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Louisiana Territory - Louisiana Purchase (Geographic Advantages Gained)
• A geographic advantage gained by the United States by purchasing the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 was full control of the Mississippi River
• President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France (Napoleon decided to sell the land because he needed revenue or money for his wars in Europe)
• At first, Jefferson hesitated since he was a strict constructionist and believed that a President should only do what was specifically written in the Constitution and the Constitution did not state that the president could purchase land
• But the land was very valuable - indeed it included full control of the Mississippi River, the Great Plains (grasslands that were good for farming and herding) and the port of New Orleans which connected the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico
• So, Jefferson purchased the land - the President can make a treaty and the Senate ratified the treaty
Which group benefited most from the United States acquisition of the port of New Orleans?
• New Orleans is a port - it connects the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico
• In general, ports are important to individuals who need to trade or move crops or goods
• The port of New Orleans was acquired when the United States government purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon - the Louisiana Purchase gave the United States full control of the Mississippi River, the Great Plains and the port of New Orleans
• Farmers in the Ohio River Valley benefited the most from the United States acquisition of the port of New Orleans because the Ohio River connected to the Mississippi River which connected to the port of New Orleans
• So, farmers in the Ohio River Valley could transport their crops to the port of New Orleans and sell their crops to a lot more people and make a lot more money
• Ports are good for trade
Causes of regional differences in US
• Geographic differences between regions of the United States have led to regional differences
• In New England, there is a short growing season, rocky soil, forests, and ports and harbors - So, in New England, fishing and shipbuilding were important
• In the South, there was a long growing season and fertile land - So, in the South, plantations developed and many slaves farmed on plantations
• Geographic differences therefore led to economic differences
• Yes, in the United States, regional differences in economic development are primarily due to geographic factors in various parts of the nation
Geography of American South
• Because of fertile land and a long growing season, plantations in the thirteen colonies developed in the South
• The American South became the land of tobacco and cotton
• Large farms or plantations developed in the American South due to geographic factors such as a long growing season and fertile land
• Plantations depended on slave labor
• Thus, the American South depended on slavery
Facts about The Mayflower Compact
• The Mayflower Compact was a document signed on the ship - the Mayflower - a ship that brought the pilgrims to Massachusetts
• The Mayflower Compact was a document signed by 41 male Pilgrims on November 21, 1620 - the men agreed to vote to create laws for the new colony since the king was far away
• So, the Mayflower Compact like the House of Burgesses and Fundamental Orders of Connecticut are all examples of the efforts of colonial Americans to use democratic practices in government
• Voting is a democratic practice
• The House of Burgesses was a representative government in the colony of Virginia - landowning colonists could vote for representatives and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was the first constitution in the American colonies - more examples of participation in government
• The Mayflower Compact is important to the concept of a democratic society because it represents a clear step toward self-government or government by its own people
Facts about the House of Burgesses
• The House of Burgesses was a representative government in colonial Virginia
• Landowning colonists could vote for representatives in the colony
• This meant that the colonists could participate in government - in the making of laws
• Thus, the House of Burgesses was an example of the efforts of colonial Americans to use democratic practices in government
• Like the Mayflower Compact, the House of Burgesses is an example of self-government or government by its own people
• The Virginia House of Burgesses was important to the development of democracy in the thirteen colonies because it provided an example of a representative form of government
Geography of New England
• Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire were all colonies in New England
• New England is a region with a short growing season, rocky soil, forests and ports and harbors
• Fishing and shipbuilding were economic activities of the region
• But large farms or plantations did NOT develop due to the rocky soil and short growing season
• New England farmers and traders did NOT depend on slavery
• Yes, in the area of New England - good harbors, abundant forests, rocky soil, and a short growing season most influenced the colonial economy
Facts about the Bill of Rights
• The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights
• The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect individual rights
• The Bill of Rights addressed greater constitutional protection for individual liberties and listed specific prohibitions on governmental power
• Anti-Federalists wanted a bill of rights and believed a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard or protect individual liberty
• Yes, the term "Bill of Rights" refers to the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Facts about The Proclamation of 1763
• The Proclamation of 1763 prohibited colonial settlement west of a border that ran roughly along the Appalachian Mountains
• The British established the Proclamation Line of 1763
