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AGENDA September 13 2012. Service Learning Option Check-In: Quiz NYT News round-up How to access the DAHL book using Sawyer Library How to Study for this course (and others!) Watch portion of President Clinton’s speech Hardin, Tragedy of the Commons, Prisoner’s Dilemma Discuss Reading:

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agenda september 13 2012
AGENDASeptember 13 2012
  • Service Learning Option
  • Check-In: Quiz
  • NYT News round-up
  • How to access the DAHL book using Sawyer Library
  • How to Study for this course (and others!)
  • Watch portion of President Clinton’s speech
    • Hardin, Tragedy of the Commons, Prisoner’s Dilemma
  • Discuss Reading:
    • LAP, Ch. 2, 40-88
    • Declaration of Independence (Appendix 2, LAP)
    • The Constitution (Appendix 3, LAP)
9 18 2012
  • Reading Due:
    • Federalist #10 and #51 (Appendix 4 and 5, LAP. OR, they are also in PPA)
    • PPA: John Roche, The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action, 34-59
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Outline the arguments in Federalist 10 and 51. Upload to (password is election)
9 20 2012
  • Reading Due:
    • Dahl: How Democratic is the American Constitution, 1-20
  • Writing Assignments:
    • Blackboard Reading Quiz 2
    • Consider arguments for and against whether the Senate is an outdated institution. We will have an in-class debate.
president bill clinton s speech
President Bill Clinton’s Speech
  • Start at 7:05
the constitution
The Constitution
  • What was the institutional design under the Articles of Confederation?
  • How did the design change under the new Constitution?
  • What is apportionment?
dismantling home rule
Dismantling Home Rule
  • At the end of the Seven Years’ War Britain was broke
    • Colonists required to share the burden (taxes)
    • Britain asserted power to impose taxes
    • Also began to violate home rule in colonies
  • Stamp Act
    • Imposed tax on all printed materials
    • First non-self-imposed tax for the colonies
    • Inspired the colonists to organize and demonstrate collectively
america s first constitution the articles of confederation
America’s First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation
  • America now an independent nation
  • Second Continental Congress proceeded to create a new government
  • Drafted the nation’s first Constitution – the Articles of Confederation
  • Confederation
    • highly decentralized
    • national government limited authority from the states
the articles of confederation
The Articles of Confederation
  • Created a new, permanent Congress
    • each state received one vote
  • Major laws required the endorsement of 9 of 13 states
  • Amending the Articles required unanimous agreement
  • Delegates sought to replicate the home rule they had lost
    • Suspicious of national authority
the confederation s troubled peace
The Confederation’s Troubled Peace
  • A war-torn economy
  • Trade barriers at home and abroad
  • Popular discontent
    • Shays’s Rebellion
drafting a new constitution
Drafting a New Constitution
  • The 55 delegates met in Philadelphia in 1787
    • Shared experience of war and its aftermath
    • Philosophical influences
      • Popular sovereignty—Locke
      • Sir Isaac Newton
      • Charles, Baron de Montesquieu
      • David Hume
      • James Madison’s “Vices of the Political System of the U. States”
    • Getting down to business
      • Patrick Henry “smelt a rat” and resigned
      • By near unanimous agreement, Washington to preside
      • Madison in the front row taking notes
the virginia plan
The Virginia Plan
  • Madison and nationalists’ blueprint
  • Bicameral legislature
    • Members of the lower chamber apportioned among the states by population and directly elected.
    • Lower chamber would elect members of the upper chamber from lists generated by the state legislatures.
  • Veto power over states
  • Use of military power if states did not fulfill obligations
  • Council of Revision
  • Opposition formed
    • States’ rights states and small states feared loss of influence.
the new jersey plan
The New Jersey Plan
  • Opposition coalesced around an alternative
    • Proposed by N.J. delegate William Paterson
  • Hastily drafted response
    • Failed to propose the organization of the executive and judiciary
    • Kept same composition and selection of Congress as it functioned under the Articles, BUT…
the new jersey plan1
The New Jersey Plan
    • Gave Congress the power to tax
    • Each state gets one vote
    • Acts of Congress are supreme
    • Executive elected by Congress
    • Executive would appoint a national supreme court
  • Stalemate over the plans
    • Debate raged for weeks
    • Delegates agreed to send the question of Congress to a committee
      • Madison not named to the committee
the great compromise
The Great Compromise
  • Each side got one of the two legislative chambers fashioned to its liking:
    • the upper chamber (Senate) would be composed of two delegates sent from each state legislature who would serve a six-year term
    • Madison’s population-based, elective legislature became the House of Representatives
the great compromise1
The Great Compromise
  • Unanimous agreement rule of the states that had hobbled the confederation Congress: GONE!
  • Replaced by a rule allowing a majority of the membership to pass legislation.
  • Article 1, Section 8 extended the authority of the national legislature.
