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Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings 5-15% Ch. 1-The Study of American Government, Wilson pp. 3-15 (10 th Ed)

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Presentation on theme: "Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings 5-15% Ch. 1-The Study of American Government, Wilson pp. 3-15 (10 th Ed)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings 5-15% Ch. 1-The Study of American Government, Wilson pp. 3-15 (10 th Ed)

2 A. Who Governs and to What Ends? Power and authority: – power: how is it used to affect government office and behavior – Authority: Formal authority: the right to exercise power legitimately through government office – Constitution is the source of legitimacy – Legitimate use of power must be democratic

3 B. Democracy Rule of the people; Two Types: 1.Direct (participatory) democracy: 2.Indirect OR representative democracy (a republic): Considered “elitist” by some, but justifiable: – 1: – 2:

4 Republic Favored by Framers: government should mediate popular views and represent majority opinion while protecting the civil liberties of the minority; system minimizes abuse of power Majoritarian politics: leaders are heavily influenced by the will of the people (act as the people)

5 C. How is Political Power Distributed? Elite politics view: 1.Marxist (Marx): 2.Power Elite (C. Wright Mills): 3.Bureaucratic (Weber): 4.Pluralist: – 1: – 2: Hyperpluralism: “pluralism gone sour”

6 D. Fundamental Democratic Values: 1.Popular sovereignty. 2. Respect for the individual. State serves individual, not vice versa. 3.Liberty. 4. Equality. (Of opportunity more than result.)

7 E. Fundamental Democratic Processes: 1.Free and fair elections, with competing political parties. 2.Majority rule with respect for minority rights. 3.Freedom of expression. 4.Right to assemble and protest.

8 F. Fundamental Democratic Structures: 1.Federalism. 2.Separation of powers. 3.Checks and balances. 4.Constitutionalism.

9 Ch. 2: The Constitution, pp. 17-27 Sources of the Constitution 1.British customs and traditions 2.Enlightenment philosophers 3.Colonial experiences 4.State constitutions written from 1776-77 included: 1.A: 2.B: 3.C: 4.D:

10 Constitutional Convention, 1787 Background: Declaration of Independence, 1776, Jefferson: 1.Ideas of J. Locke 2.Natural rights: life, liberty, and property (pursuit of happiness) 3.Theory of justifiable revolution; unalienable rights, evidence of specific violations of rights, right/duty to rebel

11 Articles of Confederation Government 1.Ratified by 13 states, 1781 2.“firm league of friendship” 3.Confederate system: states retained sovereignty but came together for common and specific purposes (defense, general welfare…) 4.Deliberately weak central government: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

12 Annapolis Convention, 1786 Shay’s Rebellion, 1786 – Reflected the need for a stronger national government

13 Constitutional Convention, 1787 Delegates (55): – Young, experienced, educated, well-off, well-bred Participants: – Madison “Father of the Constitution” – Washington: presiding officer – Franklin: elder statesman – Hamilton: advocated for a strong central government

14 Areas of Agreement: Scrap the Articles of Confederation Establish a republican government Establish a constitutional government Devise a government with a balance of power, but a stronger central government than under the Articles Suffrage for property owners only Protect property rights: main purpose of government Secret proceedings

15 Areas of Disagreement- Compromises 1.Representation among the states Virginia Plan: New Jersey Plan: Connecticut (Great) Compromise:

16 2.Representation and taxation of slaves Northern states wanted slaves to count for taxation, but not representation Southern states wanted slaves to count for representation, but not taxation 3/5 Compromise:

17 3.Regulation of commerce and the slave trade: Northern states wanted Congress to protect businesses interests by imposing tariffs; they wanted Congress to ban the slave trade, and to allow slaves that escaped to the North to remain free Southern states did not want Congress to impose tariffs, nor interfere with the slave trade, and that runaways should be returned as “property” Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise:

18 4.Election of the President – Life term vs. annual election: compromise of a 4 year term – Method of election: Some wanted election by Congress Some wanted election by state legislatures Some wanted direct election Compromise: 5.Selection of Supreme Court: – Some wanted it picked by Senate, others by the president – Compromise:

19 Principles of the Constitution, p. 27-30 + Federalist 51 Six basic principles: popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism 1.Popular sovereignty:

20 2.Limited government: Constitutionalism: Bill of Rights: – 10 th Amendment: – Ensured states would have substantial powers and central gov could only exercise powers given to it

