Thursday, December 17, 2015


Please make sure you give me a hard copy of your essay by tomorrow at 2:15.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Some of you owe an insane amount of homework, and you're going to be really disappointed at the end of the semester. The situation w the seniors is much more dire, and I promise you, you will not graduate. I'm not accepting assignments from the beginning of the semester in January, and you will not receive full
credit for half ass/copied work. Moreover, I don't see how you can write quality essays when you haven't done the required reading.

Please don't call my bluff, folks. I'd hate to have to get gangsta and make examples out of a few of you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due - Wed, Dec 16

We will watch a Margaret Sanger interview in class tomorrow. You will be expected to take notes and make connections to texts.

If you have not finished reading, annotating, and synthesizing the 4 Margaret Sanger essays, you must do so by tomorrow:

Legislating Women's Morals 
Will Birth Control Help the Cause of Labor? 
The Materials of the New Race 

You will be expected to refer to these documents during the discussion, and this work will be checked.

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Wed, Dec 16

1 - What is democratic effectiveness?

2 - Use Appendix B - Table 5 to answer the following questions:

a) Are the indicators Dahl provides appropriate? Why/why not? Explain.

b) What impact do you think population, diversity, relative affluence have on the the indicators provided provided, such as rich-poor ratio and social expenditures? Consider all of the indicators in your answer.

c) What does this table suggest about our constitutional system and democratic effectiveness?

d) Summarize and synthesize your answers. What is Dahl's overall argument about the impact of constitutional systems on democratic effectiveness? 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century - Homework - Due - Tues, Dec 16

Read Abortion in America packet and take notes. You should have no less than a page and a half of notes with synthesis and analysis. You should identify:

  • Important Information
  • Central Ideas
  • Evidence
  • Connection to EQ
  • Connection to other texts
  • Significance 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Politics and Government / Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due Friday, Dec 11

  • Revise body paragraphs for arguments 1 and 2. 

  • Draft body paragraphs for argument 3. You should have absolutely no less than 9 paragraphs in total at this point, but certainly may have more. 

  • You have received (or not received) credit for body paragraph drafts for arguments 1 and 2. If you are still missing body paragraph drafts for arguments 1 and 2 tomorrow, you will NOT be able to show them for credit on Monday. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Democratizing 20th Century America - Homework - Due - Wed, Dec 9

Compose body paragraphs for your second argument and revise the body paragraphs for your first argument. 

You should have 3 solid revised paragraphs for your first argument with clear topic sentences, contextual sentences, introductions to quotes, and sophisticated analysis. Your language should be sophisticated and concise. 

You should have 2-3 paragraphs for your second argument and be prepared to share them with a partner to get feedback. 

These assignments are going in as writing grades and failure  to complete them will negatively impact your overall grade. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Politics and Government Homework - Due - Tuesday, Dec 8

Compose for body paragraphs for the first two arguments for your essay. You should have at least 4-6 paragraphs. After you finish writing, check you paragraphs against the ones we looked at in class. Do you have a topic sentence? Do you provide context for your evidence? Do you introduce direct quotes? Do you analyze your evidence, or do you just paraphrase and restate the quotes? Does your last sentence complete the thought stated in your topic sentence? You should also be able to show me a working thesis that has been broken into its different parts/arguments.

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Due - Tuesday, Dec 8

1 - Read and take notes about the following three articles:

Griswold v Connecticut 
Roe v Wade 
Planned Parenthood v Casey 

2 - Draft the body paragraphs for your first essay argument. You should have 2-3 paragraphs. You should also be able to show me a working thesis that has been broken into its different parts/arguments.  After you finish writing, check you paragraphs against the ones we looked at in class. Do you have a topic sentence? Do you provide context for your evidence? Do you introduce direct quotes? Do you analyze your evidence, or do you just paraphrase and restate the quotes? Does your last sentence complete the thought stated in your topic sentence? 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Politics and Government/Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due - Tues, Nov 24

1 - Make sure you have read through page 11 in your essay writing packet.

2 - Try out at least one of the the strategies for claim construction and write your claim. Why did you chose this strategy?

3 - Check you claim against the checklist on  pages 2 and 3.

4 - Construct a thesis paragraph 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due - Mon, Nov 23

1 - Make sure you have finished reading the Margaret Sanger essay we started in class. You should have a completed primary source analysis. 

