Owen BaumgartnerOrigins of the ConstitutionWhat was the road to the Revolution?England controlled colonial – most domestic policy left to coloniesMost colonists were happy (if you were a white man ?)French / Indian war gave England landNeeded money to fund armyNew taxesEngland begins oppressionColonist lacked representation – extremely angryBoycotted goodsBoston Tea Party (name a more iconic event in American history)England responds – tightens trade and blockades harborColonists respond with first Continental CongressHow did we declare independence?TJ in attendance – good writerStarted debating June 1776Richard Henry Lee proposes independence in June 1776Committee formed – 5 people to compose actual declarationTJ primary authorApproved July 2nd, officially adopted July 4, 1776Blamed king for almost everythingWhat is the power of ideas?John Locke’s writings greatly influenced peopleBelieved people have natural rights Gov’t must be built on consent of the governedSole purpose of gov’t is to protect natural rightsGov’t can not take property of man without his consent (slaves????)Locke influenced TJ and MadisonPeople have right to revolt gov’t- ONLY if the gov’t no longer has their consentWhat is the American Creed?Men are born with certain rights- gov’t should protect (once again- unless you’re not white…)TJ and Locke wanted more rights for peoplePeople should have authority over gov’tWhat was winning independence like?Colonists were no match- Britain 4x their size (I still don’t really understand how we won)Britain had 8,500 men and hired 30,000 mercenariesColonists started with 5,000- number grew as war went on1783 colonies wonWhat was the “Conservative” Revolution?Revolution didn’t change colonists’ life- restored rightsRevolution made no conflicts of societyIdea of consent of governed provided stabilityThe Government That Failed: 1776-1787What were the Articles of Confederation?Gov’t dominated by statesUnicameral legislatureOne vote per stateNo pres (afraid of king/tyranny)No national courtCongress powers limited and fewAll states had to agree- ratified 1781Congress had no $$- sold land, issued security, used press to print $$, disbanded armyNorthwest Ordinance of 1787- development in western frontier landHelped nation’s leaders know what to avoid in ConstitutionWhat changes were happening in the states?Increase in democracy/libertyStates had own bill of rightsPower shift to middle classFarmers not manorial landownersArtisans not lawyersPeople trust legislators- legislators have more power (gov’t of the people, for the people, by the people)Common theme of equality throughout nationWhat was economic turmoil?Many farmers/war veterans left poor after warLegislators sympathetic- gave worthless money to creditorsWhat was Shays’ Rebellion?Led by Daniel Shays- Rev. War CaptainSeries of armed attacks to prevent judges foreclosing farmsCongress and state both couldn’t raise militia to stop them Elites hired people toShowed the weakness of A of CWhat was the aborted Annapolis meeting?Sept. 1786 meeting- 5 states showed (this is actually funny. the other states were just like “hmmmm… nah”)New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, VirginiaDecided larger meeting was needed- next May in Philadelphia Constitutional CongressMaking a Constitution: The Philadelphia ConventionWho were the gentlemen in Philadelphia?Most wealthy planters (WHITE MEN, NO WOMEN???? SLAVES????)Successful lawyers and merchantsMen of independent wealthMost coastal, urban residentsWhat philosophy was put into action?Agreed on 4 thingsHuman Nature (if they believe these things about human nature then by default don’t they believe these things about themselves?)People are self-interestedMen love powerMen love moneyPolitical conflictMore property=more powerDifferent levels of power creates factionsThought majority would rob minority and minority would revoltGov’t run by factions causes instability, tyranny, violenceObjects of gov’tCommon belief that preservation of property is most importantFew (Morris) wanted to give votes to those without propertyNature of gov’tBalanced gov’t needed so no one can overpower otherInfluenced by French aristocrat, Baron MontesquieuLimited gov’t with system of checks and balances was decidedAgenda in PhiladelphiaWhat were the equality issues?Equality and Representation of the StatesNew Jersey PlanEqual representation of statesVirginia PlanState representation based on populationConnecticut CompromiseBicameral Congress- Senate and House of RepsSenate- 2 members per state House- number of representatives based on populationMore power to people in small statesElectoral college gives small states moreSlavery Legal in all states except MassachusettsCongress could limit future imports of slaves but not abolish itConstitution says people held to labor that escape must be taken backThree-fifth’s compromise (Hm so now they want to count them??)Political EqualityFranklin says vote for all free (white) adult malesMany wanted property qualificationsThey left it to the states- people who vote in state elections can vote in national onesWhat were the economic issues?Federalists say economy is weakAnti-Feds say they’re exaggeratingPeople wanting a strong central gov’t say economy in shamblesStates had erected tariffs against products from other statesPaper money was worthless-forced it on creditorsCongress couldn’t raise $$All wanted strong central gov’t to stabilize economySome say it was only to make themselves rich (Charles A. Beard)Constitution gives specific economic powers to CongressChief economic policy maker Taxing/borrowing $$ (Current Event: This article says that the government and representatives have no moral limits to the government’s pattern of taxing, borrowing, and spending https://www.
washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/22/government-continues-to-tax-borrow-and-spend-becau/)Appropriate fundsCongress has power to create conditions that market can flourish inStates respect each other- republican form of gov’tNew gov’t had to pay off debt ($54 million)People would trust themWhat were the individual rights issues?Design limited gov’t to protect rightsSeparate powers among branchesStates protected individual rightsConstitution protects rights byProhibiting suspension of writ of habeas corpusNo bills of attainderNo ex post facto lawsNo religious discrimination for officeConditions for conviction of treasonRight to trial by juryPeople complained of no specific protections of individual rightsThe Madisonian ModelHow did they thwart the tyranny of the majority?(Current event: President Trump and his cabinet are being called out for the amount of support and belief they have in the constitution. Democracy relies on the rule of law, the rule of law relies on trust and people are saying there is no trust in trump, making him a tyrant. http://time.com/4690676/donald-trump-tyranny/)Madison feared factions taking controlMajority can overpower minorityLimiting majority controlPeople only have control over HouseGov’t officials elected by small minorityIf people take over House-can’t enact policies w/o agreement of SenateJudge’s’ term is life and Senator’s is 6 yearsSeparating powers3 branches are independent and share powersCreating checks and balancesEach branch can check the othersNo branch can rise up and dominate the others (legislative branch is most powerful)Establishing a federal systemDivided power between national and state gov’tWhat was the constitutional republic?Too many people to have direct democracy- so republicSystem based on consent of governed- elaborate decision making processChange is rare- usually compromiseNot just simple 51 percent majority, super majority+System is not easy to maintainSome argue that it’s too hard to change, preventing effective responses to issuesWhat was the end of the beginning?109th day of meetingFranklin wrote speech, James WIlson presentedTen states say yes, none say no, South Carolina is split, Virginia refuses to signFranklin said one more speech then they adjourned to a tavernRatifying the ConstitutionWhat are federalists and anti-federalists?Federalist papers written by Madison, Hamilton, and John Jay in favor of Constitution85 publishedAnti-feds say new gov’t is enemy of the freedom they just fought to receiveAnti-feds say Constitution makes it so elite controls gov’tAlso afraid it would slowly destroy individual rightsFeds promised to add amendmentsMadison introduced 12 amendments-10 ratified (Bill of Rights)People feared central gov’t taking away state powerWhat was the process of Ratification?Members of legislatures wouldn’t sign bc they’re losing rightsFeds stated Constitution would be ratified by conventions in each stateDelaware first to approve6 months later- New Hampshire was 9th vote Made it officialThen Virginia & New YorkWith promise of Bill of Rights, North Carolina and Rhode Island joinedUnanimous decision to make Washington presidentTook office April 30, 1789 in New York City, the first capitalJohn Adams named vice president”His Superfluous Excellence” -Franklin (That’s a twenty dollar word right there. I should use that on my parents)Constitutional ChangeWhat was the formal amendment process?2 stages: proposal and ratificationCan be proposed by two-thirds vote of Congress or national convention called by Congress in request of two-thirds of the state legislaturesCan be ratified by three-fourths of states or by state conventions called in three-fourths of the statesPresident has no roleAmendments expand liberty, increase ability to affect gov’t and emphasize equalitySome amendments are proposed but not ratifiedEqual Rights Amendment (ERA)What was the informal process of Constitutional change?Judicial interpretationPower of judicial reviewPower to decide if actions coincide with ConstitutionMarbury v.
MadisonConstitution means whatever Supreme Court says it means- Supreme law of the landChanging political practicePolitical parties didn’t exist back then- would have hated them (factions)Electoral college instead of popular voteExercise wisdom outside of majorityTechnologyMedia plays important role (especially when they aren’t stating the facts, but rather their own personal opinion)Mass media can rapidly reach large audienceNew atomic weapons give president more significance as Commander-in-ChiefChanged the way we select officialsIncreasing demands of policymakersIncreased demand in the realm of international affairsWe are now a superpowerAlso increased demand for domestic policyWhat was the importance of flexibility?Constitution is short document- doesn’t have every single necessary thing written downFlexible so it can adapt to the needs of the times without losing our freedomsHelped ensure its survivalWe have oldest functioning ConstitutionUnderstanding the ConstitutionWhat were the Constitution and democracy?John Jay says the people who own the country ought to govern itNot considered a democratic thoughtConstitution didn’t allow monarchy but rather a republicOver the years, we have became more and more democraticLess people fear it nowStates decide voter eligibilityNo women, no slavesToday, many amendments have been ratified that prevent voter discrimination15, 19, 23, 24, 26Members of electoral college required to vote for candidate who wins majority in their stateTechnology gives office holders the chance to communicate directly with the publicAir travel makes travelling from Washington and their districts easy for CongressWhat is the Constitution and the scope of gov’t?Consitit has rules that limit gov’tTo protect libertyOpen the system to a more broad range of participantsSystem reinforces individualismSeparation of powersChecks and balancesAlso encourages a stalemate- I block you, you block them, they block me (Like when you’re in an argument with your friend/parent and both of you refuse to listen to each other’s reasons so you’re just sitting there screaming at each other)Thwarting, blocking, and impedingSome say that checks and balances were made so nothing would ever get doneIf gov’t can’t respond effectively- performance is inadequate