05Federalism - American Government Class 5 Principles of...

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American Government Class 5 - Principles of the Constitution
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Constitution - 6 Weaknesses 1. Tyranny of our uncertain ancestors Debated by 55 white men of 12 States Signed by only 39 of them Ratified by 11 States originally Passed 4 of those with less than 55% Passed the final state by 3 votes Provides little clear meaning
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Ratification Results Date State Votes Yes No 1 December 7, 1787 Delaware 30 0 2 December 12, 1787 Pennsylvania 46 23 3 December 18, 1787 New Jersey 38 0 4 January 2, 1788 Georgia 26 0 5 January 9, 1788 Connecticut 128 40 6 February 6, 1788 Massachusetts 187 168 7 April 28, 1788 Maryland 63 11 8 May 23, 1788 South Carolina 149 73 9 June 21, 1788 New Hampshire 57 47 10 June 25, 1788 Virginia 89 79 11 July 26, 1788 New York 30 27 12 November 21, 1789 North Carolina 194 77 13 May 29, 1790 Rhode Island 34 32
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Things they didn’t know 2. They dealt with their problems, not ours Slavery, Suffrage, Representation 2. Parties Washington warned against them Federalist 10 supposes their impossibility In reality, they are necessary 2. World Participation Framers wanted independence/isolation Government was supposed to trade, but not interact In reality, US became globally dominant Constitution would not function strictly as designed Requires alterations to the system
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How Democratic? 5. Not very Framers feared the masses Allowed popular elections only for House President via electoral college Senate via legislatures Judiciary through appointment More Republican than Democratic Did not trust common citizen to follow politics No direct legislation Americans value democracy more than the constitution permits its use
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Is it admirable? 6. No other nation uses it Most countries reject a single President Most reject district based representation Often viewed as being ineffectual Very difficult to actually accomplish anything US has a poor history in certain areas Civil Rights, Slavery, Aid to Poor So why is it revered? Because it was a first Because it is ours Because it works
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The Constitution: How does it work? Four main limits on power Federalism Separation of Powers Checks and Balances Civil Liberties Fractures power Yet permits it to be wielded when there is mass agreement
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Separation of Powers Each branch given the power to do certain things Each branch requires others in order to be useful No single branch can do anything alone Congress can authorize action and pay for it Can’t actually “do” anything President can act Only when authorized and provided funding Judiciary can decide what is “Constitutional” Can’t enforce its decisions Prevents any single branch from abusing power Nobody can do “bad things” on their own Requires collaboration among branches
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Separation of Powers Legislative Branch “Power of the Purse” Pays for stuff Creates Laws Authorizes stuff
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