Chapter 2, Section 4 and 5 Notes

January 18, 2017

Chapter 2: Origins of the American Government
Section 4: Creating the Constitution

Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan

The Virgina Plan:
The Virginia Plan called for a new government with three separate branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislature—Congress—would be bicameral.
Representation in each house was to be based either upon each State’s population or upon the amount of money it gave for the support of the central government.
The members of the lower house, the House of Representatives, were to be popularly elected in each State.
The Senate members were to be chosen by the House from lists of persons nominated by the State legislatures.
Congress could veto any State law in conflict with national law, and to use force if necessary to make a State obey national law.
Under the proposed Virginia Plan, Congress would choose a “National Executive” and a “National Judiciary.”
Create a new constitution by thoroughly revising the Articles to have a national government with greatly expanded powers and the power to enforce its decisions.

The New Jersey Plan
It retained the unicameral Congress of the Confederation, with each of the States equally represented.
Congress would be able to tax and to regulate trade between the States.
The New Jersey Plan also called for a “federal executive” of more than one person.
It called for equal representation in a unicameral national legislature.

Critical Thinking
1. What was agreed to under the Connecticut Compromise?
It was agreed that Congress should be composed of two houses. In the smaller Senate, the States would be represented equally. In the House, the representation of each State would be based upon its population.
Thus, by combining basic features of the rival Virginia and New Jersey Plans, the convention’s most serious dispute was resolved. The agreement satisfied the smaller States in particular, and it made it possible for them to support the creation of a strong central government.
2. Should the slaves be counted as part of the population? How was this dilemma resolved?
The Framers agreed to the Three-Fifths Compromise. It provided that all “free persons” should be counted, and so, too, should “three-fifths of all other persons.” (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. For “all other persons” read “slaves.”) For the three-fifths won by the southerners, the northerners exacted a price. That formula was also to be used in fixing the amount of money to be raised in each State by any direct tax levied by Congress. In short, the southerners could count their slaves, but they would have to pay for them.
3. Describe the Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise in detail.
According to the Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise, Congress was forbidden the power to tax the export of goods from any State. It was also forbidden the power to act on the slave trade for a period of at least 20 years. It could not interfere with “the migration or importation of such persons as any State now existing shall think proper to admit,” except for a small head tax, at least until the year 1808.
4. What sources influenced the Framers in writing the Constitution?
Works such as William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, the Baron de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws, Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, and many others.
More immediately, the Framers drew on their own experiences. Remember, they were familiar with the Second Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation, and their own State governments. Much that went into the Constitution came directly, sometimes word for word, from the Articles. A number of provisions were drawn from the several State constitutions, as well.

Chapter 2: Origins of the American Government
Section 5: Ratifying the Constitution

From The Constitution
“The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.”
—Article VII
The Congress of the Confederation agreed to this irregular procedure. After a short debate, it sent copies of the new document to the States on September 28, 1787.

Federalists and Anti-Federalists

Two groups quickly emerged in each of the States
The Federalists, who favored ratification
The Federalists were led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. The Federalists stressed the weaknesses of the Articles. They argued that the many difficulties facing the Republic could be overcome only by a new government based on the proposed Constitution.
The Federalists, on the other hand, had answers to all of the Anti-Federalist complaints. Among them:
• The separation of powers into three independent branches protected the rights of the people. Each branch represents a different aspect of the people, and because all three branches are equal, no one group can assume control over another.
• A listing of rights can be a dangerous thing. If the national government were to protect specific listed rights, what would stop it from violating rights other than the listed ones? Since we can’t list all the rights, the Federalists argued that it’s better to list none at all.

The Anti-Federalists, who opposed it was headed by such well-known Revolutionary War figures as Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.
Anti-Federalists did not want to ratify the Constitution. Basically, they argue that:
• It gave too much power to the national government at the expense of the state governments.
• There was no bill of rights.
• No mention of God in the Constitution.
• The denial to the States of a power to print money
• The national government could maintain an army in peacetime.
• Congress, because of the `necessary and proper clause,’ wielded too much power.
• The executive branch held too much power.
By June of 1788, the Constitution was close to ratification. Nine states had ratified it, and only one more (New Hampshire) was needed. To achieve this, the Federalists agreed that once Congress met, it would draft a bill of rights. Finally, New York and Virginia approved, and the Constitution was a reality.

Critical Thinking
Why was the ratification by Virginia and New York crucial for the success of the Constitution?

NY and VA were among the most influential states in terms of political and economic leadership. Therefore, the Constitution would have more validity once ratified by both states.

