1: Instructor-Graded Assignment
Nick Milazzo (NAM 744)
1. Some people are pessimistic about the chances of making people virtuous but optimistic about the chances of having good government without virtue. They say that because of checks and balances and all of the other paraphernalia of complex government, civic virtue isn’t really necessary; bad people will keep each other from doing any serious injustice. Do you think this claim is true? Why or why not?
I totally disagree with this claim for a couple of reasons. One, checks and balances are not necessarily fail-proof. For instance, the check on the Legislative Branch is the Presidential veto, but the Legislature can ...view middle of the document...
" The ideas of checks and balances and federal form were derived from the thoughts of French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu. Separation of powers and natural rights were ideas stemming from the Father of Liberalism, English Enlightenment philosopher, John Locke. The balance of orders was meant to emulate the English legislative equilibrium. The Senate would assume the role of the Lords, the House of Representatives would assume the role of the Commons, and the President would assume the role of the Crown.
b. By contrast, which of its features seem to result from compromises between conflicting interests?
• Representation (Small States vs. Large States)- solved by creating a bicameral legislature, with a senate having equal representation, and a house with representation based on state population (The Great Connecticut Compromise)
• Slave Citizenship (Southern States vs. Northern States)- slaves were deemed to be 3/5ths of a person when determining representation and taxation (The 3/5ths Compromise)
• Tariffs (Southern Plantation Owners vs. Northern Businessmen)- the federal government can tax imports, but not exports (The Commerce Compromise)
• Presidential Elections (Direct Popular Election vs. Legislative Election)- the president is to be elected by an electoral college to a four-year term of office (Compromise on Executive Elections)
3. The Constitution treats different powers in different ways.
a. List those powers the Constitution specifically assigns
▪ to the national government alone,
▪ to the states alone, and
▪ to both the states and the national government.
• Print money
• Regulate interstate (between states) and international trade
• Make treaties and conduct foreign policy
• Declare war
• Provide an army and navy
• Establish post offices
• Make laws necessary and proper to carry out the these powers
• Issue licenses
• Regulate intrastate (within the state) businesses
• Conduct elections
• Establish local governments
• Ratify amendments to the Constitution
• Take measures for public health and safety
• May exert powers the Constitution does not delegate to the national government or prohibit the states from using
• Collect taxes
• Build roads
• Borrow money
• Establish courts
• Make and enforce laws
• Charter banks and corporations