Constitutional Foundations/Federalism: Free Response
Directions:. It is suggested that you take a few minutes to plan and outline each answer. Spend approximately one-fourth of your time (25 minutes) on each question. Illustrate your essay with substantive examples where appropriate. Make certain to number each of your answers as the question is numbered below.
1. â€œBut the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be are reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angles were to govern, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.â€
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Using the quotation and your knowledge of American politics, complete the following two tasks:
Identify what the author saw as the TWO problems in forming a government.
Identify and describe the â€œauxiliary precautionsâ€ that the author believed were necessary to prevent tyranny.
It has been said, â€œThe Constitution reflects a basic distrust of direct popular government.â€
a) List TWO features of the Constitution and
Explain how EACH feature displayed a distrust of popular government.
3. Discuss TWO facts about the landmark case McCulloch v. Maryland. Next, what were TWO constitutional provisions used by the Supreme Courtâ€™s majority in the McCulloch v. Maryland decision to justify its opinion. Lastly, explain how the McCulloch case expanded the power of the federal government in relation to the states.
Define federalism. Explain THREE reasons for continuing federalism in its current form in the United States. In other words, defend Americaâ€™s federal system of government.
The text discusses FIVE theories on how political power is distributed. List and explain each theory.
The text concludes that politics is about the â€œpublic interest,â€ not just â€œwho gets what.â€ Consider the two forms of democracy (direct and representative) and discuss which form is best able to achieve â€œthe goal of politicsâ€ promoting the public interest.
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