesRight of trial by jury guaranteedNo religious test for federal officeNo law impairing contractual obligationsMost states already had their own bill of rightsFramers believed that they were creating a government with limited powers
28 A Need for a Bill of Rights Framers soon realized that the Constitution would not be ratified by large states without a promise that a Bill of Rights would soon be added.After the ratification of all 13 states, Madison introduced a set of proposals for the Bill of Rights to Congress.Twelve were approved by the Congress and ten were ratified by the states.Regulation on the number of representativesNo law varying the compensation of Senators and Representatives during a termThe Bill of Rights went into effect in 1791.Originally these amendments did not limit state power over citizens, only federal power.
29 Constitution Overview Article I- Legislative BranchArticle II- Executive BranchArticle III- Judicial BranchArticle IV- Full faith and credit, new statesArticle V- Amendment processArticle VI-Supremacy clause, oath of office, no religious testArticle VII- Ratification process
30 The Constitution and Democracy Framers had no intent of creating a pure or direct democracy.Lack of minority rights, popular passions, time and distanceCreated a representative democracyHouse elected directly by the peopleSenate elected by state legislatures (17th amendment)President elected by the electoral collegeAmendment process difficult
32 Informal Methods of Constitutional Change Congressional LegislationPresidential ActionsCustom and UsageJudicial ReviewMarbury v. Madison (1803)
33 Constitutional Reform: Modern Views Is the federal government too weak or too strong? Reducing the separation of powersMaking the system less democraticReduce the power of the court
34 Key Principles Enumerated powers Reserved powers Concurrent powers Separation of Powers- political power is divided by three separate branches of governmentChecks and Balances- political power in the branches of government is restrained by other branchesFederalism- government authority is divided between the federal and state governmentsUnder these principles, government powers are divided into three broad categories:Enumerated powersReserved powersConcurrent powers“The different governments will control each other, at the same time each will be controlled by itself.” James Madison
35 Separation of PowersThe Founders extended the limits on the power of the government by further dividing its powers.GovernmentPowerJudicialLegislativeExecutive
36 Checks and BalancesThe system of check and balances extends the restrictions established by the separation of powers.Each branch of government has the built-in authority and responsibility to restrain the power of the other two branches. This system makes government less efficient, but also prevents tyranny by one branch. (p.29)
38 The Constitution and Slavery Black slaves made up 1/3 of the population in 5 of the Southern states.Framers could not have ended slavery and ratified the Constitution.The “Greatest Compromise”Representatives determined by 3/5 of slave populationNo law to prohibit/limit slave trade until 1808Return of fugitive slaves to owners
39 Chapter 3: FederalismStateBalance of PowerFederal
40 Theories of Federalism Dual FederalismCooperative FederalismMain ElementsNecessary and proper clause should be narrowly defined…enumerated powers onlyNational government powers are purposefully limited by the ConstitutionNation and states are sovereign in their spheresNational and state agencies work togetherState and nation routinely share powerPower in not concentrated in any government level or agencyCritical DifferenceNarrow interpretation of elastic clause and states’ rightsBroad interpretation of necessary and proper clause and the 10th amendmentIdeological alignmentConservativeLiberal
41 The Dynamics of Federalism: Legal Sanctions and Financial Incentives The balance of power between the nation and the states has always been political. Over time the power has shifted from the states to the national government for two key reasons:Historical circumstances (i.e. Civil War, New Deal, Desegregation , War on Poverty)Constitutional Amendments(Fourteenth and Sixteenth)Other considerations:1. Federal Mandates2. Grants-in-Aid (Categorical and Block Grants)3. Judicial Interpretation
42 Developing the concept of Federalism McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)New DealDesegregationWar on PovertyNixon’s New FederalismReagan and Bush