Unit 201 2 20Origins 20of 20Govt 20 20Constitution by ga3Heb


									         Purpose of Government
• “Government is…the formal institutions through
  which a land and its people are ruled”
• The idea of “strengthening” and “perpetuating”
  power or control
• The basic components of Government are:
  – Coercion (the ability to force people to follow laws)
  – Collecting Revenue (the means to pay for
• Why is Government Necessary?
  – To Maintain Order
  – To Protect Private Property
  – To Provide Pubic Goods
The Story of
Oog and Og:

    Government as a Range of Options
     (Types of Governments - Handout)
LEFT                                      RIGHT

Freedom                                       Order

A   D                     T   M   O   T   M   A   T
                          e   e   l   h   o   u   Y
N   e               R     c   r               t
                                  i   e   n       R
A   m               E     h   i               o
                                  g   o   a       A
R   o               P     n   t               c
                                  a   c   r       N
C   c               U     o   o               r
                          c   c   r   r   c   a   N
H   r               B     r   r               c
                                  c   a   h       Y
Y   a               L     a   a               y
                                  h   c   y
    c               I     c   c
                                  y   y
    y               C     y   y
           Characteristics of
         Types of Government
        FREEDOM                     ORDER
•   Govt from Below       •   Govt from Above
•   Rule of Majorities    •   Rule of the Minority
•   Individual Power      •   Centralized Power
•   Personal Rights       •   Govt Rights
•   Govt is Ineffective   •   Govt is Very Effective
•   Govt is Accountable   •   Govt is not Accountable
Elements of Government Power
            Legislative               3 Elements of
L       E                              Power every
            Executive                   successful
             Judicial                   must have

   of                                        Federal

          Comparing Democracies
        Great Britain                    United States
• L                              • L, E, J are three separate
                 J                 branches (only J has
                                   involvement of L & E)
• People only vote for MPs
  – MPs vote for PM              • People vote in 2 elections
                                   – one for President and 1
                                   for Congress
• Only one election for MPs
  every 5 years or if there is
  a vote of “No Confidence”      • Our elections are on 2 & 4
  by Parliament                    year cycles and never
 Origins of the Constitution
        Our form of government owes many important
            ideas to previous documents in history

              Magna Carta of 1215
                  The Story of Robin Hood & King John
                  First major document to limit power of ruler
Magna             Protection of Life, Liberty, Property (if you
Carta                   were a noble)
                  Ideas of Trial by Jury (different from
                        today) and Great Council (forerunner of
                        Parliament & Congress)
                  Again, all of this only applied to nobles
                                   William               Parliament
                                   & Mary
English Bill of Rights
       of 1689

       Story of Henry the VIII, Elizabeth I, and some nasty killings
          and revolutions
      To take throne, William and Mary had to agree to accept
          and protect certain "basic rights"
      Key basic rights included limited standing armies in
          peacetime, free elections for Parliament, fair and
          speedy trials, freedom from excessive bail and cruel
          and unusual punishments (by 17th century standards)
       Through this agreement, Parliament gained control of the
          government and Kings/Queens became more of
Albany Plan of Union of 1754

       Story of Ben Franklin, Native Americans, and
       Called for a colonial militia who could chase
            Indians among the colonies; there would
            be a special tax levied to support this
       Colonies never approved plan
         Declaration of Independence of 1776
          England    Story of war against unbeatable odds
                    First time the English colonists
                          declared themselves free from
                          England (this was a last resort)
                     Those who signed knew that if they
                         lost the war, they'd lose
                           everything (property, liberty, and life)
                    Most of Declaration was a list of
                          grievances against King George and
                    The Declaration said that
United                   "all men are created equal,
States                     endowed by their creator with certain
                          unalienable rights, and that among
                          these rights are life, liberty, and the
                         pursuit of happiness"
                     First Document to use term "United States
                        of America"
Thinking about the Declaration of Independence

                    At your table, discuss
                    the following question…

             "Is there anything in my life right now
             for which I would give up my friends,
                     future, family, and/or life?
                         Why or why not?"

