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Review of Chapter One. Sources of Political Conflict ? Government’s role in Political Conflict ? Tools of Government for its role? Gov’s method to manage Political Conflict? How are the two main rule types different? What are the various source of structural rules ?

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Review of chapter one
Review of Chapter One

  • Sources of Political Conflict?

  • Government’s role in Political Conflict?

  • Tools of Government for its role?

  • Gov’s method to managePolitical Conflict?

  • How are the two main rule types different?

  • What are the various source of structural rules?

  • What is the nature of the Rules?

  • How & why do the Rules change with time?

Key terms summary
Key Terms Summary:

  • Material scarcity: The inability of a society to provide its citizens with all the goods and services they may want or need.

  • Values: Principles and beliefs embraced by society.

  • Legitimacy: A self-imposed willingness of citizens to respect and obey the decisions of their government.

  • Coercive force: The ability of a government to compel its citizens to obey its decisions.

  • Structural rules: Rules that establish the organization, procedures, and powers of government.

  • Policy rule: A decision a government institution reaches on a specific political question within its jurisdiction.

Chapter 2a learning objectives the constitution
Chapter 2a Learning Objectives- The Constitution:

  • (1). Examine the Constitution as a reflection of political conflict.

  • (2). Discuss impact of the Colonial Experience on the founding fathers.

  • (3). Summarize the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation.

  • (4). Examine politics of Constitutional Convention & its ratification.

  • (5). Analyze political philosophy of Founding Fathers & influence.

  • (6). Examine the theoretical basis of the Declaration of Independence.

  • (7). Explain conflict: Individual Rights vs.majority Democratic Rule.

  • (8). Discuss potential problem of Majority Rule & how its moderated.

Introduction some general points
Introduction – some general points

  • Short document compared with states

  • Oldest National constitution now in use

  • Little changed in contrasts to states

    • 27 amendments in over 200 years

    • 1st Ten Amendments made almost immediately

  • Americans hold Constitution in high regard

    • But most never read it or know what’s in it

General points continued
General points- continued:

  • Constitution is a living document => interpretation

    • Lays out basic structure & role of key political actors

  • Constitution is a political document=> not perfect

    • Represents political compromises made at the time

    • Written in a way to gain ratification of most states

    • Difficult issues side stepped or made ambiguous

      • Slavery & women’s rights left to future generations

Constitution as a reflection of political conflict
Constitution as a Reflection of Political Conflict

  • The Colonial Experience:

    • previous 150 years of relative independence

    • Parliament’s post French & Indian War actions

    • Need to pay for war & security => new lands

      • How? => Taxation without representation

  • King George III & his appointed governors

    • Greater centralized rule from London

    • Less autonomy of Colonial Legislators

England's Political Situation - 1760's

King Georges’s assertion of power steadily rose

The legitimacy of the English government fell

What was the impact of this change on the Colonies?

Impact on colonies
Impact on Colonies

  • Growing colonial resentment toward “tyranny”

    • Mistrust of centralized power

      • (King located in London)

    • Manifested in King’s appointed colonial governors

    • Americans had more trust in states & their legislature

  • Attitude => following War for Independence

    • Shaped founding fathers attitudes toward government

Colonists saw a decentralizedgovernment, (with its diffusion of power, as preferable to a highly centralizedgovernment.

Decentralized Power


Centralized Power



The King

Power Defused


Branch 3

Attitude incorporated into Articles of Confederation

The articles of confederation key questions
The Articles of ConfederationKey Questions:

  • What is the source of national government’s power?

  • Type of government under Articles?

  • Inherent problem with this type of government?

The articles of confederation
The Articles of Confederation

  • National Government only had powers that the states granted it.

  • States retain their sovereignty, or supreme power, within their borders.

  • The National Government would only have power to negotiate foreign relations.

  • Articles did not provide for executive branch.

Foreign policy run by Federal government

States grant powers

Articles of Confederation

No Executive Branch

States retain sovereignty

Realities problems of the articles of confederation
Realities & Problems of the Articles of Confederation

  • States negotiated own trade agreement with Europe

  • States imposed their own tariffs- problem?

    • Interstate Commerce & development of a National Economy

  • The wealthy class was unhappy with laws passed by state legislatures (to disadvantage of wealthy class).

  • What practical example demonstrated Articles’ failure & weakness?

Shay s rebellion
Shay’s Rebellion

  • The participants in Shay’s rebellion protested Massachusetts’ economic policy

    • (Property foreclosure of tax delinquent farmers)

  • Governor asked for national government to put down the rebellion—

    • no one came.

  • This rebellion highlighted the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation => result?

The constitutional convention
The Constitutional Convention

  • What is the best form of government?

