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1

John Locke

Philosopher from the “Age of Enlightenment” heavily influenced the American founders

Was an English doctor and Enlightenment philosopher who used reason to think about government

Performed a “thought experiment” about where government comes from (he started with “The State of Nature”)

John Locke and other Enlightenment philosophers heavily influenced the American Founders

2

The Age of Enlightenment

Lasted from the late 1600s to the late 1700s

Enlightenment philosophers emphasized human reason over simple acceptance of tradition (logic, science, skepticism)

3

The State of Nature

Imaginary state

Both beautiful and harsh

4

There is good news and bad news about Locke’s (theoretical) State of Nature

In the state of nature, people are free and equal

The state of nature is governed by natural law, which saws “Do No Harm”

5

Who has the right to enforce natural law?

Everyone

Assumes that everyone is going to execute the law of nature fairly

Thus, the state of nature is unsafe and un-secure

According to Locke, the solution to the state of nature is government

6

In a democratic government...

People trade some of their liberty for security

7

Trading liberty for security

You trade your right to enforce natural law (self-help)

You accept the will of the majority, even if you disagree

Your remaining freedoms are safer and more secure

“Beware the poison apple”

When the government conducts warrantless electronic surveillance, we trade liberty for success

8

Post 9/11

The NSA conducted warrantless electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists

“The program has been successful in detecting and preventing attacks inside the United States”

Some argue the trade-off in liberty is too high

9

John Locke and other Enlightenment philosophers heavily influenced the American Founders

The Founders were in a “State of Nature” (almost)

The Declaration of Independence asserts that people are inherently free and equal

The Declaration of Independence asserts that good government comes by consent

10

How do you define “freedom”

“Clarity of expression” requires the careful definition of terms

“There is no word that admits of more various significations...than that of liberty” (Montesquieu)

11

The different visions of freedom

Negative freedom

Positive freedom

12

“Negative” freedom

Requires government absence (freedom “from” interference) - government leave me alone!

Limited government

Founders’ views

Less security - higher risk

13

“Positive” freedom

Requires government aid (freedom “to” free healthcare) - government help me!

Cost money

Active government

More security

14

Different visions of equality

Equality “before the law”

Equality of “opportunity”

15

Equality “before the law”

Means the government treats everyone the same

16

Equality of “opportunity”

Means the government helps certain disadvantaged groups

17

Founders first attempt at a national government

The “Articles of Confederation”

18

The “Articles of Confederation”

Were a “league of friendship” between sovereign and independent states

There was a congress but no president and no Supreme Court

The national government was not strong enough to fend off foreign powers

The national government was also threatened by domestic unrest

The Founders believed a radical change was necessary: a new Constitution

19

There was a Congress but no President and no Supreme Court

Each state was responsible for contributing taxes and troops upon request

BUT the national government had no power to enforce its requests

20

Under the Articles, the national government was not strong enough to fend off foreign powers

Britain still had troops in Midwest and Canada

Spain claimed Florida, California, and the Mississippi River Valley

American merchant ships were attacked by the Barbary Pirates

Did America value freedom at the expense of security?

21

Under the Articles, the national government was also threatened by domestic unrest

Many states had financial difficulties paying off war debts

Poor farmers were especially desperate for relief from debt and high taxes

Captain Daniel Shays led an attack on a federal armory in Springfield, MA
-Shay’s Rebellion was put down, but there were many casualties

22

The Founders believed a radical change was necessary: a new Constitution

Away from the Articles to a “more energetic government”

Some argued the trade-off in liberty was too high (Anti-Federalist)

In 1787, the Founders held a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia

23

Constitutional Convention

The goal? Rewrite/ replace the Articles of Confederation

James Madison

After 4 months, of negotiations, the Constitution was ready, but not yet ratified

Anti-Federalists (like Patrick Henry) argued that the trade-off in liberty was too high

To defend the proposed Constitution, we had the Federalist Papers

The Constitution could not become law until it was ratified by at least 9 states (Art. VII)

24

James Madison

“Father of the Constitution”

One of the delegates from Virginia

Small man with a dizzying intellect

25

Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists

Give me liberty, or give me death!

The “despised” Confederation won the Revolutionary War!

Who cares if the nation is “great, splendid and powerful,” I only want freedom!

The new constitution is too “intricate and complicated” - who knows how it will work?