• The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a dividing line - the colonists were to stay east of the line and not settle west of the line because Indian territory was to be west of the Appalachian Mountains
• The British established the Proclamation Line of 1763 to prevent conflict between colonists and Indians - the British were tired of wars
• But the colonists hated the Proclamation Line of 1763 - they felt that it prevented them from settling on valuable, fertile farmland
Checks and Balances
• To limit the power of government, the framers of the Constitution divided governmental power into three branches of government: an executive branch or president, a legislative branch or congress, and a judicial branch or court
• In this separation of powers, each branch has the power to check or limit the power of the other branches
• Therefore, no one branch has total power as its power is limited by the other two branches
• An example of the system of checks and balances is that the President can veto a bill made by Congress thereby preventing the creation of a law but Congress with a two-thirds majority can override the veto
• So, yes, the principle of checks and balances in the U.S. government is reflected in the ability of Congress to override a presidential veto
The Zenger Trial
• John Peter Zenger was a printer - he published a newspaper
• In his newspaper, an article criticized the colonial governor of New York
• Zenger did not write the article but he printed the paper - so, he was arrested and tried in court
• His lawyer argued that unless the facts printed could be proven false, Zenger had done no wrong - he had simply published the facts
• The court agreed and Zenger was found "Not Guilty" - this case was a victory for freedom of the press - the press cannot lie but it can print the facts
• "It is not the cause of one poor printer, nor of New York alone, which you are now trying. No! It may in its consequence affect every free man that lives under a British government on the main [continent] of America. It is the best cause. It is the cause of liberty...Nature and the laws of our country have given us a right to liberty of both exposing and opposing arbitrary power (in these parts of the world at least) by speaking and writing the truth." ~ Andrew Hamilton, 1735
• This courtroom summation helped establish the democratic principle of freedom of the press in colonial America
Articles of Confederation
• The Articles of Confederation was the first document of American government after independence - it was eventually replaced by the U.S. Constitution
• The Articles of Confederation were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777
• This document served as the United States' first constitution, and was in force from March 1, 1781, until 1789 when the present day Constitution went into effect
• The Articles of Confederation created a weak federal government and strong state governments - after the revolutionary war, Americans feared a strong government
• In the 1780's, many Americans distrusted a strong central government and this distrust was best shown by the plan of government set up by the Articles of Confederation
• The Federal government under the Articles of Confederation did not have the power to tax and Congress could not draft soldiers - there was also NO president and no national court system
Declaration of Independence
• Written to announce the colonists' reasons for revolution against Britain and the colonists' beliefs in good government, the Declaration of Independence declared colonial independence from Britain
• "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; . . ." - these were very important sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence
• Indeed, these words were evidence that some of the basic ideas in the Declaration of Independence were reflections of the philosophies of the European Enlightenment
• Many ideas in the Declaration of Independence came from the European Enlightenment or the Age of Reason - a period of time when new ideas on government and law were established
• During the Enlightenment, John Locke wrote about natural rights or that all men were born with the right to life, the right to liberty or freedom, and the right to property and ideas like consent of the governed or the idea that people give government its power through voting developed
• According to the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to alter or abolish a government if that government violates natural rights
• Yes, people can overthrow a government that violates its natural rights
Influence of European Enlightenment on American Government
• The European Enlightenment was the Age of Reason
• New ideas about government and law developed in Europe in the 1700s
• John Locke wrote about natural rights like life, liberty and property
• Montesquieu wrote about separation of powers or dividing the power of government to prevent tyranny or dictatorship
• The idea of popular sovereignty developed - the idea that people rule
• And consent of the governed - the authority of government depends on the consent or permission of the people expressed through voting
• Yes, the Enlightenment stated that people had the power of government - not God, not the king
• And that people could overthrow a government that violated or failed to respect the natural rights of the people
Stamp Act
• The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765
• The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used
• Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed
• The money collected by the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains
• The colonists hated the Stamp Act as they could not vote for representatives in Britain's Parliament and felt that the tax was therefore unfair - no taxation without representation
• The people formed the Stamp Act Congress
• "The only representatives of the people of these colonies are persons chosen therein by themselves; and that no taxes ever have been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them but by their respective legislatures." ~ Statement by the Stamp Act Congress, 1765
• A valid conclusion that can be drawn from that quotation is that only the colonists' elected representatives should have the power to levy taxes.
