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David Lester AP Gov Mrs. Swanstrom 09/01/11 Ch 2 Outline I. The Problem of Liberty: A.

The Colonial Mind Colonists believed that because British politicians were corrupt and that the English Constitution was inadequate. Most believed in a higher law of natural rights that included life, liberty and property. Few colonists benefited economically from gaining independence so it was a war of ideology, not economy The Declaration of Independence lists specific complaints the colonists had against King George III. Ex: violating their inalienable rights. B. The Real Revolution Colonists beliefs about what made authority legitimate and liberties secure changed radically changed and they developed a new vision. They started to believe it was a government by consent, not by prerogative. The Constitution was a direct grant of power from the governed to the governors. Not by tradition. Human liberty came before government The colonists wanted the legislative branch to be superior to the executive branch to eliminate any chance of a dictator. C. Weaknesses of the Confederation Could not levy taxes or regulate commerce Little more than a league of friendship between the states- no legitimate power over states Each state had one vote in congress 9/13 states were required to ratify any law Delegates were picked AND paid for by the legislature Little power to coin money Small army because no taxes=no money. State militias were primary defense Territorial disputes between states were a problem No national judicial system to deal with interstate problems All 13 states consent necessary for any amendments II. The Constitutional Convention: A. The Lessons of Experience Lessons learned from writing the constitutions of states like Pennsylvania and Massachusetts helped the framers. Penn.= too strong and too democratic, Mass.= too weak, not democratic

enough Shays Rebellion instilled a fear of collapse of states B. The Framers Mostly young men with experience and well to do. Men of practical affairs, not intellectuals Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry did not attend for various reasons Intended to fix the articles, not write a new Constitution Influenced by ideas of John Locke and other philosophers Many doubted that popular consent could guarantee liberty Needed a strong government for order but one that also would not threaten liberty. Democracies and Aristocracies were both flawed and a government controlled by a constitution did not stop threat of tyranny III. The Challenge: A. The Virginia Plan Design for a true national government Bicameral Legislature Executive chosen by legislature Council of revision with veto power A National legislature with supreme powers and a house elected directly by people were two key features B. The New Jersey Plan Wanted to amend the articles rather than replace them Proposed one vote per state Protected the small states interests but was bad for larger states (larger population-wise) C. The Compromise House of Rep. based on population Senate with two members per state Balanced interests of big and small states The Committee of Detail drafted the Constitution and added in a few new proposals IV. The Constitution and Democracy: The founders did not intend to create a pure democracy because the country was too large to be possible They also mistrusted people and believed that popular passions would lead to mistakes They intended to create a republic with a representative system B. Popular rule only part of the government State legislators were to elect senators Electors to choose president Two kinds of majority: voters and states Judicial review was another limiting factor

The Amendment process allowed for changes to be made C. Key Principles Separation of powers Federalism D. Government and Human Nature Aristotelian View- Government should improve human nature by cultivating virtue Madisonian View- cultivation of virtue would require a government that was too strong, too dangerous and would discourage people to pursue self interest Federalism allows one level of government to act as a check on the other V. The Constitution and Liberty: A. Antifederalist View Liberty can only be secure in small republics National government too far from people in large republics A strong national government would destroy states rights There should be more restrictions on government Madison responded to this by stating that liberty is actually safest in large republics because theres less of a chance of coalitions and it will insulate govt. from passions Bill of Rights was left out because of guarantees in the Constitution: habeas Corpus, No bill of attainder, no ex post facto law, trial by jury, privileges and immunities, no religious tests, obligation of contracts, most states had a bill of rights and it was an attempt to limit the federal government to specific powers B. Need for a Bill of Rights Ratification impossible without one Leaders promised one Ratification was barely successful C. The Constitution and Slavery Virtually unmentioned in Constitution Hypocrisy of Declaration signers Necessary to compromise for ratification 2/3 compromise- 60 percent of slaves counted for representation No slavery legislation possible before 1808 Escaped slaves to be taken back to owners Postponed problems for later-Civil War VI. The Motives of the Framers: A. Economic Interests at The Convention Economic interests varied widely Those who owned government debt supported Constitution No clear division among class lines

State considerations outweighed personal considerations except for slavery B. Economic Interests and Ratification Played a larger role in state ratifying conventions Remarkably democratic process Federalists vs. Antifederalists Favor: merchants, urbanites, owners of western land, holders of government IOUs, non-slave owners Opposed: farmers, those with no IOUs, slave-owners C. The Constitution and Equality Government is too weak today according to critics Bows to special interests Fosters economics inequality Liberty and equality are in constant conflict VII. Constitutional Reform- Modern Views: A. Reducing the Separation of Powers Urgent problems cannot be solved fast President needs to be more powerful, accountable, to produce better policies Government agencies exposed to undue interference Cabinet members should be chosen from Congress President should be able to dissolve Congress Empower Congress to require a special presidential election Require presidential/congressional terms Make a single six year term for president Lengthen terms in house to 4 years B. Making the System less Democratic Government does too much, not too little Attention to individuals over general preferences Limit amounts of taxes collectible Require a balanced budget Grant president a true line-item veto Narrow authority of federal courts C. Who is Right? Cannot be said who is right but history shows this system has worked and changes in response to new times More successful than most other government systems