Round basic structure of the national government under

Round Robin QuestionsConstitutional Underpinnings1.How do Hobbes and Locke’s ideas on social contract theory differ?Hobbes believed that people should not have any rights, due to their rebellious behavior. He believed that an absolute government would be for the best to keep them contained. Locke, on the other hand, believed in the natural rights of everyone, also known as their right to life, liberty, and property. He believed that the government, if it were to become unfair, could be overthrown by the people.2.What ideas about government used currently in the US came out of the Enlightenment period?The European enlightenment took place in the 17th and 18th century, where the foundations of our government lie. There are many different ideas about government that came from this time period. At the time, the Founding Fathers were educated in the writings of French philosophers, also known as Philosophes. The values of Enlightenment were liberty, equality, and justice. These values are still evident in government now.3.What was the basic structure of the national government under the Articles of Confederation?   What problems did this structure create?  How could they be solved within the framework of the Articles?The national government had limited power under the Articles of Confederation. It consisted of a one-house legislature without executive or judicial branches, and each state was given a single vote. The government was extremely weak, causing weaknesses in the United States as a whole. This reflected the colonies’ fear of a strong government. The Framers, when asked to correct the Articles, altogether threw them out, rewriting them in the belief that there was no solving them. Such resulted in the U.S. Constitution, a document allowing a much stronger government.4.It was said that under the Articles the government rested on each state’s good faith.  Evaluate this statement.  Is it valid?This statement is not valid due to the following. At the time, the central government demanded the use of the state’s money. The state’s denied that demand, refusing to send  money. The Articles also required “full faith and credit” from all of the states.5.What issue brought delegates together at Mount Vernon in 1785 and Annapolis in 1786, and how was this issue settled at each conference? After the victory in the Revolutionary War, the country fought against itself, it’s weak central government taking a toll. Some states even set up tariffs, currency, and regulations based on property. During this time, Maryland and Virginia decided that they needed to reach an agreement over the Potomac River, a shared river between them. March 28, 1785, the group sent a letter to the President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania. On December 30th, 1785, the Mount Vernon Compact was ratified, stating that the two states share the gains of the Potomac and all other rivers involved.The Annapolis Convention was also held for the same reason; interstate trade. At the call of James Madison, 12 delegates showed up to the convention. Alexander Hamilton proposed that they amend the Articles of Confederation. The convention unanimously agreed, their authority limited due to their small size.6.What were the issues that led to Shays’ Rebellion?  After the Revolutionary War, America was left in a state of distress. The economy was in poor condition. All exports to Britain were cut off and the debt taken on by the states to fund the war fueled the economic crisis via inflation.In the more rural areas such as Massachusetts, farmers were struggling with debt, some even going to prison for their fines. The farmers of Western Massachusetts were upset with this, holding meetings of the people to form a protest. In 1786, Daniel Shays, a former captain of the Continental Army, led the group into a full-scale revolt.7.Explain the organizational structure of the Constitutional Convention.  Was this the best way to organize it?  What initial decisions of the delegates proved in the long run to be in the best interests of the Convention and the nation?  Why?George Washington, a Virginia delegate, had been unanimously elected as the leader for the Convention, providing a sense of focus and direction as he oversaw the debate. Washington wished for a strong union. James Madison, also a Virginia delegate and known as the “father of the Constitution,” wrote the first 10 amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights. George Mason, yet another Virginia delegate, did not sign the Constitution. He did, however, have a strong idea on what should occur, immortalized in the Bill of Rights. Roger Sherman, the Connecticut delegate, proposed the Connecticut Compromise. He was also the only delegate to have signed all important documents of that era. William Patterson, the delegate for New Jersey, helped write the New Jersey plan, helping keep smaller states’ rights safe. Finally, James Wilson, the delegate from Pennsylvania, held a wish for a single executive, rather than a committee. He practically founded the voting process that exists in America today. Without these delegate’s inputs, America would be drastically different, with much less rights.8.On what issues did the large and small states display divided interests?  How did the Great Compromise satisfy both the large and small states in terms of their interests?The large states, at the time, had been given a higher power in the voting process than the smaller states. While the larger states wanted it to be based on population, small states, not feeling represented, advocated for equal representation of every state. The Great Compromise created and Senate and House of Representatives and made it so that every state would have the same number of representatives in the Senate as other states, quelling the smaller states. It also included that the House of Representatives would have one representative for every 30,000 people in a state, calming the larger states as well.9.What compromises were made on the office and election of the President?  Why was the issue a problem for the delegates?At the Philadelphia Convention, while the delegates were revising the Articles of Confederation, they compromised that the President should be elected differently, making a more efficient system. Some wished for the President to be chosen by Congress and others wanted it to be based off of the popular vote. Both would have unhinged the government, however; either checks and balances would go awry or unlearned voters would have too much power over the executive branch. As a result, the Electoral College was created. It is consists of 538 electors(usually state-elected officials) who vote. To keep everything as equal as it can be, the number of electors representing is based directly off of the population of each state.10.Control of commerce was the issue that led directly to the Philadelphia Convention.  