Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today we spent a majority of the time passing back old homework and collecting the homework that was due. We also picked role for the upcoming mock trails. If you were absent, ask G about it.
Then we went on the finish the notes from Thursday:
Those who do think ideologically maybe classified more accurately in a single two-dimension typology rather than along a single liberal and conservative continuum. One dimension relates to the tradeoff of freedom for order and the other dimension to the tradeoff between freedom for equality. The figures indicate that people do not decide about government activity according to a one-dimensional ideological stand:
1. Liberal 22% of respondents
2. Conservative 32% of respondents
3. Libertarian 22% of respondents
4. Communitarian 24% of respondents
4) Political leadership often structure opinions particularly in the absence of information
Newspapers: huge back in the day now, not so much
By 1880s newspapers were not controlled by politcal parties
By 1960s tv and radio dimminished newspapers
3 Largest newspapers:
1. Wall St journal
2. USA today
3. NY Times
Magazines: Smaller circulation
still politcally influential bc of the 2 step flow of communication (influence attentice elites who then influence the mass media)
Started in 1920s
Today used for more talk and music thann news and politics
Grew crazy after WWII
increased visibility of tv personalities who became persuasive elites
extensitvly used for politics todau
Modern forms of group media include internet and fax.
the mass media is privatly owned in the US. Private ownership gives the news industry more politcal freedom here than in most countries. This also makes the industry more dependent on advertising.
Stories choosen are 'noteworthy' (potiental,sensation,timley)
Fear of concentrating media under single ownership has led to gov regulation of owership patterns
Monday, September 29, 2008
After the movie we took the following notes:
Growth of internet provides a good example of government difficulties- number of legal cases
1) Freedom of press is essential to democracy, but it can complicate governing processes
A. May be justifiable reason for government to keep information from citizens: security,
intelligence, public opinion
B. New media like internet make it easier for people to find this information
2) In a democracy, freedom of the press must be balanced with need to maintain order
3) Factors that affect balance of freedom of press and social order include media's sense of what
is right, government policies and American character
4) As these factors change and evolve, so does balance between freedom of press and order
The growth of the internet provides a good example that highlights the difficulties government have in regulating the information that citizens have access to in order to promote political and social order. There have been legal cases involving the release of information that has to do with the vice president Chaney and other government information relating to Iraq and terrorism.
1) Freedom of Press is essential to a democracy, but can complicate the governing process
a. Justifiable reasons for government to wish to keep information from citizens: homeland security, intelligence information.
b. New media (internet) do not just transmit information but also make it easier for likeminded people to find each other which poses new challenge to a democratic government
2) In a democracy freedom of the press must be balanced with the need to maintain order
3) The factors affect the balance between freedom of press and social order
4) As the factors change and evolve so does the balance between freedom o f press and order
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Political culture is a set of widely shared beliefs, values, and norms concerning the ways that political and economic life ought to be carried out. It defines the relationship of citizens to gov't, to one another, and to the economy.
The American political culture may share beliefs, values, and norms, with those of other countries, but the sum and configuration of each political culture is unique. A conflictual political culture is one in which different groups clash with opposing beliefs and values; a consensual political cutlure experiences less conflicts.
Values that have shaped American political culture: liberty, equality, individualism, democracy, rule of law, and civic duty.
Values can change over time. A recent trend is mistrust in gov't. Has declined since mid 1960s and the trend is persisting into the 21st century with Americans in record numbers expressing disgust with politics. Drop in political efficacy, a citizen's capacity to understand and influence political events.
It has 2 parts: internalis the ability to understand and influence political events. External is belief of individual gov't will respond to his/her personal needs or beliefs. Americans ar more likely to participate than Europeans.
Public opinion is the collective attitude of the citizens on a given issue or question. Opinion polling- involves interviewing a sample of citizens to estimate public opinion as a whole. Is a reliable way to measure public opinion.
Characteristics of contemporary relationship between gov't policy and gov't opinion:
1) Public's attitudes towards a gov't policy can vary dramatically
2) Public opinion places boundaries on allowable types of public policies.
3) If asked by pollsters, we are willing to register opinions on matters outside their expertise.
4) Gov't tends to respond to public opinion
5) Gov't sometimes doesnt want what people want.
- Political culture: is a set of widely shaped beliefs, values and norms concerning the ways that political and economic life ought to be carried out. This defines the relationship by the way the citizens’ act towards their government, to one another and to the economy
The political cultures are quite unique of each country:
1. Conflicting political culture: different groups clash with opposing beliefs and values
2. Consensual political culture: experiences less conflict. Most of our conflicts occur because we disagree on how these values should be implemented, not on the basic belief themselves.
American values - livery, equality, equal opportunity and equal law, individualism, Democracy, rule of law, civic duty, etc.
Values can change over time, trust of government and politics has gone down significantly since the mid- 1960s until the 21st century, disgust of politics and politicians.
Political efficacy: a citizen’s capability to understand and influence political events
Internal efficacy: the ability to understand and take part in political affairs.
External efficacy: the belief of the individual that government will respond to his or her personal beliefs or needs. Americans vote less than other European countries. Americans have a higher efficacy than any other countries.