2 - Read and complete a primary source analysis for Materials of the New Race. Print if you can. 

3 - We will have a cross text discussion regarding both of these documents on Monday. 

4 - Tuesday we will be setting up claims for your essays, so please make sure you have chosen a question. 


Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Mon, Nov 23

Dahl 121 - 130

1 - Discuss the outcome of the 1997 telephone survey. What does Dahl suggest about the outcome? What do you think of the outcome? How do you think you would have responded?
2 - What is an icon? How can icons be used to strengthen beliefs? What are some myths and rituals that foster national unity?
3 - In what ways does Dahl modify the Declaration of Independence?
4 - Discuss Dahl’s interpretation of the meaning of “human equality.”
5 - What examples does Dahl use to demonstrate the “barriers to equality” in U.S. history. What attempts have been made to remove these barriers?
6 - Identify: de Toqueville
7 - How do de Toqueville’s observations about Americans’ passion for equality conflict with barriers to human discussed previously?
8 - How did the expansion of democratic ideas change the world order during the 20th century?
world or·der
  1. a system controlling events in the world, especially a set of arrangements established internationally for preserving global political stability.

9. Approximately what percent of the world is democratic today? How does this compare to the mid of 20th century?
10. Who are the “privileged elites” that Vidal mentions? What does he imply? Who would you include? Why? How do privileged elites promote views that give legitimacy to their superior status?

11. Provide and discuss an example of conditions that help a subordinate group press for change.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth America - Homework - Due Nov 19

create a primary source analysis for the following pamphlet 

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Thurs, Nov 19

1 - 2 pages, typed:

Using the Government and Electoral systems handout, Dahl, and your knowledge of U.S. History, respond to the following:

  • Should the U.S. retain its presidential system, or would a parliamentary system serve us better in 2015? Would it better help to preserve democratic stability here, or are there other factors that outweigh the impact either system would have? What did the authors state directly or imply to lead you to this conclusion? What historical examples do you have to support your answer? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Tues, Nov 17

1 - Finish work from class: Based on article, why is democracy failing in Russia? How does this failure of democracy reflect the ideas expressed by Dahl regarding democratic stability?

2 - What is the difference between a parliamentary system and a presidential system?

Democratizing 20th Century America - Homework - Due - Tues, Nov 17

Read the Hollingsworth article up to page 4, annotate, and answer analysis questions handed out in class.

Politics and Government

Please bring a baked good on Friday for a fundraiser to cover the shortfall from the Constitution Center trip.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due - Tues, Nov 10

Read and take notes.

Make sure you are considering:

Point of view: What are the central ideas? What is stated directly? What is implied? What is left ambiguous?

Evidence: Direct quotes

Connections: How does this confirm, refute, or elaborate on something you've read in another text? Provide a quote with another text and supporting analysis.

Significance: Why is this important? Why should people know and care about this?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Politics and Government Homework - Due - Thurs, Nov 12

Dahl 99 - 119
·         What are the two types of constitutional systems Dahl presents? How are they different? What are the pros and cons of each system? Which is more democratic? Why/How?
·         Identify: Arend Lijphart
·         Why are proportional governments called consensus governments?
·         What are the four major groups in the Netherlands?  In what ways are these groups divided? How did the Netherlands resolve these divisions? What is the present status of the Dutch government?
·         Discuss the cultural divisions in Switzerland
·         Why is 1917 considered the point of democratization Switzerland?

·         Discuss and summarize the findings on the 1990 survey of citizens.  How do you think the U.S. would have placed in such a survey?  Explain
       Why do the Dutch, Swiss, and Swedes prefer proportionality?
       Discuss and summarize the 1990 survey of citizens' views.  How do you think the U.S. would have placed in the survey? Why?
       Explain how/why the compositions of the three majorities in the U.S. Constitutional system differ from one another.
       What is divided government?
       In what ways is the president a blend of a monarch and a prime minister.
       How has the presidency evolved?  How have opinion polls impacted this evolution?
       Discuss citizens' expectations of the president in the American system.  Are these expectations appropriate?  Realistic?  Explain.
       What impact do you think population has on democratic effectiveness?
       What impact do you think diversity has on democratic effectiveness?

