Class Notes (839,559)
United States (326,032)
POLS 206 (75)
Lecture

Note2.doc

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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 206
Professor
Jason Smith

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Origin's of the Constitution • American constitution is the oldest written constitution in existence, 1887?? • Great Britain has an older constitution but it is not written • In Germany their constitution is called basic law • Constitution does not create the bureaucracy, secretary of state,etc that is done by congress etc • Constitution only creates supreme court, gives power to congress to make lesser forms of court • Congress is center of policy making in the US • Bill of rights- what the government can't do to you, not what you as a citizen can do • Constitution interpretation can change, it can be interpreted multiple ways because the people that interpret changes The Road to Revolution • French and Indian war ◦ started in 1754 in US spreads to Europe called the Sevens year war a year later ◦ French gone from NA at this point in time, Britain won war ◦ Because of the war British gov has to impose a lot more taxes to pay for it, ◦ Colonists wanted to argue "no taxation without representation" and formed First Continental Congress ◦ Just wanted an equal say as other British citizens ◦ not really a lot of widespread talk of independence, nothing was being done, were getting really angry at the british ◦ Lexington and Concord ■ "shot heard around the world" ■ "the british are coming" ■ British actually lose ■ Happened before the second continental congress ■ draft olive branch petition ■ Send to king and he says no, send troops to colonies • Declaring Independence ◦ Written by Thomas Jefferson (borrowed heavily from John loch) ◦ Listed colonists grievances against British ◦ Justifies a revolution ◦ Citizens right to overthrow a government ◦ Considered treason ◦ No one has gone up against the british army and won • The English Heritage: The power of ideas ◦ Natural Rights- as a human being you have rights you get by being alive *life liberty and property* rights a government can't give or take away ◦ Consent of the Governed- from the people for the people, if the people don't have that they can change that, justifying a tyrant ◦ Limited Government- don't want another tyrant, constitutional government- limited government, your rights as a human being are more important that rights given by the government, government is supposed to protect those rights • TheAmerican Creed ◦ life liberty and the pursuit of happiness ◦ Property does not appear in the articles of confederation or constitution ◦ Property would have been an issue because slavery was still around then so jefferson altered it ◦ Pursuit of happiness makes everyone different Winning Independence • 1783 get independence with the help of the French army • "Conservative" revolution- what is in place stays in place, nothing changes regarding lifestyles • "Liberal"- everything changes, as with many other revolutions • Colonists were just fighting for the rights ppl in Britain had The Government that Failed 1776-1787 • Articles of Confederation ◦ First document to govern the US ◦ Some historians argue George washington wasn't the 'first' president ◦ creates a confederation with 13 states ◦ had many problems, no central government, ◦ Congress had no powers only to have and army or navy but couldn't pay for one because they had no powers to pay for one ◦ If anything had to change with the articles all of the states had to vote unanimous ◦ No national monetary form ◦ Had state money, new york had different
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