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Lecture 4

POLS 112 Lecture 4: POLS112 ONE CLASS

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Political Science
POLS 112

Lecture #2 Continued Philosophical Features of the US Constitution • Elitism o Ism= ideology o Elite institutions ▪ Judicial branch is the most elitist ▪ No term limit, they are not elected ▪ They are not accountable to the masses o The constitution was created behind closed doors • Language of majestic vagueness o Allows for the constitution to be applied to various situations o Ex: the eighth amendment ▪ “cruel and unusual punishments” o 4 amendment ▪ “unreasonable searches and seizures” ▪ “probable cause” • Government as a contract o The government exists by the consent of the governed o There is no legitimacy if the people do not support it o Social contract • Republicanism o Belief in a representative form of government o Masses should have a limited role in selecting those in charge • Limited Government o Concentration of power is dangerous o Power should be limited by dividing powers and providing guarantees ▪ Checks and balances • Capitalism o Economy- private property protection o Honor debts, taxing power • Nationalism o Stronger central government that would protect liberties o Powerful in national affairs • Federalism o 2 levels of government each with certain powers AmericanFederalism Evolution of American Federalism • State-centered federalism to nation centered federalism o States were supposed to be equal or more powerful than the central government o Now, more power goes to the central government James Madison’s definition • A political system with a common central government and independent states each with their own power and forms of authority o Unitary- Central government is where power is focused ▪ i.e. monarchy, authoritarian o Confederal – regional governments are where the power is concentrated and the central government is weak o Federal- the central and regional governments share power ▪ Independent regional governments with a common central power ▪ Dual Federalism was the original form Powers under Federalism • Delegated powers (always federal) o Powers delegated to federal government ▪ i.e. article 1, section 8 (creates congress) ▪ necessary and proper clause (article 1 section 8) • allows congress to do whatever is necessary and proper to carry out the forgoing powers ▪ Article 6- national supremacy clause • The constitution and federal laws are superior
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