PS40week1readingnotes - PS40-Week 1 Reading KS Chapter 11...

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PS40-Week 1 Reading KS: Chapter 11 – Voting, Campaigns, and Elections A) Logic of Elections a. Democracy in America is representative democracy. b. Two points of difference between democracy and republic. i. A republic is when the government is delegated to a small number of citizens elected by the rest. ii. A democracy occurs with the greater number of citizens controlling the greater sphere of the country. c. The sheer size of the new nation, from James Madison’s times, made self- government by direct democracy impossible. d. The problem with delegation is that the elected agents may use their authority to serve themselves rather than the people that elected them. e. Solution to the delegation problem: hold regular, free, competitive elections. This is adopted by representative democracies. Reasons why this ameliorates the problem include: i. Elections give ordinary citizens a say in who represents them. ii. The prospect of future elections gives officeholders an impetus to properly represent their electorate. iii. Elections provide powerful incentives for the small set of citizens who want to replace the current officeholders to keep a close eye on representatives and to tell everyone else about any misconduct they detect. B) The Right to Vote a. Wider suffrage for Men i. The social realities of England led to property qualifications and voting restrictions in the colonies. Most adults were poor, illiterate, and dependent. Members of the upper class minority were the wellborn, prosperous, and educated elite did not want to risk the social order by extending franchise to the lower classes.
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ii. Land was easier to acquire and far more evenly distributed in the colonies, so a larger proportion of the adult males qualified to vote. Property restrictions were enforced laxly. iii. The notion of “no taxation without representation” implies that anyone who paid taxes should be allowed to vote. The logistics of the “declaration of independence” laid the groundwork to give voting rights to any citizen. iv. Full white male suffrage was achieved in 1840s in the wake of the Jacksonian democracy. v. The argument for limiting suffrage was that the only independent and virtuous were fit to govern, best evidence of these characteristics were property-holding, white Protestant males. b. Suffrage for Women i. The women’s suffrage movement grew directly out of the antislavery movement, sharing its underlying ideals and some of its activities. ii. Social changes such as – expansion of education for both sexes, the entry of women into the workforce outside the home – and political need, eventually led to women’s suffrage. iii. Western territories were first to grant women the right to vote because women were expected to vote on “family values” in frontier towns.
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