21 3. Separation of powers Division of powers into 3 branches (executive, legislative, judicial) Montesquieu’s On the Spirit of Laws Danger of one branch becoming too powerful – Checks and balances

22 4. Checks and balances: Each branch subject to constitutional checks by the other branches Examples: (see p.29) Political independence within each branch: no branch is dependent upon the other two for election (exception-federal judges) Staggering of terms within each branch: majority of voters can gain control over one part of gov at one time, e.g. midterm Congressional elections can serve as a check on executive 5. Federalism: (More in Ch. 3)

23 6. Judicial Review 1. The power to determine Constitutionality of an act of government 2. Not explicitly stated in the Constitution, but assumed by the court in 1803 3. Marbury vs. Madison, 1803: (see pg. 434)

24 Marbury vs. Madison, 1803 Marbury vs. Madison, 1803 1. Basis for Opinion: Point 1: Constitution is the supreme law of the land Point 1: Constitution is the supreme law of the land Point 2: all legislative acts and acts of government are inferior to the Constitution and cannot come into conflict with it Point 2: all legislative acts and acts of government are inferior to the Constitution and cannot come into conflict with it Point 3: judges are sworn to enforce provisions of the Constitution Point 3: judges are sworn to enforce provisions of the Constitution 2. Marshall claims for the Supreme Court the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional and thereby establishes the power of judicial review 3. Effects: citizens can challenge constitutionality of laws in court by initiating lawsuits (Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963). Litigation has become an important way of making public policy

25 Ratification Politics: p. 30-36 1.Federalists: (Nationalists) – Supporters: property owners, creditors, merchants – Favored strong central government – Leaders: Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Jay

26 2.Antifederalists: (state’s rights) – Supporters: small farmers, frontiersmen, debtors, shopkeepers – Views: 1)Believed government should be closer to the people 2)Feared strong central government; proposed stronger state gov 3)Disliked lack of Bill of Rights (most powerful argument) – Leaders: Henry, Mason, Gerry

27 Ratification 1.Federalist Advantages: – Better represented in state legislatures – Controlled the press – Began ratification procedures quickly before Antifederalists could get organized – Agreed to a Bill of Rights after ratification 2.The Federalist Papers: 3.Ratification, 1788: by state ratifying conventions of popularly-elected delegates

28 Federalist 51 Auxiliary precautions against tyranny- The system of federalism provides a secondary level of protection by In a large & diverse country like the US, the competing factions can help prevent one special interest from dominating gov and prevent tyranny of the majority (pluralism)

29 Constitutional Reform, p. 37-45 5 basic ways to informally amend the Constitution: 1.Basic Legislation 2.Executive Action: 3.Court Decisions: 4.Party Practices 5.Custom/Tradition

30 4 Methods (2 proposals/2 ratification) Proposal: 1.Method 1 2.Method 2 Formal Amendment I. Formal Amendment Process Constitution can be changed either formally or informally Formal Amendments: Article V provides for 4 methods of formally amending the Constitution Only been amended 27 times in over 200 years System reflects federalism

31 Ratification ( 2 methods- Congress decides which to use) 1.Method 1: 2.Method 2: Time limits for ratification: 7 years

32 Ch. 3: Origins of Federalism, p. 49-56 Defined : Constitutional division of power between the national and state governments, both get their power from the Constitution and are subordinate to it. Reasons for: Unitary system (central government delegates power, reminiscent of British, fear of strong, distant gov) Confederate system – too reminiscent of Articles Allows unity, but not uniformity-differences among states More suitable for geographically large nation More suitable for heterogeneous people More likely to check tyranny: – If tyranny occurred in a few states, federal gov could prevent its spread (Shays’ Rebellion) – National gov only has those powers granted to it, all others belong to states (10 th Amendment) Allows national gov to focus on national affairs Frees states from excessive intrusion on state/local matters (exc: mandates) Encourages experimentation (legalized gambling, medical marijuana, etc.) Keeps gov closer to people-multiple points of access

33 Structure of Federalism I. National Powers (3 types of delegated powers): 1.Expressed (enumerated): 2.Implied: 3.Inherent: II. State Powers (reserved): 1.10 th A. states: 2.Examples:

