1. According to Oaks, how are rights and responsibilities different? Why is this difference

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1 Dallin H. Oaks: Rights and Responsibilities 1. According to Oaks, how are rights and responsibilities different? Why is this difference important? 2. What role does responsibility have in maintaining a free society? 3. Why does expanding rights and enforcing them more rigorously lead to a loss of freedom? John Locke: Excerpt from The Second Treatise of Civil Government 1. According to Locke, how does government originate? According to Locke, what is the purpose of government? 2. How does Locke define property? How does he define equality? 3. Who (and/or what) governs in a legitimate government? What makes the difference between a legitimate government and a tyrannical one? How does Locke define tyranny? What is the proper response to tyranny? How did these and other ideas influence the American political experiment beginning with the Revolution? David Hume: Excerpt from A treatise of Human Nature 1. According to Hume, what is the primary reason that people form governments? What can a government do that individuals cannot do for themselves? 2. When does Hume feel that it is appropriate to overthrow a tyrannical government? What reasoning does he use to justify this belief?

2 The Mayflower Compact 1. Although the Pilgrims left Europe for religious reasons, they also cared deeply about politics. In what ways might Puritan religious beliefs influence politicalbeliefs? How are both concerns evident within the Mayflower Compact? Does one concern predominate over the other, or do they reinforce one another? 2. Upon arriving in the New World, the Mayflower Compact records that Pilgrims sought to create a political covenant with each other. What does it mean to create a political covenant? Drawing on the document as well as previous reading within City Upon a Hill, how might such covenants help new societies escape the human predicament? John Winthrop: Little Speech of Liberty 1. How do natural and civil liberty differ? How does each type of liberty respond to political authority? 2. How might Winthrop s position as a leader of a newly formed colony influence his choice to underscore the importance of civil liberty? John Winthrop: A Model of Christian Charity 1. Winthrop notes that God Almighty in His most holy and wise providence, hath so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in power and dignity; others mean and in submission. The thought that God condones economic inequality bothers many today. How does Winthrop justify this belief? Do you find his argument convincing? 2. Within his speech, Winthrop characterizes Puritan society as the body of Christ. What does this imagery tell us about how Puritans viewed their community? What responsibilities did each individual have to promote the community s good? 3. How might Winthrop s portrayal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a City Upon a Hill encourage Puritans to create a better society? Do you see any problems with Winthrop s image? Is there room for those who hold diverse opinions within Winthrop s city?

3 The Magna Carta 1. In what ways would a written bill of rights (such as the Magna Carta) help prevent tyranny? 2. Most of the demands for rights and changes (over 60!) in the Magna Carta are reactions to specific instances of King John becoming oppressive and tyrannical. Name three or more specific demands in the Magna Carta that you feel were the most important to protect the English people from tyranny. Petition of Right 1. Many of the rights in this petition deal with the legal process of arresting, trying, and convicting. A few important legal terms and their associated rights are mentioned. What does due process of law mean and why is it important? What is habeas corpus and why is it important? 2. What reforms did Parliament seek concerning taxation? Adam Smith: Excerpt from An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations 1. According to Adam Smith, how does the division of labor lead to a more efficient economy? How does it result in more goods sold within a free market? How does the example of pinmaking illustrate his ideas about the division of labor? 2. Adam Smith compares the quality of corn produced in Poland to that of other developed countries. Which country should specialize in growing corn? Why? 3. According to Adam Smith, why does the division of labor encourage trade both nationally and internationally? How might such interdependence influence relations between countries? Daniel Leonard: Massachusettensis, addressed to the Inhabitants of the Province of Massachusetts Bay 1. What are the main weaknesses of each of the following forms of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy? 2. According to Leonard, why is the form of government in Great Britain the most effective option? 3. Leonard claims that the colonists have failed to look at politics from the perspective of England. What political relationship does Leonard say that the colonies should have to England? What balance of power does he propose should exist between the two?

4 John Adams: Novanglus, February 6, Why does Adams feel that the Parliament in Great Britain is corrupt? 2. What does Adams encourage religious clergy and leaders to do? Why? Edmund Burke: Excerpt from Speech on conciliation with America 1. What does Burke say that Parliament must do in order to maintain the loyalty of the colonies in America? 2. Why (according to Burke) do the people of Great Britain abide by laws passed by Parliament? Why is this important? Samuel Johnson: excerpt from Taxation no Tyranny: An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress 1. Johnson says that because the colonies were established by means of charters given by England,they are an extension of England and are therefore subject to the authority of its government. What is sovereignty? How does it apply to the relationship between the colonies and England? Who holds ultimate sovereignty, according to Samuel Johnson? 2. According to Johnson, why can t an American colonist have complete independence from England s taxation and England s protection, rights, and benefits at the same time? 3. Johnson says that the American colonists have to choose between a vote at home, or riches at a distance. What does he mean by this? Jack Rakove: Chapter 5 of James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic 1. Give three reasons why Madison felt states would not voluntarily submit to federal commands. Why did Madison feel a national government was the best solution to these problems? [To the reasons? ] 2. The republican form of government was seen as only suitable for a small, virtuous, homogenous society. America did not meet these criteria very well. While America was somewhat homogenous (many were farmers, white, Christian, etc) divisions and factions were still common. Why did Madison feel confident that an extended republic would work in America? 3. Why would having a bicameral legislature be effective in preventing larger states from dominating national politics? How would having a national government help to resolve disputes between states? How would a national government protect the rights of minorities and individuals from being violated by the majority?

