Americans saw themselves in a situation like that of the...
Citizens govern themselves instead of an oligarchy; Should be small in size; Unstable (stasis)
Handled daily business of government
The Republican Problem
Enjoy benefits of Self-government without its inherent problems...
Argued for virtue (arete). The best an brightest should control government.
Structure. Mix and balance elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Power and interests would be shared resulting in balance and stability.
Nature of a constitution that organizes government.
Power in government does not remain where originally placed.
Defensive alliance between sovereign equals. (Lacked sovereignty government requires); Based on an outgrowth of the old Continental Congress.; No executive or court system, power to tax, trade regulation, or unified foreign policy/military, and disputes were growing
Articles of Confederation
Document outlining alliance of states with weak central governance over Continental Congress.; Believed in a sense of nationhood.; Rivalry among the states may lead to conflicts, alliances, and diplomatic intrigues (which the greeks were familiar with); Amendment-Proof
Advocate of a bicameral legislature; Second President; Supported Aristotle's belief of STRUCTURED Government; Wrote "Thoughts on Government"; Believed in a strong Governor with veto power.
Legislature with two separate houses; One more democratic, the other more aristocratic.; Makes it difficult for a single group to exercise tyranny of the majority.
Believed in a stronger American Union.; Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington
Conference at Mount Vernon (1785)
Official purpose was to resolve difficulties in navigating Chesapeake Bay.; Called for another assembly in Philadelphia to improve the Articles of Confederation.
This 1787 conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes.
Pennsylvania representative credited with authoring large sections of the Constitution, including the Preamble.
So. Carolina representative promoting federalism and persuading the ratification of the Constitution.
"Father of the Constitution"; Fourth President; Co-authored "The Federalist" with Hamilson and Jay; Helped Jefferson create the Democratic-Republican Party.; Proposed a Government featuring representation based on a state's population. (Virginia Plan); Supported the Virginia Plan; The Constitution's Chief Architect; Auxiliary Precautions prevented to become concentrated in anyone's hands.; Agreed with Plato in the people's virtue prevented abuse of power.; Federalist 51
Presided over the Grand Convention.
Presented during the Constitutional Convention where each state would have proportional representation in Congress.; Proposed by James Madison
Presented the New Jersey Plan, giving equal representation to states regardless of size or population.
New Jersey Plan
Presented during the Constitutional Convention where each state would have equal representation in Congress.; Proposed by William Paterson
The Great Compromise
Proposed by Roger Sherman; Bringing together the New Jersey and Virginia Plans into national government.; Ensured Popular and State Sovereignty with a bicameral legislature.
Divided Powers between National and State Governments.
The 3/5ths Compromise
Proposed by James Wilson, Slave trade not abolished for 20 years; Slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for taxation and representation; Fugitive slaves were to be returned to their slave owners.
Three Structural Devices
Bicameral Legislature, Indirect Election, Enumeration
When government officials are elected by previously chosen representatives, not directly by the people
Hume's Filter; Filters of Consent
The people select the most virtuous representatives, who select even more virtuous government officials through Indirecte Election.
Written Listing of the powers of government.
Group of individuals who share the same specific political agenda (Political Party?); Would make the political body more stable, see Federalist 10 (Madison helped Jefferson create the Democratic-Republican Party); Madison's excuse for past republics' failure
Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry refused to sign it - too much had been compromised.; Proposed an empire like that of ancient Rome; Proposed an "aristocratic government"; Some articles may be considered too general; Lacked a Bill of Rights; Ratification was difficult to accomplish because of the larger (big 4) states (New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia);
The states and The people
Changing the Constitution
The Supremacy of the Constitution - Supremacy clause
Ratification of the Constitution, requiring a supermajority.
Political group against the ratification of the Constitution; Emphasized a healthy diversity; Emphasized virtue and personal sovereignty; Founded by Alexander Hamilton; Worry about the power of judges
Anti-federalists to note
Patrick Henry, George Clinton, George Mason, Sam Adams
Political group for the ratification of the Constitution; Avoided rhetorical displays and empty bombast and simply argue the merits of their case.; Believed a Bill of Rights was unnecessary; Said to voters: A bill of rights would be the new government's first item of business
Federalists to note
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Edmund Randolph, James Wilson
Worked to ratify the constitution in Pennsylvania, had his life threatened while celebrating its acceptance.
