Politics and Government E
1. What is government, and why do societies create it? What is politics? What are the challenges of representative government?
2. The United States already had a constitution, The Articles of Confederation, prior to 1787 — so why was a new one necessary? Please discuss the basic design features of the US Constitution: separate powers that check and balance each other. How effectively do those checks and balances function to protect American democracy today?
3. What is federalism, and how has it evolved in the United States over its history? What are some of the issues in American politics today that exemplify the challenges of having two distinct levels of government power?
4. What are civil liberties, and how do they differ from civil rights? Civil liberties fall into two categories: the four freedoms, and criminal defense rights — please discuss examples of current controversies pertaining to both categories of rights. In your examples, please elaborate on the tensions between the free exercise of our liberties, and legitimate government limits on them.
5. In 1776 our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, proclaimed that “all men are created equal,” a fundamental principle of American democracy — and yet we still fall short of equal treatment of all in America today. Please discuss de jure and de facto inequality in America, in terms of how various groups are treated. And what can be done to address systemic, de facto inequality in America?