Class 13: The Constitution: A Summary View

Political Science

Course on “Basic Principles of the Original American Constitution

Taught by Dr. Christopher Wolfe

CLASS 13: “The Constitution: A Summary View”

To tie up our course on the Basic Principles of the Original American Constitution, we will focus our attention on an overall, architectural view of that document. We will do this by comparing the Constitution to Aristotle’s typology of regimes, the different types of government. This typology is structured according to the questions, “How many people rule?” and “For what ends?” Regarding the first question, a state can have one ruler, a few rulers, or many rulers. Regarding the second question, the rulers of a state can either pursue the common good or their personal interest. These responses to the two questions of the Aristotelian typology leave us with six possible types of government. We will try to locate the government envisioned by the founding fathers within these possibilities.
Christopher Wolfe is emeritus professor of political science at Marquette University, and served as co-director of the Thomas International Center from 2005 to 2014.  He currently teaches at the University of Dallas. His main area of research and teaching for two decades was Constitutional Law and American Political Thought, and he is the author of various books, the best known of which is The Rise of Modern Judicial Review, which Judge Robert Bork, in a 2006 Wall Street Journal contribution, listed as one of the five best books on the Constitution.