In a democracy, government policy is supposed to be made in response to the public’s wishes. Public opinion is the collective attitude of the citizens on a given issue or question. Opinion policy involves interviewing a sample of citizens to estimate public opinion as a whole is a reliable way to measure public opinion. Characteristics of a contemporary relationship between the government policy and public opinion in the US include:
1. The publics attitudes toward a given government policy can vary dramatically over time
2. Public opinion places boundaries on allowable types of public policy
3. If asked by others, citizens are willing to register opinions on matters outside expertise
4. Government tends to respond to public opinion
5. Government sometimes does not do what the people want
Sorry its late Norah
Thursday, September 25, 2008
(1) Majoritarian model- governemtn do what majority wants
(2) Pluralist- government allow few expression of "minority" opinions
3 influences accuracy of samples
(1) random sampling
(2) size of sample
(3) amount of variation in population
Public opinion is analyzed according to shape and stablility of distribution of opinions among citizens.
(A) in a skewed distribution- opinions are on one side of the issue
(B) Bimodal- opinions divide sharply between two opposing points
-- great potential for political conflicts
(C) Normal distribution- symmetric and is around the most frequent response (mode)
1. Moderate government policy
2. Stability refers to amount of change in category or shape of distribution.
A) some change very little
B) some change a lot
political socialization- complex process where people acquire their political values importance of early learning:
(1) What we learn first is what we learn best- primary principal
(2) What is learned first structures what is learned later- structural principal
Imporant agents of socialization:
(1) family- children ID with their parents... political party especially
(2) schools- authority figures, direct education, views, attitudes (especially about the government) The longer kids stay in college the more liberal they become.
(3) religion- Protestants are more conservative about the economy than catholics and jews. Jews are more liberal on economic and social situations than catholic and protestants. Catholics are more liberal on economic issues than social.
(4) community and peers- peer groups influence political attitudes
(5) gender- women are more likely to vote democratic
(6) marital status- singles more likely to vote democratic. Married vote more republican
-socialization process in longgggg
Gerneralizations between peoples backgrounds and political values:
(1) people with higher education choose freedom over order and equality
(2) people with higher income are markedly opposed to government policies of income redistribution
(3) Regional difference has declined importance on old political issues
(4) Old ethnicity declinded a determinant of public opinion
(5) race has emerged as a more critical variable on redistribution of wealth to promote equality.
(6) people who follow the bible are more in favor of order
(7) women are more supportive of equality than men
ideology used to interpret public opinion ideologues- people who form political opinions on basis of a distinct ideaology- constitute only minority of about 20%
people who think ideologically are classified more accurately in a 2-dem. type rather than a single liberal conservative continum.
- Democratic Theory Implies that government leaders are able to ascertain what the public is thinking
- 1. According to majoritarian model, the government should follow maj. rule
- 2. According to pluralism, government must allow free expression of numerous minority opinions. Public rarelu demonstrates clear opinion on day-to-day government operations
- 3. Main factors that influence the accuracy of a sample:
- 1. Way sample is selected. Random sampling necessary
- 2. Size of the sample
- 3. Amount of variation in population
- Shape of distribution:
- A. skewed: minority risk persecution
- B. bimodal: greater potential for political conflict
- C. symmetric: supports moderate government policy
- A. skewed: minority risk persecution
- Stability: amount of change in distribution over time
- Political socialization refers to the complex process by which people acquire their political values.
- A. Importance of early learning
- 1. primary principle: what is learned first is learned
- 2. Structuring principle-what is learned first structures what is learned later
- A. Importance of early learning
- Important Agents of early socialization:
- A. The family; often adopt party of their parents
- B. The school; primary/secondary; promote democratic decision-making/civic responsibility; colleges people who attend higher education more liberal
- 1. Protestants--more economically conservative
- 2. Jews--more liberal on economical liberal, more socially conservative
- 3. Catholics--more economically liberal, more socially conservative
- D. Community and peers; homogeneous community exerts pressure to conform. Peer groups may offer protection against community pressures, allowing individuals to develop political attituds.
- E. Gender; women more likely to be Democrats
- F. Marital Status; singles more likely to be Democrats
- Relationship between people's backgrounds and political values
- 1. People with higher education choose freedom over order and equality
- 2. People with high income more opposed to government of policies of income redistribution
- 3. Religious differences; not as important as it used to be
- 4. Old ethnicity (European); declines in importance
- 5. Race; varies on redistribution of wealth
- 6. Religiosity; ex: those who regard the Bible as ultimate truth more likely to favor order and be conservative
- 7. Gender factor: who regard the Bible as ultimate truth more likely to favor order
American P. C. - Is full of multiple different Political Cultures.
- Conflicting Political Culture - Different groups clash with differant beliefs
- Consensual P. C. - Not as many clashes. All groups have values that overlap and conflict with other groups' values.
Values can change, one change in America is decrease in Political efficiency. A citizen's capacity to understand and influence politics.
- Internal Efficiency - The ability to get out there and do stuff in your own gov.
- External efficiency - The belief that the gov. will respond to his needs.
Gov. Action and Public Opinion sometimes do and don't go together.
The Characteristics of the contemporary relationship between gov. policy and public opinion in US include
- The public being fickle as always
- Public opinion places boiundries on allowable types of public policy
- If asked by anyone, American will surely tell you what they don't know
- The gov can sometimes respond to P.O.
- But other times Public Opinion is too radical for a healthy gov. action
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
-Today we went over the free response sheets, and he went over what he was looking for.
