[2] Constitution.pdf

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Government and Politics
GVPT 170
Patrick Wohlfarth

[2] Constitution Monday,September 30,2013 10:22 AM Delegation & Collective Action Delegation • Assigning decision-making authority • Smaller number of people act on behalf of the larger group • principal-> agents Dangers of delegation • agent does not act in your best interest • hidden action • hidden information • madison's dilemma • “You must first enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” The Constitution Article of Confederation,1781-1789 • no executive branch • "afraid of tyranny" • each state has one vote • major laws-required 9 out of 13 states to agree • constitutional amendment required unanimity • e.g.direct taxation • power controlled by the states Problems with the A of Confed • currency • war debts • public order • e.g.shay's rebellion • Protesters,including many war veterans,shut down county courts in the later months of 1786 to stop the judicial hearings for tax and debt collection. • The protesters became radicalized against the state government following the arrests of some of their leaders,and began to organize an armed force.A militia raised as a private army defeated a Shaysite (rebel) attempt to seize the federal Springfield Armory in late January 1787,killing four and wounding 20. • bottom line: plagued by free rider problems • Virtually 13 separate governments following the Revolutionary War • confederation = national government derives limited authority from the states (but not the citizens) The Constitution The Framers had two basic goals • more centralized authority-delegation • solve a set of collective action problems • minimize the dangers from delegation • place limits on government [think of it as crafting the appropriate balance of power] Bargaining & compromise in the constitution • large vs small states (population) • i.e.reporesentaion • northern vs southern states • i.e.slavery • governmental power vs people • i.e.how much centralized authority while protecting individual freedoms • national vs state power • i.e.how much centralized authority while retaining some power for the states The Virginia Plan THE ISSUE OF SLAVERY: NORTH-SOUTH COMPROMISE Southern states wanted to count slaves as part of their population • More representatives in the House. • Yet these “citizens”had no rights in that state. North-South Compromise • The 3/5ths Rule • No taxing of slavery • Return runaway slaves • No restrictions on slavery until 1808 DESIGNING THE EXECUTIVE Electoral College • Apportionment combines population and state-based representation. • States choose method of selecting electors. • House chooses when no candidate receives majority in the Electoral College. THE BALANCE OF POWER More Centralized Authority • Commerce Clause • Foreign Policy • Necessary and Proper Clause Limiting Government • Bill of Rights • Separation of Powers • Checks and Balances • Judicial Review–Marbury v.Madison (1803) LIMITS ON THE PEOPLE The Constitution: Responsive To,Yet Insulated From,Popular Will • Only U.S.House members selected directly by voters
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