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The US Constitution

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Explain how the Constitution has shaped political participation in the United States over time, including the impact of the Constitution on activity by policy seekers, on political parties, and on elections.

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The Constitution and political participation over time.

Take a quick look at "Democratic theories and the Constitution," By Martin Edelman; maybe also "Constitutional government: the American experience" by James A. Curry, Richard B. Riley, Richard M. Battistoni

The Constitution meant to use, but not be based upon, democracy.
Democracy exists only in one area: That of the House. Since the House controls government money (at least in Constitutional theory) popular participation in government should revolved around budgets. This is meant to be under popular control.

The control over money has been given to the Federal Reserve, which is unelected. Therefore, the only real area is budgets, which are in the control of the House. This strongly suggests that political participation is directed at financial and fiscal questions.

The House was also meant to have a rotating office, so that eventually, many of the ...

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Discussion around ten statements made about the U.S. Constitution

Please provide short responses to the 10 points about the U.S. Constitution (e.g., , no right or wrong answers). Here is an example of the format to use:

EX: The word democracy does not appear in the Constitution.

ANS: I find this information fascinating because today there is so much talk about our democracy and it just seems strange to me that the word was not included in the Constitution. I wonder if that means that they did not think of the Constitution in the same way that we are taught today.

Below are the 10 points to discuss:

? The U.S. Constitution has 4,440 words. It is the oldest and the shortest written constitution of any government in the world.

? Of the typographical errors in the Constitution, the misspelling of the word "Pensylvania" above the signers' names is probably the most glaring.

? Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution. He was in France during the Convention, where he served as the U.S. minister. John Adams was serving as the U.S. minister to Great Britain during the Constitutional Convention and did not attend either.

? The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey was 26. The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin which was 81.

? The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens, and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924.

? James Madison, "the father of the Constitution," was the first to arrive in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. He arrived in February; three months before the convention began, bearing the blueprint for the new Constitution.

? When the Constitution was signed, the United States' population was 4 million. It is now more than 300 million. Philadelphia was the nation's largest city, with 40,000 inhabitants.

? It took one hundred days to actually "frame" the Constitution.

? During an event to celebrate the Constitution's Sesquicentennial in 1937, Harry F. Wilhelm recited the entire document through the newly added 21st Amendment from memory. He then obtained a job in the Sesquicentennial mailroom! Representatives and the Senate compromised on the use of "President of the United States."

? Vermont ratified the Constitution on January 10, 1791, even though it had not yet become a state.

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