Constitutional politics - Lecture#1 Origins of the...

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Unformatted text preview: Lecture #1 Origins of the Constitution o Origins of the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation • In the relationship between colonies and England • Enlightenment thinkers (Hume, Montesquieu) • No organic law to help structure relations among colonies/nation-states • Ben Franklin proposed that we develop charter Articles of Confederation 1781 enforced/ratified ◊ Committee of the States tried to manage country’s business in between sessions of congress • 1787 we transitioned to constitution o Problems w/ the Articles of Confederation= manifestations of disorders • Congress had little power ◊ Treaties- congress could make treaties but couldn’t make states follow them ◊ tax- congress could ask tax but couldn’t force states to pay them ◊ each state in congress had one vote (9/13 had to agree in order for something to pass) ◊ amendments needed unanimous approval by the states ◊ Collective action problem- states have huge sovereignty as well of federal government, so ↓ • National Bankruptcy ◊ Nationalists argued that we can’t become a country until we pay our debts to France and Belgium (revolutionary war) nationalist’s argued that “we are on the verge on bankruptcy because of Articles of Confederation and federal government’s lack of power” • Enormous Inflation ◊ Disaster for farmers who then turned to state governments who could print their own money ◊ States could pass laws to print money to help farmers (bad laws in the eyes in federalists) that eventually caused inflation ◊ States passed stay laws that allowed farmers to NOT pay debts which upset creditors • Farmer Rebellions and Public Uprisings ◊ Merchants and creditors in state legislatures were passing laws forcing people to pay debts ◊ Shay’s rebellions 1786 1500 farmers in western MA attacked courthouses to stop selling properties for not paying taxes ◊ Privately funded militia put down rebellion o A move toward Reform • Hamilton-Main Federalist, Washington, John Marshall, vs. Jefferson main Anti-Federalist • 1787 Constitutional Conventional May in Philly, PA (most everyone thought revision of AofC) • Changed ratification for new constitution to 9/13 states to prevent rhode island from preventing ratification o Structure of the New Government-new rules of the game (stark departure from anything that existed in that time) • Representation Item Virginia Plan New Jersey Plan Constitution or Great/CT compromise Legislature Bicameral Unicameral Bicameral Legislative Representati on Population Based Equal for each state One of each (equal & population based) Legislative Power Veto state legislation Authority to levy taxes and regulate commerce Authority to levy taxes and regulate commerce; authority to compel state compliance w/ nat’l policies Executive Branch Single; elected by legislature for 1 term Plural; removable by majority of state leg....
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course POLI SCI 3325 taught by Professor Spriggs during the Fall '10 term at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Constitutional politics - Lecture#1 Origins of the...

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