-Then we looked at those timed writes, and we asked questions on what we were personally missing from the sections.
-Lastly, we looked over Chapter 1-4 Test, and went over what he wanted for definitions and the multiple choice answers.
Make sure you are checking School Fusion for homework postings =D
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
--Const.'s commerce clause has been a vehicle through depending on whether the word commerce was interpretated broadly or narrowly. Supreme Court --> boradly, to give the natl govt more power.
US vs Lopez in 1995--> narrowly
3)Monetary incentives granted by the natl govt can also shift the balance by causing states t conform to the desires of Congress in order to get money from the natl govt
Grant Aid- money paid by 1 level of govt to another to be spent on a specific purpose
--Categorical grant-targeted for specific purposes, fed. grants to states for disaster assistance.
restrictions on the use leave little discretion to the govt receiving the grant
FORMULA GRANT and PROJECT GRANT
Block Grant- awarded for more general purposes such as community development
McCulloch vs Maryland:
1. supported doctrine of implied powers
2. supported national supremacy clause
New Federalism- Nixon--cutting back on categorical grants to the states
1. preemption is power of Congress to eact laws that assume total or partial responsibility for a state govt function
MANDATE- require states to undertake an activity or provide a service in keeping within a minimum natl standard.
RESTRAINT- forbid state govt to xercise certain powers; Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982
Unfunded Mandate Relief Act 1995- required cost analysis of legis. and Congress must hold a separate vote spefically imposing a requiement on other govts w/o providing money to fulfill that requirement
federal system made up of sub-natl govts
POSITIVE POTENTIAL- localized govt closer to people, more opp. for participation, greater leeway for small scale xperimentation, increase possibility of responding to diversity
NEGATIVE- may lack resources for local probs, complexity may confuse people, organized interests may allow for tyranny of the majority, conflicting standards and laws
Janda's deff. of govt.-
---the legitimate use of force-including firearms, imprisonment, and execution- within specified geographical boundaries to control human behavior.
"within specified boundaries"- state is the organization that maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of force over a territory
national sovereignty- "a political entity's externally recognized right to exercise final authority over its affairs- ability to act independently w.o interference.
no state will have maxiization of personal freedom as one of its goals.
3 purposes of govt.
1- maintain order
2- provide public goods
3- promote equality
depts., military, police, etc are called institutions
regime- norms and rules regarding individual freedom, order, equality, the use of power, etc
-usually set out in a constitution
-tend to be long lasting or permanent
leadership- elected officials
what they try to do...
--preserving life, protecting property, maintan social order...police power
--political equality- 1 person has 1 vote, ability to influence political decisions through wealth or status
--social equality-opportunity, outcome
1. state govt redistributes wealth to ensure economic equality and social equaity
2. govt rights as entitlements
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Today was Constitution Day!
So we are required by law to learn about the Constitution today.
Even though we basically do this everyday, its not a REAL change.
Since it was Constitution Day we watched a video about the Mulloch vs. Maryland case.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Unitary system- concentrates all policy making powers in one central geographic place
Confederation- spreads power among many sub units (states) weak central government
Federalism- divides the power between central/national government and the sub units
In federalism two or more governments exercise power and authority over the same people in the same territory
US shared between national and sub units (states)- Constitution defines only the powers granted to the government- all other powers reserved to the states
Federal system has 2 contradictory interpretations
Supremacy of states rights is major focus of dual federalism- sees constitution as compact between sovereign states
Other interpretation is cooperative federalism- agreement made by people who are citizens of both state and nation- sees states and nation intertwined
“layers” of government
National government rules by enumerated powers only (10th amendment)
National government has limit of constitutional purposes
Relationship between national government and states is characterized by tensions
States are viewed as powerful components of federal system, equal in some respect to that
American government functioned like this in 1789-1933
National and state government agencies undertake functions jointly
National and states routinely share power
Power is not concentrated at any level of government
This view stresses role of national government supported by expansive view of supremacy clause (Article VI)
Differences between Theories
Big difference is the way they interpret the two sections of the constitution- 10th amendment and the elastic clause
Powers not delegated to the US by Constitution or powers not specifically outlined are reserved to the states or to the people
(Article 1 Sec. 8) implied power- is derived
All political systems evaluated according to geographic distribution of power.
A unitary system is one that concentrates all policy making powers in one central geographic place.
A confederal system spreads power among many sub-units (states) with a weak central government.
A Federal system divides power between central, National government, and sub-units.
Federal system is two or more governments exercise power and authority over the same people and territory. In the united states government power is divided and shared between National government and the sub-national units called states.
1) The US constitution defines only powers granted to national government and all other powers reserved to
states. (10th amendment)
A Federal system led 2 contradictory interpretations of what Federalism was.
Supremacy of states rights and the the constitution as a compact between sovereign states.
Implies existence of layers of government, each with powers in their own spheres. Powers not mixed.
1) National Government only rules by enumerated powers.
2) National government limited is set constitutional purposes (despite implied powers).
3) Relationship between national government and states is characterized by tension and the states are
viewed as powerful components of federal system. They are equal in some respects with the national
4) Characterizes how American government functioned from 1789-1933.
Sees the constitution as agreement made by people and citizens of both the state and the nation and the states and the national government as intertwined and not separate spheres.
