In our discussion of the Constitution and the colonial roots of American government, we are discussing the creation of federalism and the system of checks and balances, along with the separation of powers. We will discuss the religious roots of Puritan New England as well as the evolution of thought regarding immigration and voting rights. We will further discuss how the intent of the Framers of the Constitution has been altered by events in American history and changes in American society.
Explain how the structure imposed by the Constitution has either helped or hindered the country citing any piece of history from 1787 forward. Cite specific examples in discussing specific social, political, military or economic issues and explain your reasons. Be sure to take a position and not just recount facts.
Explain what facets of society or what episodes in history have made changes in the system developed by the Framers in 1787. Be specific in what elements of our time, or another time, have caused the changes and explain why these changes were permanent. Explain if these were positive or negative changes.
The Constitution was a balancing act to bring together enough of the various groups in American society to create a country that would survive. Explain one of the areas where the Constitution tried to take a middle ground, evaluate the success of the that choice, AND – if you think the wrong choice was made – outline both what you think should have been done and what the consequences would have been in the America of 1787.
The Constitution reflects a uniquely American philosophy of government, even though much of it was drawn from English and European sources. What uniquely American events, philosophies or perspectives are reflected in the Constitution? Why are these important as we assess who America is
Describe how the Constitution, as a source of and a limitation on the power of government, and/or key concepts such as federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, court rulings and individual rights impact American life in 2019.
The Separatists and Puritans believed the state should function as an extension of religion, a philosophy which no longer guides American government. Was separating church and state a good or bad idea? What was gained or lost?
Colonists believed that only people with a stake in a community deserved the right to vote. That runs very much against the grain of 2019 America. Is it better to restrict this right or leave it wide open?
Mandatory: Use the textbook for reference, citing the page number where you get your material.
Mandatory: Do NOT use Wikipedia.
Other than that, anything you can find on line can be used. Two other sources are required.
Citing – for this class only.
Any web site used must be cited and listed at the end of the essay. Example of what you write: “The web site Bad Government says that the current government is too big.” At the end of the piece, you list references: www.badgovernment.com. If you use material from a source and do not cite it, that is plagiarism, which carries with it an automatic F
I will grade you on the extent to which you take a position, the way you draw conclusions based on facts, and use the various facts you have found to support that position. Grammar counts to the extent that it either gets in the way of my understanding or helps it along. You are expected to take an opinionated position, not just recount facts.
Students who want me to review a draft prior to final submission need to get it to me by 10-8.
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