       Discuss the democratic effectiveness in the U.S. relative to other democracies.  

Politics and Government Homework - Due - Tuesday, Nov 10

1 - Read Dahl 89 - 99 and take notes

What indicators does Dahl mention as useful to test for constitutional performance? Are these measures appropriate?
What is Dahl’s criteria for determining how well a constitutional system performs?
What are some factors that impact the likelihood of democratic stability?
Why does Dahl focus on democracy in the second half of the Twentieth Century?
Why does Dahl believe the Civil War occurred?
Discuss the questions Dahl raises regarding the impact of presidential vs parliamentary systems on democratic stability.
What criteria makes for democracy for the purpose of Dahl’s study?
Discuss Freedom House and its findings and summarize. What conclusions might one try to draw from the data.
What is federalism? What countries, in addition to the U.S., have federal systems?
What determines how well rights and liberties are protected in a mature democratic country?
2 - Submit a response to the Constitution Center Trip (2 pages, typed)

Did the Constitution Center suggest the founders intended to create a revolutionary and democratic government? Pick any three things you saw and discuss them in relation to this question.

How did your experience at the Constitution Center confirm, refute, or deepen your own thinking about a text or texts you've read in class? (provide textual evidence)

What would you change or add if you were designing a Constitution Center?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Constitution Center

Take notes on the exhibit. Select any 4 images and consider:

How does this confirm, refute, or deepen your understanding of the Constitution and U.S. History. 

What did the museum get right? Explain. 

What did it get wrong? Explain.

You can take pictures to support your analysis.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century Homework - Due - Friday, Oct 30

1 - Read Pioneers at the Polls: Woman Suffrage in the West

2 - Identify the text's central ideas in your notes.

3 - Provide at least one quote to support each central idea.

4 - In your notes, make connections between the text and as many causes of the Women's Suffrage Movement as possible.

5 - In your notes, make connections between this text and one other text. Does this confirm or refute what you read in a different text?

**You should have no less than a page of writing 

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Fri, Oct 30

Read Dahl 62 - 76

Answer the following questions. Be sure to provide evidence from the text to support your answers.

1 - What is the difference between a presidential system and a parliamentary system?

2 - Why does Dahl suggest the Federalist Papers where propaganda?

3 - Discuss Hamilton's views on the presidency.

4 - What is "separation of powers?"

5 - Discuss the following quote:

"What [the Framers] adopt actually states that: 'Each state shall appoint, in such a manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress.' Whatever the Framers intend by these words, the offer a huge opportunity for the democratic phase of the American revolution to democratize the presidency."

Why does the phrase "in such a manner as the legislature thereof may direct," offer a chance to democratize the presidency?

6 - How did the Constitutional Convention react to the proposal that the president be popularly elected?

7 - How was president originally selected under the Virginia Plan?

8 - How did Jackson, and later, Lincoln, Cleveland, Roosevelt, Wilson, and FDR transform the presidency? Define: mandate

9 - Why does Dalh refer to the democratization of the presidency as "pseudo-democratization."

10 - How did the British constitutional system change/evolve post-U.S. Constitutional Convention?

11 - What is the difference between a monarch, president, and prime minister?

Monday, October 26, 2015


(But some of y'all have plenty to make up.... *knocks on table*)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due - Monday, Oct 26

1 - Read and create a primary source analysis for Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech .

2 - Read Zinn 365 - 373

a) Identify and discuss significance: American Protective League
b) Identify and discuss significance: Minnesota Commission on Public Safety
c) Identify and discuss significance: Green Corn Rebellion
d) Discuss several different tactics used by the Establishment (the government and other powerful interests) to suppress opposition to the war. How do these tactics support Zinn's overall argument that war is the health of the state?
e) Identify and discuss significance: Jeanette Rankin, Kate Richards O'Hare, and Emma Goldman
How do their stances regarding the war compare to Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt's? **Answer  should be at least two paragraphs
f) How did the war provide a chance for the government to shut down the IWW?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework will be posted tomorrow morning