Emphasizes intermingling of government activities at different and in various spheres.
1) National and state government agencies undertake functions jointly.
2) Nation and sates routinely share power.
3) Power isn't concentrated at any level of government.
4) Stresses role of national government supported by an expansive view of Supremacy Clause.
The critical difference between these theories is the way they interrupt sections of the constitution. 10th amendment (elastic clause.)
1) 10th amendment "power not delegated to US by constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are
reserved to states respectively to the people."
2) Elastic Clause section of constitution from which concept of implied powers- which are the powers
not spelled out but expected to be asserted by national government to carry out its enumerated
Relationship between national and state governments shifted over time. The National Government used legislation, judicial interpretation, and incentives and sanctions to shift balance in the nation and state. The legislation shift balance and the Elastic Clause allows the legislation "necessary and proper" functioning of the national government to be adopted and allowed the role of the government to grow.
Monday, September 15, 2008
He also handed back our federalist paper summaries.
We turned in our AP Government essay that was due today, then, Mr. G passed out a free response sheet due next monday. We went over how AP Gov essays are a lot different than AP US History essays. AP GOV essays do not contain an introduction, thesis, or a conclusion. They are essentially, get straight to the point and answer the question. They are more like short answer questions than an actual essay. Each question is assigned a different point value, and in order to gain all of the points, you have to totally convince the reader that you know what you are talking about. Mr. G said that a straight to the point and shorter essay will often score higher than a really long, but not very clear essay.
Our assignment tonight is to read pages 95 to 103 in janda.
- Mr. G passed back our graded summaries of Federalist 10 and 51.
- Mr. G passed back our graded Chapters 1-3 Quiz
- Mr. G passed out a Chapter 4 Free Response Question Worksheet which is due next Monday Sept. 22
- We discussed the format of the AP US Gov. test. It consists of 60 multiple choice questions and four short answer questions. For the four questions, they shouldn't be written in a narrative format (different than AP History last year!). These questions are awarded "points" for the student convincing the reader that the student really knows the material. The format of the AP US Gov test is different than the format of the AP Comparative Gov test, but we will discuss the Comparative Gov test later this year.
- Also, Mr. G stressed the importance of really reading the text book.
D. Madison argued that federalism would impede majority tyranny by requiring the majorities from within each state and then organizing the national level that, given the vastness of the United States, there was a probability that an outstanding majority couldn’t form.
2) In Federalist No. 51, Madison argued that the separation of powers and checks and balances would control tyranny. Federalism further divided power among the states, thus ensuring protection against tyrants.
3) In Federalist No. 15, Alexander Hamilton argues that the United States had “reached almost the last stage of national humiliation” as a result of the “insufficiency of the present.” Confederation to the preservation of the Union.
4) In Federalist No. 22, Hamilton provides a list of those deficiencies.
5) In Federalist No. 39, Madison illustrates how the Constitution conforms to republican principles and explains how the proposed Constitution is “neither a national nor a federal constitution but a composition of both.”
Opponents of the proposed Constitution called themselves Anti-federalists.
1) Attacked Constitution on the ground that it centralized power in a strong national government that would wipe out the states. 2) Argued for additional separation of powers and additional checks and balances among the three branches because they wanted to eliminate the threat of tyranny. 3) The chief obstacle to ratification was that many prominent citizens were concerned that the Constitution lacked a list of individual freedoms. Ratification was only assured with the promise of creating a document that was later known as the Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments.
The Constitution can be changed in three ways, but only one is spelled out in the Constitution.
1) Article V specifies the requirements for formally amending the Constitution. This has occurred only twenty-seven times. It is a two-stage process.
A. Proposal Stage: 1) By a two-thirds vote of the House of Representatives and Senate in favor of the proposal. 2) By a national convention summoned by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. This has never been used.
B. Ratification stage-Congress chooses ratification route. 1) By a vote of the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. 2) By a vote of the state conventions held in three-fourths of the states.
2) The second way the Constitution can be amended is by the process of judicial review.
A. The judiciary’s power to interpret the law makes the Constitution fair game for judicial interpretation. Marbury vs. Madison (1803) established the courts’ power to nullify government acts that conflict with the Constitution.
B. There is substantial controversy about how best to interpret the Constitution: should the standard be the intent of the founders, or the contemporary notion about the meaning of the Constitution’s provision? There is no clear answer.
3) The third way the Constitution can be amended is informally by political practice.
A. The Constitution is silent on some aspects of government that are now quite important (e.g. the President’s cabinet).B. Political practice has changed how some institutions actually work. Ex. The Electoral College was supposed to exercise independent judgment in voting for the president and vice president, but now electors simply rubberstamp the election outcomes in their states.
Friday, September 12, 2008
b.Madison was most concerned about Controll the problems that stemmed from the factions made due to inequality of wealth.
c.He demonstrated that the proposed government was not likely to be dominated by any particular faction
-Majority tyranny could be checked through the representative aspect of the new government. Elected representatives could control the governement rather than the actual individuals, eliminating (in theory) the formation of factions.
-The elected representatives would posses the wisdom to serve large national interests
D. Madison Also argued that federalism would impede majority tyranny by requiring majorities from within each state and then organizing at the national level and that given the vastness of the united states, there was a probably that an outstanding majority couldn’t form.