"No Taxation without Representation"
• As a result of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Britain needed money
• In order to get money, the British Parliament decided for the first time to tax the colonists directly
• One such tax, the 1765 Stamp Act required all printed documents used or created in the colonies to bear an embossed revenue stamp
• Colonial did not like the law and claimed that the tax was illegal on the grounds that they had no representation in Parliament
• "No Taxation without Representation" was a phrase, generally attributed to James Otis about 1761, that reflected the resentment of American colonists at being taxed by a British Parliament to which they elected no representatives
• The full quote was, "Taxation without representation is tyranny."
• The tax laws imposed on the colonists by the British government were viewed as unfair and created support for declaring independence because colonists were taxed without direct representation in Parliament
Thomas Paine's Common Sense
• Thomas Paine was an American colonist; he wrote a pamphlet titled Common Sense
• It was a series of arguments for why the colonists should declare independence from Britain
• During the Revolutionary War period, Thomas Paine's Common Sense was important because it convinced many Americans who had been undecided to support independence
• Paine explained that England was not a good mother - as in mother country - because it harmed the colonists by controlling trade and imposing high taxes
• He reminded the colonists that "our corn will fetch its price in any market"
Mercantilism
• Mercantilism is an economic policy that colonies exist for the benefit of the mother country
• In other words, the mother country has colonies to get rich
• In its economic relationship with its North American colonies, Great Britain followed the principles of 18th-century mercantilism by limiting the colonies' trade with other nations
• Yes, in mercantilism, a colony can only trade with a mother country
• A colony can only export raw materials or natural resources
• And a colony must import finished goods or manufactured goods from the mother country
Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation
• The Articles of Confederation was the first document of government in the newly independent United States - it was eventually replaced by the Constitution
• The Articles of Confederation created a weak central government - there was no President or Supreme Court although there was a Congress
• It gave more power to the states than the federal government
• The colonists feared a strong federal government - they feared a powerful king
• The Articles of Confederation established a weak central government in order to protect the power of the states
Federalism
• The principle of federalism in the U.S. Constitution is reflected in the division of power between the national and state governments
• Federalism is the American system of government
• Federalism establishes a federal or national government and state governments
• The federal government has the power to declare war and coin money as well as other powers while the state governments have the power to issue driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and High School diplomas
• Some powers are reserved to the states and are called reserved powers while some powers belong exclusively to the federal government
• But some powers are shared like the power to levy or make or impose taxes - these shared powers are known as concurrent powers
Appalachian Mountains
• The Appalachian Mountains are located in the East of the United States and the Rocky Mountains are located in the West
• A student in New York can hike part of the Appalachian Mountain range
• In fact, the Appalachian Trail ranges from Maine to Georgia
• The original settlements in the thirteen British colonies were all located east of the Appalachian Mountains
• Yes, the thirteen colonies were all located east of the Appalachian Mountains
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
• The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress established by the Articles of Confederation and it was passed on July 13, 1787
• This important legislation provided rules for admitting new states to the Union
• It called for the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River to be divided into ten separate states
• The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 set a precedent for other western territories by providing a method for the creation of new states
• The United States had gained land after the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Ordinance established a method for making a territory into a state - it was an accomplishment of the Articles of Confederation government
New England Again
• The presence of the following pair of geographic conditions - rocky soil and a short growing season - discouraged the development of a plantation economy in the New England colonies
• Rocky soil is not ideal for farming
• And a short growing season does not favor farming either
• Thus, geography discouraged the development of large farms or plantations in New England
