Professional communications Subject line Use an appropriate salutation Hi, Dr. Oldmixon; Dear Dr. Oldmixon Don’t expect an instant response Think about why you’re writing and ask a question Close with your name and class Sincerely, John Doe, PSCI 1040 How to email a professor

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Page 1: Constitutions upload

Professional communications Subject line Use an appropriate salutation

Hi, Dr. Oldmixon; Dear Dr. Oldmixon Don’t expect an instant response Think about why you’re writing and ask a question Close with your name and class

Sincerely, John Doe, PSCI 1040

How to email a professor

Page 2: Constitutions upload

The US and Texas Constitutions

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Revolution to Constitution

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A little history…

Home Rule French and Indian War, 1754-1763

Stamp Act of 1765 Tea Act of 1773 Intolerable Acts

First (1774) and Second (1775) Continental Congresses

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

• July 4, 1776• Thomas Jefferson

Declaration of Independence

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Articles of Confederation, 1781-1789

Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 Confederation How is the national government structured?

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What was wrong with the Articles?

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Crafting the Constitution

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Fundamental Problem

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal control on government would be necessary….You must first enable government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” Madison, F51

• How do you create an effective government that does not encourage tyranny?

• No good examples

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Representation of States

Virginia Plan – state population New Jersey Plan – state equality

The Great Compromise

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Northern interests Southern interests

Three-fifths Compromise Logroll

Slavery and Economics

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Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States …according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Three-fifths compromise

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The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Kicking the can on slavery

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No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.


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• Separation of powers• Checks and balances• Federalism

Design Principles

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Confidence in the men of our choice is that parent of despotism; it is jealousy and confidence which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power. ~ Jefferson

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1789 State level constitutional conventions, 9 Federalists and Anti-Federalists Bill of Rights, 1791


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Amending the Constitution

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> 10k offered, 33 proposed, 27 ratified Broad consensus Higher law

It’s difficult and rare!

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• What do they do?

Successful Amendments

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Federalism Women’s suffrage (19th Amendment) Prohibition (18th Amendment)

Interpretation “lay and collect taxes” “The Congress shall have Power To...regulate

Commerce...among the several States....”


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A new constitution every generation

“The earth belongs always to the living generation.”

Time for a new constitution?

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How the United States has changed since Constitution was

ratified? Given the changes, think about the ways in which

the Constitution might be changed.

Rights The president The Congress Federalism

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Federalist 10

Electoral filters Appointed judges No referenda Senate representation Franchise

Limits to majority rule

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The Texas Constitution

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Federalism Texas has had seven!

Constitution of 1866 Constitution of 1869

Reconstruction Act of 1867 Dems in 1872

States constitutions

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Liberal versus statutory The Grange

Principles Limited government Popular sovereignty Separation of powers

Constitution of 1876

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Goals Bill of Rights Traditional articles

Tremendous detail

Design and Structure

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Amendment Process

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• Weak executive• Part-time

legislature• Elected judiciary• Special elections