To Accompany Comprehensive, Alternate, and Texas Editions
American Government: Roots and Reform, 10th edition Karen O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato Pearson Education, 2009
The Roots of a New Nation Tensions begin to build in 1760s. British use mercantilism to justify control. French and Indian War increases dependence. Series of acts passed to increase control on colonists.
Stamp Act Congress in 1765 is first expression of anger. In 1772, Committees of Correspondence form. Oppressive acts continue, particularly on tea.
First Continental Congress Held in Philadelphia in September 1774. Colonists want to iron out differences with king.
Adopt Declaration of Rights and Resolves. War begins in Lexington and Concord.
Second Continental Congress Held in Philadelphia beginning in May 1775. Adopt Olive Branch Petition; it is rejected by the king.
Thomas Paine issues Common Sense. Delegates call for independence in June 1776. Write and adopt Declaration of Independence. Document draws heavily on the ideas of John Locke.
The Articles of Confederation In a confederation, states are most powerful. Articles are first attempt at independent government.
Create a loose “league of friendship”. Congress has limited power, states are strong. No executive or judicial branches, no power to tax. Shays’s Rebellion viewed as a sign of Articles’ weakness.
The Constitutional Convention Held in Philadelphia in May 1787 to revise the Articles. Fifty-five delegates from across the colonies attend.
Refer to delegates as “Founding Fathers” or Framers. Has been debate about Framers’ motives.
Virginia Plan Plan favored by the large states. Three-branch government.
Two-house legislature. One house chosen by people, one by legislatures. Legislature can chose executive and judiciary.
New Jersey Plan
One house legislature with one vote for each state.
Representatives chosen by state legislatures. Congress can raise revenues from duties on imports. Supreme Court with life terms appointed by executive.
Great Compromise Two-house legislature: House and Senate. House chosen by people, Senate by state legislatures. House based on population, two per state in Senate. Revenue bills originate in the House.
National government is supreme. Chief executive chooses Supreme Court. Appeases both large and small states.
Other Compromises Three-Fifths Compromise regarding slavery. Committee on Unfinished Portions handles executive.
President with four-year term, Electoral College. President can be removed from office by Congress.
Basic Ideas of the Constitution Separation of powers between three branches. Checks and balances provide oversight.
Government takes the form of a federal system.
Article I: Legislative Branch Bicameral, Senate and House. Sets out terms, selection, and apportionment.
Section 8 lists enumerated powers. Final clause is necessary and proper clause. This is the basis for Congress’ implied powers.
Article II: Executive Branch President with a four-year term. Qualifications for and removal from office.
Lists powers of the office. Commander in chief, treaties, appointments. Sets out State of the Union Address.
Article III: Judicial Branch Establishes only a Supreme Court. Sets boundaries of Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.
Gives Congress the power to establish lower courts.
Articles IV-VII Article IV includes full faith and credit clause. Article IV includes provisions about new states.
Article V discusses amendment. Article VI contains the supremacy clause. Article VII contains provisions for ratification.
Ratifying the Constitution States hold ratifying conventions; tensions run high. Federalists support the document.
Anti-Federalists oppose the document. The Federalist Papers play a key role. New Hampshire was ninth to ratify. Later states demand a Bill of Rights.
Formal Amendment Two stages: proposal and ratification. Can be proposed by Congress or state legislatures.
State legislatures have never proposed. Can be ratified by state legislatures or conventions. Convention only used for Twenty-First Amendment.
Informal Amendment ď‚Ť Judicial interpretation. ď‚Ť Social and cultural change.
Figure 2.1- British Land Claims, 1763
Figure 2.2- Separation of Powers
Figure 2.3- Amending the Constitution ď‚Ť
Table 2.1- Articles and the Constitution
Table 2.2- Federalists and Anti-Federalists