POL326Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Dred Scott, Hegemony, Implied Consent

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
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‘Gun bolt’ diplomacy: Central/Latin America
The political questions doctrine: Supreme court has used this to define the role of courts, which deals
with legal not political questions in terms of interpreting the constitution
Implied Consent Doctrine: when president does something and congress does not take action to stop it
then it is implied consent
Foreign policy powers is inherited by the Chief of State, the constitution has no role to play in
president’s foreign powers
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POL326Y1- Lecture 3- Sept. 25, 2012
The US has been a different kind of state than Western Europe because Europe has always been in
competition with each other and within that there have been a development of different institutions,
such as diplomacy at odds with democracy. US developed under US constitution, which is more open
and more in line with democracy, deals with foreign policy differently.
American Constitution:
First problem: Old document, over 2 centuries old and constructed in a context very different than the
context in which it functions today. This poses a problem in the sense that a document that was created
in a country that was agrarian, not a major world power adopted to the US today where it is a unipolar
hegemon following Soviet collapse, industrial leader. These circumstances are in odds with how it was
developed and in odds with constitutional values.
Constitution is a flawed document? US constitution is seen in a sort of sense that a revered religion is, a
non-political document that is not flawed (think of the bible)
The constitution is however obviously flawed and we would reject it today. ‘All men are created equal’
women deliberately left out…
There was also the fundamental compromise over the debate of slavery…who us going to be
considered a citizen?
Northern v. Southern states
- Issues of representation led to the 3/5th compromise (slaves are considered 3/5th of a person in
congress however this meant they would not be able to vote or would be represented in
government at all)
These flaws led to the rise of the Tea Party
Illustrates the perception that the constitution is a unifying document that stands above politics. Quite
contrary the constitution was actually a very politicized document from the context upon which it arose.
The Articles of Confederation was the first ‘constitution’, they vested powers in individual
states, all legislative and executive powers were in their hands, weak central government
o This is not surprising considering the context of the American revolution which was
against an oppressive centralised authority
o But the lack of centralized power created crises, the need to maintain domestic order in
many states
In the aftermath of revolution there was a deeply divided population
The American Revolution does not fit the definition of a revolution the way we define it where
there is a process in which a ruling class is replaced by a new ruling group (lower class
dominant classes)
o This is not the case of the US or any state which gained independence in western
hemisphere
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Document Summary

The political questions doctrine: supreme court has used this to define the role of courts, which deals with legal not political questions in terms of interpreting the constitution. Implied consent doctrine: when president does something and congress does not take action to stop it then it is implied consent. Foreign policy powers is inherited by the chief of state, the constitution has no role to play in president"s foreign powers. Us developed under us constitution, which is more open and more in line with democracy, deals with foreign policy differently. First problem: old document, over 2 centuries old and constructed in a context very different than the context in which it functions today. These circumstances are in odds with how it was developed and in odds with constitutional values. Us constitution is seen in a sort of sense that a revered religion is, a non-political document that is not flawed (think of the bible)

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