Federalist 51 discusses the seperation of powers as well as the system of checks and balances and how they would control tyranny.
Federalist 15 was written by Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton argued that the United States had “reached almost the last stage of national humiliation as a result of the insufficiency of the present”, meaning the Articles of Confederation. In Federalist 22, Hamilton made a long list of these deficiencies.
Federalist 39 was written by James Madison. In it he illustrated how the Consititution conforms to republican principles and explains how the proposed Constitution is “Neither national nor federal; but both”
Opponents to the constitution were known as Antifederalists.
a. They attacked the Constitution on the grounds that it centralized power in a way that would destroy state sovereignty.
b.They argued for additional separation of powers and more checks and blanaces to prevent tyranny of the mahority.
c. The chief obstacle to ratification was that many prominent citizens were concered that there was no list of personal rights. Ratification was only assured with the promise of creating a document that was later known as the Bill of Rights.
The Constitution can be amended in three ways.
A. The first is described in Article V, which states that treatments of formally amending the constitution. Ammending the Constitution has only happened 27 times and is a two stage process. The first stage is the Propsal (of which there are two variations).
a. ONE: Two thirds vote of the House and Senate in favor of the proposal
b.TWO: By a national convention, summoned by the Congress, of two thirds of the state legislatures. This has never been used
The second stage is Ratification, of which there is also two variations.
c.ONE: Vote in the legistatures of three fourths of the states
d.TWO: Vote of the state conventions held in three fourths of the states
B.It can also be amended by Judicial Review.
a. Marbury V. Madison (1803) established the courts power to nullify government acts that conflicted with the Constitution.
b.Substantial Controversy exists about how best to interpret the constitution. Do we follow the original intent of the Founders, or adapt to contemporary ideals?
C.The final way to amend the Constitution can be considered “informal” and is done through political practice.
a.The constitution never says anything about some parts of the government that are really important to us today.
b.Politcal practice has changed how some instutions actually work (like the President’s cabinet)
c.For example the electoral college was suppose to exercise independent judements in voting to the president and vice president but now electors simply go with the outcome of the primary in their state.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
-The Constitution had to be ratified by the states
-Proponents of the Constitution called themselves Federalists
-James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote a series of articles called the Federalist Papers arguing in favor of ratification
Madison argued that the purpose of the Constitution was to control factions.
-Madison's idea of a faction corresponds well with modern day interest groups of political parties.
-He was most concerned about the inequalities of wealth. The wealthy were the minority and those who lacked wealth were the majority.
Federalist 10: Proposed that gov. isn't likely to be dominated by any faction
1. Majority tyranny could be checked through representation
2. Elected representatives would possess wisdom to make decisions for the larger interest of the nation
-Federalism would impede majority tyranny
Federalist 51: Separation of powers and checks and balances would control tyranny
Federalist 15: U.S. had reached almost the last stage of national humiliation as a result of the insufficiency of the present Confederation to the preservation of the Union
Federalist 22: Hamilton provides a list of those deficiencies
Federalist 39: Madison illustrates how the Constitution conforms to republican principles and explains how the proposed Constitution is "neither a nation nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both"
Anti federalists- opponents of the Constitution
-Attacked the Constitution on the ground that it centralized power in a strong national gov. that would wipe out the states and destroy liberty in the process.
-Argued for additional separation of powers and checks and balances amongst the 3 branches
-chief obstacle to ratification was that many prominent people didn't support the Constitution because it lacked a list of individual freedoms. Ratification was secured with a list of fundamental rights and liberties added to the Constitution: The Bill of Rights
Article V- specifies the requirements for formal ratification.
A- proposal stage 1) 2/3 vote of House and Senate or 2.) National convention summoned by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures
B- Ratification Stage- Congress chooses ratification route
1)By vote of legislatures of 3/4 of the states 2.)Vote of state conventions held in 3/4 of states
2nd way to ratify -Judicial Review
The judiciary's power to interpret the law allows room for judicial interpretation. Marbury vs. Madison established court's power to nullify gov. acts that conflicted with the Constitution
3rd way to ratify- Informally by political practice
A) The Constitution is silent on some aspects of gov. (like the presidential cabinet)
B) Political practice has changed how some institutions work. Ex: The electoral college was supposed to exercise independent judgement in voting for pres. and vice pres., but now electors simply rubber stamp the election outcome of their states.
Study for the quiz tomorrow!!!
- Republicanism- gov. that resides in the people and is exercised with their concent by elected rep.s
- Federalism- division of sovereignty between two or more governments. Constitution vested power in the state and national government. Continues power derived from people who are ultimately sovereign.
- Separation of Powers- lawmaking, law enforcing, and law interpreting are separated into three branches.
- Checks and balances- gives branches some scrutiny and control over the other branches.
- (extra sorta) Limited Government- only allowed to do things citizens allow it to...(doesn't work very well)
Structure of Constitution includes detail about government.
- describes the legislative branch and is the most detailed
- expresses enumerated powers; basically a list of powers such as the right to declare war, to tax, regulate interstate and foreign commerce...etc.
- Sets up implied powers (in the "means necessary and proper" clause) to carry out the enumerated powers which kind of limits the government.
- Sets up executive branch; qualifications/procedures in electing president.