Chapter 2 Review – Due on Friday

January 17, 2017

Copy and answer questions 1-25 (skip 16-18) on page 60 to review Chapter 2.

The Chapter 1 and 2 Test will take place on Friday, 01/20/17.

01/12/17 Homework

January 12, 2017

Complete 3 pages of Cornell notes for Chapter 2-4 from page 48-54. Due on Friday.

Notes for Ch 1-3, Ch 2-1 and 2-3

January 12, 2017

Chapter 1: Principles of Government
Section 3: Basic Concept of Democracy

Democracy exists in this country because the American people believe in its basic concepts.

The American concept of democracy rests on these basic notions:
1. A recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of every person;
2. A respect for the equality of all persons;
3. A faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights;
4. An acceptance of the necessity of compromise; and
5. An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom.

Group Activity:
Use the information in page 18-20 to write a summary (50 words or less) on your assigned notion.

Critical Thinking:

1. Describe the essential components of the free enterprise system.

It is an economic system characterized by the private ownership of capital goods, investments made by private decision, not by government directive, and success or failure determined by competition in the marketplace.

The free enterprise system is based on four fundamental factors: private ownership, individual initiative, profit, and competition.

2. What makes the free enterprise system work?

It does not rely on government to decide what items are to be produced, how much of any particular item should be produced, or how much any item is to sell for. Rather, those decisions are to be made by the market, through the law of supply and demand. That law states that when supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices tend to drop. When supplies become scarcer, prices tend to rise.

3. Give three examples of how our government participates in the economy.
The government…
• provides the currency as legal tender
• sets rules and regulations for industries
• adjusts interest rates according to economic condition
• provide safety net programs to help people in need
• sets minimum wage and make laws regarding working condition.

4. How has the Internet affected democracy?

The Internet makes knowledgeable participation in the democratic process easier than ever before. But there are often unverifiable and frequently false information and biased analysis in cyberspace.

Chapter 2, Section 1 & 3: Origins of the American Government

Section 1: Our Political Beginnings

1. Identify the three basic concepts of government that influenced government in the English colonies.
The three basic concepts of government are ordered government, limited government, and representative government. English colonists who saw the need for orderly regulation, so they then created local government based on what they had in England. For example, the city hall, fire department, police department to keep peace and order. Limited government means that even though the government is the government, it doesn’t have all the power people think it does. As citizens, we have rights that the government has no control over. Representative government is a person that is voted by the people. The rep. is sent to the legislative government to be the voice of the people.
2. Explain the significance of the following landmark English documents: the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights.
The three important English documents are the first series of challenges against dictatorship. The Petition of Right limited the power of the kings by forcing a King to seek approval from the Parliament for more money in taxes. Most importantly, the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights granted protection for the people. The Magna Carta is the protection against the arbitrary taking of life, liberty or property. The English Bill of Rights guaranteed the rights to fair trials and forbade cruel and unusual punishment. Thus the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights limited the absolute power of a dictator and eventually gave birth to democracy in America. After the Revolutionary War, the United States adopted the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in which concepts were taken directly from the English Bill of Rights.
3. Describe the three types of colonies that the English established in North America.
Colonies that had been established in North America were divided into three categories: Royal, Proprietary, and Charter. Royal colonies were under direct control of the British Crown. The King would appoint governors and council members to serve in the colonies. Charter colonies were largely self-governing colonies whose governors are elected each year by the white, male property owners in each state. In a proprietary colony, it is organized by proprietors. The land can be settled and governed as much as the proprietor wants. The government is similar to the royal colony, but the legislature is unicameral.
Section 3: The Critical Period
1. Describe the structure of the government set up under the Articles of Confederation.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the unicameral body of congress was created with no executive or judicial branch. Each state had only one vote in congress, regardless of its population or wealth. Congress chose one of its members to be its president, or presiding officer. However, this person was not president of the United States.
2. Explain why the weaknesses of the Articles led to a critical period for the government in the 1780s.
The weakness of the congress was they didn’t have any power to tax, no power to regulate trade, and no power to make or control the states to obey the articles of confederation or laws they made. Because of the war the weakness of no taxes being paid they were in huge debt. Also the government couldn’t control the states, and refused to support new government and would make new agreements with foreign governments. The states would also tax one another, printed their own money, and made their own military. In the end it was economic chaos which created violence, and which made it destined for the critical period for the government in 1780.
3. Describe how a growing need for a stronger national government led to plans for a Constitutional Convention.
The Articles of Confederation established a firm league of friendship among the States, but were insufficient to create a strong and effective national government and thus, created a climate of economic and political instability. Without a truly representative Congress and no national court system, nor executive power, the Congress was powerless to regulate commerce, collect taxes, and to make the States obey the laws it made. Maryland and Virginia took the first step in the movement for change by agreeing to a conference near Mount Vernon in 1785. Their negotiations were so successful that a joint meeting was called to recommend a federal plan for regulating commerce in Annapolis, but only five States attended. Another meeting was called at Philadelphia known as the Constitutional Convention

Chapter 1 Review – Due on Thursday, Jan 12

January 9, 2017

Copy and answer questions 1-20 on page 24 in Cornell note format.

