Department of Politics
325. Anglo-American Constitutional Thought
Dr. Robert W. Sutherland, Instructor
NOTE: A PDF file will be created soon for your convenience, but it IS NOT definitive, so please check the online version frequently. Changes in reading assignments will not, however, be made 24 hours immediately preceding class meetings.
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sutherland, 308 South, Ext. 4226. E-mail Link: the quickest and most reliable method of contacting me. I rarely check voice mail.
CLASS MEETINGS: See Assignments below
TEXTS: Hobbes, Leviathan, Hooker, Laws of . . . Polity, Locke, Two Treatises of Government, American Political Writings, 2 vols; Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
Poor preparation for class or frequent absence may lead to unannounced quizzes and an adjustment in the percentage of the final grade determined by the exam and paper. Both the final exam and the final paper remain with me for future reference in revising and improving the course. They can be picked up at my office immediately after Politics 325 is offered again. Portions of the Catalogue on adding and dropping courses and portions of the Compass on dishonesty in academic work are incorporated here by reference. A discount of 5% per hour will be applied to the grades of late papers, except for documented emergencies. The grading scale for the course is A = 1750-2000, A- = 1650-1749, B+ = 1550-1649, B = 1450-1549, B- = 1350-1449, C+ = 1250-1349, C = 1150-1249, C- = 1050-1149, D+ = 950-1049, D = 850-949, D- = 750-849, F = 000-749. The number of points possible on any given exam or paper is the product of 20 points times the importance of it measured in percent of the final course grade. For letter grade equivalents, multiply the percentage times: 18 = A, 17 = A-, 16 = B+, 15 = B, 14 = B-, 13 = C+, 12 = C, 11 = C-, 10 = D+, 9 = D, 8 = D-.
I. Introduction: Limited vs. Unlimited Government and the Rule of Law
II. Week I: Hobbes and the Logic of Unlimited Government
III. Week I-II: Hooker and the Logic of Limited Government
IV. Week II-IV: Locke and Anglo-American Constitutional Thought
Week I*****Day 2--9:30: Leviathan, 28-37, 42-49, 54-55, 80-85, 98-125, 129-144, 159-164
Week I*****Day 3--No Class
Week II*****Day 1--1:30: Laws of . . . Polity, Ch. 6-7
Week II*****Day 2--1:30 Laws of . . . Polity, Ch. 8-9
Week II****Day 3--1:30: Laws of . . . Polity, Ch. 10
Week II****Day 4--1:30: Two Treatises, Preface & Secs. 1-51
Week II****Day 5--9:00: MIDTERM EXAM
Week III****Day 1--1:30: Two Treatises, Secs. 52-158
Week III****Day 2--1:30: Two Treatises, Secs. 159-243; American Political Writings, pp. 3-18, 62-66, 109-136, 231-9
Week III****Day 3--1:30 APW, pp. 137-157, 340-367, 638-655
Week III***Day 4--1:30: American Political Writings, pp. 699-704, 884-899; Federalist #10
Week IV***Day 1--1:30: APW, pp. 1299-1348 Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, 76-146
Week IV***Day 2--1:30: Preparation Day, NO CLASS
Week IV***Day 3--1:30: Oral Presentations:
Week IV****Day 4--9:00: FINAL EXAM
Week IV****Day 5--Noon: Final Paper Due. Hardcopy Only!!
INSTRUCTIONS: Some class time will be reserved for oral work during each regular class meeting in weeks III-IV. Each student will be responsible for one formal presentation during the term and several informal discussions of key concepts and terms in the reading assignments. Grades on oral work are determined by performance in content and style. Strength in content depends on a clear presentation of main ideas, careful subordination of explanation and examples, and close attention to logical transition. Elements of style include skill in referring to notes (do not read a prepared text), in managing the time available (consult the instructor), in oral expression (watch rate of speed in speaking), in eye contact, and in variety of emphasis. The content and scheduling of presentations depends heavily on student initiative. The instructor will, however, urge you to focus on contemporary constitutional thought in a wide variety of terms and forms.
