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The Founding of our Constitutional Democracy

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HIS 315K
Stephen Jessee

The Founding of our Constitutional Democracy • Intro: 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 the people) • Afraid of tyranny (not agreeing with president) Federalists 10 • 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
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