Unit 1: How Democratic is the Constitution?
We are going to start our whole class text-- Inventing a Nation, by Gore Vidal.
This will be challenging text. I anticipate some of you will have a little trouble, but they pay me the big bucks to help you. Don't give up!
Look over this vocabulary list first. I advise you print out a copy and keep it next to you as you read.
Please complete the assignment that follows the list.
“Crossing the Rubicon” – to go to a point of no return.
Meticulous: taking or showing extreme care about minute details
Revenue: the income of government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.
Transmutation: change into another nature, substance, form, or condition.
Proviso: a clause in a statute, contract, or the like, by which a condition is introduced.
Dividends: that part of the earnings of a corporation that is distributed to its shareholders; usually paid quarterly
Legislature: a type of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend and repeal laws.
Nurtured: help develop; provide with nourishment
Iconic: generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group.
Retrogressive: A deterioration or decline to a previous state; A return to a less complex condition
Guineas: a former British gold coin worth 21 shillings / a republic in western Africa on the Atlantic; formerly a French colony
Tottering: unsteady in gait as from infirmity or old age; "a tottering skeleton of a horse"; "a tottery old man"
Quorum: a gathering of the minimal number of members of an organization to conduct business
Mitigated: made less severe or intense; "he gladly accepted the mitigated penalty"
Onerous: not easily borne; wearing; "the burdensome task of preparing the income tax return"
Subservient: compliant and obedient to authority
Plenipotentiary: a diplomat who is fully authorized to represent his or her government
Commercial: Pertaining to commerce and having either monetary or non-monetary gain as motive
Armory: a collection of resources; "he dipped into his intellectual armory to find an answer"
Debtors: an entity that owes a debt to someone else. The entity may be an individual, a firm, a government, a company or other legal person.
Rhetoric: using language effectively to please or persuade
Exertion: use of physical or mental energy; hard work; "he got an A for effort"; "they managed only with great exertion"
Disingenuous: not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness
Inadequate: lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task
Supple: moving and bending with ease
Creed: any system of principles or beliefs
Anarchy: a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government)
Archetypal: representing or constituting an original type after which other similar things are patterned
Antidemocratic: opposing the democratic process or democracy, especially by the use of force; enforcing views contrary to that of a majority of the public
Attainder: attainder or attinctura is the metaphorical 'stain' or 'corruption of blood' which arises from being condemned for a serious capital crime (felony or treason)
Pellucid: allowing for the passage of light; transparent; easily understood; clear
Engorged: Of or pertaining to something that is overly filled with fluid
Inalienable Rights: Some philosophers and political scientists make a distinction between natural and legal rights.
Implicit: implied though not directly expressed; inherent in the nature of something; "an implicit agreement not to raise the subject"
Read pages 1-13
Answer the following questions. Each answer should be several sentences and, whenever possible, make connections to the Zinn chapter "A Kind of Revolution" or the Declaration of Independence that you read and analyzed.
1. Discuss this quote: "George Washington...was serioulsy broke."
Why was George Washington having financial problems? How did his social class and reputation contribute to these problems?
2. Why was there concern about the Articles of Confederation?
3. Explain in detail the difference between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Include the role of regional differences in you answers.
4. Discuss this quote: "In this crisis there were no Federalists, no future Republicans: only frightened men of property."
What is the crisis? Why does the author of the book want you to know think and believe after reading this statement? Explain.
5. What was the initial purpose of the Philidelphia convention? Why was Wahington conflicted about attending? Why was his presence needed?
6. Describe the new government formed by the Constitution. How did the new Constitution deal with slavery?
Do not forget to complete a current event report!!
These folks present:
Kirosa, Nia, Maurice
Yazmin, Nikki, Ricard, Juile