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AP Government Chapter 2
Transcript of AP Government Chapter 2
Two-chambered- House of Lords & House of Commons
The system of “common law”
A British Heritage
John Locke: “natural rights” of “life, liberty, and property”. (inalienable rights)
Locke believed in the Social Contract theory.
Man had the right to overthrow his govt. when his rights were no longer being upheld
The ideas of thinkers such as…
separation of powers.
All men are equal.
Who else influenced our founding fathers?
“No taxation without representation”.
Stamp Acts (and others)
Common Sense, by Thomas Paine
Where was this all going?
Jefferson writes Declaration of Independence
Models it after John Locke’s writings.
The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution
Was a call to revolution!
1. Statement of purpose
The Declaration of Independence
: rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on government.
Consent of the governed
: government derives its authority by sanction of the people.
: certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect natural rights of citizens.
11 years between Declaration and signing of Constitution.
Between was a bitter war without a central government.
After the war, parts of
the country were left in
The Revolutionary War
Veterans returned home to
face debt and heavy taxation.
US paper money printed to finance the war was now virtually worthless.
After the War
Created a weak gov't
Created a “firm league of
No federal courts
One vote per state
The Articles of Confederation
Power concentrated in political subunits (states) with a weak central government (typically unite for a common goal)
1781 – 1789
Will the Articles of Confederation succeed?
Too weak of a national govt.
Congress had no power to tax.
No power to regulate trade or commerce.
No executive, no Supreme Court.
Required nine states to pass legislation.
Changing the articles required ALL. (13)
Main issue: No money, no power.
Leads to: Shays’ Rebellion
Why did the articles fail?
Meeting held in Sept 1786
Poor attendance led to a call for meeting the following summer - in Philadelphia.
A small group of men met in Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon in 1785 and decided to meet later to make changes to the Articles…
“The next step??”
Shays was the leader of a group of soldiers who protested against high taxes and debt in western Mass.
Many of the men could have lost all of their property.
The rebellion showed the weaknesses of the Articles
The governor couldn’t raise an army, or fund one. A private army was raised to put down the rebellion.
More on Shays…
Washington said, “if there are real grievances then deal with them, if not, then crush it”
Jefferson said, “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. (He was in Paris at the time.)
Reaction to Shays Rebellion
• In February 1787 Congress called for a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to revise the Articles.
• Met in May.
Writing the Constitution
Demographics of Delegates
-55 delegates (12 states represented- none from RI)
-Many were college graduates.
-7 former governors
-7 plantation owners
-8 business leaders
-Age 26-81 (avg. age 42)
-all male, all white
- 2 would become president
VA delegation proposed a bicameral legislature, executive branch, and judicial branch.
Executive elected by the Legislature.
Representation based on population.
The Virginia Plan
This worried & angered small states
A single-chamber legislature with the power to raise revenue and regulate commerce.
States would have equal representation.
Legislatures would choose members.
To be elected by the legislature
No veto power
New Jersey Plan
A heated debate ensued…
based on population
Proposed Bicameral Legislature
Revenue bills will begin in House.
Senators would be selected by their state legislatures, not by direct popular election. (This will change with 17th amendment)
The Great Compromise/ Connecticut Compromise
And everyone was happy???
Except the “Three-Fifths of a Person” People
And the Women
Article I, Sec 9 - Congress is limited from prohibiting the importation of slaves before a period of 20 years (so basically outlawed importing of slaves after 1808).
Fugitive Slave Clause - The laws of one state, cannot excuse a person from "Service or Labour" in another state (Article 4, Section 2)
Slavery in the Constitution
About 18 % of population lived in slavery in 1790.
(VA had almost 300,000 slaves)
Agreed that representation and taxation were to be based on the “number of free persons” plus 3/5’s of the number of “all other persons” .
Decided to let states decide qualifications for voting.
Franklin (with a few others) wanted universal male suffrage, but many thought that was too democratic.
Equality in Voting
How should the President
Created the "Electoral College"
Set term at 4 years
Supreme Court Justices were to be chosen by Pres and approved by Senate
Some individual rights written into the Constitution:
Prohibits suspension of writ of habeas corpus.
No bills of attainder.
No ex post facto laws.
Religious qualifications for holding office prohibited.
Strict rules of evidence for conviction of treason.
Right to trial by jury in criminal cases.
Some were not specified
Freedom of speech and expression.
Rights of the accused.
To prevent a tyranny of the majority, Madison proposed a government of:
Limiting Majority Control
Creating Checks and Balances
Establishing a Federal System
The Madisonian Model
The Constitutional Republic
Republic: A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws
Favors the status quo – change is slow
The End of the Beginning
The document was approved, but not unanimously. Now it had to be ratified.
The Madisonian Model
Required 9 of the 13 states
A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name “Publius” to defend the Constitution
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns about the lack of basic liberties
The Federalists specified that the Constitution be ratified by state conventions, not state legislatures.
Delaware was first on December 7, 1787.
New Hampshire’s approval (#9 ) made it official six months later.
1. Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
2. Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
3. Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once- 21st Amendment)
4. Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)
Roughly 11,000 amendments have been considered by Congress
Only 33 have made it to the states
Recent amendments have been accompanied by time limits for ratification
Marbury v. Madison (1803): judicial review
Changing Political Practice
Use of Elastic Clause
Marbury v. Madison established the principal of judicial review
Party primaries and conventions
Actually “Necessary and Proper” Clause
Constitution has been changed due to Congress passing laws
For example, every time it passes a law about the United States Postal Service, Congress further explains the meaning of the Constitution's power to "establish post offices."
Executive agreement- pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state
Doesn’t have to be approved by Senate and are used instead of treaties
Two term tradition (before 22nd Amendment)
Electoral College members
The Constitution is short
It does not prescribe every detail.
The Constitution is not static, but flexible for future generations to determine their own needs.
A “living” document
The Importance of Flexibility
1- Legislative Branch
2- Executive Branch
3- Judicial Branch
4-Defines the relationships among the states
5- Explains the process of amendment,
6- Declares the supremacy of national law
7- Explains the procedure for ratifying the Constitution.
Section 8 lists enumerated powers
The last clause of Section 8, the “necessary and proper clause,” (AKA elastic clause) establishes the implied powers of Congress—powers that Congress needs to execute its enumerated powers.
Examples: IRS, draft
Separation of Powers
-each of the three branches would be
relatively independent of the others so
no single branch could control the others
Checks and Balances
-features of the Constitution that limit
government's power by requiring power be
balanced among the different governmental institutions