Chapter 9 - Roark Chapter 9 The New Nation Takes Form...

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Roark Chapter 9: The New Nation Takes Form, 1789-1800 Notes and Questions for HIS1043 by Rex H. Ball, Senior Lecturer It is often said that the United States is a government of laws not of men. In your groups, discuss what that statement means, and then look over the first section of the chapter and decide on how important it was to have Washington as the first “High Mightiness” of the United States. While it seems quaint and more than a little royalist, we should remember that they had no other models for addressing heads of state than those used in the monarchies of Europe. Personally, I think we are fortunate the less pretentious titles stuck. Politicians have such large egos to begin with, imagine how a title such as “His High Mightiness” might puff them up. Everyone expected Washington to lead the new country—he truly had the confidence of the nation. Thus the new government participated in the confidence universally bestowed upon George Washington, and he therefore brought stability and legitimacy to the new government. And while bitter political rivalries emerged during his first term, and some influentials, including Jefferson himself, uttered nasty comments about President Washington during his last term, Washington remained above politics and served as a calming influence on the country. We should keep in mind that everything George Washington did as President for the first time, was a first for the presidency and had some precedent forming implications for the office. It is also apparent that all the actions taken in the Congress and Judiciary set precedents for those who followed. Get in your groups and discuss why Madison and others would have believed that no bill of rights was necessary. Then look at the first ten Amendments of the Constitution (the Bill of Rights). Where did they come from? AMENDMENT I—religion, speech, press, assembly, petition How significant was it that he would be titled the “President of the United States of America” and addressed as “Mr. President?” Although the writers of the Constitution felt no explicit enumeration of rights were necessary in the document, a strong sentiment in favor of a bill of rights pervaded the country. 1
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II—people’s right to keep and bear arms III—no quartering of troops in peace time without consent and during war by specific law with remuneration IV—bars unreasonable searches and seizures and requires probable cause and description of persons and/or things to be seized V—grand jury presentment required in serious crimes; outlaws double jeopardy self incrimination; no legal penalties without due process; no seizure of private property without just compensation VI—right to speedy & public trial, a jury trial, a notice of accusation, confrontation of opposing witnesses, right to compel favorable witnesses, and assistance of counsel VII—in civil cases, guarantee of trial by jury, and as in common law of the time, a jury’s judgment as to fact not subject to reexamination
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