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Five Objectives of the Constitution of the United States of America
- 1. Establish a stable national government in a federal system
- 2. Establish a republican system of government based on "the people"
- 3. Establish a system of checks and balances on federal power
- 4. Establish strict limits on national government power
- 5. Establish a credible system of military defense for the nation
1. Establish a stable national government in a federal system
- Corrects for failed articles of confederation.
- Federal system = there will be both state laws and national laws. States will have governments and there will also be a national government, both governments have law making powers and responsibilities (tenth amendment)
- States cannot overturn federal law
2. Establish a republican system of government based on "the people"
- Republicanism = a system of elected representatives who make law on behalf of their votes
- Constitution establishes that "we the people" are authors of the document
- Constitution calls for regular elections of law makers
- Law makers must follow the people's document - The constitution of the United States
3. Establish a system of checks and balances on federal power
- Constitution separates power between 3 branches of government - legislative(makes law), executive (enforces law), and judicial (makes sure the laws are constitutionally based)
- Each branch can only perform its specific function
- Each branch must depend on the other for carrying out functions of government
- Each branch "checks" the other by denials of power (e.g. veto)
4. Establish strict limits on national government power
- National government can only perform those actions permitted by the constitution of the United States
- Bill of Rights = First ten amendments to the Constitution that forbid government interference in speech, religious, property, and political rights of the people (e.g. 5th amendment's right to remain silent)
5. Establish a credible system of military defense for the nation
- Constitution provides for the creation and funding of a national Army, Navy, etc.
- Constitution guarantees each state its own militia or guard(police)
- Constitution provides for the punishment of treason
Advise and Consent
the power to approve or reject the president's appointments
Bill of Rights
establishes government's legal obligation to protect several specific liberties to which the Declaration of Independence referred when it stated that men were endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights. These natural rights became government-protected liberties, or civil-liberties, through the ratification process
The Federalist papers
appeared in newspapers across the new nation and made their arguments in a series of essays. Explained why they needed a united nation and of the series of checks and balances and the citizens would retain all of their rights.
opposed the Constitution on the grounds that it gave the national government too much power(would erode the states authority and endanger freedoms
The three fifths compromise
counted each slave as three fifths of a free man. Southern states gained more state representatives because they had a higher population and the north benefited because they got more taxes from counting all the slaves.
Supported the constitution as presented by the convention delegates
Connecticut Compromise(Great Compromise)
This compromise created today's bicameral Congress, with state representation in the House of Representatives based on state population and equal state representation in the Senate (two senators per state)
Checks and Balances
various mechanisms by which each branch can monitor and limit the functions of the other branches in order to ensure that no branch acts to the detriment of the citizen's natural rights.
Is a document that describes three basic components of an organization, its foundational structures, and its essential processes.
a legislature composed of two branches
A national government composed of a league of independent states and in which the central government has less power than the member states.
The body that actually selects the president and vice president. popular vote determines which political party's slate of representatives will participate on behalf of your state
rights possessed by all humans as a gift from nature, or God, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
A legislature composed of only one chamber
New Jersey Plan
Proposed a unicameral legislature with equal votes for each state(feared smaller populated states would lose power)
President sends a bill back to congress with objections noted
The Court has the authority to determine whether an action taken by any government official or governing body violates the Constitution
In this type of government sovereign power is in the hands of the people, not a monarch or some other leader
Favored States with larger populations because it called for determination of state representation based on population. The lower house would be elected by popular vote but the upper house would be elected by the lower house. Called for separation of powers, key to limiting authority of the expanded government and protecting rights.
Separation of Powers
Separated the primary governing functions among three branches of government so that no one group of government officials controlled all the governing functions. Each branch has specific powers and responsibilities that allow it to operate independently of the other branches.
Marbury v. Madison
The Supreme Court interpreted Article III to mean that the Court has the authority to determine whether an action taken by any government official or governing body violates the constitution. In this case the Supreme court struck down portions of the Judiciary Act of 1789, ultimately winning them the right to strike out portions of laws as unconstitutional
A government that holds strong powers, but they are checked by other forces within society (political parties, constitutions, and the military). Individuals living under and authoritarian regime may enjoy some rights, but often these rights are not protected by the government
- An economic system in which the means of producing wealth are privately owned and operated to produce profits
- Pure Capitalist economy: marketplace determines the regulation of production, the distribution of goods and services, wages, and prices
- US Government imposes certain regulations on the economy: it mandates a minimum wage, regulates and inspects goods and services, and imposes tariffs on imports and taxes domestically produced goods that have an impact on pricing.
Are those members of a political community - town, city, state, or country - who, through birth or naturalization, enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities attached to membership in a given nation.
Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, form individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy
Consent of the Governed
The idea that the government's power derives from the consent of the people (based on John Locke's idea of a social contract)
- Advocates recognize the importance of preserving tradition - of maintaining status quo, or keeping things the way they are.
- Conservatives emphasize community and family as mechanisms of continuity in society
- A form of government structured by law, provides for limited government - a government that is restricted in what it can do so that the rights of the people are protected.
- Can be democracies or monarchies
The supreme power of governance lies in the hands of citizens. The United States and most other modern democracies are republics, sometimes called representative democracies, in which citizens elect leaders to represent their views.
A structure of government in which citizens discuss and decide policy through majority rule (town meetings).
Divine right of kings
Emperors claimed that they reigned by divine sanction, or God's will
Is a person's belief that he or she has the ability to achieve something desirable and that the government listens to individuals
An institution that creates and implements the policy and laws that guide the conduct of a nation and its citizens.
