What is the purpose of government?
1) to bring order to chaos
2) to lead people
3) to protect rights
4) to interpret laws
State - the individual states of U.S.
state- A body of people in a defined territory organized politically
and having the power to make and enforce the law without the consent of higher authority.
(most widely accepted theories)
1) The Force Theory-
a state was born of force. eg. Primal man decided to force his will and rule upon others.
2) Evolutionary Theory-
a state gradually developed from primal families - Clans
3) Divine Right Theory-
the belief that the rule of the king was God-Given and naturally perpetuated by the nobility.
4) Social Contract Theory- An agreement among individuals to unite and form a society in which members are governed
by a set of rules.
Greek - Demos(people)
Kratia(rule or authority)
Democracy - rule by the people.
1. Supreme political authority rests with the people.
2. People have sovereign power
3. Government is only conducted with the peoples consent
Direct Democracy /
Where is the power?
a) unitary- all power
in a central authority. eg Parliament
b) Federal- a division of power
between a central and several local govts. eg. U.S.
c) confederate -
loose alliance that gives power to a central authority.
eg. the Confederate States of America
the Russian Confederacy
Articles of Confederation
Basic Concepts of Democracy
What is necessary?
1) A recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of each
2) A respect for the equality of all persons.
3) Majority rule and Minority rights.
4) Necessity of compromise.
5) Individual Freedoms.
"Democracy is a fraud ... a slow tedious type of government. The only good and decisive government is dictatorship"
Our English Heritage-
(1215) - establishes that the power of the King is not absolute.
Rights (1628) - Further limited the power of the King over political prisoners(dissenters) without the right to trial.
of Rights (1689) - Gave the British Parliament more power than the Monarchy. The
monarchy could not make or suspend laws without the approval of Parliament and could not interfere with Parliamentary elections.
John Locke - In 1690, published "First and Second Treatises
on Government" - Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and property.
People create government and empower a ruler who retains power
as long as he has the consent of the governed.
Jean Rousseau - 1762
The Social Contract People
would give up some freedom in favor of the needs of the majority. A contract between each other to vote on all community decisions.
Baron de Montesquieu
- ensure the rights of all by limiting the power of the government. Divide
the power of the government and create a system of checks and balances to keep any one branch from gaining too much power. The rights of the people will be protected.
The Iroquois Confederation
Albany Plan 1754- Ben Franklin's Plan
a) body would have to raise an army
b) " " would control Indian affairs
c) " " would regulate trade, collect taxes.
Stamp Act Congress(1765)-
in response to the tax on documents and paper goods. Organized protest,
Boston Massacre (1770) - Sam Adams - Committees of Correspondence
Boston Tea Party (1773) - Organized protest of British Tea Company.
British respond with Coercive Acts
First Continental Congress (1774)
a) declaration of rights
b) all taxes be repealed
c) full scale boycotts
*Second Continental Congress (1775)
a) unicameral representative body that had no written law or
1) raised an army and navy
2) created money system bought supplies
3) power to make treaties
b) was condemned by Parliament as an unlawful assembly.
c) actually served as our first government
for 5 years.
- The Declaration of Independence.
The American Revolution the creation of the first State Constitutions
to replace their Royal Charters
Articles of Confederation 1781
Strong State Governments prohibited
the weak central govt. from:
1) regulating foreign and
2) enforcing acts of the Congress
3) having a national court system
4) the central govt from passing necessary laws
5) unanimity was needed to amend the articles
"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as natural in the political world as storms in the Physical".
--- Thomas Jefferson
The Constitutional Convention
55 of the most remarkable men ever assembled. Each represented their State and their own special interest group.
Their common purpose was to:
Create a government that could
1) regulate trade
2) coin money
3) enforce acts
Everyone gave up a little and no one received everything.
3 Major Compromises of the Convention
The Great Compromise(Connecticut)
The 3/5ths Compromise
The Slave Trade Compromise
* * *
Federalists - Hamilton, Madison, Jay
* stressed and exposed the weakness of the Articles of Confederation. The new government needed:
1) power to control interstate commerce
2) the power to tax
3) a Federal Court system
4) easier amending process
* Federalists rationalized that the new Republic would only
work if all the States would ratify the new Constitution.
Anti-Federalists - Patrick Henry, Monroe, Richard Henry Lee
1) a strong Executive
2) Federal Taxing
3) diminished state Power
4) the absence of a Bill of Rights in the document
Also they protested
The absence of any mention of God. The denial of printing money to the States.
Increased power of central govt
The 9/13 Ratification process
James Madison would author The Bill of Rights in order to insure
that the new Federal Govt would protect the Individual Rights of American Citizens, formally the responsibility of the States.
By June 21, 1788,
9 States had Ratified the new Constitution. A majority, but not New
York and Virginia.
George Washington and James Madison urged a reluctant Thomas Jefferson into
supporting the new document. He agreed and Virginia
ratified the Constitution June 25, 1788.
The Federalist - Essays written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay
that were published by the New York Press urging the New York State Legislature to adopt the new Constitution.
ratified it July 26, 1788.
@The two Factions eventually grew into political parties.
- The Federalists
Government of the rich an well-born Strong Central Government,
organized, having close tie to Great
Britain, and opposing the lawlessness of the French Revolution.
1) assume all States debts
2) fund a National Debt
3) Excise Tax
4) National Bank
5) Loose or Broad interpretation of the Constitution
Republican Party -
A Party of farmers and laborers who advocated keeping the United States a
Pastoral Land, God Fearing, relying
on the Elements.
1) a strict interpretation - protecting the rights of the States.
2) Very sympathetic to the French Revolution