LEcture 3 - – Antifederalists stayed home. – Bitter...

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PLSC 1: American Politics Spring 2005 Lecture 3: Constitution Intro
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Why Study The Constitution? Rare example of creating institution, not working inside them. Illustrates problems of scarcity, conflict typical to politics. Addresses question “where did Constitution come from?”
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Constitutional Convention unique on data grounds. Small number of participants. Record of debate (Madison's Notes) made w/o knowledge of participants. Explanation by supporters (Federalist Papers ) , writings of Anti-federalists.
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Conventional Wisdom about Founding Disinterested statesmen, high-minded view of colleagues and general public. Believed in ‘rule of law.’ Led by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin. Consensus on what Constitution should look like.
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Franklin Washington Hamilton Madison
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What We Overlook Rule of law tempered by revolutionary zeal: Declaration Confiscation of loyalist property, ejection. No consensus on structure of government:
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Unformatted text preview: – Antifederalists stayed home. – Bitter disagreements at Convention. – Ratification close in many states • At signing, skewed representation of NY and VA vs. NJ. – Bill of Rights compromise document. Different Set of Pivotal Actors • Who didn’t matter: – Washington presided, didn’t speak. – Jefferson in France. – Franklin largely ignored. • Who did: – Gouverneur Morris: wrote document, spoke most, appointed to crucial committees. – Eldridge Gerry: pivotal speaker. Morris Founding Fathers were Politicians • Saw people as strategic, goal-directed, self-interested. • Acted strategically at Convention. • Willing to trade away principles when convenient. Conflicts • Small states vs. large states. • Slave states vs. free states. • Economic interests: merchants vs. farmers • Avoid domination by Virginia....
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course PL SC 001 taught by Professor Gold,suzannemcampbell,thomasc during the Spring '07 term at Penn State.

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LEcture 3 - – Antifederalists stayed home. – Bitter...

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