21. A Union Without Power
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21. A Union Without Power

Today’s lecture basically is titled “A Union Without Power.” In past years I’ve titled it, “Powers — “Problems of the Confederation,” and you’ll see why, by the end of the lecture. On Tuesday I started to talk about the larger question of the legacy of the Revolution and the process of governance, and I started […]

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Impeachment is broken. Impeach Trump, anyway.
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Impeachment is broken. Impeach Trump, anyway.

In 1788, three founding fathers made the case for the US constitution in a series of essays called “The Federalist Papers”. And if you want to understand why impeachment is broken today, it’s worth starting there. With what they thought it would look like if it worked. In Federalist 65, Alexander Hamilton makes the case […]

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22. The Road to a Constitutional Convention
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22. The Road to a Constitutional Convention

Prof: Coming in to the home stretch. We’re moving towards the Constitution; it’s kind of amazing, kind of weird. And so, as a matter of fact, that’s what we’re going to be doing with today’s lecture, which is going to get us on the road to the Federal Convention. Now just a quick review before […]

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An Overview of the Electoral College
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An Overview of the Electoral College

♪♪Music♪♪ Why don’t presidential candidates visit North Dakota? (Laughter) No offense to North Dakota and I am sure the President, presidential candidates don’t want to offend them but there is a reason why they don’t visit North Dakota. And in this lecture I want to talk about the Electoral College. Certainly a unique system a […]

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1.  Introduction: What is Political Philosophy?
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1. Introduction: What is Political Philosophy?

Professor Steven Smith: Let me start today by asking the question, “what is political philosophy?” Custom dictates that I say something about the subject matter of this course at its outset. This in some ways might seem a case of putting the cart before the horse, or the cart before the course maybe, because how […]

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24. Creating a Nation
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24. Creating a Nation

Prof: On Thursday, I gave the world’s most condensed lecture about the Constitution, and I mentioned three controversies that represented long-standing concerns in Revolutionary America: the question of representation, the problem of slavery, and then the question of a national executive– so that really boils down to the problem of investing power in one man. […]

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