POSC 150 Lecture 1 - American Political Institutions...

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American Political Institutions 2/13 - 2/16 Lecture 1 Outline of the lecture -background on the revolution -government before the constitution -the constitution and ratification The Political Context American attitudes about gov’t tied to experience as a colony of a distant empire America as a colony Colonists had considerable freedom o British monarch did not control all aspects However, lacked meaningful role in the gov’t o Growing sense that colonists, not distant parliament, should control decision making o But no consensus that the colonies should break from Britain Roots of a Revolution
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Major Opposition triggered by financial grievances o British raised taxes to pay for colonial defense o colonists claimed “Taxation without representation” British believed the arrangement as fair Virtual Representations vs. Actual representation British view: Parliament represents al British subjects, so colonists are “Virtually” represented in government o Idea that women and children are represented when their father/husband votes o All British subjects share common interests British farmers vote on behalf of farmers in the colonies Revolutionary American View: Colonists have o ability to elect members of parliament, so they are not “actually” represented The Revolution Declaration of Independence Philosophical justification for the revolution o An argument for the superiority of the represented gov’t Based on the work of John Locke o Social compact theory
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POSC 150 Lecture 1 - American Political Institutions...

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