34 With a partner, draw a Venn Diagram that categorizes the powers of the national government, concurrent powers, and state powers. Use the following list of powers: Federal Powers: 1. Coin money Concurrent Powers: 1. Define and punish crimes State Powers: 1. Establish public school systems 1.Establish post offices 2.Levy and collect taxes 3.Claim private property for public use 4.Regulate alcoholic beverages 5.Raise and maintain armed forces 6.Conduct foreign relations 7.Conduct elections 8.Borrow money 9.Pass license requirements for professionals 10.Declare war 11.Admit new states 12.Establish local governments 13.Regulate foreign and interstate trade 14.Establish courts

35 III. Concurrent Powers 1. Most powers given to the National Gov. are exclusive powers 2. Some powers are concurrent (shared by both Federal Gov. and State Gov.) Ex: taxes, define/punish crimes, eminent domain, etc. Ex: taxes, define/punish crimes, eminent domain, etc.

36 IV. National Supremacy A.Supremacy Clause: Set up to avoid conflicts b/w State and Federal laws “ This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. …and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.” –Article VI, Section 2

37 V. Obligations of the national: 1.Guarantee each state a republican form of government 2.Protect each state against invasion or domestic violence 3.Grant new states the same rights as other states VI. Obligations of state governments 1.Full faith and credit clause: 2.Privileges and immunities clause: 3.Extradition:

38 Meaning of Federalism, p. 57-61 I. Decentralist (states’ rights): 1.Constitution a compact created by states 2.Constitution limits national authority to delegated powers 3.10 th A. gives broad power to states 4.When in doubt, matter should be resolved in favor of states (Nullification) 5.National gov too big, impersonal 6.State gov are closer to people 7.Followers: Calhoun, Reagan, conservatives, Bush (W), evangelical movement II. Centralist (nationalist): 1.Constitution created by people, not states 2.Elastic clause gives great power to national 3.Powers to states only if national surrenders 4.When in doubt, favor national 5.Liberal constructionist pov 6.Federal bureaucracy has not grown over last 40 years 7.National gov has been a protector of rights 8.Followers: Hamilton, Marshall, TR, FDR, JFK, LBJ, Clinton, Obama

39 III. McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819 1. MD attempted to tax a branch of the Bank of the U.S. taxing was one of its reserved powers Bank was unconstitutional 2. Court’s Decision (under Marshall): 3. Need for a more flexible interpretation of the Constitution so that it would endure 4. Bank was “necessary and proper” upheld implied powers 5. Power to tax involved power to destroy, thus states could not tax national gov, establishing national supremacy

40 Sources National Strength Elastic Clause War powers Commerce Clause: Power to tax and spend for the “common defense and general welfare” Imposition of federal mandates (some unfunded) on states Preemption of state laws by fed courts if laws conflict with Const or fed laws State Sovereignty Anything that is not prohibited by the Constitution or preempted by federal policy Police power: State Constitutions allow for greater participatory democracy: initiatives, referendums, recall

41 IV. Historical Developments 1.Dual Federalism [Up to 1940s]: – State and national gov each remained supreme within their own spheres – Powers and policy of the layers of the gov were distinct, as in a layer cake 2.Cooperative Federalism (“marble cake” federalism) [Since 1940s]: – Mixing of responsibilities between state and national – Sharing of powers and policy, as in a marble cake 3.New Federalism (Nixon) – Shifting some authority back to states (devolution) – Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, II, Republicans – 1995: U.S. v. Lopez Court struck down Gun Free School Zones Act: – 2000: U.S. v. Morrison Court overturned a provision of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) : the Court held that Congress lacked the authority to enact a statute under the Commerce Clause or the Fourteenth Amendment since the statute did not regulate an activity that substantially affected interstate commerce nor did it redress harm caused by the state.

42 Federal-State Relations, p. 62-73 Federal Grants Money given to the states by the fed Why? 1.As national gov grows more powerful, it has used state and local gov to administer programs that are federally funded 2.Dollar amounts of grants have consistently risen in the last several decades (though not as a % of federal expenditures) Purposes: 1.Reduces growth of the bureaucracy; fed provides money to states, states run programs 2.Supplies state/local gov with needed revenue 3.Establishes minimum federal standards in important areas (clean air/water standards) 4.Equalizes resources among states

