Outline 3 - Constitutions - PLS 301 State Politics...

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PLS 301 State Politics Constitutions Outline State Constitutions I. Introduction A. Constitution – fundamental agreement about what government must do, may do, and must not do, and what obligations individuals have toward government. B. The institutions, process, and scope of authority of local governments are set by state statutes and by charters. II. History of State Constitutions A. The first state constitutions – colonial charters B. Role of the federal (U.S.) Constitution C. The Northwest Ordinance 1787 – created the criteria for adding new states. D. Progressive reforms E. Tribal Constitutions F. Reforms since 1960s (taxes, institutions, individual rights) III. Major features of state governments A. Length – state constitutions tend to be longer due to easier amendment process and influence of interest groups. B. Bill of Rights – some go beyond national Bill of Rights C. Suffrage and Elections – expansion of the vote (race, gender, residency requirements) D. Structure and Power of State Government 1.
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