01/06/17 Homework and Notes

January 6, 2017

Write two Jane Shaffer paragraphs to address objective 2 and 4 on page 12.

  • Include two concrete details for each paragraph.
  • Concrete detail to Commentary ratio = 1:1


Chapter 1: Principles of Government
Section 2: Forms of Government

Is our government a true democracy?

Governments are classified according to
(1) who can participate in the governing process,
(2) the geographic distribution of governmental power within the state, and
(3) the relationship between the legislative (lawmaking) and the executive (law-executing) branches of the government.

Who can participate in the governing process?
In a democracy, supreme political authority rests with the people. The people hold the sovereign power, and government is conducted only by and with the consent of the people.
A democracy can be either direct or indirect in form. A direct democracy, also called a pure democracy, exists where the will of the people is translated into public policy (law) directly by the people themselves, in mass meetings.
Americans are more familiar with representative democracy, where a small group of persons, chosen by the people to act as their representatives, expresses the popular will.
A dictatorship exists where those who rule cannot be held responsible to the will of the people.
It is the oldest, and the most common, form of government known to history.
Dictatorships are identified as either autocracies or oligarchies. An autocracy is a government in which a single person holds unlimited political power. An oligarchy is a government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite.

Complete the following statements.
1. A unitary government is often described as a…
centralized government. All powers held by the government belong to a single, central agency.
2. Unitary government can’t be likened to a dictatorship because…
the powers held by the unitary government are limited and representatives are elected by the people.
3. In the United States, the federal Government has certain powers and the 50 States have others. This division of powers is set out in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution stands …
above both levels of government; and it cannot be changed unless the people, acting through both the National Government and the States, agree to that change.
4. A confederation is an alliance of independent states. As a central organization, the confederate government has the power to handle….
only those matters that the member states have assigned to it.
5. A presidential government features a separation of powers…
between the executive and the legislative branches of the government.
6. In parliamentary government, the executive is made up of the prime minister or premier, and that official’s cabinet. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in parliament and is…
chosen by that party.
7. Parliamentary government avoids one of the major problems of the presidential form: prolonged…
conflict and sometimes deadlock between the executive and legislative branches. On the other hand, it should be noted that the checks and balances of presidential government are not a part of the parliamentary system.

01/04/17 Homework and Notes

January 4, 2017

Copy and answer questions 1-6 on page 10 in Cornell format.


Chapter 1: Principles of the Government

Section 1: Government and the State

What does the government do for you?

Government is the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies (laws).

The public policies of a government dictate all of the things a government decides to do. Public policies cover matters ranging from taxation, defense, education, crime, civil rights, and working conditions.

Every government has three basic kinds of power:
(1) Legislative power—the power to make law and to create public policies;
(2) Executive power—the power to execute, enforce, and administer law; and
(3) Judicial power—the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society.

A dictatorship controls the above with a single person or a small group.

In a democracy, the power of government belongs to the people.

Politics enables a society to decide who will reap the benefits, and who will pay the costs, of its public policies.

A state is often called a “nation” or a “country.”
A state must have…
People – a population
Land – territory, with known and recognized boundaries
Sovereignty (independence) – it has supreme and absolute power within its own territory and can decide its own foreign and domestic policies
Government – through which the state exerts its will and works to accomplish its goals

Theories of the Origin of the State

Evolution Theory:
Head of the primary family was the authority that served as the government.

Force Theory:
Government emerged when all of the people of an area were brought under control under the authority of one person or group.

Divine Right:
The rulers were given the right to govern by god. They could be chosen by gods.
To oppose the monarch (king) = oppose god = punished by the death sentence.

Social Contract Theory:
Thomas Hobbes stated that people surrendered to the state the power needed to maintain order. Therefore, the state agreed to protect its citizens. Hobbes believed that people did not have the right to break this contract.

John Locke stated when the government failed to preserve the rights of the people; the people could break the contract (revolt) and justify it

The Purpose of Government:
1. To maintain social order.
2. Provide public services.
3. Provide for national security.
4. To provide and control the economic system.