PSC 100 Chapter 3 Outline

PSC 100 Chapter 3 Outline - Chapter Three: The Constitution...

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Chapter Three: The Constitution The Constitution Is just 4,300 words long. Divides the national government into three branches Describes the powers of those branches and their connections The Constitution (Cont’d) Outlines the interaction between the government and the governed Describes the relationship between the national government and the states. Is the supreme law of the land. The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution American colonists in the eighteenth century enjoyed a degree of freedom denied most people at the world, but at a high cost. Historical Comment The chief issue between Britain and its colonies was taxation. The British had just fought a major war largely to defend the colonies, and felt that the British parliament had the right to pass taxes to be paid by the colonies. The colonies were accustomed to being taxed by their own local assemblies, not parliament. Historical Comment 2 After a series of taxes, protests and compromises, parliament focused on a tax on tea. Colonists in Boston threw the tea into Boston Harbor (the “Boston Tea Party,” imitated in recent tax protests). The British responded by closing Boston harbor and other severe penalties, which provoked the American Revolution. Boston Tea Party (picture) Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson took the first official step toward revolution and independence by patterning the Declaration of Independence after John Locke’s writings. Locke had defended the English Revolution of 1688 by saying government existed to benefit the governed, and could be replaced if it was harmful to the governed. John Locke influenced Thomas Jefferson John Locke (picture) Thomas Jefferson (picture) Declaration of Independence (picture painted by John Trumbull ) The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution (Cont’d) A republic was fashioned, which is a government system based upon the consent of the governed, whose power is exercised by representatives who are responsible to them. Historical Comment Some writers insist that “republic” and “democracy” are incompatible, and the US is “a republic not a democracy.” I would say they are not the same thing (since a republic could be an oligarchy, as in Venice) but it is possible for the U.S. to be “a democracy in a republic” as the American’s Creed says. The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution (Cont’d) The Articles of Confederation created a confederative form of government that comprises a loose collection of independent state governments that agree to cooperate on specified matters.
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The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution (Cont’d ) Each state has supreme power within its borders. The central government is weak in that it cannot control the actions of sovereign states. The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution (Cont’d)
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2011 for the course BUS 500 taught by Professor Fogel during the Spring '10 term at Salem Intl..

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PSC 100 Chapter 3 Outline - Chapter Three: The Constitution...

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