26

The Federalist Papers

A series of New York newspaper articles

Written in 1787-88

By John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (pen name Publius)

The most important work in political science

27

Constitution becoming law

The process lasted from 1787-1790

Rhode Island was the last state to ratify

The Anti-Federalist wanted additional protections for personal freedom
-Bill of Rights

28

The new Constitution sought to balance the trade-off between ____

Liberty and security

29

Unique structure of the U.S. Constitution

Our government is representative

Our Constitution separates government power into three branches

We have both national and state governments (federalism)

30

Our government is representative

The Constitution established a republic or “indirect” democracy

Meaning, the people choose who will make decisions rather than make decisions directly

The states did not agree on how representation should work —> Great Compromise

The Constitution also contains a compromise on the issue of representation and slavery —> 3/5 Compromise

31

Great Compromise

Ended with 2 chambers in Congress

32

Chambers of Congress

Senate, House of Representatives

33

Senate

States are represented equally (2)

34

House of Representatives

States are represented by population

35

Slavery representation

Many cultures throughout history have practiced slavery

In the New World, European colonies relied upon African slaves to work their plantations

Americans began to challenge slavery based on their democratic and religious beliefs

The times were changing - but had not changed yet

3/5 Compromise

36

3/5 Compromise

Slaves were counted as 3/5 of free persons (Article I(2)) for taxation and representation

37

3/5 Compromise - south

Wanted to count slaves 100% for representation (and 0% for taxation)

38

3/5 Compromise - north

Wanted to count slaves 100% for taxation (and 0% for representation)

39

In pursuits of balance, the U.S. Constitution has THREE unique features:

Republican form
Separation of powers
Federalism

40

Our Constitution separates government power into three branches

The Executive Branch
The Legislative Branch
The Judicial Branch

41

Executive Branch

President +

Enforces the laws

Article II

42

The Legislative Branch

Congress

Makes the laws

Article I

43

The Judicial Branch

Supreme Court +

Interprets the laws

Article III

44

What does separation of power prevent?

Abuse of power

45

Separation of powers prevents abuse of power

Montesquieu

The Founders agreed with Montesquieu

46

Montesquieu

French lawyer

Enlightenment philosopher

The Spirit of the Laws, 1748

47

Each branch of government has some power over the others

Checks and Balances

Veto points

48

Checks and Balances - The President

Can veto a law passed by Congress

Appoints judges with Senate approval

49

Checks and Balances - Congress

Can override the president’s veto and block or impeach Presidential appointments

50

Check and Balances - Supreme Court

Judges can declare the actions of the President or Congress unconstitutional

51

Power must be separated by more than just ___

“Parchment barriers”

52

Federalism

National and state governments

The States were originally sovereign and independent - United States

The Supremacy Clause (Article VI) makes the national government supreme

BUT national power is limited (still subject to the Constitution even though supreme)

53

The national government has enumerated and limited powers under the Constitution

What Congress can and cannot do

What the States can’t do

54

Congress CAN:

Tax, regulate interstate commerce, coin money, define citizenship, declare war (article 1(8))

55

Congress CANNOT:

Spend without an appropriations bill, grant titles of nobility (Article 1(9))

56

States CANNOT:

Make treaties, coin money (Article 1(10))

57

What happens when the national government does not act according to the Constitution?

These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such

Supremacy is confined “to laws made pursuant to the Constitution”

58

States have clashed with federal law over what?

Marijuana

Right to Die

59

State/federal clash over marijuana

The federal Controlled Substances Act bans marijuana as a controlled substance

BUT as of Jan 2018, 30 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana

In 2004, the Supreme Court held that federal law on marijuana is supreme

BUT federal agents now have a policy against enforcement in states where marijuana use is legal

60

States/federal class over “Right to Die”

Gonzales v. Oregon (2006)

Brittany Maynard took her own life in 2014

61

Gonzalez v. Oregon

2006

The federal government cannot interfere with state “Right to Die” laws

62

Why is separation of power between national and state governments needed?

Helps prevent abuse

63

Fiscal federalism

The states are financially dependent upon the federal government

The federal government collects taxes and provides $$ to the states to implement federal programs

These programs include grants for welfare, educations, health care, subsidies and military efforts

64

The final protection for our freedom

YOU

Federal power can never be formidable to the liberties of the people

65

The Founders provided for Amendments to the Constitution

2/3 of both houses of Congress just to propose an amendment (67 Senators and 288 Representatives)

The amendment must then be ratified by 3/4 of the states (38 States)

Article V

66

The first 10 Amendments

Bill of Rights

67

Bill of Rights - Federalists

Believed a Bill of Rights was “unnecessary” and even “dangerous”

68

Anti-Federalists - Bill of Rights

Demanded written protection for individual rights

The promise of a bill of rights was necessary to achieve ratification

69

Bill of Rights

Guarantees “freedom from” government interference in our speech, religion, right to bear arms, etc.