- Lists the president's duties and powers
- Judicial Branch; one supreme court specified in constitution. ONLY court the constitution set up.
- Other language that there could be other courts that Congress may decide.
- gives each state what the constitution says as "full-faith and credit" to the laws of other states. So when you cross the border in Maryland hey will recognize a Virginia license.
- specifies amendment process
- supremacy clause making national law predominate over state law.
- specified that ratification of constitution after it left the convention had to be approved by 9 states in a convention.
- opponents of it were a minority in the constitutional convention
- judge that slave holding states wouldn't ratify constitution if it had language against slavery
- 3/5th Compromise worked out to deal with representation in the House.
- If a state had 5 slaves it'd be given credit of 3.
- agreed slave trade not ended before 20 years elapsed
- fugitive slave law in constitution (proved to be too weak later) said if a slave is caught it shoudl be retuarned to the owner
Once sent out
- groups in favor called themselves Federalist
- such as Madison, Hamilton, and John Jay
Write the Federalist papers that argue in favor of ratifying the constitution
- Madison trying to break violence of factions
- most concerned with inequalities in wealth
- worried about Tyranny of the Majority
- This could be checked by represenative democracy, not the people would control the government.
- Either change peoples behavior (not possible) or elect rep.s and a large national would prevent Tyranny of the Majority
-The Constitution defines the basic structure of government (regimes).
-Creates national government while recognizing the authority of the state governments.
-Divides the national government into 3 branches, describes each part, relationship with parts and relationships among national governments
-made by the second continental congress who voted for independence and prepared the Declaration of Independence
-John Locke's Principles of the idea that everyone has national rights that cannot be taken away were plagerized by Thomas Jefferson.
-Locke argued that people had the right to revolt when it was thought of by the people that the government wasn't taking care of them properly
-The first attemt at the written national government was the Articles of Confederation.
-Confederation- a loose association on independent states cooperating on specifed matters
-Government says that the states have sovereighty within its own borders, equal power to sister states, and that a revolution is in the republic of monarchy
-Government picks the elected representatives to help the governed
-the document gave no tax to the national government,no presiding officer of congress, no piwer to regulate interstate and foreighn commerce, amendments had to have every states's approval for change, and they couldn't quell Shay's Rebellion- a farmers riot in MA, they were loosing their farms because they couldn't pay the banks back in silver and gold like it wanted. Finally the MA militia had to take the farmers down
-Constitutional convention in Philidelphia summer of 1787 had 12/13 states send representatives. they were directed by congress to confirm it's task of revising Articles of Confederation
-the virginia plan was propsed, effect a whole new charter for government (larger states liked this) power to 3 branches- legislative-lawamaking-executive-law enforcing-judicial-law interpreting
- house of representatives will be chosen by the people; senete are from canidates the legislative nominates
-states representative in legislature is that they pay taxes to the nat govt
-legislature empowered to override the state laws
-executive consists of unspecified number of people into legislature, they serve one term, the nat judicials one or more supreme courts
-Small states disagreed and like the New Jersey Plan for amanding the document
-single chamber of legislature, the power to raise revenue and regulate commerce was established
-multiperson executive the would be elected by legislature without veto options
-no plan for provision of judicial
-acts of the nat leg. would be blinding the states, the supreme law of representaives are the states
-Connecticut plan a.k.a the"Great Compromise" proposed the house be representative of population and the senete be a representative of the states, having one vote per state
-delegates agree that there should be only a one person executive, no method of slesction of term, the ellectoral college onsists of electors chosen for the sole purpose of selecting president and vice president-each state has as many electors as the representatives and senete combined
-electores vote for 2 ppl, a president and vice ( the one with the most votes is pres and the second is vice)
-Ellectoral college eliminated the fear of the peoples' votes, and satified the small states' desire to vote in the selection process
-agreed that the pres should be allowed a second term and could only serve 4 years as a term
removing them from office, the house proposes the charges, senete holds the trial and the chief of justice precides of the trial
-Constitution gets a preamble, which is describing the 4 basic principles of the US political document
-it says " A people" and a federation form of a confederation of states
-states the reason for the constitution
-the constitution articulates a set of goals; promotion of order and freedom
-fashions a government
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In the final product, the Constitution:
1) has a preamble with 4 elements that serve as the basis of American political tradition:
A) the Constitution creates "a people" and a federation from a loose confederation of states
B) the Preamble explains that the reason for the Constitution was to correct the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation
C) it articulates a set of goals: the promotion of order and freedom
D) it fashions a government
2) the Constitution has 4 basic principles:
C) separation of powers
D) checks and balances
-limited government is a possible 5th principle
3) the structure of the Constitution includes details about government:
A) Article I describes the legislative government; most detailed of all articles; exresses principle of enumerated powers such as the powers to declare war, to tax, and to regulate trade; necessary and proper clause
B) Article II describes qualifications for president, procedures for electing president, and president's duties and powers
C) Article III creates the supreme court and describes its powers
D) Articles IV-VII cover a lot of ground:
1) article IV requires that each state give full faith and credit to the judicial acts, criminal warrants, and contracts of other states. Also allows addition of new states.
