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Articles of Confederation

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1

Articles of Confederation

1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788, loose league, very weak central government, one house legislature.

Very weak effort to get the states to work together.

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2

New constitution? 1787

Allowed George Washington to become the first president. Had to be ratified to become law (9/13 states need to approve)

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3

Federalists and Anti-Federalists

The anti's were against forming a strong federal government. The federalists argued for a new constitution in Philadelphia.

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4

The Federalist Papers

1788

Written by Hamilton, Jay, & Madison to support ratification of the U.S. Constituiton

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5

Bill of Rights

1789

First 10 amendments to the Constitution "Certain rights are inalienable". The constitution was only ratified when this bill was added.

They haven't changed since. The 2nd amendment concerns gun ownership, although that wasn't the original intention.

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6

First states to agree

December 7, 1787, five states - Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut - ratified the Constitution.

Massachussetts (among others) was very against it.

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7

A compromise was reached

In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. Constitution ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina.

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8

The ninth state to approve...

On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document.

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9

Government under the U.S. Constitution began on...

March 4, 1789

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10

America's first president

George Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789

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11

When did Virginia and New York approve the constitution?

In June 1789, Virginia ratified the Constitution, New York followed in July.

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12

The date when the government was fully operative when?

On February 2, 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court held its first session

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13

When did the last state join?

Rhode Island, the last holdout of the original 13 states, finally ratified the Constitution on May 29, 1790.

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14

Which 3 compromises caused the federal government to be accepted?

  1. Balanced representation of small and large states in Congress. In house of representatives relative to population size, in senate always two seats (which pleased small states).

  2. Compromise to patch over North/South issues regarding slavery. (handbook p.157)

  3. Permitting congress to tax imports (protection for north) but not exports (good for south)

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15

The Four Principles of the American Constitution (handbook p.159)

  1. Republicanism: the belief in a government without people privileged by birth or occupational class.

  2. Federalism: a system in which the national government and the states share the governing power.

  3. Separation of powers between legislative, judicial and executive branches.

  4. Those branches share power through a system of 'Checks and Balances'. (p.160) (basically every branch, and also the president and the supreme court can all question each others decisions, so power remains balanced)

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16

Non-parliamentary democracy (handbook p. 160, 171)

The executive and legislative branch are totally separate.

The only exception: the VP technically presides over the senate so if there is a hung vote (50/50) the VP is the deciding vote.

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17

Electoral vs. popular vote

Basically: Each state has a certain amount of Electoral College representatives. The amount is based on the amount of representatives that state has in congress (which is based on population size). So California has 2 senators and 53 house seats, which means they have 55 Electoral representatives.

Each state will hold a popular vote for the presidency, and the electoral college casts their vote based on that. The electoral college basically always agrees with the popular vote (except in Maine and Nebraska). If a candidate won the popular vote in California, that would mean that candidate gets 55 actual votes (from the electoral College). The number of electoral representatives is different for each state. For example, Kansas only has 6.

*This is an indirect method of electing the president by reaching the final tally in the College.

For a more detailed explanation: Handbook p.177

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18

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by

close to 3 million.

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19

Estimated cost of the 2016 presidential election

$5 billion across all candidates.

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20

"The people of each state shall choose a number of persons as electors..."

Alexander Hamilton (full quote on ppt)

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21

Differences between house of representatives and senate

  • The House responds more quickly to the electorate's mood since they have elections every two years (as opposed to every six in the senate) and represent smaller geographical units.

  • The House is much more diverse. (In 2007 Nancy Pelosi became its first female speaker.)

  • There are constitutional differences: different age requirements, different amount of years required as a citizen. Financial bills must begin in the house, etc.

--> Size is the constitutional difference with the most important effect on the chambers. The House is much bigger. (see HB p.167)

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22

Reapportionment

The process of reassigning representation in the House based on population, after every 10 year census (population count). Every state is guaranteed one representative. The total size of the House is fixed at 435 seats.

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23

Requirements for Presidency

US born citizen

At least 35 years old

Must have lived in US for 14 years before running

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24

The president's veto power can be overruled...

if congress votes with two-thirds majority.

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25

In the 2000 and 2016 elections...

one candidate won the popular vote (Al Gore, Clinton) and the other the electoral vote (Bush, Trump).

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26

Delegated powers (p.193)

Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money. (so not in the hands of the states)

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27

Reserved powers (p.193)

Powers that the Constitution does not give to the national government that are kept by the states (police, fire and sanitation departments, appointing local government, ...)

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28

Concurrent powers (p.193)

Powers shared by the national and state governments (lawmaking, establishing courts, taxing, ...)

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29

Dual Federalism (p.195)

A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies. The Supreme Court commonly approved neither federal nor state laws regulating industry and labor.

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30

Cooperative Federalism (p. 196)

A change in the 1930's. The Supreme Court viewed the division of powers between state and federal as less important than the ways they might work together. Expansions of both state and federal power resulted from the change.

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31

New Federalism (p.196)

State and local governments complained of over-regulation after Cooperative federalism. Nixon cut most strings attached to federal grants and basically returned more authority back to the lower levels of government.

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32

Rebirth big federal government? (p. 198)

Basically Bush was trying to cut funding to a lot of federal initiatives but at the same time was being way more involved in education and other things (abstinence programs and stuff), and later Obama had to step in during the economic crisis to prevent an even bigger economic crisis and also launched universal healthcare. So the federal government became more involved in private businesses and the private sector.

This increased the imbalance between state and federal powers to the same levels as the 1930's or even greater.

The feeling that the states should assume more responsibility on some issues helped Republican candidates in recent years.

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33

State judiciary differs from federal judiciary in two important ways (p. 201)

  1. Many state and local judges win their seats through election and not appointment.

  2. The state Supreme Court cannot be sure of handing down the final decision in the most important cases that come to it. The US Supreme Court has the power to overturn state law and the decision of state courts.

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