Citizens elect representatives who decide policies on their behalf
A quality conferred on government by citizens who believe that its exercise of power is right and proper
Associated with the ideas of liberty and political equality, its advocates favor change in the social, political, and economic realms to better protect the well being of individuals and to produce equality within society
Government should take a "hands off" approach in most matters. This ideology can be found to the right of conservatism on a traditional ideological spectrum. Believe the less government intervention, the better
Both freedom from government interference in our lives and freedom to pursue happiness
A government that is restricted in what it can do so that the rights of the people are protected.
The principle that, in a democracy, only policies with 50 percent plus one vote are enacted, and only candidates who attain 50 percent plus one vote are elected
A member of a royal family, usually a king or queen, has absolute authority over a territory and its government. Monarchies are typically inherited. Most modern monarchies are constitutional, king or queen has little or no real power (Jordan and Saudi Arabia - North Korea)
The assertion that the laws that govern human behavior are derived from the nature of humans themselves and can be universally applied
Means becoming a citizen by means other than birth, as in the case of immigrants.
Advocates military over diplomatic solutions to foreign policy challenges. Neoconservatives are less concerned than traditional conservatives with restraining government in social policy
An elite few hold power. Some oligarchies are dictatorships, in which a small group, such as a political party or military junta, supports a dictator.
The people's collective beliefs and attitudes about government and political process.
Citizen actions that are intended to solve public problems through political means.
Is an integrated system of ideas or beliefs about political values in general and the role of government in particular
The process of deciding who gets benefits in society and who is excluded from benefiting
The theory that government is created by the people and depends on the people for authority to rule
anything that can be owned
Many services the government provides are called public goods because their benefits cannot be limited to specific groups or individuals. (e.g. national defense, airport security, highways, clean water)
An agreement between people and their leaders, whereby the people give up some liberties so that their other liberties will be protected
Social Contract Theory
Assumes that individuals possess free will and that every individual possesses the God-given right of self-determinatin and the ability to consent to be governed.
An ideology that stresses economic equality, theoretically achieved by having the government or workers own the means of production(business and industry)
Essentially control every aspect of their citizens' lives. In these tyrannical governments, citizens enjoy neither rights nor freedoms, and the state is the tool of the dictator
Question 3- Five ideals rooted in American Political Culture (security, economic disparity, property and majority rule)
- Political Culture - People’s collective ideals and attitudes about gov’t and political process
- 1. Liberty: People have freedom to pursue happiness
- 2. Equality
- 3. Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of producing wealth are privately owned and operated to produce profits
- 4. Consent of the Governed: An Idea that the gov’t power derives from the consent of the people(John Locke’s ideas)
- 5. Importance of the Individual - An independent entity exercising self determination(family and community)
1. Liberty: People have freedom to pursue happiness
- -Freedom from Government interference (religious freedom - early colonists)
- - Liberties threatened (warrant)
- - Airport security and phone tapping security from terrorism
- - Idea pulled from Judeo-Christians and Greeks (property owning men)
- - Early Colonists (only white property owning men vote)
- - Economic equality - Gov’t should do more- Higher taxes on wealthier citizens
- - Provide services and welfare to the poor
3. Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of producing wealth are privately owned and operated to produce profits
- Pure capitalism - Marketplace determines the regulation of production, services, wages, and prices- US - Gov’t sets minimum wage, taxes and tariffs on goods, and inspects goods- Property (anything that can be owned) considered a natural right - some aspects protected under the constitution
4. Consent of the Governed: An Idea that the gov’t power derives from the consent of the people(John Locke’s ideas)
- -If gov’t no longer has the consent of the people then the people have the right to revolt
- - People’s gov’t (has to appeal to the majority of the citizens) Majority Rule - 50% + 1 vote to approve a law or elect an official
5. Importance of the Individual - An independent entity exercising self determination(family and community)
- - Child 1st learns politics from family and continues the political culture
- - Constitution protects the right to assemble (town organizations and clubs)
Where does the US fall in these categories?
Constitutional Democracy based on republicanism
Constitutional Convention of 1787
Produces constitution not laws, laws are based on it - creates Congress who make laws
- Bicameral - both houses based on population
- lower house elects upper house based on the candidates from the states
- independent judiciary systemexecutive leader
- 1st house passes a bill by majority -> second house passes bill it becomes law
- Not much different from the Articles of Confederation
- Equal representation (one vote per state)
- Executive branch
- Supreme Court
- Power to regulate commerce
- Power to tax
Connecticut Compromise(Great Compromise)
- 1st house based on population and popular vote(house of rep)
- 2nd house equal (2 votes per state) and would be voted by lower house(senate)
- 1st house pass a bill goes to 2nd house and then becomes law
- Executive branch
- Judicial branch w/ Supreme Court
- Power to regulate Commerce
- Power to tax
Three Fifths Compromise
- Each slave is counted as ⅗ of a person
- Southern states get more representation in the new house of representatives
- Benefited northern states because the southern states would have to pay more taxes
- Two step process 1st step is to propose the amendment and 2nd step is to ratify the amendment (2 ways to do this)
- 1. ⅔ majority in both house and senate
- 2. then sent to states for ratification ¾ required
- or 1.(Never been used) Special constitutional convention ⅔ state legislatures petition congress to consider an amendment state delegates vote on possible amendment the proposal will then go to states for ratification
- 2. ¾ of the vote of special state conventions