The Founding of our Constitutional Democracy
• Intro: fivethirtyeight.com Nate Silver,
• Polls have drastically gone up
• Issues: Difficulty comparing past elections with recent ones.
Early Democracy in America
• In the House, Texas gets 36 seats, Wyoming gets 2.
• In the Senate, Texas-2 Wyoming-2
• Presidential election winners are picked by the electoral college
• You win the state and you win the electoral votes
• Proprietary colleges in early colonial times run by the British monarchy
Revolutionary war and beginnings of democracy
• Stamp Act
• Tea Act
• Continental Congress (first type of democracy)
The Continental Congresses
• Ruler can only rule with the consent of the government
Theory of Rights and Representation
Government arises from consent of the governed
• Americans instead set up a democracy
Power should be divided among seperate institutions
• Overwide fear of tyranny
• In order to est. a new gov., it must be different than past ones
• Set up a centralized gov., but with different branches
Citizen rights must be protected • Must be able to check the government
Articles of Confederation (1781-1789)
• One strong nation, and a league between the states.
• Couldn't tax directly
• National gov. could declare war, but had to raise army through states
• National and state gov. could coin currency
Need for solution to weak governance
• Shay's Rebellion, took a long time to calm down
• Threats from other countries
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
• Elites should be able to participate in gov.
• Too many people were involved in gov.
• The gov. needs more power, but needs check
Separation of Powers
• No one person has too much power (leg., jud., exe.)
Checks and Balances
• Each branch could check on other branches
• Anti-Federalists thought power should go to the state (closer to
• Afraid of tyranny (not agreeing with president)
• Laying out arguments to set up gov.
• Faction- political party
• Large and diverse republics, less susceptible to problems with
smaller countries (average interests) Federalist 51
• Separation of power, the main power might abuse its power
• Solution: Seperating power between branches o