American Heritage 100 :: Fall 2006 [/\\] BYU

my student notes and resources from amh 100 at byu. i can make mistakes, so corrections are welcome.

use 'search this blog' above to search through my notes.

as an international student, i don't know much about american heritage either.

Oct 16, 2006


The American Constitution

Day 1

I. Problems with the Articles of Confederation
A. Consequences

II. States vs National power: States protective of own authority
A. Precedents:
1. United Colonies
2. Albany Plan of Union

III. Danger of Continuous Rebellion
A. Shays's Rebellion
B. Competing views of rebellion

IV. Creating the Constitution
A. Structure vs Virtue

MEDIA CLIP: The Miracle in Philadelphia
-the first federal government (articles of confederation) congress was too weak and was going to fall
-james madison, ben franklin
-states have more power, or federal government have more power
-roger sherman came up with a compromise 2 houses of congress
(house of representatives [representation by population], and us senate [representation 2 per state])
-they wrote a constitution for the USA
-purpose- secure blessings of liberty for the 'people'

Government laid out in 'articles of confederation' is a weak government
-it could not even tax its people
-no supreme court/judge system
Inefficient structure
-unanimity (everyone has to agree, not a 51% majority) required for amendments
State to State competition
-states competed with each other for trade and foreign policy

Results of national weakness
-newburgh conspiracy 1783
-shay's rebellion, 1786-87
--put down by a private rebellion

States vs National Goverment

MEDIA CLIP: Dispute in Little Rock, Arkansas
-not letting blacks into a school (state) vs allowing anyone in the school(federal)
-state govt calls in troops to enforce a policy which was against the federal government policy

The Whiskey Rebellion: 1794

MEDIA CLIP: whiskey rebellion, how did president george washington respond to it?
-this is different, you have representation
-they felt they were being unjustly oppressed with taxes

George washington says, you need to obey the laws

"You and I my dear friend..." [see slides for quote]
John Adams (2nd pres of USA)

Structure vs Virtue
-David Hume: Assume everyone acts for self-interest

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary"
James Madison

Classical Repubicanism:
-Virtuous leaders check corruption among the powerful

Lockean Liberalism:
-Individuals guard liberty, rights
-Potential negatives: Irresponsible individualism

MEDIA CLIP: Gilmore Girls
-"I found a dance partner" (24 hour dance marathon) get a nice trophy vs charity/virtue


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