• So New England did not develop a plantation economy dependent on slave labor
Mississippi River
• Since the late 1700s, the Mississippi River has been a vital waterway because it provided farmers and merchants an outlet to the Gulf of Mexico
• The Mississippi River connects to the port of New Orleans and then to the Gulf of Mexico
• A river is a vital waterway for trade
• The Mississippi River was acquired with the Louisiana Purchase
• As a result of the Louisiana Purchase, the United States gained full control of the Mississippi River, the port of New Orleans, and the Great Plains
Great Plains
• Yes, a geographic area that was added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase was the Great Plains
• The Great Plains stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River
• It is a region of flat lands and wild grasses
• The grasses once supported buffalo and the Plains Indians depended on the buffalo for their survival
• But the region was also good for farming and herding - as Americans settled on the Great Plains, many buffalo were killed and the way of life of the Plains Indians was destroyed
Unalienable Rights
• Unalienable means to NOT take away - that means these rights are God-given and no government can take away these rights
• Usually, unalienable rights refer to natural rights like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
• The most famous use of unalienable rights is found in the Declaration of Independence, which says people have unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
• The idea of natural rights was first proposed by John Locke, a European Enlightenment thinker
• Locke wrote that all men were born with natural rights such as the right to life, the right to liberty and the right to property
Mercantilism Again
• According to the theory of mercantilism, the principal purpose of the thirteen original colonies was to provide Great Britain with raw materials and markets
• Mercantilism is the idea that colonies exist for the benefit of the mother country
• A colony must only trade with the mother country
• A colony must only export raw materials or natural resources to the mother country
• And a colony must only import finished or manufactured goods from the mother country - the colony must serve as a market for the mother country's goods
• The mother country accumulates gold and silver (bullion) and profits while the colony only serves the economic interests of the mother country
The Purpose of Government According to the Declaration of Independence
• The Declaration of Independence was a document that effectively stated that seeking independence from Britain had become "necessary" for the colonies
• The document also outlined a list of grievances against the British crown
• And the document explained what the revolutionaries believed about government
• The preamble includes its most famous passage: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
• The following are additional excerpts from Declaration of Independence: "The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries . . .;"
"[such as:]...quartering large bodies of armed troops among us . . .;" "...depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury . . .;" "...transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses . . .;" and "... [answering] our repeated petitions...only by repeated injury."
• The colonial grievances expressed in the excerpts were directly addressed in the Bill of Rights
• Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence
Natural Rights and Unalienable Rights
• According to the Declaration of Independence, a right that all people have and that legitimate governments should protect is called an Unalienable Right
• Thomas Jefferson derived the most famous ideas in the Declaration of Independence from the writings of English philosopher John Locke
• The European Enlightenment philosopher, John Locke wrote that all individuals are equal in the sense that they are born with certain "inalienable" natural rights
• Inalienable or unalienable rights are God-given and can never be taken or even given away
• Among these fundamental natural rights, Locke said, are "life, liberty, and property"
• The purpose of government, Locke wrote, is to secure and protect the God-given inalienable natural rights of the people and for their part, the people must obey the laws of their rulers - thus, a sort of contract exists between the rulers and the ruled
• But, Locke concluded, if a government persecutes or mistreats its people over an extended period, the people have the right to resist that government, alter or abolish it, and create a new political system
The Purpose of Government According to the Declaration of Independence - Again
• According to the Declaration of Independence, the fundamental purpose of government is to protect people's natural rights
• Yes, government must protect a person's right to life, right to liberty and right to property as well as his right to the pursuit of happiness
• The purpose of government as described in the Declaration of Independence is to protect the natural rights of the people
