WTP: Unit One What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American Political System?
Lesson One:What did the founders think about constitutional government? • Colonial America • Rural • Spotting relationship between colonists and Natives • A few influential families dominated most towns or regions
Lesson One:What did the founders think about constitutional government? • Influences on the Founders: • Aristotle • Hobbes • Cicero • Locke • Montesquie • Blackstone • Also experience as colonies affected ideas on government • Lax British control left a lot of self governing.
Lesson One:What did the founders think about constitutional government? • Possible Forms of government: • Monarchy • Tyranny • Aristocracy • Oligarchy • Polity • Democracy • Did not trust the power in one’s or the masses hands.
Lesson One:What did the founders think about constitutional government? • Solution: • Republican form of government • Res publica • “public thing” • Needed the massess to be filtered • Protect them from themselves • Protect rights of the minority • Protect the interests of both the majority and minority in order to sustain government.
Lesson One:What did the founders think about constitutional government? • Whats a constitution? • Unwritten Constitution • Great Britain • Combination of written laws and precedents that create a “constitutional body” • Creates limited government & rule of law • Government limited by the provisions of the constitution and is not above the law but rather restrained/constrained by it.
Lesson Two:What ideas about civic life informed the founding generation? • Old School influences (from antiquity) • Classical republicanism • Common good • altruism • Civic virtue • State, city before the individual citizen • Small, uniform communities • Homogenous and exclusive • Moral Education • Common values and religious beliefs
Lesson Two: What ideas about civic life informed the founding generation? Philosophy & Government • Locke and Hobbes • Natural rights philosophy • State of nature • Law of nature • -Inalienable rights • --LLP
Lesson Two: What ideas about civic life informed the founding generation? Natural Rights Philosophy Social Contract Theory • unwritten contract between members of a society • To preserve rights of the members • Government instituted in order to protect these rights and solidify this contract.
Lesson Two: What ideas about civic life informed the founding generation? Natural Rights Philosophy Key tenets • Individual rights • Inalienable rights for EVERY member(ish) • Popular sovereignty • Right of revolution • Limited Government • Social contract • legitimacy
Lesson 3: What historical developments influenced modern ideas of individual rights? Religion and Human Rights • Judeo-Christian Beliefs • Public and Private morality • Virtues of community v. virtues of faith and religion • Dignity and worth of all human beings • Civic virtue a matter of moral faith and obligation as opposed to duty to society • Church held lots of power because of limited access to the Bible
Lesson 3: What historical developments influenced modern ideas of individual rights? Individual Right & the Middle Ages Feudalism • Hierarchical economic and governmental system based on ownership of resources, principally land. • kights, Lords, Vassals, Fiefs (serfs)
Lesson 4: What were the British Origins of American Constitutionalism? How did rights develop in England? • Rights of Englishmen - • Common law • Generally procedural due process rights • Magna Carta 1215 • “Great Charter” • King John & his barons, clergy, and merchants • Rule of law • Basic rights • Included redress of grievances • Government by contract
Lesson 4: What were the British Origins of American Constitutionalism? Concepts of the British Constitution • Petition of Right 1628 • Charles needed $ Parliament said ok if… • Increased Parliaments role and rights • Quartering soldiers • Some procedural due process rights • Habeas Corpus Act 1679 • Deliver the body • No detainment without charges • English Bill of Rights 1689 • Result of Glorious Revolution • Rule of law • Representive government