  • What are the interests of the people and their leaders?

  • How can a government be organized that best meets the needs of all?


Three critical disputes
Three Critical Disputes:

  • How to allocaterepresentation(power)in the new Congress

  • How to deal with the question ofslavery

  • How to define thepowersof the new executive office ofpresidency

The answers involved
The Answers involved:

  • Compromise

  • Calculated ambiguity in wording

  • And a lot of politics during the Convention

    • (“Horse Trading”)

The politics of the constitutional convention
The Politics of the Constitutional Convention:

  • Structuring representation of National Legislature:

    • Setting agenda – Virginia Plan(Madison’s role)

    • Counter proposal – New Jersey Plan

    • Conflicting interests: big versus little states

  • Resolving conflict through compromise

  • Final outcome – (compare & contrast) =>

The virginia plan called for
The Virginia Plan called for:

  • Two house legislature

  • Separate executive branch

  • Separate judicial branch

What were the responsibilities of each branch?

Responsibilities of each branch
Responsibilities of each branch:

Legislative Branch

Executive Branch

Judicial Branch

Make the Laws

Enforces Laws

Interpret Laws

The legislature under the virginia plan
The Legislature under the Virginia Plan

Under this plan, voters elect the LowerHouse, which, in turn, elects the Upper House

Upper House

Lower House


New jersey plan small states counter proposal
New Jersey PlanSmall States’ Counter-Proposal:

One House=>

Each State

Equal Number of Representatives


How was the conflict between the two plans resolved?

The connecticut compromise
The Connecticut Compromise

Split the difference:

House of Representatives

Based on Population

Two Seats per State


Summary: Compare & Contrast

New Jersey Plan

America’s Constitution

Virginia Plan

The slavery issue
The Slavery Issue

  • Concerns of the Southern States

    • Economic & cultural way of life

  • How was the slavery issue addressed?

The three fifths compromise
The Three-Fifths Compromise

  • Southern states were concerned about receivingequal representationin Congress.

    • The North had a greater population

      • Therefore more potential power to make laws

    • The South feared that the Northern Legislators would outlaw slavery.

  • Northern States agreed to count slaves asthree-fifthsof a person as a compromise

    • For the purpose of counting South’s state population

    • To insure South’s participation in new Government

Debate over presidential powers
Debate over Presidential Powers

  • Focus of debate:

    • Basic conflict over delegated powers

    • Method for resolving those conflicts

    • The Role of George Washington

Determining the powers of the president
Determining the Powers of the President

  • Some wanted a strong executive branch

    • Others wanted a weak executive

    • How was this conflict solved?

  • To solve this conflict

    • The powersdelegated to the President were intentionally kept ambiguous(Why not a problem?)

  • George Washingtonwas generally consideredtrustworthy by all

    • And largely assumed that he would be the first President (why?- his track record during Rev. War)

The politics of ratification
The Politics of Ratification

  • Taking sides: Federalistsvs.Anti-federalists

    • Defining the agenda => advantage of being positive

  • Making the rules for Ratification“just right”

    • Why nine states? (9 out of 13 – RI = ¾)

    • Conventions of states vs. state legislatures

  • Legitimate Anti-Federalists issue?

    • Bill of Rights (Guaranteed individual liberties)

    • Protections against a strong central government

Colossus of despotism
“Colossus of Despotism”

  • Antifederalists saw the Constitution as a potential tool of tyranny

  • They called it the “most daring attempt to establish a despotic aristocracy among freemen, that the world has ever witnessed."

  • How did the Federalists respond?

The federalists response
The Federalists’ Response:


Rules of Ratification

Bill of Rights


The rules for ratification
The Rules for Ratification

  • Federalists decided to put the vote to special state conventions rather than state legislatures

    • why?

  • Federalists also decided that 9 of the 13 states would be required to approve the Constitution

    • rather than the unanimous approval required by the Articles

    • why?

  • (Where was Rhode Island?)

Constitution as a reflection of the founders philosophy
Constitution as a Reflection of the Founders’ Philosophy

  • Individual Rights and Democratic Rule

    • 18th century Classical liberalism

    • Individual rights and the role of government

    • Majority rule versus Minority rights- concern?

  • Majority Tyranny: The Paradox of Majority Rule

    • Individual rights trump majority preferences

      • Constant balancing act of government

    • One group’s interests countering another’s

      • Role of the Federalists Papers -key authors?

Classical liberalism
Classical Liberalism

  • Founder’s embraced 18th century philosophy

    • Individuals have intrinsic value

    • Their rights are natural or inalienable

    • Their rights cannot be denied

  • Government role & purpose

    • safeguard these rights

  • Government should act IAW majority desires

    • but also act to protect individual’s rights

  • What document articulates this philosophy?

