Friday, September 14, 2012

Politics and Government - Homework Due, Wed Sept 19

Unit 1 - Did the Constitution's framers intend to create a revolutionary and democratic government?

Two reading assignments: Inventing a Nation pg 1-13, How Democratic is the Constitution 1-31

a) Read pages 1-13 in Inventing a Nation by Gore Vidal
Answer the following questions. Each answer should be several sentences and, whenever possible, make connections to the Zinn chapter "A Kind of Revolution".

b) take notes, answer the following questions

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 your 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 Washington 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?

c) Read 1-31 in How Democratic is the Constitution?

d) Take notes; answers the following questions. 

1.  Discuss Hamilton's views of a republic and his attitude about democracy.  

2.  Why does Dahl title his chapter "What the Framers Couldn't Know"?

3.  On page 11, Dahl says "We can be profoundly grateful for one crucial restriction, the Framers were limited to consider only a republican form of government".  Why should we be grateful? What alternatives did the Framers have?

4.  What was the Sedition Act and why did it pass?

5.  How were senators selected?  


Proviso - a condition attached to an agreement

Dividends -
a sum of money paid regularly (typically quarterly) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves)

Nurture -
care for and encourage the growth or development of
Iconic - of, relating to, or of the nature of an icon

Quorum -
the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present to make a meeting valid

Mitigate -
make less severe, serious, or painful

Onerous -
(of a task, duty, or responsibility) Involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty

Subservient -
prepared to obey others unquestioningly

Plenipotentiary -
one with the full power of independent action on behalf of one's government

Armory -
a place where arms are kept

Rhetoric -
the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing

Exert -
apply or bring to bear (a force, influence, or quality)

Disingenuous - n
ot candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does

Supple -
bending and moving easily and gracefully; flexible

Creed -
a system of Christian or other religious belief; a faith

Pellucid -
translucently clear

To engorge -
cause to swell with blood, water, or another fluid

Implicit -
implied though not plainly expressed

Lavish - sumptuously rich and elaborate

Indulgent - having or indicating a readiness or over readiness to be generous to or lenient with someone

Transmutation - the action of changing or the state of being changed into another form

Retrogressive - retrograde: going from better to worse

Heir - a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person's death

Revenues - income, esp. when of a company or organization and of a substantial nature

Magnates - a wealthy and influential person, esp. in business

Untidy - not arranged neatly and in order

Tottering - move in a feeble or unsteady way

Commerce - the activity of buying and selling, esp. on a large scale

Tranquility - an untroubled state; free from disturbances

Disingenuous - not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does

Tumults -  confusion or disorder

Obscurity - the state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant

Unwitting - (of a person) not aware of the full facts: "an unwitting accomplice"

To cross the Rubicon - means to pass a point of no return, and refers to Julius Caesar's army's crossing of the river in 49BC, which was considered an act of insurrection

Archetypal - very typical of a certain kind of person or thing

Unanimously - of one mind; without dissent; "the Senate unanimously approved the bill"; "we voted unanimously

Veto - a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body

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