Politics and Government Homework - Due - Monday, Oct 26

1 - HW: Read Dahl pgs 46 - 62
2 - Answer the following questions:

a) Why do second chambers exist according to Dahl?
b) What is "virtual representation?"
c) Discuss the way representation worked in 19th century Prussia.
d) Discuss Dahl's comparison of Alaska, California, and Nevada. Why does he make this comparison? What is his argument?
e) Which countries exceed the U.S. in degree of unequal representation?
f) Discuss the following question raised by Dahl: Is there a principle of general applicability that justifies an entitlement to extra representation for some individuals or groups? What is Dahl's response to this question?  **You must provide direct evidence with analysis and interpretation.
g) What protections have been established to protect minorities from majorities?
h) How has equal representation in the Senate protected the most privileged minorities? What was the Southern veto?
i) What is the difference between a plurality and a majority?
j) What is the "first-past-the-post" system?
k) Why are third parties rarely represented in such a system?
l) Explain the difference between first-past-the-post and proportional representation.
m) Explain how the "double ballot" system works. How does it compensate for the defects of single member districts.
n) Why was the 1993 nomination for the head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division controversial?
o) What is Duverger's Law?
p) Identify: proportional, majoritarian

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Wednesday - October 21

Dahl - Appendix A pgs 179 - 183

Read, take notes, make connections, discuss significance.

Democratizing Twentieth Century America - Homework - Due Wednesday, Oct 21

Finish reading Wilson speech and create a primary source analysis.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Politics and Government - Homework - Due - Tuesday, October 20

Read Who Built America Packet, annotate and take notes. (pgs 275-79)

Be sure to note the central ideas and provide evidence. How does this text connect to other texts, class discussions, and lectures? What is the significance of this text? What are the "Competing Visions" referenced in the text's title?

Democratizing Twentieth Century - Homework - Due Tuesday, Oct 20

Read the following speech by Woodrow Wilson and create a primary source analysis.

Make sure you are making connections to the EQ's: (Why Then? Why did the Women's Suffrage Movement get underway when it did? How did industrialization transform the political, social, economic, and cultural makeup of the United States?)

Make sure you are comparing this text with other texts.

Make sure you address significance.

Make sure you note all of the text's central ideas and provide evidence.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Democratizing Twentieth Century - Homework - Due - Monday, Oct 19

Read, analyze, and interpret the Emma Goldman essay. We will have a graded discussion on Monday.  Come up with a few questions to contribute to the discussion. You should have at least a page and a half of writing.

Politics and Government Homework - Due - Monday, Oct 19

1 – Discuss the impacts of the ratification debate on the political and social climates. Why are these impacts important to consider in relation to the EQ?
2 – What’s the difference between federal and national government? Why did some opponents to the Constitution take issue with being called “Antifederalists?”
3 – Discuss the Antifederalist critique of the Constitution. What was their issue w the document?

4 – Primary Source analysis: Antifederalist Papers: Brutus #1 (see below)

When the public is called to investigate and decide upon a question in which not only the present members of the community are deeply interested, but upon which the happiness and misery of generations yet unborn is in great measure suspended, the benevolent mind cannot help feeling itself peculiarly interested in the result....

Perhaps this country never saw so critical a period in their political concerns. We have felt the feebleness of the ties by which these United-States are held together, and the want of sufficient energy in our present confederation, to manage, in some instances, our general concerns. Various expedients have been proposed to remedy these evils, but none have succeeded. At length a Convention of the states has been assembled, they have formed a constitution which will now, probably, be submitted to the people to ratify or reject, who are the fountain of all power, to whom alone it of right belongs to make or unmake constitutions, or forms of government, at their pleasure. The most important question that was ever proposed to your decision, or to the decision of any people under heaven, is before you, and you are to decide upon it by men of your own election, chosen specially for this purpose. If the constitution, offered to your acceptance, be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed. You may rejoice in the prospects of this vast extended continent becoming filled with freemen, who will assert the dignity of human nature. You may solace yourselves with the idea, that society, in this favoured land, will fast advance to the highest point of perfection; the human mind will expand in knowledge and virtue, and the golden age be, in some measure, realised. But if, on the other hand, this form of government contains principles that will lead to the subversion of liberty — if it tends to establish a despotism, or, what is worse, a tyrannic aristocracy; then, if you adopt it, this only remaining assylum for liberty will be shut up, and posterity will execrate your memory.

