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Lecture 3

POL326Y1- Lecture 3- Sept. 25, 2012.docx

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Political Science
Arnd Jurgensen

‘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 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 th th - Issues of representation led to the 3/5 compromise (slaves are considered 3/5 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 o More accurately they are rebellions in which the dominant elites rebelled against external powers….dominant elites were not replaced or eliminated, an independent case was put in place o This meant that after the revolution social structure remained the same…this meant income inequalities o The growing income gap and lack of income for the larger part of the population was much more expensive during the revolution, post revolution period many citizens were in debt…citizens acquired the debt during the revolution o There was the threat of revolution and rebellion at state level due to such debt and the need of a federal government was to control this….Shay’s rebellion Britain appeared in 1780s to be exploring the idea of divide and re-conquer the thirteen colonies…considered due to the lack of negotiation between states and the lack of power of the federal government, which was being bypassed straight to state level again. Stronger fed government needed to defend against
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