topic 2 part 1 - TOPIC 2 PART 1 THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION...

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TOPIC 2: PART 1 THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION INTRODUCTION A. The Constitution is a supremely political document B. Need to know what’s in the Constitution II. DEFINITIONS A. What Is a Constitution in General? 1. Provides the basic rules & guidelines for exercising political authority. (Constitutions don’t have to be a written down document, sometimes are verbal.) 2. Three fundamental components: a. Functions of government: of government: the powers and responsibilities that rest in the public rather than the private sphere b. Procedures: the manner in which govt. carries out powers & responsibilities entrusted to it c. Structures: the institutions & mechanisms that constitute the framework of government d. In the book, Table 2.1 compares the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution and talks about the three fundamental components. The purpose was to show the flaws of the Articles of Confederation, and how the Constitution corrects these flaws.
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3. Limitations on government powers a. Ancient Greek philosophers: Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. Aristotle was a student of Plato. Aristotle was different from the other contemporaries because he had some empirical curiosities. They observed and studied the constitutions of many Greek city states.
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