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Lecture 1- Introduction to US Gov't and Politics.pdf

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Political Science
POLI 325D1
Harold Waller

General InformationProf WallerTA David Trotter Marking Breakdownmajort term paper 30 pages30 3 1hour exams 10 each30formal final April exam 30conference participation 10 Conferenceseach week 5 questions posted on MyCourses to be discussed Thursday 12 Historical Survey18thC colonial experience and the Revolution what became the US was settled by ppl largely from Br and other places like Holland Frpart of an undifferentiated Br North America including Canada after French Indian Waralong the Eastern Seaboard and as diff areas were discovered and developed a colonial system was establishedeach of the areas along the seacoast was a different colony and had a different relationship back to Britain no administrative organization of what became the American colonies each of these colonies developed an internal pol system and had diff structuresthrough the colonial period leading up to Independence there was a considerable experience of ppl in the colonies with selfgovt had elections courts governors appointed from Brgradually in the latter half of 18thC tensions emerged over variety of issuesgrowing feeling that situation with Eng becoming increasingly intolerableled to discussions in 1770s of what to doeventually colonies began to interact across colonial boundaries which led to the creation of a Continental Congress body representative of the people of the 13 coloniesforum to discuss common problems mainly Br and King George III armed conflict with Br by 1775 Battle at Lexington and Concord outside of Boston Paul Revere riding out to warn pplfirst time shots were fired between Am and Br 1776 Continental Congress convened committee chaired by Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independencedrafting of this marked the breaking point between colonial rule and independence essentially a justification or rationalization for what they were doingbased on several theoretical precepts and a recitation of the abuses by the crownends with a ringing call for recognition by other states in the worldBr not wanting to let them go WARwar went on until 1781 surrender at Yorktown in Virginiabut only 1783 when treaty signed to officially recognize US by Br confederation entered intounsatisfactory form of govt intellectually the position of the colonies was that today we are colonies and tomorrow we are each independent states reflected in the Articles of Confederation13 sovereign states in 1776 once the constitution was adopted states turned over their sovereignty to the United States of America The adoption of the Constitution the Articles of Confederation were a lousy way to organize govtspring 1787 convention in Philadelphia to discuss changestarted to write a constitution hashing out different provisionsno other democratic constitution in existence so they had to create something totally new and invent a govt they knew that a govt had the 3 branches but needed to formalize rules and powers and the likesthere was no precedent for a presidential systemLocke Montesquieu ideas contributed a lot separation of powersFrance has had 5 constitutions in the period that US has had their one 200 years15 amendements have been made over the years pretty li
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