• POLS 15 The Constitutional Convention (Congress)
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    POLS 15 The Constitutional Convention (Congress)

    [music] In this lecture, we’ll focus on the Constitutional Convention. It was held in what’s now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia from May 25th to September 17th, 1787. There were several things that all the men in attendance agreed upon. First, they all agreed that the federal government should be stronger than it was under the Articles of Confederation, but that it shouldn’t be too strong. They also agreed that the federal government should have separation of powers, that it should consist of three branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. But there were plenty of disagreements as well. The most significant of these disagreements had to do…

  • POLS 15 The Road to the Constitution
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    POLS 15 The Road to the Constitution

    [music] In order to understand why the Constitution was written as it was, we need to understand what was going on in the United States in 1787 when it was written. America had always had colonial governments, but there had never really been a need for a national government until we had begun taking steps to declare independence from England. After America gained its independence, it adopted something known as the Articles of Confederation, which was a constitution establishing a federal government. The Articles of Confederation created a federal government very different from the one we know today. For example, one of the most major differences is there was no…

  • POLS 15 –  Other Due Process Rights
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    POLS 15 – Other Due Process Rights

    [music] The Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments contain other rights for criminal defendants. One of these is the right to remain silent. If the government accuses you of a crime, the proof is entirely on them to prove that you did it. And the jury must be told that the fact that you’re remaining silent does not indicate that you’re guilty. However, the right against self-incrimination only applies in criminal cases, not in civil cases, so if you’re ever sued, you must answer all questions in court. The Constitution also guarantees everyone who’s charged with a crime that might result in jail time the right to an attorney, and if…

  • Carol Weissert: Interstate Relations
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    Carol Weissert: Interstate Relations

    [Accordion music] So the question is, then, what level of government does what? And that’s where it really becomes important for students to really know, and the answer is, largely, it’s a combination of governments. Water is a very good area, when you were talking about that. In Florida we’re very keen on water because there is a lake called Lake Lanier in Georgia from which a lot of the water comes down the Apalachicola River and really funds the oyster industry and a lot of the fishing industry. And right now, the Atlanta suburbs are growing enormously; they’re using all the water. So the water flow is really reduced.…

  • What is the significance of the Fourteenth Amendment?
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    What is the significance of the Fourteenth Amendment?

    INTERVIEWER: Dr. Arnold, tell us about the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment is at the heart of American constitutionalism today, and it always has been. It’s really the… it’s the zombie amendment. It lived, and then it died, and then it lived again, and we hope it will continue to live. The Fourteenth Amendment, or the ideas behind it, they go all the way back to the Constitution, to the Revolution, and before. If you take this little book and you flip to the back to constitutional quotations, it starts with Rabbi Hillel in the [first] century, and the Golden Rule: “That which is hateful to you, do not do…

  • Govt 2305 apt lesson03 Federalism
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    Govt 2305 apt lesson03 Federalism

    hello this is mr. Seymour and this is going to be Chapter three of your lecture series from the textbook American politics today and this chapter is covering the topic of federalism the question of federalism is should the government require for instance all Americans to have health insurance while individual Americans disagreed about this question the states and the federal government also disagreed about the role of the state in implementing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare now this is just one example of the issue of federalism is investigating the relationship between the state and the federal government. Federalism is a system that gives some sovereign power to…

  • Articles

    Episode 148: Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government (with Gary Gerstle)

    Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. I’m Trevor Burrus. Joining me today is Gary Gerstle, the Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge and the author of the new book, Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Gary. Gary Gerstle: Thank you very much. Trevor Burrus: So, I would start with the interesting and provocative title of your book, Liberty and Coercion. Why did you choose those two concepts, which I guess are somewhat antithetical concepts, as your—for your overview of American history? Gary Gerstle: Well, for me, those…

  • A Pocket Guide to the US Constitution
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    A Pocket Guide to the US Constitution

    INTERVIEWER: So I see a fair number of kind of mini-Constitutions in and around at some bookstores and things. How’s your book different? And why did you decide to write this one? It’s not a mini-Constitution. It’s a mini-textbook. I wrote this book for my students. It’s a cheat sheet for them. I have students in my class every year on the history of the Constitution who are approaching it fresh. They needed something to be a guide for them. This comments on every line in the Constitution, and explains very simply what it means in historical terms. Every year, we begin our course the same way. I’m gonna start…

  • Politics & Voting : How to Start a Petition to Get Legislation on a Ballot
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    Politics & Voting : How to Start a Petition to Get Legislation on a Ballot

    “Hello this is Matthew Burbank”. Hello my name is Matthew Burbank and I’m an Associate Professor at the University of Utah and I’d like to talk to you a little bit about how to start a petition to get legislation on a ballot. The first thing you want to recognize is that this depends on the state that you live in. So in many states, you can indeed petition to have legislation considered directly by a vote. In other state, it’s not possible to do this. So the first thing that you need to know is if it’s possible in your state. Again, in some states it’s perfectly allowable to…

  • Limited government and the Constitution
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    Limited government and the Constitution

    SPEAKER 1: I’m in Washington, standing in front of the Supreme Court building where in 2004, 2006, and 2008, the Supreme Court declared that the Bush administration had acted outside the law and had to stop. At issue were policies that Bush had put in place after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush had concluded that the United States was engaged in a new kind of war that required a different set of rules. Captured enemy combatants, instead of being tried in regularly constituted courts, would be tried in secret military tribunals. Those that were thought to have important information would be subject to harsh interrogation, including water…