Politics and Government

Consider this portion the essay part of the exam. Your answers can be anywhere from three to four solid paragraphs (or more!). Please choose one question to answer from the following 6 choices. In each answer, you will want to show a clear point of view and provide evidence from our readings and lectures that support your response. You can use historical examples, current events and Supreme Court rulings to etc. to frame your argument. The purpose of this exercise is to show that you are able to make clear connections between American political culture, political conflict, historical events, and political processes in American government.
Choose one question from the following:
1. Identify political efficacy. Then elaborate on the fundamentals that are necessary for political efficacy, and why these principles are important. You may want to talk about the complications involved with political efficacy and public participation in politics.
2. Identify Plessy v. Ferguson. Then discuss the Supreme Court case that overturned this ruling. Although the effect of this ruling was not apparent in the public sphere, discuss historical and political events surrounding civil rights that led to significant changes for African Americans. What were specific social protests? Acts? What were some of the political consequences of this legislation?
3. Beginning with British taxation, discuss important events that led to the founding of the Constitution. You will want to talk about specific rebellions, the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation. How were these events linked? What were some of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? What was the Great Compromise? How were slaves counted as part of the representative process?
4. Identify affirmative action. Discuss why or why not you think affirmative action is constitutional. What are some of the bipartisan debates surrounding affirmative action? What legislation has been passed in support or against affirmative action? You can support your argument with your own opinion, but be sure to cite your reasons.
5. Identify three critical civil amendments in the Bill of Rights and discuss some of the complications of each. You can use current events and case studies. Be sure to highlight the details of each amendment, rather the intent of each and how each was challenged over time. For example, your book gives a lot of examples concerning political speech, and what types of speech are not always protected under the First Amendment. Also, the right to privacy later interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Fourth Amendment is another highly debated issue in public and political spheres.
6. Outline the changing role between the federal government and the states. How did the debate between the federalists and anti-federalists manifest in the Constitution. What specific propaganda did each camp filter in the public sphere? You can talk about key Supreme Court rulings that began to shift states’ rights to federal control. Importantly, what president cemented federal power in the 1930’s, and how did this lead to cooperative federalism? What were some of the key aspects led by the federal government that forced states to follow federal agenda?

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