all the required readings from week one to week twelve (chapters, and articles)

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Political Science
POLS 3410
David Mac Donald

Chapter summary for Politics The ConstitutionThe constitution supersedes ordinary law The constitution also guarantees individuals rights and decentralizes power This maintains the idea that the power isnt located all in the hands of the president The constitution is the nations basic law It creates political institutions divides power in government and provides guarantees to citizens Origins of the Constitution The colonists in the states were governed by Britain at the time After being frustrated with Britain imposing taxes and certain things that benefited the mother country not the colonists they responded by forming the First Continental Congress in September of 1774 Essentially they send people to meet on behalf of their colony to discuss future plans with Britain On July 2 of 1776 Congress formally approved Richard Henry Lees motion to declare independence from England Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence two days later July 4 1776o Primary author of DOI was Thomas JeffersonJohn Lockeo A philosopher who was extremely influential to the colonists o He had a belief of natural rights Rights inherent in human beings not dependent on governments o He said the people must agree on who their rulers will be o There also must be a clear distinction of what rulers can and cant do o The sole purpose of government is to protect natural rights o Two limits on government were important to LockeThey must provide standing laws so that people know in advance whether their acts will be acceptableThe Supreme Court can not take anything from a mans property without consent o Jefferson echoed Lockes thoughts by including that men had rightslife liberty and the pursuit of happinessThe RevolutionThe revolution didnt change the colonists way of life as many European revolutions did The revolution was a conservative movement The primary goal was to restore rights that the colonists felt were already theirs as British subjects and to live as they had before Britain tightened regulations after the seven years war After the revolution a major power shift occurred Expanding voting privileges farmers and craftworker became a decisive majority and the wealthy saw their power shrinkThe Government that Failed17761778 The Congress that adopted the Declaration of Independence appointed a committee to draw up a plan for a union of the states That plan the first constitution was the Articles of Confederation o Articles established a national legislature with one house and states could send as many as 7 delegates and as low as 2o No president no national court o Congress had few powers other then maintaining an army and navy and little moneyo All in all the weak and ineffective national government could take little independent action All power rested in the states The national government couldnt make the states do anything and had no power to deal with independent citizens Changes in states Structure of government became more responsive to the peopleThe idea of equality among white males was creating change in the nationEconomic Turmoil Economic issues were areas of great concernShays Rebellion o A series of armed attacks on courthosues to prevent judges from foreclosing on farmsMaking a Constitution12 representatives met in Philadelphia to heed a continental congress call to take into consideration the situation in the US They met to revise the Articles of ConfederationThe 55 delegates ignored this plan and began writing what is now known as the US Constitution These 55 people were an elite group of economic and political notablesAlthough they had different views they agreed on 4 main things o Human nature causes of political conflict objects of government the nature of a republican governmentHuman Nature people were self interestedCause of political conflict the distribution of wealth land is the sourceObjects of government the preservation of propertyNature of government secret of good government is balanced government Government should have different branches so they could have a check and balance system on other areas New Jersey Plan Proposal that called equal representation of each state in congress regardless of the states population
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