The declaration of independence
The Declaration of Independence

  • The influence of the doctrine ofnatural rightsis evident in theDeclaration of Independence(1776), which declares that people are:

    • “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these areLife, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  • What are the ways these rights could be threatened in a Democracy and how can this be prevented?

Majority tyranny
Majority Tyranny

A situation in which the majority uses its advantage in numbers to suppress the rights of the minority.

A major concern of the Founding Fathers- why?

How to Prevent a Majority Tyranny

  • Establish rules

    • make it difficult to form a permanent electoral majority

  • Divide governing authority

    • Three branches of government

    • State and Federal

  • Place limits on government

    • & What it can do

Preventing majority tyranny finding the balance
Preventing Majority Tyranny – finding the balance

  • Electoral rules =>

    • Democracyvs.Republicanism

      • Indirect elections (Text: Figure 2-1)

      • Fixed terms of office

      • Geographically defined representation

      • National vs. states & districts (Colonial experience)

  • Divided Authority (horizontal separation)

    • Separation of Powers

      • (The Three Branches of government)

    • Checks & Balances (Text: Figure 2-2)

Democracy vs republicanism
Democracy vs. Republicanism

  • Democracy:

    • A form of government in which the people are the ultimate political authority

    • (defined broadly to include all adults or narrowly to exclude women or slaves, for example)

  • Republicanism:

    • A system of government in which the people’s selected representatives run the government

Electoral rules 2 indirect elections
Electoral Rules #2: Indirect Elections

  • The founders of the United States, fearing a permanent ruling majority, established an indirect form of election.

  • The founders believed that if government officials were insulated from the passions of the public, it would be easier to protect the rights of the minorities.

  • Direct vs. indirect election:

    • (illustrated in next three slides =>)

Direct elections illustration
Direct Elections-illustration:

Under the original provisions of the Constitution, the members of theHouse of Representativeswere the only government officials that people selected directly.







House of Representatives

Indirect elections before 17 th amendment
Indirect Elections(Before 17th Amendment*):

All other government officials were to be selected by the states, or appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.







Electoral College


Supreme Court

State Legislatures


House of Representatives

Indirect elections after 17 th amendment
Indirect Elections (After 17th Amendment):

In 1913, the passage of the 17th Amendment allowed the people to elect directly senators, which eliminated the states’ roles in choosing senators.

Electoral College








Supreme Court



House of Representatives

Fixed terms of office
Fixed Terms of Office

  • Elections set on fixed dates help prevent permanent electoral majorities.

  • Elections cannot be rescheduled to take advantage of favorable circumstances

    • As is done in some other (Parliamentary) Democracies.

Electoral rule 2 staggered elections
Electoral Rule #2: Staggered Elections


2 years


4 years


6 years

Elections for Senators are staggered—1/3 of the Senators are up for reelection every two years.

Electoral rule 3 geographically defined representation
Electoral Rule #3: Geographically Defined Representation

  • The founders reasoned that by having geographic representation it would be difficult for any particular group to win a national majority => for example:

    • Senators are chosen by state.

    • Representatives are chosenby district.

Separation of powers
Separation of Powers

  • The founders took this doctrine from Baron deMontesquieu.

  • The principle that each of the three powers of government“legislative, executive, andjudicial”should be held by a separate branch of government.

Separation of powers and checks and balances
Separation of PowersandChecks and Balances

  • To protect against majority tyranny, the founders created a system based on two closely linked principles:

  • Separation of powersdivides the federal government into three equal branches

    • versus (know the difference!):

  • Checks and balancesgives each branch powers that enable it to prevent the other branches from taking actions that it opposes.

Separation of powers and checks and balances examples
Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances (examples)

Preventing majority tyranny finding the balance continued 2
Preventing Majority Tyranny – finding the balance (continued #2):

  • Bicameral legislature (Senate vs. House)

    • Concurrent majority - ?

      • (when is a bill ready for President to sign ?)

  • Federalism(vertical division of authority)

    • (How does Federalism divide power?)

    • (How different from horizontal division?)


U.S. Constitution divides power

Federal Government

State Government

Preventing majority tyranny finding the balance continued 3
Preventing Majority Tyranny – finding the balance (continued #3):

  • Formal boundaries & limits on government powers:

    • Limits placed in original constitution:

      • Habeas corpus

      • No Bills of attainder

      • No Ex post factolaws

  • Bill of Rights protections (Chapter 4)

Key terms next class prep
Key Terms & Next Class prep:

  • Review Key Termsin text & class notes

  • Next Class:

    • Core Provisions of the Constitution

    • Three Consequences of the Constitution

    • Federalism (see also Chapter 15)