Momentous then is the question you have to determine, and you are called upon by every motive which should influence a noble and virtuous mind, to examine it well, and to make up a wise judgment. It is insisted, indeed, that this constitution must be received, be it ever so imperfect. If it has its defects, it is said, they can be best amended when they are experienced. But remember, when the people once part with power, they can seldom or never resume it again but by force. Many instances can be produced in which the people have voluntarily increased the powers of their rulers; but few, if any, in which rulers have willingly abridged their authority. This is a sufficient reason to induce you to be careful, in the first instance, how you deposit the powers of government.
With these few introductory remarks, I shall proceed to a consideration of this constitution:

The first question that presents itself on the subject is, whether a confederated government be the best for the United States or not? Or in other words, whether the thirteen United States should be reduced to one great republic, governed by one legislature, and under the direction of one executive and judicial; or whether they should continue thirteen confederated republics, under the direction and controul of a supreme federal head for certain defined national purposes only?

This enquiry is important, because, although the government reported by the convention does not go to a perfect and entire consolidation, yet it approaches so near to it, that it must, if executed, certainly and infallibly terminate in it.
This government is to possess absolute and uncontroulable power, legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which it extends, for by the last clause of section 8th, article 1st, it is declared "that the Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution, in the government of the United States; or in any department or office thereof." And by the 6th article, it is declared "that this constitution, and the laws of the United States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and the treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution, or law of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." It appears from these articles that there is no need of any intervention of the state governments, between the Congress and the people, to execute any one power vested in the general government, and that the constitution and laws of every state are nullified and declared void, so far as they are or shall be inconsistent with this constitution, or the laws made in pursuance of it, or with treaties made under the authority of the United States. — The government then, so far as it extends, is a complete one, and not a confederation. It is as much one complete government as that of New-York or Massachusetts, has as absolute and perfect powers to make and execute all laws, to appoint officers, institute courts, declare offences, and annex penalties, with respect to every object to which it extends, as any other in the world. So far therefore as its powers reach, all ideas of confederation are given up and lost. It is true this government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, some small degree of power is still left to the states, but a little attention to the powers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that if it is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual states must very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to the organization of the general government. The powers of the general legislature extend to every case that is of the least importance — there is nothing valuable to human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power. It has authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States; nor can the constitution or laws of any state, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given. The legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; — there is no limitation to this power, unless it be said that the clause which directs the use to which those taxes, and duties shall be applied, may be said to be a limitation: but this is no restriction of the power at all, for by this clause they are to be applied to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but the legislature have authority to contract debts at their discretion; they are the sole judges of what is necessary to provide for the common defence, and they only are to determine what is for the general welfare; this power therefore is neither more nor less, than a power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, and excises, at their pleasure; not only [is] the power to lay taxes unlimited, as to the amount they may require, but it is perfect and absolute to raise them in any mode they please. No state legislature, or any power in the state governments, have any more to do in carrying this into effect, than the authority of one state has to do with that of another. In the business therefore of laying and collecting taxes, the idea of confederation is totally lost, and that of one entire republic is embraced. It is proper here to remark, that the authority to lay and collect taxes is the most important of any power that can be granted; it connects with it almost all other powers, or at least will in process of time draw all other after it; it is the great mean of protection, security, and defence, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny in a bad one. This cannot fail of being the case, if we consider the contracted limits which are set by this constitution, to the late [state?] governments, on this article of raising money. No state can emit paper money — lay any duties, or imposts, on imports, or exports, but by consent of the Congress; and then the net produce shall be for the benefit of the United States: the only mean therefore left, for any state to support its government and discharge its debts, is by direct taxation; and the United States have also power to lay and collect taxes, in any way they please. Every one who has thought on the subject, must be convinced that but small sums of money can be collected in any country, by direct taxe[s], when the foederal government begins to exercise the right of taxation in all its parts, the legislatures of the several states will find it impossible to raise monies to support their governments. Without money they cannot be supported, and they must dwindle away, and, as before observed, their powers absorbed in that of the general government.

It might be here shewn, that the power in the federal legislative, to raise and support armies at pleasure, as well in peace as in war, and their controul over the militia, tend, not only to a consolidation of the government, but the destruction of liberty. — I shall not, however, dwell upon these, as a few observations upon the judicial power of this government, in addition to the preceding, will fully evince the truth of the position.