Boycotted the Philadelphia Convention when he "smelt a rat"
Essays published in New York promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788.
Co-wrote 'The Federalist' with Madison and Hamilton; First chief justice of the US Supreme Court.
Rights defined using narrow, concrete language, full of specific terms and qualifiers
The Great Oughts
Three items in the Bill of Rights given a broad treatment in the language of natural rights.; Freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, right to privacy
Alien and Sedition Acts
Laws passed by congress in 1798 that enabled the government to imprison or deport aliens and to prosecute critics of the government; Violated the constitution - Free Speech
4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; "Wrote" Judicial Review into the Constitution
Marbury v. Madison
Established concept of Judicial Review, first time supreme court declared something 'unconstitutional'. Madison was the ultimate winner, with Marbury being denied commission.
Judiciary Act of 1789
Congressional Act forming the court system and authorizing writs of mandamus.
Authority of a court to hear certain cases first; Supreme court first sees all cases involving ambassadors, public ministers or consuls, and involving state parties.
A "Midnight Appointment" by John Adams, Marbury sued Secretary of State James Madison for delivery of his commission, which was being withheld by order of President Jefferson.
Power of the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of laws.; No judicial review clause in the constitution.
freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No quartering of Soldiers
No unreasonable searches or siezures
right to grand jury, indictment, no double jeopardy, freedom from self-incrimination, due process of law
Right to a fair, speedy trial
Right to a trial by jury
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Citizens entitled to rights not listed in the Constitution
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity.
Required presidential electors to vote separately for president and vice president
"Republican" Vision; "Yeoman farmers"; State-level politics, Limitation of National Power, Narrow Interpretation of Constitution, promoted rural values (independence, frugality, practicality, resourcefulness) - Think Rome, encourage participation in politics of the most virtuous, Think "Country Roads"
"Federalist" Vision; Importance of nation at the expense of states, strong and unified government, broad interpretation of constitutional powers, Promote commercial value, integrated society, and urban life; Aristocratic Leadership - The "rich and the wellborn", Suspicous of too much democracy; Think of NYC; Proposed a mercantilist economic program to build an empire, against a free market economy
Election of 1800
Jefferson Prevails; Ratification of the 12th Amendment - Vice-President (Aaron Burr) and Presidential votes.
Led by Hamilton and John Adams; Powerful Federal Government, Power comparable to Europeans, Supported alliances with Great Britain, Broad interpretation of constitutional powers
Led by Jefferson and Madison; Self-reliant individuals with small government to protect rights, Supported French Revolution and alliances with France, Smaller federal government, narrow interpretation of constitutional powers; Dominated national politics for 30 years
Co-led the Democratic-Republican party with Madison that dominated national politics for 30 years
Co-led the Democratic-Republican party with Jefferson that dominated national politics for 30 years
Co-led the Federalist party with John Adams
Co-led the Federalist party with Hamilton
Where selection of government officials is distanced from direct election; A Government that is too removed from the people loses consent and legitimacy, and becomes more susceptible to tyranny.
Originally selected by state legislatures until 1913 with the 17th amendment
Group of electors selected by the people who are responsible for the selection of the president; Electors include the senators plus representatives from each state
Receiving the largest percentage of the votes (not to be confused with Majority); Sufficient for election except in the Electoral College
Most removed from the people - Filtered Consent, Nominated by the president with consent of the Senate, Lifetime term
Single Representative Districts
Representational structure where each geographical region elects its one representative independent of outcomes in other regions
Representation in a legislative body in proportion to their popular vote
Effects of Third Parties
Spoils by siphoning votes from one candidate to the other, affects the political positions and campaign efforts of the major parties
Try to position himself in the middle of voter sentiment and portray his opponent as extreme, Little difference between candidates likely reduce campaigns to superficial issues (ads, charisma, personality) and dirty; In Primaries, candidates appeal to the "base" of their party, generally the right or the left.
Tendencies Prevalent in American Elections
Voters punish the party in power in the case of bad conditions, primaries pull candidates away from the middle and more to the left (liberal) or right (conservative), general election pushes candidates to the middle, voter turnout and independents have strong electoral influence