Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, January 30, 2013
What were the Founders Thinking? (Continued)
4. Madison's dilemma:
making a new republican government that would last
that would last
5. Madison’s opponents at the Convention
Roger Sherman wanted
Equal representation of the states in Congress
A national government with narrow authority
The New Jersey Plan
6. The framers built the Constitution on political compromises
Compromise #1: Congress
Compromise #2: The presidency
Compromise #3: Slavery
Compromise #4: Federalism
6. The Results:
The U.S. Constitution has had many successes
gridlock was built into the Constitution -
Checks and balances were intended to make gridlock possible
Constitution created a government that is very hard to use when
Americans are passionately and evenly divided
– like they are now.
only works when politicians, like the framers, use all of their skills of negotiation and compromise
How and Why do Americans fight about states' rights and federalism?
1. WHAT IS FEDERALISM?
In a federal political system, political authority is divided by a constitution between a central government and regional governments
Examples: Canada, Australia, U.S.
(As Opposed To A Unitary System, Such As Britain Or France)
2. WHO CARES ABOUT
A. States Affect Everyone's Lives
B. States do things differently
3. FEDERALISM AND NATIONAL
Interstate economic competition
The Economic Shift to the
The Political Shift to the Sunbelt:
Population Shifts Result In Shifts In ....
... The distribution of Seats In The House Of Representatives,
.... and Therefore in The Electoral College that elects the President