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PLS100 lecture 2

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Michigan State University
Political Science
PLS 100

1/14/14 Ch. 2 The Constitution Road to Independence *Home rule *Legacy of self-government -Role of popularly elected legislature -Abundance of experienced politicians -Knowledge of constitutional writing *Dismantling home rule Continental Congresses *First Continental Congress -Declaration of American Rights *Second Continental Congress -Coordination required to conduct war -Reconstitute as state governments Declaration of Independence *Jan 1776: Paine’s Common Sense -Argues for an independent republic *Establish new separate nation -Government to secure people’s rights -Abolish government that fails to do so Articles of Confederation *Highly decentralized *Limited authority *Problems conducting war *Prisoner’s Dilemma/Free Rider problem Drafting the Constitution *55 delegates- Philadelphia, 1787 *Influenced by Enlightenment -John Locke -Sir Isaac Newton -Baron Montesquieu -David Hume *Most anticipated limited change *Others (James Madison) planned to scrap the Articles *Nationalists vs. States Rights Proponents Virginia Plan *Nationalists’ blueprint: -Bicameral legislature, based on state population -Veto power over states 1/14/14 -National government to make any laws they wanted -Use of military power -Active national government, higher conformity costs -Opposition from small states who feared loss of influence New Jersey Plan *William Paterson (NJ): *Kept congress the same as under Articles, except: -Would give congress power to tax -Simple majority for national policy rather than supermajority *Debate rages for weeks Great Compromise *Two legislative chambers
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