Thursday, October 8, 2015

Politics and Government

How Democratic is the American Constitution: Chap 2 – What the Framers Couldn’t Know     
  • 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.   

 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?

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