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Forming American Government

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					Today‟s Lecture:

Forming American Government

Number:

8

Lecture Organization: • Class Announcements • Midterm Essay • Brief Review • Government Without Monarchy • What is Constitutional • Post-Colonial Governing Structures

• Forming American Government
Time

• Significance of the new experiment • How Democratic?

Class Announcements

Midterm -- Moved back to Thursday, May 7 Essay Consults

-- Bring me your essay on Monday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 13th. (sign up sheet)
Website has test prep

-- check “old exams.”
-- use old midterm as a study guide -- use midterm essay as your midterm essay

Class Announcements

Reading Questions -- reading questions will be on the exam. Will be at least 10%, but no more than 15% of the M/C part of the exam

Questions?
Time

Government Without Monarchy

Structure -- consider what we have learned so far about the structure of government

Extremely powerful executive

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Upper House

Lower House

Extremely powerful executive

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Birth; Supreme Court; No written constitution

Upper House

Lower House

Extremely powerful executive

“gentrified” and elected

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Only one Branch?

Upper House

Lower House

Time
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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
the new state governments -- states begin making up their own plans of governance after the Declaration of Independence (and during the war)

Post-Colonial Governing Structures
the new state governments cultural confusion -- which model to follow? • A model where the Congress is the boss and where no oligarchic institutions are above „the house of commons?‟

Center of all legitimacy
Legislature

JUDICIARY

PRESIDENT

• “clerk”
• Discharges statutory law Cabinet

Bureaus

1/18/2007

(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.

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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
the new state governments cultural confusion -- which model to follow? • A system of government that mixed “the people‟s house” with other oligarchic and royal-looking institutions

Quote from Gordon Wood -The taking of the powers of the royal governors away and giving them to the lower house of the legislature “led some Americans, like Richard Henry Lee, to note that their new [state] governments were „very much of a democratic kind,‟ although „a Governor and a second branch of legislation are admitted.‟ In 1776 many still [referred to] … „democracy‟ as ... rule by the people solely in the lower houses of legislatures; the presence of aristocratic senates and monarchlike governors made the state constitutions not simple democracies but mixed governments like that of England.
-- source: Gordon Wood, American Revolution, 68-69

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The Upper House -All of the states except Pennsylvania, Georgia and the new state of Vermont provided for upper houses or senates, the designation taken from Roman history. The people in most of the states elected the senators; others were appointed.
-- source: Gordon Wood, American Revolution, 70

Time
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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
“Parliamentary Systems” -- confusing definition two ideas here

organization
legality

-- congress is the boss
-- the statute is the boss

English Government

legally, yes organizationally, no

Trick Question: In the 1700s, is the English Government a “parliamentary system?”
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Over time, the King withers away in English history

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Two ideas:

1. separation of powers, checks and balances 2. what is the highest form of law

Center of all legitimacy
Legislature

JUDICIARY

executive

Bureaus

Cabinet

Time
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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
executives -- because of their experience with royal governors (and George III), most colonies had constructed weak executives -- examples of the kinds of terms you might find in state constitutions: • e.g., one year terms • elected by the legislature • ineligible for re-election

• stripped of power
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• forced to share power with executive councils or boards
(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.

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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
executives Plural executive More than one executive -Pennsylvania -• “Supreme Executive Council” • 3 people; one year staggered terms • Ben Franklin … conceptualizing
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President
• Plural Executive?

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Post-Colonial Governing Structures
New York Governor This was the exception. •Elected for a comparatively long (3 year) term •No term limit •Directly elected •Commander in chief •Can call legislature into special session •Grants reprieves and pardons
Time

•Informs legislature on state of the state
1/18/2007
(C) Copyright •Recommends legislation Sean Wilson. 2007. 23

Post-Colonial Governing Structures
Federalism and Confederacy Articles of Confederation -- a treaty more than a “government.” (a league of friendship)

-- states still sovereign
-- proposed in 1777 and ratified in 1781 -- governing structure …

• Not Elected;

States

States

• Not really “Legislators”

States

• They can be fired

• They can be told what to vote for

States

Appoint Delegates

• Their boss is the States State Government

• They are more like “lawyers” serving a client

States

States
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States
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The “Delegates” meet in a “Congress”
One House Legislature