Not exclusive, examples of important freedoms

9th, 10th amendments

70

9th amendment

States that the Bill of Rights shall not be used to deny additional rights to the people

71

10th amendment

States that powers not delegated to the US (in Article 1(8)) are reserved to the States and the people

72

How does federal power grow

Government tends to grow during times of war and insecurity

Even after the crisis is over, the government remains larger than before

Over time, Americans have come to expect more from the federal government

73

The federal government today

Involved in every aspect of our lives

Federal agencies passed 80,000 pages of regulations just in 2013

There are approximately 3 million civilian federal government workers

Almost half of the population receives some form of government benefits

74

Civil war

1861-1865

The North (Union) and South (Confederacy) fought a bloody Civil War

Disagreement between North and South was already evident in the Constitution

President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

The national government (Union) eventually won the war

75

Emancipation Proclamation

Freeing slaves in the south only

76

Gettysburg Address

Emphasized the importance of the “nation”

77

Aftermath of civil war

Three new amendments (13-15) were passed in the “Reconstruction Era”

These amendments were intended to integrate former black slaves into American political life

78

13th Amendment

Abolished slavery (1865)

79

14th Amendment

Guaranteed equal protection and due process (1868)

STATES may not discriminate

80

15th Amendment

Removed race restrictions on voting (1870)

81

During the Progressive Era, the federal government...

Began to expand

82

Progressive Era

1890-1920

A period of social and political reform

Women began to get involved in politics and organize for voting rights

Progressives

Four new amendments were passed (16-19)

83

Progressives

Idealists

They wanted to use “science” to improve society

Believed in a more active role by the government

84

Woodrow Wilson

A Progressive President during WWI (1914-1918)

A Progressive reformer and critic of the Constitution, even during grad school

He called his progressive agenda the “New Freedom” - positive freedom

His policies created the Federal Reserve System and the Department of Labor

85

Federal Reserve System

To regulate the economy

86

Department of Labor

To regulate the workplace

87

Where did the federal government get funding for these new initiatives?

Income tax

88

16th amendment

Implemented the first income tax (1909)

Bypass the states, straight to the source (the people)

89

17th amendment

Provided for the direct election of Senators (1912)

90

18th amendment

Instituted Prohibition (1917)

Repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933

91

Prohibition

1919-1933

An example of government overreach

The intent was good...break up saloon culture and stop the effects of drunkenness on families

However, it created a black market for liquor and strengthened organized crime

People were not just willing to sacrifice their freedom to drink

92

19th Amendment

Gave women the vote (1919)

93

Obamacare

Passed in 2010

The intent of Obamacare was good...make sure all families have access to health care

However, the regulations are very complicated and have had unintended consequences

Some argue Obamacare is too expensive and takes away too much freedom

94

Great Depression

1929-1941

FDR pushed the expansion of government through “New Deal” reforms

Milestones included the Social Security Act and the Securities & Exchange Commission

FDR persuaded the courts to reinterpret the Constitution and allow his reforms

Ended about the time that America entered WWII but big government was here to stay

95

WWII

1941-1945

96

Vietnam War

1955-75

Lyndon B. Johnson

97

Lyndon B. Johnson

1963-1969

Envisioned a “Great Society” supported by government initiatives

Johnson’s “War on Poverty”

Civil Rights Act of 1964

98

War on Poverty

Created Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps

99

23rd Amendment

Gave DC residents the right to Vote for President (1961)
-3 electoral college votes (smallest state)

100

24th amendment

Abolished poll taxes (1964)

101

26th amendment

Gave citizens over 18 the right to vote (1971)

102

Amendments passed during the 1960s and 1970s

Expanding the vote

23rd, 24th, 26th

103

1980s and 1990s

Americans became concerned about the growth of government

Conservative backlash led by President Ronald Reagan

Also saw the end of the “Cold War” and the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

104

1960s and 1970s

Were also a time of social change and protest

LBJ

Americans also passed Constitutional Amendments expanding the vote (23, 24, 26)

105

President Ronald Reagan

Focused on the traditional role of national government (defense), while cutting taxes and non-defense spending

America enjoyed a strong economy under Reagan

106

Millennium

Government has continued to expand

George W. Bush

Obama

107

George W. Bush

America responded to 9/11 with the Patriot Act, TSA, and DHS

When the economy crashed in 2008, President Bush signed a bank “bailout”

108

Obama

Supported a “bailout” of auto manufacturers, a $831 Billion “stimulus”

Obamacare