constitutions

Constitutions - Constitutional Democracy Promoting Liberty and Self Government Chapter 2 Constitution Definition The legal structure of a political

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1 Constitutional Democracy: Promoting Liberty and Self- Government Chapter 2 Constitution Definition: The legal structure of a political system, establishing governmental bodies, granting their powers, determining how their members are selected, and prescribing the rules by which they make their decisions. Considered basic or fundamental, a constitution cannot be changed by ordinary acts of government bodies. Why Do We Need One • To give legitimacy • To organize government • To grant specific governmental powers • To limit government.
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2 Self-Government • Limited Government – Strict limits on lawful uses of power – Limits on depriving people of liberty • Self-Government – People are source and beneficiary of governing authority – Majority rule Before the Constitution • The Rights of Englishmen – Rights including life, liberty and property to which all people are entitled • Declaration of Independence – A call to revolution liberty, equality, individual rights, self-government, lawful powers • Articles of Confederation – Created weak national government The Colonial Experience • Right to govern by God -- a divine right • Royal colonies –– King’s representatives –– Elected assemblies • Pilgrims –– Religious dissenters –– Rejected divine right of kings –– Mayflower compact
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course POLS 1301 taught by Professor Rugeley during the Spring '08 term at Texas Tech.

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Constitutions - Constitutional Democracy Promoting Liberty and Self Government Chapter 2 Constitution Definition The legal structure of a political

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