Friday, December 20, 2013

Politics and Government Homework - Due, Thurs Jan 2

1) Read and take notes: The U.S. Bill of Rights 

2) Read and prepare a case analysis: McCulloch v. Maryland 

3) Read and take notes: The Dred Scott's Fight for Freedom

4) Read and take notes: The Dred Scott Case 

5) Read and prepare an opinion analysisThe Supreme Court Decision - Dred Scott 

6) Read and take notes: The Reconstruction Amendments 

7) Read and prepare a case analysis: The Slaughterhouse Cases (Oyez) The Slaughterhouse Cases 

How to prepare a case analysis:

1) Consider and note the facts of the case
2) Consider and note the constitutional question(s)
3) Consider and note the court's decision and reasoning/rationale

How to prepare an opinion analysis:

In this unit you will read and analyze both majority and dissenting SCOTUS opinions.

How to prepare an opinion analysis: 

1) Skim the opinion first to identify and unfamiliar vocabulary words.  Look them up and make a list of new words and definitions.

2) Read in chunks, a few paragraphs at at time.  After each chunk, summarize in your notebook.

3) Note the central ideas:
a) What does the text say directly?
b) What is hinted at in the text?
c) What is left ambiguous?
d) How does this relate to the essential question: How has the court been used to promote and/or inhibit liberty?

4) Consider the time period in which the opinion was written and its impact on the justices.

5) How does this connect to or remind you of other texts?

6) Consider the ideologies of the judges.  Is this a liberal, moderate, or a conservative ruling?  How can you tell?

7) What evidence can you select from the text to support your analysis?

8) Do you agree with the court's decision?  Why or why not?  Why is this case significant?

**Opinion analyses should be no less than 2 pages, typed, double spaced, 12 pt font.  Use a format that works best for you, but it's best to set up in the format of a mini-essay.

Democratizing Twentieth Century America Homework - Due Thursday, January 2

1) Read and take detailed notes: 

Roaring 1920s and the Jazz Age

The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent but unfamiliar “consumer society.” People from coast to coast bought the same goods (thanks to nationwide advertising and the spread of chain stores), listened to the same music, did the same dances and even used the same slang! Many Americans were uncomfortable with this new, urban, sometimes racy “mass culture”; in fact, for many–even mostpeople in the United States, the 1920s brought more conflict than celebration. However, for a small handful of young people in the nation’s big cities, the 1920s were roaring indeed.

The "New Woman"

The most familiar symbol of the “Roaring Twenties” is probably the flapper: a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked and said what might be termed “unladylike” things, in addition to being more sexually “free” than previous generations. In reality, most young women in the 1920s did none of these things (though many did adopt a fashionable flapper wardrobe), but even those women who were not flappers gained some unprecedented freedoms. They could vote at last: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution had guaranteed that right in 1920. Millions of women worked in white-collar jobs (as stenographers, for example) and could afford to participate in the burgeoning consumer economy. The increased availability of birth-control devices such as the diaphragm made it possible for women to have fewer children. And new machines and technologies like the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner eliminated some of the drudgery of household work.

The Birth of Mass Culture

During the 1920s, many Americans had extra money to spend, and they spent it on consumer goods such as ready-to-wear clothes and home appliances like electric refrigerators. In particular, they bought radios. The first commercial radio station in the U.S., Pittsburgh’s KDKA, hit the airwaves in 1920; three years later there were more than 500 stations in the nation. By the end of the 1920s, there were radios in more than 12 million households. People also went to the movies: Historians estimate that, by the end of the decades, three- quarters of the American population visited a movie theater every week.
But the most important consumer product of the 1920s was the automobile. Low prices (the Ford Model T cost just $260 in 1924) and generous credit made cars affordable luxuries at the beginning of the decade; by the end, they were practically necessities. In 1929 there was one car on the road for every five Americans. Meanwhile, an economy of automobiles was born: Businesses like service stations and motels sprang up to meet drivers’ needs.

The Jazz Age

Cars also gave young people the freedom to go where they pleased and do what they wanted. (Some pundits called them “bedrooms on wheels.”) What many young people wanted to do was dance: the Charleston, the cake walk, the black bottom, the flea hop. Jazz bands played at dance halls like the Savoy in New York City and the Aragon in Chicago; radio stations and phonograph records (100 million of which were sold in 1927 alone) carried their tunes to listeners across the nation. Some older people objected to jazz music’s “vulgarity” and “depravity” (and the “moral disasters” it supposedly inspired), but many in the younger generation loved the freedom they felt on
the dance floor.


During the 1920s, some freedoms were expanded while others were curtailed. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1919, had banned the manufacture and sale of “intoxicating liquors,” and at 12 A.M. on January 16, 1920, the federal Volstead Act closed every tavern, bar and saloon in the United States. From then on, it was illegal to sell any “intoxication beverages” with more than 0.5% alcohol. This drove the liquor trade undergroundnow, people simply went to nominally illegal speakeasies instead of ordinary barswhere it was controlled by bootleggers, racketeers and other organized-crime figures such as Chicago gangster Al Capone. (Capone reportedly had 1,000 gunmen and half of Chicago’s police force on his payroll.)

To many middle-class white Americans, Prohibition was a way to assert some control over the unruly immigrant masses who crowded the nation’s cities. For instance, to the so-called “Drys,” beer was known as “Kaiser brew.” Drinking was a symbol of all they disliked about the modern city, and eliminating alcohol would, they believed, turn back the clock to an earlier and more comfortable time.