“Unicameral”

JUDICIARY • insignificant institution e.g., maritime disputes Bureaus

PRESIDENT

• “clerk”
President of the Senate Cabinet

“Parliamentary Organization”
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American Federal Preferences

No Central Authority Confederation is fine

Weak Central Authority New Jersey Plan

Strong Central Authority “Federalists” “Virginia Plan”

Limited Monarchy

Hamilton (states as districts)
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Anti-federalist
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Convention‟s Political Design Theory Compromise Point A Compromise Point: B

No Central Authority

Weak Central Authority

Strong Central Authority Federalists Virginia Plan

Limited Monarchy

Anti-federalist New Jersey Plan

Hamilton

Time
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Forming American Government
Virginia Plan -- Drafted by Madison before the convention ever met -- It was a Parliamentary government that would have subjugated the States into “districts” of the federal parliamentary sovereign

Virginia Plan • Key power emanating from the “The People” people assembled by delegates in their House

Parliamentary Architecture Bicameral Congress
HOUSE SENATE

JUDICIARY

PRESIDENT

Note the significance: Council • feds have general of revision Note the composition: welfare power • president
(Veto)

CABINET

Govern THE • supreme court members STATES But also note:

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??

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Forming American Government
New Jersey Plan -- Virginia Plan was objected to by the “small states” and by those who did not want as vigorous of a federal structure -- Sherman of New Jersey presented his alternative to it – the New Jersey Plan

New Jersey Plan Recall Powers!
JUDICIARY

GOVERNORS

SENATE

“Unicameralism” Plural Executive
States are equal Veto power

The States

What can this creature do? Limited Government!
• Could levy some taxes • Could regulate commerce

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Forming American Government
Hamilton Plan -- Hamilton wanted a limited monarchy and a president that served for life -- (made Madison‟s plan not look so bad)

Forming American Government
The Great Compromise -- Was proposed by Sherman and Ben Franklin -- The eventual plan that came to pass …

The American Experiment

Selects Composition Bicameral Assembly
PRESIDENT SENATE HOUSE JUDICIARY

ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Note the significance: “Extendedequal and • Limited Government” What can this creature do? independent • the “laundry list” franchise • Mention De Tocqueville

??
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STATES
Time
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Forming American Government
Ratification -- each state had to have a convention where delegates were chosen (by election). -- It takes 9 to ratify. -- disputes were intense

Pennsylvania – The first big test would come in Pa, the first of the larger states to hold a contest. On the one hand, you had Ben Franklin from that state supporting it and James Wilson, who was also widely respected; but the problem was that they needed a 2/3 majority in a 1 house state legislature in order to call for the convention. The federalists controlled the legislature, but fell two votes short of a quorum. The anti-federalists, mostly from the northern and western parts of the state, boycotted the session. So, the federalists resorted to strong arm tactics: they sent the sergeant of arms out with a federalist posse to search the taverns and lodging houses. They located two of the boycotters, and they were forcibly brought to the state house and detained by force. They held them in their seats while the federalists voted for a ratification convention.

Forming American Government
Ratification -- NC and RI turn it down! -- New York looked extremely bad -- but it finally prevailed

Forming American Government
Bill of Rights -- not in the Constitution [explain why] -- many ratifying states demanded it

Time

The Significance of the New Experiment
A transition society

-- Approximately 160,000 voters participated in the process out of a population of 4 million (figure includes slaves).
-- about 4% of the total population -- Caveats: • America was a younger population. A high percentage was below 21 years. • don‟t have stats on the % of free adult males; probably was comparable to the English Revolution (1 in 5)? -- “A post-aristocratic, pre-democratic society” -- J. Ellis

The Significance of the New Experiment
Removal of Social Sectors From Government -- Note that American government removes social sectors from government

Remember this?
Monarchy

Aristocracy
Gentry Peasants, Serfs City-dwelling drunks

The church or the nobles. If Church were like England, this

Government is not the province that the Senate is Notice of dominate social groups or clans. At a NOT a SECTOR. It isn‟t least not group. It isn‟t the social by definition

the Senate would be the American billionaires. Steve Forbes, Bill Gates.

