Chapter 2 - KAP American Government Origins of the Constitution English settlers brought knowledge of political system to establish laws, customs, practices
Colonists brought three ideas:
1. Ordered government - created local government based on those people known in England
Ex.(sheriff, coroner, assessor, justice of peace, grand jury)
2. Limited government - each individual has certain rights that they can not take away; gov’t power - people should have voice on what gov’t should do or not
3. Representative government - gov’t serve will of people; public policies made by officials who are selected by voters and held accountable to them in periodic elections 3 Documents
1215 - Magna Carta “Great Charter” (King John forced to sign) - charter establishing the principle power of monarchy is NOT absolute; protecting people’s rights like; trial by jury; due process of law; protection against arbitrarily taking life, liberty or property.
1628 - Petition of Right - Challenged Divine Right of King - limited king’s power by demanding king not imprison political critics without trial by jury - not rule by military during peacetime - not shelter troop without consent - Monarch must obey law of land - THIS WAS ONLY A PETITION, NOT A LIST OF DEMANDS. King needed money to fight a war with France so agreed to it until he got the money....abused his authority.
1689 - English Bill of Rights
written by Parliament to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs. The monarchs had to follow the laws of Parliament, citizens had a right to petition to the gov’t, members of Parliament were to be elected by the people, prohibited standing army in peacetime except with consent of Parliament.
guaranteed rights to a fair & speedy trial, freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment.
THE ABOVE 3 DOCUMENTS MADE UP THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION. Each colony was based on a CHARTER = written grant of authority from the king
1st colony - VA - 1607 Jamestown (commercial venture) Last - GA; 1733 Savannah Instruments of government created three different kinds of colonies
NH, NY, NJ, VA, NC, SC, GA, MA
1 Royal Colony - subject to direct control of crown. King named governor, a council=Upper house-->highest court in colony, Lower house = legislators elected by those property owners who vote shared with governor’s power = (power of the purse) tax & spending; (bicameral = 2 house) Laws passed had to be approved by Governor and King
2.Proprietary Colony - 3 colonies= MD, PA, DE
Proprietor - a person the king made a grant of land. By charter, land could be governed and settled to his choosing; MD = granted to Lord Baltimore; PA, DE = William Penn; Governor appointed by proprietor
PA - unicameral; MD, DE - bicameral
appeals from decisions of proprietary
Appeals to colonies sent to King
3.Charter Colony - CT, RI MASS BAY = 1st
self governed by colonists; governors elected yearly by male property owners. Used a bicameral system; not subject to governor’s veto or king’s approval; judges appointed by legislative’s and laws made and appeals could be taken to king
SECTION 2 In the beginning Parliament took little part in the management of colonies
King controlled colonies
Due to the distance colonies became self-governing
London responsibility for colonies defense/foreign policy; provided uniform system of money and credit and common market for colonial trade.
Regulated re: trade by parliament ignored.
1643 - Mass, Plymouth, New Haven, Connecticut = New England Confederation
formed a “league of friendship” to defend against American Indians; Dissolved 1684
1754 - Albany Plan of Union
British Board of Trade had meeting with 7 northern colonies to discuss colonial trade and dangers o f attack by French & Indians
Franklin proposed the ALBANY PLAN OF UNION = formation of annual Congress with delegates from 13 colonies. Body would have power to: raise military and armed forces, make war and peace with Native Americans, regulate trade, levy tax, collect custom duties, it was agreed by those meeting denied by colonies and rejected by Crown
1760 - George III began to create restrictive trading acts and enforcing new taxes to support the Brit troops in America
Colonists objected to taxes “taxation w/o representation”
Saw little need for the costly presence of British troops since French were defeated (Fr./Indian War 1754-63)
Colonist refused to accept Parliament had a right to control their local affairs.
1763 - French and Indian War British gained enormous territory and the cost of defending country against enemy was large
British RAISED TAXES on:
British tightly enforced:
trade regulations - benefitted the British and not the colonists
1765 - Stamp Act
Parliament passed new laws; use of tax stamps on all legal documents, business agreements, newspapers; rates were severe and colonists were made b/c of “taxation w/o representation”;
Delegates from 9 colonies sent reps to Stamp Act Congress - NY and prepared a strong protest.
Parliament repealed the Stamp Act; but made new laws that were stricter.
