Presentation on theme: "The Institutionalization of Power Poli 110J 03 If men were angels, no government would be necessary."— Presentation transcript:
The Institutionalization of Power Poli 110J 03 If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
Common Sense (recap) Authority of Reason – Undermines Traditional Authority of the British monarchy – Accessible by anyone who is not blinded by the passions In this way, the authority of reason is democratic
Common Sense (recap) State of Nature as tool of political criticism – Human rights exist prior to any form of government Thus, these rights have priority over the government, and the government may not in justice infringe upon them
Common Sense (recap) Liberal/Enlightenment political values: – Commerce – Local government with weak central government – Religious toleration – Rule of Law – Society (freedom, happiness) vs. Government (power, constraint)
Declaration of Independence (recap) In the voice of a national people – The Union is a community of belief Equality the primary political good State of Nature argument, rights given by the Creator Purpose of Govt to protect security & inborn rights of individuals – National
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Approved for ratification by Second Continental Congress Nov. 2, 1777. – During the war. Became de facto system of govt until ratified March 1, 1781.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. – Unlike the Declaration, this is written in the voice of the various states, not in that of a unified, national people.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 1. Officially names the new nation the United States of America – This is really pretty self-explanatory.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 2. Each state remains sovereign except as limited by the Articles – Internally, each state is effectively independent of the rest. Very strong state powers.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 3. The US is a new nation united in perpetuity for the preservation of the rights and security of the various states. – Unlike the Declaration of Independence, the Articles explicitly guarantee the rights and security of states more than they do those of individuals. The individual is understood to be represented be his or her (that is to say, his) community/State.
4. Unrestricted movement between states for all except paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives. Local law applies Extradition
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 5. Each state gets one vote in the Congress of the Confederation – Unicameral legislature – Disproportionately favors small states. Large states asked to contribute more for only an equal share of legislative power.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 6. Powers of war and foreign relations exclusive domain of central government – Internal powers largely remain with states, but the US deals with the outside world as a single political unit. – Standing armies & navies only for central govt, but states may have militias
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 8. Central government will be paid for via funds raised by the states – No taxation powers or abilities to make funding compulsory – Could only request funding from the states, to be paid on essentially voluntary basis. Freerider problem
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 9. Powers of central government: – Adjudicate between states – War – Weights, measures, currency
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union 13. Articles of Confederation are perpetual, can only be altered by unanimous consent of all states. – Unanimity is a hard thing to get. This gives each state immense veto powers.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Problems: Central government – Could not enforce requests for funding – Had no draft powers, could not compel states to comply w/requests for troops. – Often was unable to pay soldiers, much less fulfill promise of life pensions to them.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Recognition of these problems led to the first major political factionalization of the newly independent United States – Federalists: want fundamental reform of the structure of govt, creating a far stronger central government – Anti-federalists: believe that this would infringe on freedoms of the states, and thus of the individuals that they represent.
A Revolution Divided Points of conflict – What is America? – One people or many? – Both agree that ultimate source of political authority lies in the people, but is that authority expressed in their laws or in their voices? – To what extent a democracy, to what a republic? – Which is better, a small or a large republic? – How should the will of the people be mediated?
Federalist Papers 1787-88 Authorship: Usually credited as follows: – Alexander Hamilton: #1, 6–9, 11–13, 15–17, 21– 36, 59–61, and 65–85 – James Madison: #10, 14, 37–58 and 62–63 – John Jay: #2–5 and 64
Federalist Papers Why kept secret? Why attributed to a single pseudonym? Publius Valerius Publicola – A leader of the Roman revolt, which ended the line of the kings of Rome – Wrote popular series of laws, helped to structure Roman Republic – Called the friend of the people
Anti-Federalist Papers 1787 Unlike Federalist papers, not an organized project. – Anti-Federalist a label that got attached to the position in these essays – Numbers assigned by later researches. We use those of Morton Borden, meant to match roughly w/Federalist Papers Authorship: – Cato (~George Clinton) – Brutus (~Robert Yates) – Centinel (Samuel Bryan)
Anti-Federalist Papers Cato: Senator of the late Roman Republic, known for his moral integrity & opposition to the coup by Julius Caesar Brutus: most famous of Caesars assassins Centinel = Sentinel, guardian
A Revolution Divided Classical pseudonyms reveal the extent to which Federalists & Anti-Federalists differ in their points of view – Is the republic being born, or threatened with destruction? Many revolutions, lacking established authority by definition, suffer internal conflict – American political institutions may have helped to prevent American divisions from causing major political violence
Federalist and Anti-Federalist Basic points of disagreement: – Are people fundamentally good or fundamentally bad? What makes them good or bad? – Which is the greater and more immediate threat, anarchy or despotism? – Is the United States one people or many?
Federalist and Anti-Federalist Basic points of agreement – Our opponents are blinded by interest and passion Fed #1: Opponents blinded by perverted ambition, passions and prejudices little favorable to the discovery of truth AF #1: the deceptive mists cast before the eyes of the people by the delusive machinations of its INTERESTED advocates begins to dissipate
Federalist and Anti-Federalist Though they take strongly opposed positions, each side of the Constitution debate speaks the same political language. Thus, this is not an issue of what ideals and principles apply, but of their interpretation.
