09.25h - Our government was largely a critique of the...

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Our government was largely a critique of the British government, especially parliament. Republicanism, even though it originated in Britain it was a very gentry ideology but it became one of the most important ideology of the American Revolution. Significant because this ideology would be used to protect the interest of the American people Except the colonists would say that this idea would defend a more democratic government whereas in the origin it was about defense of liberty—a liberty that was strictly circumscribed along class lines, liberty of some people to assert power over the others (country gentlemen over their tenants, agricultural laborers, w/o interference from the outside.) Originally in USA, this originally a very elitist way of thinking was made to seem an ideology of the people. I. Representation in Britain : when the British was praising their unwritten Constitution they were talking about its balance—Constitution’s balanced power by dividing the power between the king, the lords, and the commons. But this was not the 3 branches we’re used to (leg, exe, jud). [ 1/3 idea was weird that the king would be 1/3, and also the commons were top 3% of the country.] The thing that was so great was that it was said to preserve liberty against arbitrary power. (they used to compare themselves to French a lot) The balance did not really work against the three branches of gov, they normally just meant within the house of Commons itself. a. Parliament i. Parliament did not go there to promote policy agenda, they weren’t there b/c it was a social place to be… In the 18 th century there were no programmatic parties…the essential divisions were called : “the government,” and the “opposition” 1. Government => Today is the ruling party but back then it meant the group including and around the cabinet. They were the king’s ministers that ran parliament. a. You got to be government by having a secure majority in parliament so you can get laws past. b. Today it works as if one group has a majority of seats, then the Queen elects the head of the party to be the Prime Minister i. Today the government and opposition is organized by political parties. ii. Back then they didn’t have political parties. iii. In today’s system, all members are expected to vote the way their party stands… 2. 18 th Century determining the gov and opposition was intricate, and this intricacy of process produced the celebrated balance within the House of Commons
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a. Diff between Parliament and our Congress: they did not have to live in their constituency b. Seats i. 2 for each burrow a. Representation was not equal b. Normally it was the country gentlemen that were in Parliament. c.
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course HISTORY 7a taught by Professor Einhorn during the Fall '08 term at Berkeley.

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09.25h - Our government was largely a critique of the...

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