Evaluate the solution provided by the Convention.The Constitutional Convention solved this issue by rewriting the Articles of Confederation into a new constitution; The Constitution. Within the document, Congress was given the power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and the Indian tribes.” This ended the endless war between the discrimination between state commerce.11.Compare and contrast a national and a federal system of government.  Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each system.  What problems were the Founding Fathers trying to solve by implementing a federal system?  How did this system differ from the Articles?A federal system of government is spread out into three different groups; legislative, judicial, and executive. The check and balance one another out, each making sure that the others don’t have too much power. In addition, it allows diversity, helps manage conflicts, increases political participation, and increases efficiency. Some disadvantages would be that it allows special interest groups privilege protection, can obstruct civil right policies, disadvantages poorer states, allows the government costs to be spread out unequally, and obstructs action national issues. The main difference between a national government and a federal government is their overall nature. The National government has the highest level of governance in the country, while federal government is a type of government that a country can adopt, alongside the state government.12.What kinds of powers were given to each of the branches of government?  Why did the Founding Fathers believe that checks and balances were necessary?  Do they give any one branch an unfair advantage?Each branch of government was given their own powers. The Legislative branch creates laws. The Judicial branch judges the said laws, deciding either to veto or pass it. The Executive branch enforces such laws. Checks and balances keep each branch somewhat limited, depending on each other for a stable and healthy government.The Founding Fathers believed that checks and balances were necessary so that one branch did not become stronger than the other. While they do not give one branch an unfair power, the legislative branch is the most powerful due to its ability to make laws.13.Why did the Constitution enumerate the powers of the national government but not the states?  Why was this concern held among the states?Enumerated powers are the powers given specifically to the national government. The national government has more power than state governments because it is a representation of the entire country, not just specific states. These powers are used for the greater good rather than the few.14.One question asked by the Anti-Federalists was, could two governments, federal and state, exercise power and control over the same group of people?  How did the Federalists support their contention that under the Constitution there could be divided sovereignty?  How did the Anti-Federalists respond?15.Some people today feel that a new Constitutional Convention would be desirable.  If such a Convention were held, what sections of the Constitution might receive major consideration?  What changes might be suggested for these sections?     Failure to include equal rights provisions on grounds of sex and sexual orientationFailure to extend the provisions of the Constitution to all persons physically within the boundaries of, subject to the jurisdiction of, under the control of, or incarcerated by (even if outside the boundaries) the United States of America.Failure to include a clear right to privacy (not merely vague limits on search and seizure), but explicit limits on government intrusion into personal affairs, including medical and religious ones.Failure to include a clear right to bodily integrity, prohibiting corporal punishment (including the death penalty, torture, forced sterilization, forced amputation, “chemical castration,” etc.) — with exceptions for requiring preventive measures to halt the spread of communicable diseases that represent a major threat to the public.Failure to establish uniform nationwide qualifications for voting, which even today is being used to pass voting laws to discourage certain groups from voting.Failure to explicitly establish the power of (and limits on) judicial review, which isn’t in the Constitution at all.Failure to establish a uniform, nationwide, non-partisan mechanism for drawing boundary lines for House of Representatives districts, i.e. prevent gerrymandering.Insufficiently clear and explicit separation of church and state. Failure to explicitly prohibit religious interference in the political process and vice versa.Failure to publicly fund elections and prohibit their private funding.Failure to explicitly exclude corporations from political or civil rights and ban their participation in the electoral process.Failure to prohibit shareholder lawsuits that have the effect of discouraging good corporate citizenship and stewardship; i.e. lawsuits demanding that companies move jobs offshore or evade taxes.Failure to place limits on the ability of government officials to go to work in industries that they had a role in regulating, and the ability of citizens in industry from taking government regulatory roles in the same industry.Ambiguity concerning the right to bear arms.The Electoral College.Unlimited terms for Supreme Court justices. Ten years should be the maximum.Failure to establish a professional judiciary in which judicial positions are filled by a non-partisan Judicial Appointments Commission similar to that in Britain, rather than by politicians; and to prohibit electing judges, which makes about as much sense as electing neurosurgeons.Failure to prohibit filibustering, thereby enabling a minority of senators to block legislation that the majority clearly wants.Failure to prohibit a president from pardoning his or her predecessor.Failure to explicitly guarantee all US citizens living within the USA or its possessions the right to food, housing, education, and health care. (For those inclined to howl “Communism!” at this last one, the truth is that we already provide much of this; we just do a poor job of it.


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