Federalist People are fundamentally bad – Fed. #10: The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society.
Anti-Federalist Humans are fundamentally good – AF #3: Where the government is lodged in the body of the people, as in Switzerland, they can never be corrupted; for no prince, or people, can have resources enough to corrupt the majority of a nation – We make them bad, by bad governments, and then abuse and despise them for being so. Our people are capable of being made anything that human nature was or is capable of, if we would only have a little patience and give them good and wholesome institutions
Federalist Anarchy and civil war are the most pressing threats – Fed. #10: Due to the increased freedom found in republics, they are particularly prone to faction. – Fed. #6: if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other.
Federalist Anarchy and civil war are the most pressing threats – Fed. #6: Has it not, on the contrary, invariably been found that momentary passions, and immediate interest, have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility or justice? Have republics in practice been less addicted to war than monarchies? Are not the former administered by men as well as the latter?
Anti-Federalist Despotism is the most pressing threat – AF #2: Democratic republics, ruled by the people, will not make war on one another (a version of the democratic peace argument) – AF #3: Order and security are immediately sought by the distracted people beneath the shelter of equal laws and the salutary restraints of regular government; and if this be not attainable, absolute power is assumed by the one, or a few, who shall be the most enterprising and successful.
Anti-Federalist Despotism is the most pressing threat – AF #14: National government unwieldy, threatens state freedom – AF #6: a continual civil war, which is the most destructive and horrible scene of human discord, is preferable to the uniformity of wretchedness and misery attendant upon despotism; of all possible evils, as I observed in my first number, this is the worst and the most to be dreaded.
Federalist The United States is one, national people – Fed. #14: "Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys; the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their Union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. – Fed. #78: The Constitution will be the expression of the will of the people.
Anti-Federalist The United States is an alliance of many peoples – AF #14: It may be suggested, …that whoever is a citizen of one state is a citizen of each, and that therefore he will be as interested in the happiness and interest of all, as the one he is delegated from. But the argument is fallacious, and, whoever has attended to the history of mankind, and the principles which bind them together as parents, citizens, or men, will readily perceive it. Local identity and loyalty is stronger than national
Federalist Papers The problem with factions Fed. #10 – Republics are prone to factionalization – Factions: groups within the republic united by interest or passion – "There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects But: The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man
Federalist Papers The problem with factions Fed #10: The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.
Federalist Papers The problem with factions Fed #10 If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.
Federalist Papers The problem with factions Fed #10: When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.
Federalist Papers Solution: Separation of powers – Legislature – Executive – Judiciary Checks & balances – By setting factions & branches of govt against each other, none will be able to dominate Protection of minority groups
Federalist Papers Solutions Fed #51: Division of power "where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights."
Federalist Papers Solutions Fed #51: Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
Anti-Federalist Response Plans of Publius are: Impractical: local identity > national identity, central government cant control periphery (AF #14) Aristocratic/oligarchic: designed to take power for the few & exclude the many (AF #51) Imperial: Central govt will use standing armies primarily for internal suppression of local rebellion (AF #51)
Federalist The Executive (Fed. #70): – Limited terms – No legislative power but veto – Under the law – Strong executive makes for strong govt – Single executive makes it easier to affix responsibility Notice how concerned Hamilton is with demonstrating that the Executive is not a king
Anti-Federalist Response Anti-Federalist #70 Youre just electing a king! – Kingship should at least be hereditary Else there will be civil wars, and presidents will stage coups so that they dont have to leave power
Federalist Legislature (Fed. 39) the sources from which the ordinary powers of government are to be derived:
Federalist Legislature (Fed. #39) The House of Representatives will derive its powers from the people of America; and the people will be represented in the same proportion, and on the same principle, as they are in the legislature of a particular State. So far the government is national, not federal.
Federalist Legislature (Fed. #39) The Senate, on the other hand, will derive its powers from the States, as political and coequal societies; and these will be represented on the principle of equality in the Senate, as they now are in the existing Congress. So far the government is FEDERAL, not NATIONAL
Federalist Legislature (Fed. #39) The difference between a federal and national government, as it relates to the OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, is supposed to consist in this, that in the former the powers operate on the political bodies composing the Confederacy, in their political capacities; in the latter, on the individual citizens composing the nation, in their individual capacities. On trying the Constitution by this criterion, it falls under the NATIONAL
Anti-Federalist AF #51 Senate aristocratic, excludes the voice of the people. Expect power of House of Representatives to be undermined
Federalist Judiciary (Fed. #78) – Lifetime appointment to retain independence – Power of judicial review – A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.
Anti-Federalist AF #78 Essentially, the complaint is that the constitutional position of judges is anti- democratic – there is no power above them that can control their decisions, or correct their errors. – There is no authority that can remove them from office for any errors or want of capacity, or lower their salaries – in many cases their power is superior to that of the legislature.
Federalist #84, on Bill of Rights – I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted.
AF #84 – The need for a Bill of Rights in any national constitution: – This principle, which seems so evidently founded in the reason and nature of things, is confirmed by universal experience. Those who have governed, have been found in all ages ever active to enlarge their powers and abridge the public liberty.