Presentation Subjects: A few suggestions
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF PAPERS:
An "A" paper has the following elements:
A "C" paper has:
A "D" paper:
Garbled, inaccurate discussion, no thesis, little evidence or argument, abuse of quotations, assertion in place of conclusion, gaps in organization, a multitude of errors.
An "F" paper:
See the Compass on plagiarism
KEY TERMS AND PHRASES IN THE LEVIATHAN
Chaps. 3-4: Mental vs. verbal discourse, the kinds (even sub-kinds) of each, the uses, even the special uses (and abuses) of the latter; true & false speech, importance of geometry
S T U D Y G U I D E for LAWS, Book I . Chapters 1 - 10
6a. What purposes inform Chapter Six? For Hooker's retrospective account of an important purpose, see the first relative clause in the first sentence of Chapter Ten.
7a. What purposes inform Chapter 7? See the relative clauses following the one cited above.
8a. What part of Ch. 7 forms the basis for 8 and how is 8 related to the purpose to be fulfilled in 6 & 7?
9a. What distinctions apply to reward and benefit and to hurt and punishment.
10a. What are the two foundations of public societies?
STUDY GUIDE FOR THE SECOND TREATISE
141-151: Filmer's"short Model" or "System of Politics;" the "old way" Governments are made; examples of Filmer's carelessness in supporting his "System," esp. his dependence upon "Fatherhood" and "Fatherly Authority;" logical errors in Filmer's work, organization of Locke's reply to Filmer in the First Treaties.
267-284: How the two treatises are linked, the main issue defined by Locke as the subject of the second; political power. State of nature and its relationship to Hooker's Laws; natural equality and authority conferred by the law of nature in responding to transgression; "inconveniences" in the state of nature and the origins of civil government; purpose served by the closing quotation from the Laws. State of war; the purpose of freedom; the difference between the state of war and the state of nature plus the relationship of each to civil government. How slavery is related to the previous terms.
285-302: Origins of property and an objection to Locke's account, the advantages of Locke's account in recognizing and rewarding those who work hard; the problem of common land, of measuring and transfering wealth and value, the invention and use of money.
303-318: Paternal power and the mistake associated with such a term; freedom, equality, and law; the power parents have over their children in the light of these terms; in what senses the authority of parents constitutes a kind of government; the duties of children and of parents; what conclusion can be drawn and applied to Filmer's argument, previously discussed.
318-349: How a "Politick Society" differs from a "conjugal" one, origins of the former considered as a prelude to discussing the danger of absolute power. How "Political Societies" begin. Two objections to the account given and replies to each. "Express Consent" distinguished from "tacit Consent"-- the implications and limitations of tacit consent.
350-380: Preservation of property as the "great and chief end" of political society. What property means and the ways in which it is preserved by government. The original "right and rise" of "Legislative and Executive Power." What a commonwealth is, however formed. What the legislative power is and the four limitations by which it is circumscribed. Separation of legislative and executive power. Executive power related to federative power. Legislative supremacy and executive power, detailing joint operations. Prerogative defined and limited.
380-428: Key terms reviewed preliminary to a discussion of conquest, usurpation, tyranny, and the dissolution of government. Conquest considered in the light of understanding how important consent is in a political society. Power of the conqueror over those that conquered with him. Power of the conqueror(s) over the subdued, their property, and their relations. Tyranny and usurpation distinguished. The right of revolt against tyranny asserted and circumscribed according to whether a person rules or the law does, whether there is a right of appeal, and whether coordinated resistance is easy or difficult. How governments are dissolved, with specific reference to the dissolution of parliamentary governments. "Trust," why it is key to understanding the issue, despite objections from those who fear instability and those who fear rebellion. Specific replies to the latter. Right of resistance confirmed by reference to other authorities.
KEY CONCEPTS IN MADISON'S TENTH FEDERALIST
FACTION: its causes, definition, & consequences. Its cure by removing causes & by controlling effects, in a minority, in a majority. Majority factions: how prevented, how rendered ineffective. Republic: why superior to a democracy: representation--its advantages enhanced by federalism and the separation of powers & size of republics--effects on forming a majority.