2) article V specifies the amendment process
3) article VI contains the supremacy clause, which asserts that the constitution and national laws made in accordance with it take precedence over state and local laws when they conflict
4) article VII provides that ratification by convention in 9 states shall be sufficient to establish the constitution
-although not mentioned by name, slavery was an issue in the convention. Nearly 18% of the population lived in slavery. Opponents of slavery were in the minority and it is unlikely that the constitution would have been ratified if the issue of the future of slavery had had to be resolved at the convention.
1) a 3/5 compromise dealt with representation in the house
2) it was agreed that the slave trade would not be ended before 20 years' time
3) fugitive slaves were to be returned to their master
-the constitution had to be ratified by the states. The proponents of the Constitution called themselves Federalists. Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers arguing for ratification.
1) in Federalist No. 10, Madison argued that the purpose of the constitution was to break and control the violence of factions
-the violence stemmed from inequality of wealth
-demonstrated that the proposed government wasn't likely to be dominated by any particular faction
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
We came in and discussed the nicenet assignment and whether we thought Dahl's definition of a representative democratic government was accurate or not, which we ended up deciding that it was currently the best one we had. Then, we discussed what the freedom of expression really was, if the government really restricted the freedom or not, and whether it was a good thing to limit it or not. We then had free time for the rest of the period. I the Federalist 10 & 51 summaries are due Wednesday (as in tomarrow but are labeled as Wednesday because this is supposed to be Monday's blog). And...quiz Friday on Chapters 1-3 so get studying.
- The Constitution
o Document defines the basic structure of government
o Creates a national government while recognizing the authority of state government
o Divides national government in three parts
o Describes the powers of each part; its relationship to the other parts and relationships among the national government, the state governments and the people
- The constitution is rooted in the American Revolution
- The Declaration of Independence
- Drawn from the writings of John Locke and that those rights cannot be taken away bu the government
- Theory which states that the people agree to establish rulers for certain purposes but they have the right to remove violators
- Major premise is the long list of deliberate acts by the king which illustrates how the British government has destroyed colonist legitimate rights
- Articles of Confederation
- A loose association of independent states that agree to cooperate on specific matters
- Each state retains sovereignty
- Articles of Confederation was weak and ineffective
- The Articles didn't give the national government the power to tax
- The Articles made no provision for an independent leadership position to direct the government; the President was merely the presiding officer in Congress
- They didn't allow the government to regulate interstate and foreign commerce
- The amendment process allowed any state to veto any charges to the confederation
- The government couldn't quell Shay's Rebellion
- Constitutional Convention 1787
- 12 out of 13 states send representatives
- They were given the task of revising the constitution (*)
- VA Plan
- In effect a whole new charter for government
- Supported by the larger states
- Power would be dived among three separate branches
- The Legislative branch would be bicameral: the (larger) House of Representatives and the Senate
- House of Representatives would be chosen but the people; the Senate would be chosen bu the House of Rep. from candidates the state legislatures had nominated
- Each state's representation would be based on the traces it paid to the nation government or in proportion to its free population
- Legislature would be empowered to override state laws
- House of Representatives would be chosen but the people; the Senate would be chosen bu the House of Rep. from candidates the state legislatures had nominated
- The executive would consist of an unspecified number of people' would serve a single term of office
- National Judiciary would include one or more supreme courts and other lower courts
- Their veto could be overridden by a veto of both houses and legislature
- NJ Plan
- Single camber legislature with the power to raise revenue and regulate commerce woule be established (*)
- The State would have equal representation in legislature the states would choose the members of the legislature
- Multi person executive branch would be elected bu the legislature but no veto power
- No provision for a national Judiuary
- The acts of the national legislature with binding on the states (*)
- NJ Plan was defeated
- CT delegation proposed a compromise know as the CT compromise and as the Great compromise
- Delegates Agreement
- One President--electoral college
- Electoral college consisting of electorals chosen for the sole purpose of selecting the president and vice president
- Each state would have as many electors as the sum of representatives and senators
- Each elector would vote two people, the person with the most votes (but at least a majority) would become president and the person with the next highest number of votes would become VP
- If no candidate won a majority the House Rep. would choose the president, with each state's delegation having one vote
- The electoral college eliminate the fear of a popular vote while satisfying the small states desire for a voice in the selection process
- Agreed that a president should eligible for reelection and that the term of office should be four years
- Removing a president from office was seen as a very serious political matter; The House of Rep, the Senate, and the Chief justice of the supreme Court would take part in the proceeding
(*)= couldn't read my hand writing may be the right thing or the wrong thing typed
- defines the basic structure of government
- creates national (3-part) government that recognizes the authority of the states
- rooted in the American Revolution
- derived from John Locke with his ideas on natural rights for people
- social contract theory- people elect the leaders but they can also get rid of them
- contains the problems with the King of England's actions
- the first attempt of a written outline of government
- confederation- a loose association of independent states that agree to cooperate on specified matters. States are sovereign
- government couldn't tax
- no provision was made for an independent leader to direct government
- gov. couldn't regulate interstate and foreign commerce
- gov. couldn't quell Shay's rebellion
- any state could veto any changes to the Constitution
- in Philadelphia in 1787
- met to revise Articles of Confederation
- power would be divided among 3 separate branches
- the legislative branch would be bicameral with the house of Reps and the Senate and could override state law
- executive had an unspecified # of people elected by legislative branch for a single term of office.