1770 - Mob violence erupted at ports, boycotts of English goods. British troops in Boston fired on crowd killing 5 = Boston massacre 1773 - Boston Tea Party - group of men disguised as Native Americans boarded 3 ships in Boston Harbor dumped tea in water
Colonist boycotted English goods
1st Continental Congress
1774 - Parliament passed more laws to punish colonist in Boston - Intolerable Acts
1774 - 55 delegates met in Philly to discuss plan of action and sent the Declaration of Rights and Grievances to the King- protesting Britains colonial policies and agreed to boycott British products
1st time colonies joined together to oppose the Parliament
Second Continental Congress
1774-75 - British gov’t refused to compromise; reacted to Declaration of Rights and Grievances with stricter laws and taxes
Revolution had begun April 19 - “shot heard around the world” - Battles of Lexington/concord 1775-1783 - Revolutionary War
Colonies were part of the British Empire
King & Parliament governed American Foreign Policy & Trade; everything else left to colonist
May 10, 1775 - 2nd Continental Congress met in Philly
Each 13 colonies sent reps; Hancock chosen Pres of Congress; Washington appointed Commander Chief of Army
Thomas Jefferson took Washington’s place - VA delegate
Remind students that colonists presented Great Britain with the Declaration of Rights and Grievances in 1765; 11 years after the Revolutionary War began, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence 1776 - Thomas Paine - “COMMON SENSE” to get everyone to participate and excited about the Revolution Declaration of Independence - describes basic right on which nation was founded
English Heritage 1689 - John Locke - philosopher wrote the SECOND TREATISE OF CIVIL GOV’T and this influenced American Leaders Based on Natural Rights - right inherent in human being NOT dependent on gov’t
People exist in a state of nature where no formal laws or gov’t exist
Natural law brings Natural Rights, including LIFE, LIBERTY, and PROPERTY Locke stated that gov’t must be built on the consent of the governed. Social Contract Theory - HOBBES Which promoted what Locke stated:
Jefferson changed words from PROPERTY to PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS(Inalienable rights - things that can not be taken away from you) American Revolution itself was a conservative movement that did not drastically alter the colonist way of life
Primary goal was to restore rights
Colonists felt were there as British subjects
Result: Revolution did NOT create class conflicts that would cause cleavages in society VA substitute - Peyton Randolph was substituted by THOMAS JEFFERSON
Jefferson - lawmaker who wrote a resolution in VA legislature objecting to British policies
May/JUNE 1776 - Joined a committee to write the Dof I
Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman, Livingston, - Committee of Five = formed a draft to justify the declaration
JULY 4, 1776 - Dof I was adopted = primarily written by Jefferson
D of I was justifying the revolution
27/32 paragraphs listed way KING GEORGE III was abusing the colonies
1776 - Became nation’s first national gov’t - Declaration of Independence
France was at war with Britain and France was a prime target for delegates’ diplomacy and eventually France aided the colonies to win the Revolution
Definition: Constitution - bodies of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of their gov’ts.
March 1, 1781 - A of C were written approved November 15, 1777
Common Features of States Constitutions
1. Popular Sovereignty - gov’t exist only with consent of the governed (people hold power & are sovereign)
2. Limited Gov’t
3. Civil Rts & liberties - sovereign people had certain rights gov’t must respect; some had bill of rts.
4. Checks and Balances
5. Separation of Powers
October 19, 1781 - Revolutionary war ended
Signed Treaty of Paris in 1783
Many economic and political problems arose after war. States taxing each other, bickering, not trusting each other, debt, no strong central gov’t, states printed own money, ECONOMIC CHAOS
1776 - Congress appointed a committee to draw up plans for a permanent union of states = ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION 1st governing document went into effect 1781 Gov’t dominated by STATES - fear of tyrannical gov’t Lecture Articles of Confederation
Problems Facing the New Nation - The Treaty of Paris was signed the US experienced problems:
no international experience
Had to reestablish trade relations with foreign nations
Courts commissioned by Congress to resolve dispute but states often chose not to follow the court’s decision
States not meeting financial obligation and honoring Congress’ requests for funds
States did not help pay for the national debt and ignored Congress.
REMEDIES: Pass laws to control interstate trade
Force states to comply with financial and treaty obligations
WEAKNESS - 2/3 majority requirement made it difficult to pass any law
Didn’t provide Congress with any authority to enforce its laws
(States didn’t have to comply with financial and treaty obligations)
Articles of Confederation (AofC) Type of government structure set up by the Aof C is:
- unicameral (1 vote for each state regardless of size or wealth)
- executive and judicial function handled by committee in Congress
- President of Congress chosen by legislature annually. Act as presiding officer.
- Delegates from each state elected annually.