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The Significance of the New Experiment
Rejection of a Parliamentary Form of Government -- This is central to understanding both American government and American constitutionalism -- The framers, whether by accident or design, had rejected a parliamentary model

Parliamentary System Constitutional
Center of all legitimacy
Legislature

JUDICIARY

PRESIDENT

• “clerk”
• Discharges statutory law

Bureaus

Question: Cabinet Question: Who is the boss in this Who is more important: system? the president or Congress?
(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007. 44

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The Significance of the New Experiment
Rejection of a Parliamentary Form of Government -- There are two views about who should lead the government Madisonians

-- Madisonians were parliamentarians (Virginia plan)
-- The idea: Congress is the boss; the executive is a clerk -- Madison was so extreme, he thought that the Congress would actually manage the executive branch

The Significance of the New Experiment
Rejection of a Parliamentary Form of Government -- There are two views about who should lead the government Hamiltonians -- The executive would have a substantial leadership role -- The oligarchic/monarchical structures were independent, equal and significant

The Significance of the New Experiment
Separation of Functions -- Following the writings of Montesquieu, the framers create a separate and independent branch for each logical function of governance

The King Exec (absolute monarchy) Jud Leg

The Significance of the New Experiment
constitutionalism -- written constitution -- a higher form of law -- note the strange vernacular “an illegal law (statute)” -- legality has hierarchy • the statute is only a “regular kind of law” • the constitution is a sort of “super statute” (the bigger law) -- implication: legislatures can be told they have violated “law”

What is “Constitutional?”
sense of talking -- To an Englishman, “the constitution” means two things: • the countries most IMPORTANT statutes (compare to us: civil rights)

• certain “public understandings” about what the way institutions are supposed to work (example: the right to remove the king if he misbehaves)

What is “Constitutional?”
sense of talking -- compare the phrase: “my inner constitution” -- They don‟t really have a “constitutional monarchy;” they have a separation-of-powers monarchy with a democratic component -- compare: “divine-right constitution” -- to some extent, the phrase “constitutional” means “regime ideology” (but only to some extent)

Time

How Democratic?
A transition society

-- Approximately 160,000 voters participated in the process out of a population of 4 million (figure includes slaves).
-- about 4% of the total population -- Caveats: • America was a younger population. A high percentage was below 21 years. • don‟t have stats on the % of free adult males; probably was comparable to the English Revolution (1 in 5)? -- “A post-aristocratic, pre-democratic society” -- J. Ellis

How Democratic?
oligarchic features

-- judges are appointed for life
-- Senators are appointed for 6 year terms -- The president is NOT popularly elected -- The elitist institutions are connected in important ways • Presidents and Senators select the Judges • President and Senate approve treaties • Only the Senate can remove the president in an impeachment trial

How Democratic?
oligarchic features

-- Note the FUNCTION that elitist institutions play …

imagine an elitism index represented by a color scheme
life tenure, inherited life tenure, appointed
SENATE JUDICIARY

longer terms, apponited
PRESIDENT

quick terms, frequently elected

HOUSE

Direct Democracy (Athens)
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The American Experiment

PRESIDENT

SENATE

HOUSE

JUDICIARY

“Law?” veto

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The American Experiment

PRESIDENT

SENATE

HOUSE

JUDICIARY

veto
“Law?”

override the veto with 2/3rds majority
Compare to England: the King‟s veto was absolute

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The American Experiment

PRESIDENT

SENATE

HOUSE

JUDICIARY

“unconstitutional”
“Law?”

Compare to England: “I don‟t understand” [mention Bonham‟s case]
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The American Experiment

PRESIDENT

SENATE

HOUSE

JUDICIARY

“Law?”

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The American Experiment The People

PRESIDENT

SENATE

HOUSE

JUDICIARY

“Law”

“unconstitutional”

Compare to England: “Unheard of!” The people speak only through their 4/29/2009 representatives!

Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007

“the people”

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How Democratic?
hard to govern

-- It‟s hard to capture American government
-- framers made it hard to govern (suggest why)


				
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