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Friday, January 13, 2017

Federalist 39 & McCulloch v. Maryland

HW for Tuesday: Read Devil in Devolution by Donahue and be prepared to discuss in class these questions.

The central debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists was where power was going to be located. Anti-Federalists were convinced that power would be consolidated into a national government, while Federalists insisted that power would be shared between the two levels. In Federalist 39, Madison clarifies the republican nature of the newly proposed government and how it exemplifies shared powers.

  1. How does Madison define a republic?
  1. What arguments does he offer for the republican character of the Constitution? Provide three specific examples to illustrate the republican principles of the Constitution.
  1. How does Madison respond to the claim that the Constitution created a national rather than a federal (what we consider confederal) form of government? What different aspects of the Constitution does he consider in responding to that claim?
  1. What historical events or trends have changed the balance of power between the states and the federal government?

  1. What are the two central questions raised by this case?
  1. How does the Court answer these two questions?  What rationale (constitutional clauses) does the Court use to explain its decision?
  1. Compare the Court’s reasoning with the concerns raised by Brutus regarding the power of the government.
  1. How would our nation be different today if the Court had decided differently?

A few more resources on McCulloch v. Maryland:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fiscal or Regulatory Federalism

HW for Thursday: Read 102-113 in Janda and complete the reading quiz.

One relationship that has dramatically changed over the past century is the redistribution of money from the federal government to the states. Typically, this transfer of money is through either the use of block grants or categorical grants. Today, we will take a look at the differences between the two and the impact on federal control and regulations.

CBO Report on Federal Grants to States

Friday, January 6, 2017

Dual Federalism & Cooperative Federalism

HW Reminder: Read 92-102 and take the reading quiz.

Federalism can take many different forms. Dual federalism and cooperative federalism are historically the two main descriptors of how federalism has worked in the United States.

Read this page on dual and cooperative federalism and this one on the differences between dual and cooperative federalism to get a better understanding of the differences between the two. As you read, take notes (using a double-column chart) about the significant points and differences between the two.

Key questions:

1. How would you define dual federalism? When did it dominate American politics?
2. How would you define cooperative federalism? When did it dominate American politics?
3. How does the layer cake/marble cake metaphor apply to these two forms of federalism?
4. What features of the Constitution are relevant in the debate between dual and cooperative federalism?
5. What caused the shift in the 1930s from dual to cooperative federalism?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Federalism: Day 1

HW for Friday: Read 92-102 and take the reading quiz. All reading quizzes will be disabled the day of the chapter quiz. Any quizzes not completed at that time will be entered as a zero.

Federalism Unit and Identification Terms

Check for understanding: Analyze each scenario and determine which power (Expressed/Delegated, Implied, Inherent, Concurrent, or Reserved) is being used.

__________________ 1. A worker pays federal and state income taxes.

__________________ 2. The United States declares war on Japan.

__________________ 3. A lawyer who wants to practice in Texas must first pass the state's bar exam.

__________________ 4. Toys containing lead are banned from the United States.

__________________ 5. Racial segregation in hotels and restaurants is prohibited by the federal government.

__________________ 6. President Obama gives the State of the Union address.

__________________ 7. Missouri decided to set aside 500 acres for a new wildlife reservation.

__________________ 8. Hawaii became a state in 1959.

__________________ 9. A person must be at least 18 to marry without parental consent in Illinois.

__________________ 10. After Hurricane Katrina, the US and Louisiana issue bonds to help pay for the rebuilding of New Orleans.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Constitution Test!

Final Exams Schedule

Tuesday, December 20 
2nd Hour:  8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
4th Hour:  10:10 AM – 12:05 PM (1st Lunch:  10:10 AM – 10:35 AM; 2nd Lunch:  11:40 AM – 12:05 PM)
6th Hour:  12:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Eagle Hour/Liberty Hour:  1:45 PM – 3:15 PM (students who stay meet in cafeteria or LMC)

Wednesday, December 21
1st Hour:  8:10 AM – 9:40 AM
3rd Hour:  9:45 AM – 11:15 AM
4th Hour/Lunch:  11:20 AM – 12:05 PM  (1st Lunch:  11:20 AM – 11:45 AM; 2nd Lunch:  11:45 AM – 12:05 PM; with student study in 4th hour)
5th Hour:  12:10 PM – 1:40 PM

7th Hour:  1:45 PM – 3:15 PM 

Constitution Test Day!!! You got this.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brutus I & Federalist 51

Constitutional Principles Quiz

Brutus 1 & Federalist 51 Discussion Questions

As you read Brutus 1 and Federalist 51, please answer the following questions with specific references to the text.

  1. Brutus asks the question whether a confederated government is the best for the United States or not.  One great republic vs. thirteen confederated republics?  Explain his position.

  1. What is Brutus’s main concern with this government?  What two clauses does he specifically mention to support his fear?  What do those two clauses mean to the idea of a confederation and the rights of states?

  1. What does Brutus believe to be the most important power of the legislative branch?  Why is this power so important?

  1. What other powers does the national government possess that worry Brutus?

  1. Brutus believes that a smaller republic is preferable to a larger one.  Why?  What advantages are there in a smaller republic?  What problems are there in a larger republic?
  1. In Federalist 51, Madison argues that the new government will not become all powerful.  Madison writes, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  How will the government do this? What key features of the constitution will ensure that rights and liberties will be protected?

  1. What branch does Madison believe to be the most dominant?  How can its powers be checked?

  1. Madison counters Brutus argument concerning the protection of liberties in a large republic.  How does Madison refute Brutus’s position?  How does a large republic better ensure the rights of citizens?

  1. Who is right—Madison or Brutus?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Debate over Ratification: Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

HW for Thursday: Read Brutus I and Federalist 51; Constitutional Principles Quiz tomorrow!

When the delegates wrapped up the convention and presented the Constitution to the states for ratification in September 1787, it was not a guarantee that it would be approved. Fierce debate took place between Federalists,those who supported this new proposal of government, and their opponents who feared too strong of a central government, the Anti-Federalists. Today we look at the arguments and differences between them. 

Let's begin by looking at this comparison chart:

Based on the above chart, try to identify these statements as either Federalist or Anti-Federalist positions:

1. “I think those delegates exceeded their authority in creating a whole new government. They were just supposed to work on the Articles a bit.”
2. “What Americans need is a bill of rights, and this new government will not get my approval until we have one.”
3. “I think this new plan will provide a good balance of power.”
4. “Those people want to make the United States undemocratic and get special privileges for a limited few Americans.”
5. “It’s obvious that the Articles weren’t working, and I think this new plan reflects a careful compromise among a variety of opinions.”
6. “I and my two friends wrote our essays under the name ‘Publius’ because we wanted people to be influenced only by the facts.”
7. “If we give too much power to a central government, what’s to stop the United States from becoming a monarchy like Britain?”
8. “I think it’s important for people to realize that the large size and diversity of the United States will make it impossible for any single group to form a majority that could dominate the government.”
9. “I encouraged the delegates at the Convention to sign the Constitution and I fear that this nation will crumble if the states do not accept it.”
10. “I’m just a simple farmer, but I think those supporters of the Constitution expect to get all the power into their own hands.”
Now let's try the same thing, but with actual quotes from Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers.