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 23, 2006

Go watch: "A More Perfect Union"
-Wednesday and Thursday October 25th, 26th
--5:00pm, 7:30pm JSB Auditorium
-Thursday October 26th 6:45am in JSB
Auditorium (THIS WEEK)

grading on the multiple choice portion of the test
100-77 A
76 -69 B
68 -56 C
55 -46 D
below 45 E

[see the slides for the american heritage curve]

Rights and Ratification

Day 1

I. Barriers to ratification of the Constitution

A. Fears of centralized power
1. Dangers of monarchy and aristocracy
2. Potentially unlimited power of Congress
(the "necessary and proper" clause)
3. States' desires to retain sovereignty
4. Lack of a Bill of Rights

II. Structural Solutions

A. Federalism
B. Separation of Powers
C. Enumerated Powers

III. Ratification

A. The Promise of the Bill of Rights


James Madison: The Architext of the Constitution
-"Publius" -Penname, used in the federalist papers
-"Madison's political career rested on... hard working people could lead laxier people"

MEDIA CLIP: James Madison
- a young sickly boy who liked to read
-11 french, latin, greek
- he made friends with madison
-in 1780 he was elected to the 2nd continental congress
-madison arrived at the constitutional convention 11 days early
-he had been doing his homework and a lot of preparation
-virginia plan the framework for the constitution

constitution had to be ratified by 9/13 states

4 barriers to ratifying (agreeing to) the constitution [1][2][3][4]....

They had just fought against a tyrannical government, and they were fearful that forming a federal government would result in a tyrannical government that oppresses freedoms (etc).

John Adams proposed that they should say:
"His Highness, the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties"
(but this was too much like the english way of things (aristocracy))
instead we use
"Mr. President"

MEDIA CLIP: President authorized the NSA to spy on citizens without warrants
-the program of spying on citizens (including wiretaps) people are arguing it is important
-The patriot act

People were worried because they thought they were just going to modify confederation not re-do the whole thing with a new document

Every state proposed their own constitution previous to making a complete USA constitution. Virginia's constitution said that there would be no salaries for elected people (governor, state legislature)

BUT, if they don't have a salary, they can be swayed with bribes.
OR, who can afford to have no salary? Rich people.

States were pretty jealous of their sovereignty

Lack of a bill of rights

Madison and Hamilton opposed to the idea of a bill of rights (at the beginning)
George Mason supported the idea of a bill of rights
George Mason refused to sign the constitution because it didn't have a bill of rights

Responding to fears of centralized power...

People were worrying that a large republic would tear itself apart with factions

MEDIA CLIP: "A More Perfect Union"
-small republic vs large republic
-can we have this big republic?
-Madison makes the argument that a larger republic can safeguard against tyrannous factions

Federalism: (shared sovereignty between the states and the national government)

Separation of Powers - (enforcing laws and making laws enforced by two different branches of government)
-this is spelled out in the massachussetts constitution of 1780 [see slides]

Enumerated Powers: (powers belong to people unless they are listed and given to the government)

Federalism, Separation of Powers, Enumerated Powers were emphasized in order to assure people not to be worried about having a national government

Each state had to ratify the constitution
-ratified vote 187 to 168

-ratified 89 to 79
[these were close]

Delaware, Dec. 7 1787 (first state to ratify the constitution)
[see slides for rest of the list]
Rhode Island, May 29, 1790 (last state to ratify the constitution)

One of the major issues people were holding out on was the bill of rights


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