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POL 408 Seminar: The Making of the Constitution (3 credits)

The 1787 Constitutional Convention justified and determined the language of the U.S. Constitution. The course carefully disssects three volumes of the Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (the notes of Madison, Yate, and others) to examine the justifications for elections, bicameralism, separation of powers, representation schemes, judicial review, etc. Students will read important founding documents (Locke, Hume, Montesquieu, Federalist Papers, etc.). Classic and recent scholarship will be assigned and students will read additional material specific to their research papers. The course will also feature a role-playing game centered on the Constitutional Convention. The game takes up several weeks of the semester and requires the mastery of all the above materials as well as the production of speeches, documents, and briefs. Students will hand in a twenty page research paper on one aspect of the constitution making process the first day of finals week. Prerequisite: POL 107/117 and ONE of the following: POL 302, 303, 310,311 OR 312.