                    Talk for a while and
                    we’ll share as a class…
    Homework for Thursday
• Find the Declaration of Independence on-
  line and read through it
• Think about our discussion today and
  reflect on the sacrifices made for the
• Write me a 1 paragraph essay on the
 “Is the Declaration of Independence
 still important today? Why or why
The Articles of Confederation
Our first national government after the Revolutionary War; lasted
     from 1781 - 1789; consisted of a single Confederate Congress
     with legislative powers only; could regulate foreign trade and
     military; each state was pretty much free to do as it liked
How the Weaknesses showed up (the locked in a box idea)
What the Weaknesses were and what that meant:

"Firm league of friendship"        No power to tax
All states have equal votes        No way to regulate commerce
 No executive element                  between states
 No national court system          9/13 vote to pass laws

          Unanimous vote required to amend Articles
           Call for Reform
• Shays Rebellion – A group of farmers in
  Massachusetts seized a courthouse; fear of
  anarchy followed; the Confederate Congress
  could not raise an army to stop revolt
• Annapolis Convention – Called to try to find a
  way to “fix” Articles of Confederation; called for
  another meeting in Philadelphia to “revise” the
The Constitutional Convention of 1787
   Why was it called? 2 reasons
       Public - another attempt to "amend" Articles of
       Hidden - to create an entirely new form of
   Key problem - all 13 states had to agree to any
       changes (Rhode Island never came)
   Key Issues to "fix" to be able to create new
            Size difference between states
            Geographic/Economic Differences
            How states were organized as colonies
   Madison & Company had to overcome these issues
       in order to make their "new" government
              Different Plans Presented at the Convention
                      Virginia                    New Jersey                Connecticut
                       Plan                         Plan                    Compromise
Legislative    * L      E/J                 * L    E     J               * L=E=J
              * Two Houses (Bicameral)      * One House (Unicameral)     * Two Houses
                 Lower elected based           Each state gets equal       Lower elected
                  on population and            votes                         based on population
                  ability to pay taxes                                     Upper selected based
                Upper chosen by Lower                                        on equal representation
               * Congress could "force"
                 states to follow the law

 Executive     * National Executive         * Plural Executive           * A single President
                 chosen by Congress            (a committee of              voted on by the people
                                                presidents) appointed       and chosen by
                                                by Congress                 Electoral College
Judicial       * National Court
                 & Judges chosen            * One Supreme Court              * One Supreme Court
                 by Congress                    appointed by executive          chosen by President
                                                                                & approved by Congress
                                            * Supremacy Clause
                                                                             * Supremacy Clause
The Battle for Ratification of the Constitution

    * Constitution was technically illegal so
        Confederate Congress called for state
        ratifying conventions (states had power to
        decide Constitution's fate)
    * Supporters called Federalists
        (85 essays called the Federalist Papers)
    * Opponents called Anti-Federalists
        (wrote essays called the Anti-Federalist Papers)
        Key issues - government was too powerful;
        No Bill of Rights
    *Anti-Federalists start gaining support so
        Madison makes a promise and...
The state Constitutional Conventions ratified
  the Constitution and on March 4, 1789,
    Congress met for the first time and
       our current government began!
          Organization of the
 Understanding the Owner’s Manual of our

             Major Parts
– Preamble (purpose statement)
– Articles (major areas of Constitution)
– Sections (specific parts of each Article)
– Clauses (paragraphs within Sections
  within Articles)
– Amendments (changes to Constitution or
  other Amendments)
Where in the
             Key Ideas of the
• Paradoxes of American Democracy
  – Delegating Authority in a Representative
     • How active are we in controlling our government and
       how much power do we let it have over our lives?
  – The Trade-off Between Freedom and Order
     • We want maximum freedom of choice, but also want
       protection from Chaos
  – The Instability of Majority Rule
     • Majorities change over time and in the process,
       some groups gain power while other lose power
            More Key Ideas of the
        Ways to divide and separate power
• Federalism
   – Division of government power between the national
     and state governments (think of a giant teeter-totter)
• Separation of Powers
   – The national (Federal) government has certain powers,
     while others are reserved for the states and their
     people (the Constitution acts as a formal limit on what
     the Federal government can do…sort of)
  More Key Ideas of the
     – Checks and Balances are intended to keep
    one branch (L/E/J) from having too much power
                                    over the others
    - Legislative Supremacy (Congress was to be
        the most important branch, balanced by the
                     President and Supreme Court
• The Role of the Supreme Court
  – Judicial Review is the power to decide
    whether any action of government is legal or
    not according to the Constitution
    (gives the Supreme Court the final role as
    Referee over all government actions at Federal
    or state level… if Constitution is involved)

To top