Strengths of the A of C
- make war, peace and treaties
- send and receive ambassadors
- set up a money system
- establish a post offices
- build a navy and raise an army
- fix uniform standards of weights and measures
- settle disputes among the states
Weaknesses of the Aof C1 vote for each state regardless size
- no power to tax
- states could send up to 7 delegates but only had 1 vote
- must borrow money from states; if states refused to give $ - Congress sold Western lands to speculators
- no power to regulate between states and foreign commerce
- could not force states to obey AofC
- 9/13 states to consent to action
- Articles could be amended only with unanimous consent (all 13 colonies)
- no executive to enforce acts of Congress
- no national court system
Consequences of A of C
- bickering among states
- economic chaos
- shay’s rebellion
What were the achievements of the First National Government under the A of C?
1. Revolutionary War was conducted under this government and it secured recognition of American independence by European governments.
Negotiated a peace treaty which Britain formally recognized the US and agreed to remove all British troops from the US territory.
We created our 1st constitution
2. NW Ordinance 1787 - developed policies for mgmt of western frontiers
defined NW territory
created plan for its government
ordinance provided for the transition form territory-->statehood made up 5 states
north of Ohio River and East Mississippi River
states would provide education and slavery prohibited from those lands
3. Increased democracy and liberty for white males 4. Expanded political participation brought New Middle Class to power (Confederation Congress could make regulations because had complete control)
1786 - Shays Rebellion - Suffering from debt, low prices for their crops, and livestock, and refusal by a conservative state gov’t to provide any sort of remedy. ( farmers were foreclosing on property)
Debtors to be jailed or sold themselves into indentured service.
Farmers requested for the gov’t to reduce taxes.
MASSACHUSETTS - a small band of farmers led by Captain Daniel Shay, veteran of Revolutionary War and debtor himself broke up courts and forced State Supreme Court to adjourn to prevent foreclosing of farms.
Some legislators were more sympathetic to debtors and adopted policies to help them
Rebellion - reaffirmed the belief of the delegates that new fed gov’t needed to be a stronger one. 1786 - Annapolis, MD - was a low turnout of representative so set up another meeting date.
discuss problem of the A of C
requested all states meet in Philadelphia
May, 1787 = called Constitutional Convention to get together to revise the A of C
12 states came to revise A of C b/c amending Articles required unanimous consent===IMPOSSIBLE
55 delegates ignored instructions and began writing Constitution (may disagree on many issues but agreed on writing constitution)
FRAMERS AGREED ON QUESTIONS RELATING TO: 1.HUMAN NATURE 1651 Hobbes - Leviathan
Man’s natural state = war
Strong absolute ruler necessary to restrain man’s bestial tendencies
Delegates believed man was self-interested
Franklin said 2 passions exist (love of power and money)
Delegates believed gov’t should play a role in containing the self-interest of people
Madison said “distribution of wealth (land is the source of political conflict”
Conflicts also are: religion, views of governing
2. POLITICAL CONFLICT Called FACTION = parties/ interest groups
Gov’t run by factions are prone to instability, tyranny, and violence. Effects of factions had to be checked.
3. OBJECTS of GOV’T Property, security of invasion, tranquility, promotion of general welfare
Locke “The preservation of property is the end of gov’t”
Delegates could not imagine gov’t that didn’t make economics a principal objective
Preservation of individual rights to acquire and hold wealth
4. NATURE OF A REPUBLICAN GOV’T
Power set against power so no one faction over power another
Secret of good gov’t = Balanced gov’t
Montesquieu - 3 branches / checks and balances
Constitutional Convention begins May 25, 1787 55 delegates represent 12/13 colonies - RI was not present
Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Jon Adams, and Thomas Paine were not present. John Adams & Jefferson were in Europe as diplomats. Paine in Europe. Sam Adams not chosen to attend and Patrick Henry refused to go because he feared a strong central gov’t would emerge (smelt a rat) Framers feared that a strong central gov’t would violate a citizens’ basic rights and felt gov’t authority was best controlled at the local level. Convention was scheduled to begin May 14th but they didn’t have a quorum until May 25th.
Travel was the big issue - 280 miles by stagecoach took 1 week (Boston to Philly) 1st decision delegates pledged: SECRECY.
2nd decision: WRITE A CONSTITUTION instead of revising the A of C How should the states be represented in Congress? VA - Governor Edmond Randolph and James Madison - May 29 largely the work of Madison was presented by Randolph called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state’s share of the US population OR money given to support gov’t
it would have all powers from A of C and make laws for states, override state law, and force states to obey national laws
Congress choose members of judicial branch and Pres
National Executive and Judiciary could veto but can be overridden by two houses ; Executive would have general authority to execute all national laws
Delegate Governor Morris of VA agreed with the 3 branches of gov’t.
