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Slide #4 - chanter 2 The Nationalization of Politics II...

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Unformatted text preview: chanter 2 The Nationalization of Politics II PREVIEW I. Federal/St No. 10 0 Problem: Factions and special interests 0 How to address the problem 0 Federal republicanism II. Federal/St No. 51 o Ambition and power 0 Checks and balances 0 National versus state governments 0 Federal republicanism redux III. Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists IV. Amending the US. Constitution THE FEDERALIST What were the Federalist Papers? 0 A series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in defense of the newly proposed US. Constitution. 0 The three others wrote collectively under the pseudonym "Publius" 0 Major publication and distribution took place in New York, but Hamilton was successful in having the essays reproduced in other states. 0 Can fairly be considered a "how-to" guide to understanding the US. Constitution. 0 Thomas Jefferson once referred to the collection of essays as "an authority to which appeal is habitually made by all . . . on questions as to [the Constitution's] genuine meaning." FEDERALIST N0. 10 Madison was very concerned about the negative effects of "factions." What is a faction? 0 Something like today's interest groups and political parties. 0 They are common in popular forms of government, like democracies and republics. 0 Can be either a majority or a minority of the public. 0 Are made up of groups of likeminded people whose goals are somehow hostile or harmful to the rights of other citizens or to the community as a whole. However, as bad as factions can be, they must be confronted in a way that doesn't destroy the very principles the new Constitution was attempting to protect. FEDERALIST N0. 10 Recall the Founders' attention to Newtonian and Aristotelian principles. Madison approached the problem of factions from the point of view of cause and effect. 0 In other words, a selfish desire has an origin (cause) and, once manifested, has celtain consequences (effects). 0 Therefore, to diminish or lessen the negative outcomes of factions requires that we either 1) remove their causes or 2) control their effects. He then argued that there are two ways of removing the causes of faction and two ways of controlling their effects. FEDERALIST N0. 10 "Curing the Mischiefs of Faction" Remove Causes (1) Destroy/prevent all liberty. The cure is worse than the disease! "Liberty is to faction what air is to fire." Remove Causes (2) Give every person the same Impossible. Mankind is desires, the same interests, both diverse and fallible. and the same opinions. Control Effects Majority Rule principle. Political liberty is preserved (minority faction) and the outcome is determined by the larger number of votes. Control Effects Federal-republican form of (1) Popular opinions are (majority faction) government. "filtered" through elected representatives. (2) Federalism disperses opinions throughout a large political territory. FEDERALIST N0. 10 In summary, "the latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man." 0 Translation: human beings are naturally prone to pursuing their own desires and self-interests. 0 Moreover, any attempt to carve out or eradicate this natural tendency would require tyrannical force. A federal republic, properly designed lessens the probability that an unjust faction will be successful in forcing its agenda on others. 0 First, by having the people's opinions filtered through a representative body like Congress; 0 Second, by dispersing the people's opinions across dozens of state governments, hundreds of counties, and thousands of municipalities. FEDERALIST NO. 51 While Federalist No. 10 focused on addressing the potential dangers of the opinions of the people, Federalist No. 51 considers a solution to the dangers of government. In Madison's view, the solution is primarily twofold: 0 First, separate the three great powers of government into different branches: executive, legislative, and judiciary. 0 Second, provide each branch with a means by which to check the remaining two powers. In addition, the federal-republican nature of America's governing system once again proves useful, this time by pitting the states against the national government. FEDERALIST NO. 51 We have already discussed the importance of the separation of powers, but what about a system of checks and balances? 0 Human nature 9 prone to pursuing one's self-interest 0 Therefore, "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." 0 Design each branch in such a way that its powers must flow through channels that follow its purpose. E.g., the president must be concerned with presidential actions; a senator, with legislative actions; and a Justice, with judicial actions. 0 Finally, give each branch a check on the other departments. In other words, mere separation isn't enough. There is always the possibility that an officer in one branch will attempt to "step over the line." Constitutional checks help keep those wandering officers in their proper places. CHECKS & BALANCES Checking tools of the: The Executive versus... 0 [The Legislature] — the President can veto legislation 0 [The Judiciary] — the President nominates US. Supreme Court Justices and other federal judges The Legislature versus... 0 [The Executive] — (1) can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds vote in each house; (2) confirms the president's nominees; and (3) can impeach and convict the president. 0 [The Judiciary] — (1) can impeach and remove Justices and judges; (2) can determine the size and jurisdiction of the court; and (3) confirms Justices and judges. The Judiciary versus... 0 [The Executive] — Can declare executive orders unconstitutional. o [The Legislature] — Can declare laws unconstitutional. FEDERAL REPUBLICANISM A final and sont of all-encompassing check is Madison's recommendation (again) to adopt a federal republican form of government. Federalism refers to a system in which power is shared (or divided) between one national government and several state governments. o The idea being that the state governments will be made up of representatives who are suspicious of the national government. 0 This suspicion will ensure that the states guard their own turf, so to speak. 0 In this way, a majority faction will be less likely to capture the national government and force a contentious policy on the entire society. 0 In addition, federalism promotes pluralism, which is the existence of diversity of political beliefs and practices. Republicanism is useful because it allows the society to be expanded over a great distance through the practice of representation. And the larger the society, the greater the degree of pluralism. THE FEDERALISTS Included figures like George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and to an extent Thomas Jefferson. 0 The Federalists tended to suppont a relatively strong national government, one that could act decisively during exigencies. 0 Supported a republican form of government over a democratic one. 0 Opposed a Bill of Rights. 0 Viewed the Alticles of Confederation as totally inadequate for the protection of the people's safety and happiness. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS Composed of revolutionary figures like Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Monroe. 0 The Anti-Federalists preferred democracy to republicanism. o Firmly believed in the addition of a Bill of Rights. 0 Promoted states' rights over the powers of the new national government. 0 Very suspicious of the presidency. o More entrenched in the belief that suffering the ills of poor government is preferable to losing individual libelty. o Exceedingly cautious. AM EN DING TH E CONSTITUTION Despite passage of the new US. Constitution, both Federalists and Anti-Federalists understood the importance of allowing for an amendment process. 0 The new national government was nonetheless a grand experiment in the course of human history. 0 The first ten amendments, passed in December 1791, are known as the Bill of Rights. They were adopted in response to arguments made by the Anti-Federalists. 0 To date, the US. Constitution has been amended 27 times. AMENDMENT PROCESS The amendment process contains two steps: 0 Proposal 0 Ratification In turn, each step can be achieved in two different ways. 0 PROPOSAL 1) Two-thirds of both houses of Congress 2) Two-thirds of the state legislatures request Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention (never used) 0 RATIFICATION 1) Three-founths of the state legislatures agree 2) Three-founths of special constitutional conventions called by the states agree (used only once) ...
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Slide #4 - chanter 2 The Nationalization of Politics II...

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