Saturday, September 28, 2013

Politics and Government Homework - Due Wednesday, Oct 2

  • read pgs 7- 29 in How Democratic is the American Constitution?
1 - Robert Dahl references and discusses several of the framers: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, George Wilson, George Mason.  For each, provide one quote be used to support either a claim or a counter-claim regarding the essential question - Did the Constitution's framers intend to create a revolutionary and democratic government? 

2 - Why did the framers construct a federal system instead of a unitary system?

3 - Discuss Hamilton's view about equal representation in the Senate.

4 - Discuss the "elevated discussion" that took place between Gunning Bedford of Delaware and Rufus King of Massachusetts.   

5 - Select and discuss at least three "undemocratic" features of the Constitution.  Why does Dahl feel these features are undemocratic?  Do you agree or disagree?  Explain.

6 - Discuss the colonial period/Declaration of Independence and its impact on American attitudes about natural rights.

7 - Discuss differences between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.

8 - How did the availability of land impact the evolution of the republic?

9 - In what ways did amendments help to make the Constitution more democratic?  

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

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

12.  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?

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

14.  How were senators selected?   

Read Zinn 96-102

Answer the following questions. Use the vocabulary list to assist you as you read. In addition to answering the questions, use each word in a sentence.

1. Discuss the right to vote in the new Constitution.

2. Zinn suggests that there is more to democracy than voting. What does he mean?

3. What was the basis for the "factional struggles that were developing?"

4. Why does Zinn seem to doubt that the "government...maintain[s] a referee between two equally matched fighters"?

5. Discuss the quote from Madison in Federalist #10. What does he want people to know, think believe?

6. Discuss the compromise between Northern business and Southern slaveholders.

7. Why do you think the Constitution protected "life, liberty and property" instead of the pursuit of happiness?

8. Write several sentences to describe the following terms. Include a quote for each.
a) Bill of Rights
b) Sedition Act
c) Whiskey Rebellion

popular election: universal suffrage (also universal adult suffrage, general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens (or subjects) as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens.

tumultuous: disruptive, characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination; "effects of the struggle will be violent and disruptive"; "riotous times"; "these troubled areas"; "the tumultuous years of his administration"; "a turbulent and unruly childhood"

faction/factional: in politics, a political faction is a grouping of like-minded individuals, especially within a political organization, such as a political party, a trade union, or other group.

unison: corresponding exactly; "marching in unison"
occurring together or simultaneously; "the two spoke in unison"

apt: naturally disposed toward; "he is apt to ignore matters he considers unimportant"; "I am not minded to answer any questions"

pervade: to be in every part of; to spread through

tempestuous: stormy, characterized by violent emotions or behavior; "a stormy argument"; "a stormy marriage"

repress: put down by force or intimidation; "The government quashes any attempt of an uprising"; "China keeps down her dissidents very efficiently"; "The rich landowners subjugated the peasants working the land"

insurrection: rebellion, organized opposition to authority; a conflict in which one faction tries to wrest control from another

delusion: a fixed belief that is either false, fanciful, or derived from deception. Psychiatry defines the term more specifically as a belief that is pathological (the result of an illness or illness process). ...

lament: a cry of sorrow and grief; "their pitiful laments could be heard throughout the ward"

illicit: contrary to accepted morality (especially sexual morality) or convention; "an illicit association with his secretary"

delegate: a person appointed or elected to represent others

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