American Presidency midterm 1 Key Terms (10-22-10)

American Presidency midterm 1 Key Terms (10-22-10) -...

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Government 1540: The American Presidency Key Terms – Midterm Study Guide Note: We had a guest speaker in Lecture 5. Presidential Power 1. Articles of Confederation (Lecture 2, 9/7/10) – Sarah a. Definition: The Articles of Confederation, which began to be used in 1777, was the first constitution of the United States. It gave a lot of power to the states rather than the national government. But then states imposed a lot of duties on their citizens, and the Whiskey Rebellion (1786) and Shays’ Rebellion (1786- 1787) followed. The rebellions caused the Framers to realize that they needed to get rid of the Articles of Confederation and start anew. b. Importance: The Articles called for strong state legislatures, with states retaining a high degree of sovereignty. It didn’t work. The Articles are important because they showed the Framers that a strong executive is necessary. c. Theme: One of the themes of the class is comparing what the Founding Fathers did and what is the reality today. Since the Founders scrapped the Articles of Confederation in favor of the U.S. Constitution, the Articles show what the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid. We can see that they wanted to make sure the executive was not weak. Today, we find that the executive branch is indeed strong (and especially in foreign policy and in crisis situations, as Edwards and Wayne point out), but it is checked by the legislative branch in most areas. 2. Shays’ Rebellion (Lecture 2, 9/7/10) – Sarah a. Definition: Shays’ Rebellion (1786-1787) was an uprising of poor farmers who were angry after having been excessively taxes by their state governments. b. Importance: This rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion (which was caused by dissatisfaction over taxes on whiskey) were important because they caused the Framers to decide that a new constitution was needed and that the Articles of Confederation needed to be thrown out. c. Theme: Same theme as the one for “Articles of Confederation.” One of the themes of the class is comparing what the Founding Fathers did and what is the reality today. They scrapped the Articles of Confederation in favor of the U.S. Constitution after the rebellions showed them that the balance of power between the legislative and the executive was not working. We can see that they wanted to make sure the executive was not weak. Today, we find that the executive branch is indeed strong (and especially in foreign policy and in crisis situations, as Edwards and Wayne point out), but it is checked by the legislative branch in most areas. 3. George Washington (Lecture 2, 9/7/10) – Sarah a. Definition: Washington was the first president of the United States. He fought in the Revolutionary War and after the Shays’ and Whiskey Rebellions, he argued that the country needed a new constitution. He presided over the Constitutional Convention (1787). After two terms in office, he decided to step down.
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b. Importance: As the first president, Washington’s behavior in office enormously
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American Presidency midterm 1 Key Terms (10-22-10) -...

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