Department of Politics
325. Anglo-American Constitutional Thought
Dr. Robert W. Sutherland, Instructor
NOTE: Reading assignments are subject to change, so the online syllabus is the only definitive version. Check this site regularly, at least once every other day. Changes in reading assignments will not be made within 24 hours immediately preceding class meetings.
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sutherland, 308 South, Ext. 4226. My email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the quickest and most reliable method of contacting me. Office hours follow the end of class each day.
CLASS MEETINGS & TEXTS: We meet daily 9:30-11 am, except for the 1st day and the exam days. The time that a particular class ends may vary. The total of 50 hours of class time includes group meetings and exam reviews set outside of the times posted above. See the schedule below for more details. The Bookstore will be stocking a single book, Richard Hooker's Laws (05213790831) . The rest of the reading assignments can be found on line.
CLASS PARTICIPATION POLICY: Small, advanced classes depend for success on student class participation, which not only requires attendence but also careful preparation for each class meeting. As much as 10% of the Participation/Assignment grade will be determined by the notes I keep on student daily participation. If a class must be missed, both the missing student and the class suffers. However, students who notify me by email BEFORE the class that they will be forced to miss will be allowed ONCE to use the average of their participation scores in the course. Otherwise, a zero will be the result of a missed class. No make-up opportunities exist in this course. Documented health absences will be considered on a case by case basis.
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 1: By 8am Monday, send to me by email (see address above) a 300 word essay on why those beginning the study of Anglo-American Constitutional Thought are well served by reading closely and thinking hard about Vice President Gerald Ford's, Remarks on taking the Oath of Office of President. The more you invest in this assignment the better your performance is likely to be for the initial essay of the Final Examination in this course.
Day 2--: Leviathan, Chs, 3, 4: from "Origins" to "Abuses of Speech", 5, 6 on "The Will" & "Felicity", 11, 13-15, 16-19, & 21
Day 3: Leviathan, Chs. 26-30; Nagel Reading
Day 4: Richard Hooker, The Laws . . . of Polity, pp. 52-62
Day 5: Laws of . . . Polity, pp. 64-74
Week II**Day 6: Laws of . . . Polity, pp. 64-74
Day 7: Laws of . . . Polity, pp. 74-95
Day 8: Laws of . . . Polity, pp. 95-110
Day 9: Locke, Two Treatises: The First Treatise , Preface & Secs. 1-51; 2nd Treatise, Secs. 1-51
Day 10: Two Treatises: The Second Treatise Secs. 77-168
Week III**Day 11--8:30: MIDTERM EXAM
Week III**Day 12: Two Treatises, Secs. 175-243.; American Political Writings, pp. 3-18 (Williams, Election Sermon), 62-66 (Aequus), 109-136 (Shute, Election Sermon), 231-9 (Continential Congress, Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec)
Week III****Day 13--APW, pp. 137-157 (Perkins, Well-Wisher to Mankind), 340-367 (Demophilus), 638-655 (Amicus Republicae, Address to the Public)
Week III***Day 14--American Political Writings, pp. 699-704 (Worcester Speculator), 884-899 (Dwight, Oration); Federalist #10 GROUP 1
Week IV***Day 16--APW, pp. 1299-1348 (Ames, Dangers of Am. Liberty), Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, 3-4 GROUP 3
Week IV***Day 17--8:30: FINAL EXAM
Week IV***Day 18:Noon: Final Paper Due. Hardcopy Only!!
INSTRUCTIONS: American Political Writings of the Founding Era is a rich resouce for understanding the transition from English to American constitutional thought, but unfortunately we can read only a small fraction of the writing collected by Hynemann & Lutz. Groups will be responsible in the 3rd and 4th weeks for ranging beyond the assignments for which the whole class is responsible. Groups are limited to roughly 25 pages per day in additional reading assignments and each group is responsible for leading discussion on what it assigns. As much as half of the class in these weeks will be reserved for group use in discussion of these supplemental writings. 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.
PAPERS: Topics and Evaluation
Topics: A few suggestions which should not discourage students from proposing their own
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
1: What is the purpose of the work and out of what dispute does it come?
2:How is law defined and why is it so little discussed in its highest form? What makes it possible for us to discuss it at all?
3a: What is eternal law as the "learned" understand it? 3b: What do "we" mean by "enlarging" the sense of law? 3c: Distinguish between the two laws eternal and how a hierarchy of "natural agents" relate the two. 3d: Distinguish between involuntary and voluntary agents and what law means for each. 3e: How is the orderliness of nature described and distinguish according to whether individual or social?
4a: What distinguishes angels and how are they related to the "children of men?" 4b: What actions are associated with the qualities of angels and how does angelic law follow from them?
5a: What is "goodness," how is it related to potentiality, action, and actuality? 5b: What are the degrees of goodness, especially as it relates to human beings?
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
Assignment #1 : 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.
#2: 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. 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.