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Constitutional Underpinnings

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Presentation on theme: "Constitutional Underpinnings"— Presentation transcript:

1 Constitutional Underpinnings

2 Journal #1 Distinguishing between power and authority is, fundamentally, reflective of one’s political beliefs. In what kinds of institutions do you have confidence? Why do you trust them? In contrast, what kinds of institutions raise your suspicions? Why?

3 # 1. What is political power?
Power as it is used to affect who will hold government office & how government will behave Authority: the right to use power Legitimacy

4 #2. What is democracy? Describes three different political systems
1. Democratic centralism 2. Aristotelian (direct or participatory) 3. Representative democracy

5 #3. Direct v. Representative Democracy
Direct: impractical, ”mobocracy” , Representative: favored by the framers, Constitution does not contain word “democracy”

6 #4. How is power distributed in a democracy?
A. Majoritarian politics Leaders follow the wishes of the people B. Elitism gov’t is controlled by the dominant class Power elite – key corporate leaders, military leaders, & political leaders Bureaucrats (nonelected gov’t workers) Pluralist: no single elite has a monopoly on power

7 5. Describe the events leading to the demise of the Articles of Confederation

8 Could not levy taxes or regulate commerce
little money coined by Congress Disputes between states

9 No National judicial system
Congress did have the power to maintain an army & navy, yet lacked resources

10 6. Examine the philosophies, backgrounds, and experiences of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention

11 Framers - Young (exception Franklin) vast amount of political, educational, legal & business experience

12 Motives debated over the years.
Key players Hamilton & Madison Missing- Jefferson, Adams & Henry

13 7. Key Principles – Pushed by Madison
Federalism Separation of Powers Checks & Balances Limits on the Majority- only the House elected by the people

14 Critics views Reducing the Separation of Powers
Making the system less Democratic

15 8. Describe the ratification procedures and arguments for and against ratification of the Constitution

16 The Constitution had to be approved by 9 states not 13
Proponents – Federalists (nationalists) Opponents – Antifederalists (states’ righters)

17 9. What were the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution?
Writ of habeas corpus may not be suspended No bill of attainder may be passed No ex post facto may be passed Right of trial by jury Citizens of each state are entitled to the privileges and immunities of the citizens of every other state No religious test for holding federal office

18 Government Make and enforce public policies
Consists of lawmakers, administrators and judges

19 Public Policy Is a choice that gov’t makes in response to some issue on its agenda

20 Types of Public Policy Congressional statute (laws)
Presidential action Court decision Regulation

21 Forms of Government Monarchy/Dictatorship/Oligarchy Republic Theocracy

Unitary Federal Confederation

23 Figure 3.1: Lines of Power in Three Systems of Government

24 Figure 3.1: Lines of Power in Three Systems of Government (cont’d)

25 Figure 3.1: Lines of Power in Three Systems of Government (cont’d)

26 Relationship between Leg. & Executive
Presidential Parliamentary


28 Gov’t by force / By the People
Dictatorship Democracy participatory Representative

29 Journal # 2, 2/5/10 Which form of government, presidential or parliamentary is best to respond to the needs of the citizens? Why?

30 American Political Culture
Political culture – is the distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out. Political culture should not be confused with Political ideology

31 Basic views - political
Liberty (Freedoms) Equality Democracy Civic duty Individual responsibility

32 Economic assumptions Liberty – free-enterprise
“equality of opportunity” Individualism

33 Cultural Conflict Areas of disagreement include- abortion, gay rights, drug use, school prayer, and pornography Two basic views Orthodox – morality more important than self-expression Progressive- personal freedom more important than traditional moral rules

34 Figure 4.1: Trust in the Federal Government, 1958-2001
Source: University of Michigan, The National Election Studies, (September 1999), table 5A.1, updated by Los Angeles Times, poll taken November 10-13, 2001.

35 Political Efficacy- The capacity to understand and influence political events

36 Figure 4.2: Changes in the Sense of Political Efficacy
Source: University of Michigan, The National Election Studies,

37 Table 4.2: Patriotism in America, France, and Germany

38 Table 4.3: Commitment to Income Equity in Sweden and the United States

39 Figure 4.4a: Views of Toleration and Morality
Source: The American Enterprise (January/February 1999): 37, reporting data from Roper, Washington Post, Harvard, and Kaiser Family Foundation polls.

40 Figure 4.4b: Views of Toleration and Morality (cont’d)
Source: The American Enterprise (January/February 1999): 37, reporting data from Roper, Washington Post, Harvard, and Kaiser Family Foundation polls.

41 Figure 4.5: Changes in Levels of Political Tolerance, 1930-1999
Source: Gallup poll data, various years, as compiled by Professor John Zaller, Department of Political Science, UCLA; The Gallup Organization, Poll Releases (March 29, 1999), 2-6.

42 Table 4.7: Religion in Industrialized Nations, 1990-1993

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