43 Grant Types: A. CategoricalB. Block

44 Politics of Federal Grants Democrats favor greater funding, but with more “strings” associated with Republicans favor less funding, and with fewer “strings” associated with – Exception: NCLB 2002, Republican support with lots of strings – In order to receive fed funds, state must: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Even as a block grant, there were federal strings: – No fed funds to recipients who have not worked within 2 years – No fed funds to recipients who have received fed money more than 5 years – States must spend at least 75% of what they had previously spent on welfare Welfare Reform Act of 1996

45 Federal Aid & Control: Mandates Mandates: Most concern civil rights and environmental protection Examples: Purposes: to meet a goal of the federal government Impact upon the states: 1.Financial burden, esp with unfunded mandates – ADA imposed large costs on states to make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled 2.State complaints about fed heavy- handedness – Clean Air Act 1990: if states do not have own plan and payment fed will impose their own 3.State complaints about fed blackmail – Fed can withhold fed funds in other programs

46 Identify and explain one trend shown in each graph. What is a “trend?” A trend constitutes 3 consecutive points in a graph. Use “from-to” statements. What’s the “story” of the graph?

47 A Devolution Revolution Republican Response to mandates: Reverse Trend of “big gov” – Part of Republican “Contract with America” (Gingrich [SoH], Boehner, DeLay…) to fulfill promises in part made by Reagan in 80s if Americans voted for a Republican majority in House – 104 th Congress became Republican controlled for first time in 40 years – Rise of American Conservativism Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Restrict use of future unfunded mandates Required CBO to analyze impact of unfunded mandates on states Required separate congressional vote on bills that impose unfunded mandates

48 Backlash Against Big Gov Late-1970s – early 1980s Power of fed gov too much 4 of last 5 presidents were “outsiders” (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43) Tax revolts: cuts (Prop 13, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43), Bush 41 “read my lips” Reduction of Great Society-style fed aid to cities: idea that states should take on more responsibilities: – Reduction of categorical grants – Increased use of block grants – Reduction of fed regulations through waivers – TANF (welfare no longer an entitlement program) Devolution Rev? Not really: Even Republican Congresses increased national power: 9/11: War on Terror, Homeland Security, USA Patriot Act of 2002 Wars in Afghanistan & Iraq led to huge military spending increases Massive budget deficits under Bush 43 (NCLB, Medicare Part D) Growth in congressional “earmarks:” pet projects for congressional districts/states Economic crisis 2008-10: massive federal spending-is big gov over???


50 The National Debt Debt is 16.7 trillion dollars! (as of August 2013) A result of a deficit spending policy over the last 40 years combined with huge spending increases over the last decade. Debt is annual deficit + interest combined.

51 National Debt as % GDP Total Deficits or Surpluses as a % of GDP (CBO) Deficit: spending more than the gov receives

52 As the chart shows, the ratio of national debt to GDP is currently 37 percent.All else being equal, if the tax cuts are made permanent — without making up for the lost revenue by raising other taxes or cutting spending — debt-to-GDP will rise inexorably starting after 2010, reaching 100 percent in 2035 and more than 200 percent in 2050. Courting debt loads of that magnitude implies severe economic distress.In contrast, if the tax cuts are allowed to expire, debt-to-GDP will dip a bit in the decades to come and then rise rapidly, to 100 percent by 2050, pushed up mainly by rising health care costs. That’s still a big problem, but not nearly as big as it will be if the tax cuts are also extended. And since most of the rise will take place after 2035, policymakers will have time to try to address the problem before it explodes. NY Times: http://theboard.blogs.n 2/about-those-bush- tax-cuts-for-the-rich/

53 Modifications of checks and balances: Have the following strengthened or weakened checks and balances? 1.Political parties – In theory, should weaken checks and balances-way of bringing branches together. Constitution divides government, but parties bring people in government together – In reality, parties are weak: Dominance of only 2 parties: each party has wide range of interests, disagreement within each party, hard to assert strong control – Prevalence of divided government: President of one party and Congress of the other 2.Changes in voting methods – Senators now chosen by people; as are members of House – Presidents chosen by electors who vote as people have voted Thus, members of 2 branches essentially chosen by same electorate, weakening of checks and balances in theory, however split ticket voting has changed this 3.Growth of federal bureaucracy – Development of numerous agencies within 3 branches – Congress grants broad authority to agencies and lets them carry out the will of Congress (ex: IRS collects taxes, writes-enforces tax code) – Weakened checks and balances

54 4.Changes in technology 5.Emergence of U.S. as world power after WWII

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