- national judiciary would include 1+ Supreme Courts and judges appointed for life
- the executive and a number of national judges would serve as a council of revision to approve/veto legislative acts
- a single-chamber legislature with power to raise revenue and regulate commerce
- states would have equal representation in legislature and states chose the members
- a multi-person executive branch elected by legislature
- no provision for a national judiciary
- the acts of the national legislature would be binding on the states
- representation on the house of reps. would be based on population, but there would be = rep. in the Senate
- An electoral college was created solely for electing the president and VP to eliminate the fear of popular vote while satisfying the small states' desire for a say in things.
- president- eligible for reelection and one term = 4 years
- The House of Reps., the Senate, and the Chief Justice would take part in vetoing the president
Don't overlook contributions to political though of gov't by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
-Hobbes wrote Leviathan. Without government people would live in a state of nature without rules, stealing and killing for personal gain, life would be lonely, poor, nasty, short, and brutsih. -Locke wrote Two Treatises on Government. Argued that protection of life, liberty, and property was the basic objective of gov't. Locke said in a state of nature people were naturally free and equal, but went a step further and recognized that freedom led to inequality and chaos.
Politics is the struggle to gain leadership of the state or government in which you reside.-The two dilemnas of government are: Order vs. Freedom and Freedom vs. EqualityPeople who think seriously about government will create their proper mix of freedom, order, and equality into a political ideology. SEE PAGE 21 FIGURE 1.1
1. Totalitarianism- control all segments of government.
2. Communisn- government is in control of production, economy, as well as most political and social life.
3. Democratic Socialism- government owns major industries but citizens are guaranteed civil liberties.
4. Capitalism- free enterprise(laissez faire) and private ownership.
5. Libertarianism- limits government to protecting life and property.
6. Anarchism- opposition to government in any form.
US Citizens are middle of the road on this continuum. We clearly favor capitalism as a form of economy. In the US we casually throw around terms like liberal and conservative. Commonly known but inadequate definitions are that:
-Liberal position supports a larger role for government.
-Conservative position favors either the staus quo or a reduction in the tole of government.
Commutitarians- want government to guarantee order and equality. They need government assistance.
Libertarians- want their freedom from the government.
Governments have to make decisions. How they do this is one way to distinguish between governments. If one individual has the power to make all important govt decisions we say there is an autocracy. If an elite, only a select few individuals, maeks the important decisions we say there is an oligarchy. If many people participate in making important dicisions we say there is a democracy
There are basically two models of democracy
1) Direct democracy in which all citizens debate and vote directly on all laws. This requires a high level of participation and a lot of confidence in the judgment of ordinary people. Many of the Founders did not believe the masses had the ability to government themselves thinking they would be too prone to the influence of charismatic leaders who would manipulate public opinion. The founders also thought that the masses would be prone to overlook the rights of those with minority opinion (Tyranny of the Majority.
2) Representative democracy, or indirect democracy, where people elect representatives to govern them, set policy, and make laws. A representative democracy is, in a sense, a compromise between a direct democracy and an authoritarian rule. It is most the accepted for of democracy in the world. Political scientists take Representative democracy in two theoretical directions: elite theory and pluralist theory
a. Elite theory hold that a representative democracy is not really based on the will of the people, but that there is a small, tight elite class that makes almost all the important decisions for the nation. A second version of elite theory holds that voters choose from among competing elites. It would be fairly easy to argue that elite theory applied in the early days of the Republic when the U.S. was essentially an aristocracy
b. Pluralist theory argues that representative democracies are based on group interests that protect the individual’s interest by representing him to government. The basic idea is that in a diverse society such as the U.S. too many interests exist to allow an one coherent group of elites to rule. Govt. decisions are made in an arena of competing interests, all vying for influence and the ability to speak for the people they represent. The would argue that even in the early Republic there were competing interests. Urban v rural, n v s
There are two further schools of thought about what constitutes a democracy:
1) The procedural view, or school of thought, of democracy, can apply to govt. in a direct democracy in which all members of the group meet to make decisions themselves. Three principles define the procedural view:
a. Everyone should participate—universal participation
b. Everyone’s preference should count the same—political equality
c. Decisions are made by majority vote or majority rule
Is the U.S. a democracy by this standard?
2) The procedural view of democracy can also be applied to a representative democracy where citizens elect public officials to govern on their behalf. But to do this we must introduce a fourth principle—responsiveness, the idea that elected representatives should do what the majority wants. Note that f citizens are not going to meet to make decisions themselves there must be a mechanism to ensure that govt. decisions reflect the majority view. If there is no such mechanism we have to be careful about labeling a govt. a democracy
3) The procedural view of democracy can lead to a situation where a country’s political minority enjoys no guaranteed rights. To prevent a tyranny of the majority, it is necessary to limit the government’s responsiveness to public opinion. Two procedural ways of protecting minority rights is to 1) limit the principle of majority rule by requiring a two-thirds majority or some other super-majority for some decisions like amending the constitution or appointing a Supreme Court justices and 2) put the issue in the Constitution where it is out of the reach of the majority in the sense that courts can not strike don an article in the constitution and lawmakers cannot change the Constitution by a simple majority vote in Congress
4) This also leads to the second school of though or substantive democratic theory which focuses on the substance of government policies, not on the procedures followed to make decisions or policies. A problem with substantive democracy is that it lacks precise criteria to determine if a government policy is democratic