    • commerce clause
    • necessary and proper clause
the great compromise2
The Great Compromise
  • Given the compromise, Madison became interested in a genuine separation of powers between the branches with each side exercising checks and balances over the others.
  • This notion played a significant role in Madison’s formulation of the executive and judiciary as independent institutions.
the great ratification debate federalist papers
The Great Ratification Debate: Federalist Papers
  • Political selling job of the Constitution, especially to small states (DE, NJ, NY)
  • Published under Publius
  • Anti-Federalists v. Federalists
    • Anti — oppose new Constitution and opposed strong central government
    • Pro — favor new Constitution and favor strong central government
anti federalists why should we
Anti-Federalists: Why Should We?
  • Why should we unite?
  • The Address and Reasons of the Pennsylvania Minority:
    • “We dissent, first, because it is the opinion of the most celebrated writers on government, and confirmed by uniform experience, that a very extensive territory cannot be governed on the principles of freedom, otherwise than by a confederation of republics, possessing all the powers of internal government; but united in the management of their general, and foreign concerns.”
madison responds
Madison Responds …
  • Anti-Federalists (and Montesquieu) misunderstand the real threat to liberty: faction.
  • What is a faction?
    • “By faction I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community” (Madison, Federalist #10).
  • Number of citizens —minority or majority—united and actuated by a common impulse or passion, of interest
    • “adverse to the rights of other citizens”


    • adverse to “the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”
how can we cure faction
How can we cure faction?
  • Destroy liberty?
    • NO … “Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.” — i.e. liberty nourishes faction
  • Give every citizen the same opinion, passion, etc.
    • NO …Not possible since everyone different. Men have different faculties — unequal faculties, esp., of acquiring property. They possess different degrees and kinds of property and this ensues a division of society into different interests and parties.
  • The causes of faction are thus embedded in our nature.
    • Men are much more likely to oppress each other than to cooperate for the common good.
    • “But the most common and durable source of faction, has been the various and unequal distribution of property”
  • Propertied v. not propertied
    • Creditors v. debtors
    • Landed, manufacturing, mercantile, monied — divide into difference classes and thus views
  • Thus, the principle task of the legislature is to cope with these interfering interests
answer how to control faction
Answer … how to control faction …
  • Control its effects
  • If the faction is NOT a majority
    • Majority can defeat via the vote
  • If the faction is a majority
    • Popular government enables sacrifice to the ruling passion
    • Pure Democracy cannot cure faction, but a Republic can. Here’s how …
  • Delegate government to a small number of citizens
a republican form of government
A republican form of government
  • Refines and enlarges the public views by passing it through a group of people who are supposed to “discern the true interest of their country”
  • These people are patriotic, love justice, least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations
  • Must have enough Representatives to “guard against the cabals of a few” — but a limited number so there’s not too much confusion
  • Elections: by allowing a great number of citizens to make the choice, the people will be more free to center on people who have merit, diffusive and established characters
  • Trade-offs
    • Too many electors means the rep. Will not know all the people very well, won’t know their local circumstances and lesser interests
    • Too few electors means the rep. Will not pursue the great and national interest
    • Thus — national and state legislatures solves this problem
big nation state
Big Nation State
  • Size of Country
      • Small country — more easy for groups to oppress
      • Big country — less probable that majority will have common motive to invade rights of other citizens
  • Conclusion
federalist 51
Federalist 51
  • We are not “angels.”
  • How do we get a government of non-angels to govern the governed, but to “govern” itself as well?
  • Solution: pit politicians against one another through the mutual vetoes embedded in the Constitution’s separation of powers and checks and balances.
  • By separating government officers into different branches (separation of powers) and giving them the authority to interfere with each other’s actions (checks and balances) they could defend the integrity of their offices:
    • bicameralism
    • popular election
    • presidential veto
    • Ambition is made to counteract ambition. . . .
  • This argument gave reassurances to those fence sitters who worried about a tyrannical government forming.
federalist no 10 and 51
Federalist No. 10 and 51
  • In summary, Federalist No. 10 conveys the theory of pluralism that guided the Constitution’s chief architect.
  • Federalist No. 51 explores how and why the governmental system that emerged from the political process in Philadelphia might actually work.
  • But did they overdo it? What criticisms can be leveled at the system?
    • Authority fragmented
    • Conservative political process in which legitimate majorities are frequently frustrated by some minority faction
what is role of government madison s view
What is Role of Government? Madison’s View
  • A good government should “break and control the violence of faction”
  • A dangerous vice
    • Concern 1: public good disregarded when rival parties conflict
    • Concern 2: decisions made according to the “superior force of an interested and over-bearing majority.”
    • Better that decisions be made based on rules of justice, rights of minority party
the great compromise3
The Great Compromise
  • What was his logic?
  • If the state legislatures could corrupt the entire national government through their hold on the Senate, they also could corrupt the entire national government through Congress’s power to select the offices of the other branches.
  • They must be insulated in order to contain the Senate’s effort to subvert national policy.