What did the Founding Fathers think about Constitutional Government?
The Student will be able to... Describe the diverse features of the early American colonies and state and their populations Explain what the Founders learned about government from history and their firsthand experiences with government Describe the forms of constitutional governments Evaluate, take and defend positions on the sources that should be consulted if a new constitution for the United Sates were being written today Defend: Are the Founders’ concerns about abuse of government power still valid today?
Size The colonies were bigger than England & Scotland More than 1,000 miles from north to south of colonies Diverse Background Puritans to Quakers Economic Reasons (poor to rich) Different Languages (English, Dutch, French, Germany) Social/Political Cultures Huge estates to family farms (slavery in every colony) Mostly Rural/Trade people
Greece and Rome Aristotle, Cicero Those who govern must be wise Government should help people learn about and perform their civic and moral duties Democracies begin well, but usually end in tyranny Hobbes and Locke Hobbes – “State of Nature” Live in conflict/violent. Choose to set up a state to create order out of chaos Locke – “Social Contract” Government should protect “life, liberty and estate” 100 Years of self-government Local self-government existed with a remote authority
1. Government should be the servant, not the master, of the people 2. A fundamental higher law, or CONSTITUTION should limit government
Every “ STATE ” must perform 3 functions: 1. Deliberate about what is to be done and decide what public policy should be Legislative Function: Deliberating on and Enacting Law 2. Perform an executive function Carry out Public Policy 3. Carry Out a Judicial Function Interpretation of law are managed and applied to every day life
Rule ofRight FormCorrupt Form ONE MonarchyTyranny FEW AristocracyOligarchy MANY Polity (mixed constitution) Democracy (when poor take over from the ruling group)
Polybius: A mix of the types of government Rule of One; Rule of a Few; Rule of the Many England The Monarchy Parliament House of Lords House of Commons The Colonies The Monarchy Elected Representatives
A plan that sets forth the structure and powers of government The power of each instrument of government How the constitution can be changed Most constitutions are written out Only 3 current democracies DO NOT have a single written out format of their government England, Israel and New Zealand Limited Government Restraints on governmental powers
The Founding Fathers saw the Constitution as “Higher Law” 1. It sets forth the basic rights of citizens 2. It establishes the responsibility of the government to protect those rights 3. It establishes limitations on how those in government may use their power with regard to citizens’ rights and responsibilities, the distribution of resources, and the control or management of conflict 4. It can be changed only with the consent of the citizens and according to established and well-known procedures
Get in your STUDY GROUPS Discuss and answer the “Reviewing and Using the Lesson” questions on page 10 Each group must be ready to present the answer to a specific question, citing the book, to the class
Group One: Tanner, Ari, Mikel, Keziah Group Two: Jacob, Patricia, Joseph, Ryan Group Three: Brittney, Nadia, Nick, Rene Group Four: Danielle, Drew, Jordan, Michael Group Five: Kyle, Montoya, Katrina, Emma Group Six: Garrett, Quinn, Scott, Nathan
Group One: Mariah, Meghan, Catherine Group Two: Bridgett, Ashley, Rosamaria Group Three: Joel, Adam, David Group Four: Kori, Brett, Jeffrey Group Five: Alex, Matt, Taylor, Mercedes Group Six: Amanda, Alexis, Kristi
Identify at least three characteristics of the British colonies What important lessons did the founding generation learn from political theory and political history? What is the difference between “LIMITED” and “UNLIMITED” government? Do you think the difference is important? Why or Why Not? What is a “CONSTITUTION?” What is a mixed constitution? Explain the advantages and disadvantages of this type of government? Why is a constitution considered a higher law, and what are the major characteristics of a higher law? According to Aristotle, what are the differences between right and corrupt forms of government?