VA Plan brought up 2 questions:
1.What powers should the national gov’t be given?
2.How much power should the national gov’t be given?
1st question - Gov’t would have the powers that the A of C didn’t: power to tax, regulate interstate trade, raise and fund army & navy and call on militia to enforce laws and put down insurrections.
2nd question - Large/Small states CLASHED re: proportional representation...large states favored, small states did not. Ex. VA would have 16 delegates and RI would have 1 delegate.
ARGUED FOR 2 WEEKS. NJ - maintained features of A of C - William Patterson - JUNE 15th introduced plan.
Acts of Congress and all treaties would be the supreme law of the land binding courts and legislatures.
called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of state’s pop
unicameral - elected by State leg than voted by the people
Executive more than one person chosen by Congress and removed by majority request of States governors
Judiciary appointed by executive
3 DAYS OF DEBATE PLAN REJECTED
Debate over representation in Congress went on for another month.
Other matters were debated and tabled again.
June 27th - arguments got headed almost ready to disband.
July 16th delegates reached a compromise To gain ratification of the new constitution, three compromises were made: 1. Great Compromise or Connecticut Compromise
for both large & small states
Senate = equal representation
House = based on population
2 new questions rose:
1. How to count the slaves for purposes of representatives in the House South wanted slaves counted = to whites for purposes of apportionment but NOT counted when determining direct taxes.
North argued that slaves should be counted for taxes since they were property.
DEBATED GOT HEATED AND PERSONAL and ready to call it quits.
Madison presented a compromise: 3/5 of slaves would be counted for both apportioning representatives and levying direct taxes. 5 slaves would count as 3 persons.
2. How to determine how much power Congress would have to levy taxes and tariffs. Tariffs would protect northern industries from competing with less expensive products from Europe but consumers would pay more for domestic goods. South wanted a guarantee that slavery would be protected..
2. 3/5 Compromise - Should slaves be counted in the population of the southern States?
Slaves would be counted in population (3/5 of person)
for the benefit of the South
South must pay taxes on those counted
for the benefit of the North
RID of this 13th Amendment - 1865
3. Commerce & Slave Trade Compromise
No congressional interference with slave trade for 20 years 1808(benefit of south)
Congress could not tax export goods from any state
Congress has power to regulate foreign and interstate trade
Question of how much democracy would the new gov’t have?
Most delegates believed too much democracy is not a good thing
Most believed poor choices would result it COMMON PEOPLE were allowed to directly elect officials
During the times their logic seemed reasonable b/c most people were not educated nor were national issues readily available and democracy at a national level had not been tried yet.
A plan to LIMIT DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION to those who held property but eventually rejected.
Proposal to have executive elected indirectly by the people. Each state would select electors and they would choose the president. Not specifically stated, all states provided for electors to be chosen by popular vote - ELECTORAL COLLEGE.
Federal judiciary was made an APPELLATE COURT - power to hear only cases appealed from lower courts.
QUESTION: Which branch would declare state laws unconstitutional?
SUPREMACY CLAUSE implied the Federal judicial branch would have this power SC affirmed power from MARBURY v. MADISON where courts ruled part of the federal law unconstitutional Marbury v. Madison, 1803 Story: 2 political parties - Federalists - Pres John Adams and Sec’y of State - John Marshalllost election to the Democrat-Federalist party - so to be Pres Thomas Jefferson and Sec’y of State James Madison. Jefferson was to be sworn in on March 4...Pres Adams commissions several men to become judges in the District of Columbia and issued commissions that needed to be delivered before the swearing in on March 4th. Marshall was not able to deliver all the commissions before the inauguration. One of the people that was commissioned was William Marbury. Marbury wanted Madison to send his commission but Madison refused b/c Jefferson wanted to put his own people in those seats. Marbury sued Madison. Also note that John Marshall now became Chief Justice of the Supreme court and could have sided with Marbury belonging to the same political party but since he was judge he had to be fair, reasonable and impartial. Questions raised in the case: 1. Did Marbury have a right to receive the commission? Pointing to the law passed by Congress, which told how justices of the peace should be appointed for the District of Columbia, the court said he did. 2. Was the government required to make amends? The court said that when government officials (such as Madison) hurt people (such as Marbury) by neglecting legal duties (such as delivering commissions) our laws require that a remedy be found for the injury. 3. If the government was required to make amends, did that mean that Madison must be ordered to deliver Marbury’s commission as Marbury had requested?
Marbury had asked that the SC simply order Madison to deliver the commission.
