chapter2 - CHAPTER 2 The Constitution 0OBJECTIVES The...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CHAPTER 2 The Constitution 0OBJECTIVES The purpose of this chapter is to introduce students to the historical context within which the United States Constitution was written. After reading and reviewing the material in this chapter, the student should be able to do each of the following:0 10. Explain the notion of “higher law,” by which the colonists felt they were entitled to certain “natural rights.” List these rights. 20. Compare the basis on which the colonists felt a government could be legitimate. 30. List and discuss the shortcomings of government under the Articles of Confederation. 40. Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey plans and show how they led to the Great Compromise. 50. Explain why separation of powers and federalism became key parts of the Constitution. 60. Explain why a bill of rights was not initially included in the Constitution and why it was added. 70. List and explain the two major types of constitutional reform advocated today, along with specific reform measures. 0OVERVIEW The Framers of the Constitution sought to create a government capable of protecting liberty and preserving order. The solution they chose—one without precedent at that time—was a government based on a written constitution that combined the principles of popular consent, separation of powers, and federalism. Popular consent was most evident in the procedure for choosing members of the House of Representatives. However, popular consent was limited by the requirements that senators be elected by their state legislatures and presidents by the electoral college. Powers were separated among branches that then had to cooperate to effect change. Thus, separation of powers was joined to a system of checks and balances. The Framers hoped this system would prevent tyranny, even by a popular majority. Federalism came to mean a system in which both the national and state governments had independent authority. Allocating powers between these two levels of government and devising means to ensure that neither large nor small states would dominate the national government required the most delicate compromises at the Philadelphia convention. The Framers’ decision to protect the institution of slavery was another compromise, which presumably helped to ensure the Constitution’s ratification by states engaged in the slave trade. In the drafting of the Constitution and the struggle for its ratification, the positions people took were determined by a variety of factors. In addition to their economic interests, these included profound differences of opinion over whether the state governments or the national government would be the best protector(s) of personal liberty.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Chapter 2: The Constitution 00 CHAPTER OUTLINE WITH KEYED-IN RESOURCES0 I0. The problem of liberty (THEME A: THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE FOUNDERS)0 A0. Colonists were focused on traditional liberties: 10. The right to bring legal cases before independent judges 20. The right to not have to quarter troops in their homes
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/02/2011 for the course POL 102 taught by Professor Cover during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

Page1 / 9

chapter2 - CHAPTER 2 The Constitution 0OBJECTIVES The...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online