• The Declaration makes particular mention of the "unalienable" rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness"
• Yes, the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created free and equal and possess the same inherent, natural rights
• Legitimate governments must therefore be based on the consent of the governed and must exist "to secure these rights"
Challenges of Leaders of the American Revolution
• Some of the challenges facing the leaders of the American Revolution were developing diplomatic relations with other nations, limited financial resources, and accusations of treason
• What nations would support the revolutionaries? - that was the challenge of developing diplomatic relations with other nations
• Where would the money for the revolution come from and how could the revolutionaries keep fighting with limited money? - that was the challenge of limited financial resources
• Were the revolutionaries traitors to Britain and treasonous? - that was the challenge of accusations of treason
• The information above regarding challenges represents some of the challenges that leaders of the American Revolution faced when they - declared independence from Great Britain
A Major Argument for American Independence
• A major argument for American independence found in the Declaration of Independence was that the British deprived Americans of their natural rights
• It was difficult for the colonists to declare independence from Britain - many colonists were had family members in Britain, were descendants of British immigrants, or were even born in Britain
• Britain was part of many colonists' personal history
• But as colonists, they were not represented in the British Parliament - they could not vote for representatives in the British Parliament - and they felt that the British government did not respect or protect their rights
• The Declaration of Independence stated the colonists' grievances or complaints against the British but also what they believed the purpose of government was
• And as Americans, they believed that the purpose of government was to protect the people's natural rights - good government protects natural rights - to life, to liberty, to property, and to the pursuit of happiness
House of Representatives
• The legislative branch of American government is the Congress
• The Congress is bicameral - there are two parts to the Congress: a House of Representatives and a Senate
• The House of Representatives is based on each state's population - states with more people have more representatives in the House of Representatives
• But the Senate is equal representation for states - each state has two Senators
• The authors of the United States Constitution believed that the voice of the people should be heard frequently and so the House of Representatives was instituted to respond most directly to the will of the people
• Americans vote for representatives in the House of Representatives every two years
• All bills (which can eventually become laws) starts in the House of Representatives
• By electing representatives every two years, the people have the power to determine the make-up of this law-making body and create government that truly represents the people
Implied Powers
• Implied Powers are powers that are NOT specifically listed in the Constitution, but are understood to be necessary or allowed
• The elastic clause or necessary and proper clause allows Congress the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers" (art. I, sec. 8).
• And the Amendment process allows the Constitution to be changed by adding amendments to the Constitution
• In the United States, the use of implied powers, the amending process, and Supreme Court interpretations have resulted in the Constitution being adapted to fit changing times
• In other words, the Constitution is a flexible document - it can be changed over time - but it cannot be easily changed; it can only be changed after deep reflection and a process to ensure that the change is the will of the people
Amending Process
• An amendment is a change or addition to the Constitution
• The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution are called the Bill of Rights
• To add an amendment to the Constitution: an amendment must be proposed by either a two-thirds vote in Congress, including both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or a national convention made up of two-thirds of the states
• All current amendments were proposed by Congress
• The second step is the step for ratification or approval of the amendment
• An amendment can be ratified by either three-fourths of the state legislatures or by state conventions in three-fourths of the states
• Only the 21st amendment used the state convention method
• There are 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Federalism Part II
• Federalism is the American system of government
• Under federalism, there is a federal or national government and state governments
• The following quotation from the United States Constitution provides for a Federal system of government : "The powers not delegated to the United States . . . are reserved to the states . . ."
