Lesson 5 – Article I – The Legislative Branch

Assignment 1

In Lesson 2 we examined Article I, section 2, Clause 1 and determined that an Electordef was one who chooses someone for public office.  We commonly call the elector to which this clause refers a voter.  Write an essay describing the criteria you would use to qualify voters if you were writing a constitution (for any level of government).  What would you expect the results to be from an election held by voters qualified by your criteria?

– Assignment 1 Student Comments

Assignment 2

Assuming that we all believe that those who are not qualified to vote also ought to be represented and assisted, what do you think of what Adam Smith calls sumptuarydef law?  Adam Smith quotes a law enacted in 1463 which said “no servant in husbandry, nor common labourer, nor servant to any artificer inhabiting out of a city or burgh, shall use or wear in their clothing any cloth above two shillings the broad yard.” 

What valid reason could there be for enacting such a law in 1463?  Why might there be a reason to have laws somewhat similar to this today? 

– Assignment 2 Student Comments

Assignment 3

Article I Section 8   authorizes Congress to tax and spend money for certain purposes.  Please use the above link to read through this Clause.  

James Madison, who is considered the father of the Constitution as one of the authors of The Federalist Papers shows that the expected income for operation of the national government would come from a particular  source.  Please read this excerpt Federalist #45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Why did James Madison think that sufficient revenue would come from this source to run the national government?   Do you think that this would provide enough revenue to operate the national government today?   What would you recommend as a way to get enough money to run the national government?

Use the following link to read the entire *Federalist # 45 paper from www.constitution.org.

– *Federalist 45
– Assignment 3 Student Comments