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Lecture 4

Complete Lecture 4 Notes

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Political Science
POLI 2327
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9/12/13 Lecture 4 • Other ways to limit the government without court ruling o New York City mayor  changed to 3 years instead of 2 years for Bloomberg  Violated the constitution but punished in the long run • People can rise up siting a tradition/precedent and can punish people for violating the Constitution, even if the court wasn’t involved o Constitutional Politics • Bill DiBlasio  citing constitution and running on it (4 amendment/Stop and Frisk) o Won democratic preliminaries • Catalonia • At time of founding, southern states thought they had so much influence in government that they would never have slavery taken away from them o Thought population would grow faster in the south than in the north  The opposite happened and House of Representative had more people from the north representing • South wanted out through secession once Lincoln was elected because they didn’t feel represented in government – needs weren’t met • Where we left off….. o States are separated but the one thing that they all agree on is the importance of a WRITTEN constitution  Designed from scratch • Hamilton in Federalist #1 – are civilizations able to form a good government by reflection or doomed to form bad governments by accident and force? • One of the objections to English constitution is that you had to be a lawyer or historically learned to understand the constitution o USA wants Constitution to be able to be read by anyone who is literate • Very first thing states did was write their own state constitutions o State constitutions = very reactive  Whatever the English had done to them, they wanted to do the exact opposite • Didn’t like king, so put very sharp checks on executive power (governors had almost no power at all), term limits, constant elections, constant votes in regards to legislators so they wouldn’t take over, passed Bills of Rights to set up specific limits on government power • Gordon Wood = right after the revolution, America was the most democratic society o Then the conservatives got upset about property rights, capitalism was in trouble, and founders mad e a much less democratic polity • Then started working on the Articles of Confederation o Written in 1776, drafted by John Dickinson and ratified in 1781  Had so many checks on power and such resistance to the exercise of distance authority, arguable on whether it was REALLY a constitution  more of a treaty than anything o Scheme of representation = 1 state, 1 vote but can send as many delegates as you want  Needed unanimity or super majority • Federal government had no right to tax o Had to as state governments to contribute, but no states really wanted to o No president  Who they called “president” was just presiding officer over Congress o No judiciary at all  Had state judges and that’s it • Didn’t trust judges o Country was described as a “league of firm friendship” o Couldn’t amend articles except by unanimous vote o Articles caused paralysis and dysfunction  Fear that US would be taken over by other countries • No military • Shay’s Rebellion o There was a recession, farmers were in debt, farmers were losing houses and farms  Decided that the banks were foreclosing on houses/farms • Wanted to pass laws that says you didn’t have to pay if you were in debt o Marched on the courts with weapons to enforce this law o Poor people will always outnumber property owning people  Jefferson liked how democratic America was becoming  Others thought that country was being dominated by Mob Rule  chaos • Reaction against initial power that was set up in the new government o Need to build up government power in a place where people were weary of central government  Met in Annapolis on how to revise the Articles, decided that it wouldn’t work, met in Philadelphia, and decided to write a completely new constitution • Significant number of debates on all the different structures of power • Decision on 1787 Constitution o Preamble: It is an act of ALL the people of the United States o Direct representation by states that cannot be recalled by states o Create an executive  president of US, federal judiciary o Federal government allowed to tax and spend directly • Some agreed with Constitution, others thought it was reverting back to England o Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists • Federalist Papers o Elaborate debate over ratification of Constitution
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