• Yes, some powers are delegated or given to the federal government
• And some powers are reserved to the state governments
• And some powers are concurrent or shared by both - in that both the federal and state governments can tax
• Federalism ensures that governmental power is divided or limited
Checks and Balances Again
• In the American system of government, the power of government is divided into three branches: an executive branch or President, a legislative branch of Congress, and a judicial branch or court
• This division of powers is called separation of powers and it was an idea first expressed by the European Enlightenment philosopher, Montesquieu
• By separating power, power is limited
• Checks and balances is how the power of each branch is limited - each branch's power is checked or limited by the other two branches
• The system of checks and balances is best illustrated by the power of the President to veto a bill passed by Congress
Unwritten Constitution
• The "Unwritten Constitution" refers to the ideas and processes that are accepted as a needed part of American government, regardless of the fact that they are not actually in the Constitution
• These ideas and processes came about through the custom and precedent
• So, the "Unwritten Constitution" refers to practices of American government that are not listed in the Constitution but have become a part of American government due to tradition - many of these practices were established by the nation's first President, George Washington
• An example of a Presidential action that is an example of the unwritten constitution is the President consulting with his cabinet - yes, the President's cabinet is part of the Unwritten Constitution
• The President's Cabinet, political parties, Congressional Committees, and judicial review are all examples of the Unwritten Constitution
Strict Constructionists
• A Strict Constructionist is a person who has a strict interpretation of the Constitution
• In other words, if it is not specifically stated in the Constitution, this individual would not do it - unless it was an emergency
• So, this individual would view the "elastic clause" - which states that Congress can do what is necessary and proper to carry out its duties - as an emergency clause
• The elastic clause would only be used for emergencies - absolutely necessary reasons
• Adherence to a strict interpretation of the Constitution would have prevented President Thomas Jefferson from making the Louisiana Purchase
• Thomas Jefferson was a strict constructionist and so when Napoleon offered to sell the Louisiana Territory, he hesitated because it was not written in the Constitution that a president could buy land
• But it was a great deal and so he had to modify or change his beliefs - he was convinced that since the President could make a treaty, the purchase of land was like the making of a treaty
• And fortunately for the United States, the country gained full control of the Mississippi River, the port of New Orleans, and the Great Plains
Loose Constructionists
• A loose constructionist willingly uses the elastic clause - or the clause in the Constitution that states that Congress may do what is "necessary and proper" to carry out its duties
• Alexander Hamilton was a loose constructionist
• He believed that the government could create a National Bank - even though a National Bank was not stated in the Constitution
• He believed that a National Bank was necessary for Congress to do its business - since Congress levies and collects taxes, the money could be stored in a National Bank
• And only the federal government can coin money - so, that too seemed a good reason to create a National Bank
• Plus, a National Bank could oversee all the banks in the country to make sure that the country's economy was stable
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
• "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
• The First Amendment is the freedom of consciousness Amendment - that means that Americans have freedom of thought - freedom to practice a religion or not practice a religion, freedom to express their views, freedom to print the facts in the newspapers, freedom to gather in protest, and freedom to petition the government in order that the government may address their complaints
• Yes, guarantees in the Constitution have encouraged religious expression and toleration.
• And the factor that has made the strongest contribution to the development of religious expression and toleration and religious freedom in the United States is the First Amendment
Influence of John Locke on American Government
• John Locke was a British philosopher and is considered an important philosopher of the European Enlightenment
• John Locke believed in natural rights or rights that were God-given
• Among these rights were the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to property
• John Locked greatly influenced American government with his idea of natural rights
• Another idea of John Locke was consent of the governed or that people give the government its power and give their permission for government to act as it does through voting
• John Locke influenced Thomas Jefferson with natural rights and consent of the governed and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence
• This phrase from the Declaration of Independence most clearly reflects the idea that the people are the source of government ". . . deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." - Thank you, John Locke!