Chief Justice Marshall did something surprising. Instead of giving a simple yes or no answer. Marshall said YES, a court could issue such an order, BUT NO, this was not the right court to issue it.
4. Why wasn’t this the right court to issue it? Marbury took advantage of a law passed by Congress that allowed complaints such as his to be taken straight to SC instead of going through the lower courts.
Chief Justice Marshall said that the law was unconstitutional. Constitution mentions several kinds of cases that can be brought straight to the SC. All other kinds of cases must go through the lower courts first. = JUDICIAL REVIEW When 2 laws come into conflict, judges must obey the higher of them. = SUPREMACY CLAUSE A citizen of one state cannot sue another state in Federal Court.
(Brown or Ohio can not sue State of PA)
(A person can sue state in State court)
SC - Original jurisdiction - affecting the representatives of foreign countries, ambassadors, ministers, consuls a state is a party
MADISONIAN MODEL Founders believed that human nature was self-interested and that inequalities of weal were the principal source of political conflict.
They believed that protecting private property was a key purpose of government.
Madison and others feared MAJORITY and MINORITY FACTIONS. To avoid tyranny by the majority, Madison believed it was essential to keep most of the government beyond their power. Madison’s plan:
Voters electoral influence was limited and Mostly INDIRECT.
House of Representatives would be DIRECT ELECTION
Senators elected by State Legislatures (17th Amendment 1913 changed to direct election) (6 yr. Term)
Presidents would be INDIRECTLY elected by ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Judges were nominated by the president (life term)
(Gov’t officials elected by small minority vs. entire population)
To prevent the possibility of tyranny of the majority, Madison proposed: System of SEPARATION OF POWERS – 3 branches independent of one another
System of CHECKS and BALANCES - powers not completely separate. The branches required the CONSENT of others for many of its actions.
Marbury v. Madison - JUDICIAL BRANCH asserted itself to CHECK BRANCHES through JUDICIAL REVIEW Framers DID NOT favor DIRECT DEMOCRACY. They chose a REPUBLIC - system based on the consent of the governed in which power is exercised by REPRESENTATIVES of the public. Madison’s model encourages MODERATION and COMPROMISE and slow change. Delegates crafted a system of CHECKS & BALANCES: Delegates placed limits on direct democracy. Federal Judges would be appointed by the President with consent of the Senate. Both senators and president would not be directly voted by the people. (Until 17th amendment (1913) citizens vote for Senator)
FEDERALISM was created. Federal powers were EXPRESSED and states powers were RESERVED. Amending the Constitution - SEE DIAGRAM
Ratifying Constitution needed 9/13 states.
Benjamin Franklin said, Sun pictured on the chair of the convention by Pres. Washington represented a new nation and was rising not setting.
Feelings and arguments of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the ratification process:
Federalists - James Madison, A. Hamilton, J. Jay
Anti-Federalists - Patrick Henry, J. Hancock Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adam
large landowner, wealthy merchants, professional,
strong central government
issues with slave trade
money problem - if state did not give $ would sell land in west
hold states unified
less concern for individual liberties
indirect elections of officials
small farmers, shopkeepers, laborers, people w/o property
strong state government
closer to the people
no Bill of Rights - strengthened protections for
direct election of officials
lack of God - absence in document
denial of state to print $
objected ratification proces
sThe VA Anti-Federalist adopted a strategy of increasing people’s fears about the evils that could occur under the Constitution by contesting point by point.
The Federalists had prepared strong, logical, well-reasoned counterarguements.
VA voted for the constitution 4 days later by 89 to 79 vote but not before the Federalists promised amendments would be the first order of business when the new Congress met.
Anti-Federalists pressed hard in NY but NY ratified the Constitution by 3 votes on July 26, 1788
It took over a year for 2 states to accept. NC had a large Anti-Fed majority - Nov 21, 1789. Rhode Island historically known for its individualism - state rejected constitution by referendum. Not until May 29, 1790 till they signed.
Out of the 55 delegates, 41 remained for signing, 39 actually signed
Governor Randolph - VA wanted to appear neutral
Elbridge GERRY of MASS thought document had too many flaws and needed amendments
George MASON - VA - played a vital role in many of debates refused to sign b/c NO bill of rights
Delaware was the first to sign - December 1787
GA and CT - January 1788
Small states ratified quickly b/c feared being dominated by large states
GA signed to gain national gov’t protection from Spain in Florida
April 1789 James Madison proposed several amendments to the Constitution -12 and submitted them to the states by 1791 - 10 were approved.
They denied the gov’t the power to interfere with free expression and assembly, granting citizens their rights to protect themselves, provide protection against unreasonable punishment