The "Cultural Civil War"

Prohibition was not the only source of social tension during the 1920s. The Great Migration of African Americans from the Southern countryside to Northern cities and the increasing visibility of black culturejazz and blues music, for example, and the literary movement known as the Harlem Renaissancediscomfited some white Americans. Millions of people in places like Indiana and Illinois joined the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. To them, the Klan represented a return to all the “values” that the fast-paced, city-slicker Roaring Twenties were trampling.

Likewise, an anti-Communist “Red Scare” in 1919 and 1920 encouraged a widespread nativist, or anti-immigrant, hysteria. This led to the passage of an extremely restrictive immigration law, the National Origins Act of 1924, which set immigration quotas that excluded some people (Eastern Europeans and Asians) in favor of others (Northern Europeans and people from Great Britain, for example).

These conflicts–what one historian has called a “cultural Civil War” between city-dwellers and small-town residents, Protestants and Catholics, blacks and whites, “New Women” and advocates of old-fashioned family valuesare perhaps the most important part of the story of the Roaring Twenties. 

Source: Champs Charter HIgh School of the Arts 

2) Read and take detailed notes: 

3) Read and take detailed notes: 

4) Read and take detailed notes: 

**NPL - Non-Partisan League: Founded in 1915; concentrated in the upper-Midwest; campaigned for state ownership of grain elevators, packing houses and flour mills; state hail insurance; easy rural credit; and tax exemptions for farm improvements.  In Minnesota the League allied itself with organized labor and formed a Farmer-Labor party. 
**IVA - The Independent Voters Association, or IVA, was a North Dakotpolitical organization formed on May 1, 1918, at the height of the Non Partisan League's influence on the North Dakota Republican Party. The IVA was a conservative, capitalist faction created to counter the NPL's socialist leanings. Its leading founder was E. W. Everson.
Its most notable success was the 1921 North Dakota recall election of Ragnvald A. Nestos to replace Lynn Frazier as Governor of North Dakota.
As the NPL went into decline during the 1940s, most of the goals of the IVA had been met, and it eventually disbanded.

5) Read and take detailed notes:

6) Read and take detailed notes: 

7) Read Zinn Chapter 15 

1) Take notes on the text in your notebook or type and tape into notebook. (Notes will be graded on a 4 point scale) 

2) Notes should identify the text's central ideas and discuss the following: 

Seattle General Strike
Establishment's Reaction to the Seattle Strike
Excerpt from The Nation
Immigration and Labor/Strikes/Strike Breaking
U. S. Policy Toward Immigrants during the 1920s
Marcus Garvey
Distribution of Wealth During the 1920s
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sinclair Lewis
Fiorello La Guardia
National Textile Workers Union
WWI Bonus Army
Stock Market Crash 1929
Grapes of Wrath
Franklin Roosevelt 
John Lewis 
New Deal 

8) Based on the chapter, answer the following questions.  Provide evidence to support your answers. 

1. Discuss Louis Adamic's account of an early sit-down strike.

2. Discuss the expansion of sitdown strikes in 1936.

3. What does Zinn think about the Wagner Act? Provide evidence.

4. Discuss Zinn's feelings about the National Labor Relations Board.

5. Discuss the argument made by Cloward and Piven in the book Poor People's Movements.

6. How did WWII impact the Labor Movement?

7. How did the New Deal impact African Americans?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Democratizing Twentieth Century Homework - Thurs, Dec 19

Read Zinn 377-385 and take notes.  Make sure you have thoroughly analyzed the primary source excerpts as well.   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Politics and Government - Sample Conclusion

       Although the framers drafted a constitution only designed to empower a small number of white male landowners, this was a rather revolutionary feat for a group of eighteenth century aristocrats.  Men like Jefferson and Madison sought to create a society in which men could rise not because of their kinship ties, but because of their virtues.  Moreover they included a Bill of Rights designed to protect basic liberties—people were empowered to criticize a representative government they helped to elect.   And most importantly, the framers promoted a spirit of republicanism and individual rights that was contagious.  This spirit would come to impact slaves who sought freedom, women who sought suffrage, and gays and lesbians who seek equality under the law. The framers planted seeds of democratic governance that continue to flourish in the twenty-first century.  Yet, when one considers prolific income inequality and other present forms of economic injustice in the United States, perhaps it is time again for the tree of liberty to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.   


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Democratizing Twentieth Century Homework - Due Wed, Dec 11

Politics and Government - Sample Introductions

The preamble to the United States Constitution proclaims to protect the rights and liberties of “we the people”, but for much of this nation’s history “we” was narrowly defined within a context of patriarchy and white supremacy.  Under these conditions marginalized groups have agitated, demonstrated, and died in their endeavors to force the United States to live up to its ideals. While the achievement of full democracy has not been fully realized, the struggle to obtain it may not have begun had the Constitution’s authors not at least laid a framework for democratic governance. Although the framers’ notion of democracy was flawed—they protected the institution of slavery failed to enfranchise women —they did intend to create a government that was revolutionary and democratic for its time.  Their intentions are best evidenced by the ability of some citizens to participate in government, the Bill of Right’s protection of civil liberties, and Jefferson and Madison’s tendency to lean toward majoritarianism and the expansion of the franchise. 

"The land of the free and the home of the brave." When Francis Scott Key penned those famous words, he captured the feelings of generations of Americans to come: that the United States is a land of unparalleled rights and freedoms.  And while Mr. Key did share in these great rights and freedom, many in this new nation were intentionally excluded from these self-evident natural rights, which are believed to be protected by this nation's revolutionary founding documents.  It is in these documents that the founders’ intent for our nation’s government can be found, and the truth can be rooted out.   While this nation's framers fully intended to create a revolutionary and democratic government, they failed due to the deeply embedded biases of the time.  This failure is most obvious in the treatment of women, the poor, and anyone not considered white.