• "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
• Yes, this quotation too - from the Declaration of Independence - reflects beliefs mainly derived from John Locke's theory of natural rights
Federalists
• The first political parties in the United States were the Federalists and the Antifederalists
• The difference between these two groups developed during the ratification of the Constitution
• The Federalists favored a strong federal government
• The Federalists wanted to replace the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution because the Articles of Confederation had created a weak federal government - a government without a President and with a Congress that did not have the power to tax
• Federalists like Alexander Hamilton believed that a strong federal government was necessary to help the nation become economically and militarily stronger
Antifederalists
• Antifederalists feared a strong federal government
• The Americans had just won the American Revolution and had fought against a powerful king - the last thing they wanted was another powerful government that could hurt people and deny people their rights
• Antifederalists criticized the United States Constitution primarily because governing power was concentrated in the National Government
• Antifederalists preferred state governments having more power to ensure that tyranny or dictatorship could not arise
• Antifederalists insisted on the inclusion of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution to protect individual rights and freedoms
• Thanks to the Antifederalists, Americans have guaranteed rights
Judicial Review
• Judicial Review is the power of the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional
• The idea of judicial review was established in the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison
• In this case, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall stated that the court had the power of judicial review or the power to interpret the Constitution and determine the constitutionality of the law
• This greatly increased the power of the Supreme Court
• Judicial Review - the concept - is not formally stated in the Constitution, thus, it is an example of the Unwritten Constitution
• Yes, the Supreme Court's power of judicial review is a result of the Court's own interpretation of the Constitution
Federalists versus Antifederalists
• During the debates over the ratification of the United States Constitution, Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed most strongly over the division of powers between the national and state governments
• Federalists favored a strong national or federal government
• Antifederalists wanted more power for the state governments
• Antifederalists feared a powerful national government - they had just fought a powerful king
• And Antifederalists wanted a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution to protect individual rights and freedoms
• Thanks to the Antifederalists, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution - known as the Bill of Rights - protect the rights of individuals and limits the power of government
The Unwritten Constitution Part II
• The Unwritten Constitution refers to traditions and practices of American government but traditions and practices that are not listed in the Constitution
• Many of the traditions and practices of the Unwritten Constitution were established in the Presidency of George Washington
• The development of the political parties, the President's Cabinet and Congressional Committees are examples of the Unwritten Constitution
• Even judicial review is part of the Unwritten Constitution - as it is not listed in the Constitution
• Yes, an example of the unwritten constitution in the United States is the development of the political party system
The Great Compromise
• The Great Compromise was a compromise between big states with lots of people and small states with few people over representation in Congress
• The Great Compromise is also known as the Connecticut Compromise
• In the Compromise, the American Congress is bicameral or has two houses
• The House of Representatives and the Senate are the two house of Congress
• Representation in the House of Representatives is based on population - the more people living in the state, the more representatives the state gets in the House of Representatives
• Representation in the Senate is equal - every state receives two Senators
• The Great Compromise was one of the Constitutional Comprises at the Constitutional Convention
Marbury v. Madison
• An important Supreme Court case
• It established the concept of judicial review
• Judicial review is the idea that the Court has the power to interpret the Constitution and determine the constitutionality of a law
• Yes, the significance of the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison is that the decision established the power of judicial review
• The decision of the United States Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) established the power of the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of laws
• John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the ruling in Marbury v. Madison
• John Marshall greatly increased the power of the Supreme Court and thus, the power of the federal government
Alexander Hamilton and the National Bank
• Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of Treasury, under George Washington
• Along with James Madison and John Jay, Alexander Hamilton wrote The Federalist Papers, letters to New York newspapers to convince people to ratify the Constitution
• Alexander Hamilton was a leader of the new Federalist Party
• Alexander Hamilton supported a strong federal government and believed a National Bank was important to ensure a strong federal government
• A National Bank was not listed in the Constitution but he argued that Congress could use the elastic clause - the elastic clause said that Congress could do more than what was written in the Constitution if it was "necessary and proper" to carry out its duties
• Thus, Alexander Hamilton's argument that the government has the power to create a National Bank is based on the part of the Constitution known as the elastic clause
Alexander Hamilton Quote
• "All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born, the other the mass of the people. . . . The people are turbulent and changing. . . . Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second." ~ Alexander Hamilton
• In this quote, Alexander Hamilton stated that there were two groups within a society - the rich and well born and the mass of people or the ordinary people
• He then stated that the ordinary people are turbulent (causing unrest) and changing and therefore cannot be trusted
• So, more power in government should be given to the rich and well born according to Hamilton
• So, the author - Alexander Hamilton - of this quotation suggests that the common people cannot be trusted to run a stable government
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