5 Jack Rakove, Chapter 6 of James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic 1. What were the vices of the political system of the United States, according to Madison? 2. Madison, as the architect of the Constitution, was suspicious of state power. Why did he think the states threatened to ruin the national government? How did Madison seek to remedy this? Do you find his arguments convincing? 3. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, heated debate broke out over the issue of representation in Congress. What were the two main proposals concerning representation? Though both expressed a desire for equality how did their notions of the term differ from one another? 4. After being forced to compromise on the issue of representation, to what branch of government did Madison turn in order to stop legislative [and state] excess[es]? How did Madison attempt to separate this branch from the legislative branch s power? Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address 1. What role does Lincoln say slavery played in the disputes leading up to secession? What does he promise his policy towards slavery will be? Why did he adopt this policy? How does it square with the policy of emancipation he eventually adopted? 2. Why does Lincoln oppose secession? Is his argument about the principle of secession convincing? Why or why not? Does it seem consistent with the thinking of the Founders and their sources like Locke? Why or why not? Andrew Carnegie: On Wealth 1. How does Carnegie feel about economic inequality? Is it worrisome or beneficial? 2. What should the wealthy do with their riches, according to Carnegie? What are the different options? How does Carnegie evaluate each of these options? 3. Why does Carnegie support very high estate taxes? 4. According to Carnegie, what are the responsibilities of a man of wealth? 5. Both John Winthrop and Andrew Carnegie were concerned with questions of economic inequality (A Model of Christian Charity and The Gospel of Wealth). In what ways are these men s thoughts similar in what ways do they differ?

6 Robert Dahl: What the Framers Couldn t Know 1. Dahl says there are some things the Framers could not know. What are these things? What other limits might the Framers have faced? 2. Dahl lists several undemocratic elements of the Constitution. What are those elements? Are some of these undemocratic elements weaknesses of the Constitution? If so, which ones? Could some of the undemocratic elements be strengths? 3. Dahl traces several phases in the transition from a republic to a democratic republic. What are those phases? Do you agree with him that the United States has experienced this transition? Why does Dahl assume the founders would be more open to democratic changes in the Constitution if they had lived to see subsequent American history? Given our experience since 1787, are there any events that may have confirmed the founders fears concerning democracy? 4. According to Dahl, how did Madison s views change over time? 5. On p. 34 Madison lists advantages of the party system. After studying his list, which points do you think hold true today? Are there any which do not? Jeffrey R. Holland: Except from The Lord Build the House 1. Holland shows how the Founding Fathers felt that the American republic as outlined by the Constitution can only maintain freedom as long as the people are moral. The founders felt that no structure of government can perfectly prevent immorality and corruption. Why must people be moral in order to maintain freedom? 2. Holland says, Success in their [the Founding Fathers ] endeavors depended not only upon virtue in the people at that time, but it also depended on the continuation of those virtues in every successive generation to come. What are some ways we can pursue virtue and morality in our lives and encourage them in the lives of others?

7 Dallin H. Oaks: Divinely Inspired Constitution 1. What miracle does Elder Oaks think should be added to the miracle of Philadelphia? What was so miraculous about it? 2. What elements of the Constitution are divinely inspired, according to Elder Oaks? How would belief in a divinely inspired Constitution affect your attitude toward the political system? Toward your personal responsibilities in that system? 3. How does the amendment process protect minorities? 4. Elder Oaks wrote that the rule of law is the basis of liberty. Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? U.S. Supreme Court, Plessy v. Ferguson 1. According to Justice Brown, does the Louisiana law contradict the post-civil War amendments? Why or why not? 2. Justice Brown draws a distinction between legal or political equality, on the one hand, and social equality on the other. What is the difference between these two forms of equality? 3. To what extent can laws promote social equality? Should they try to do so? Do founding documents like the Declaration of Independence promote social equality? If so, how? 4. When Justice Harlan argues in his famous dissent that the Constitution is color-blind, what does he mean? How does his argument relate to the rule of law?

8 Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter From Birmingham Jail 1. King writes, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Is this true? What are our responsibilities when we see injustice? 2. What is the purpose of non-violent direct action? Why does King think non-violent protest is a more excellent way? 3. According to King, why was action needed now? Why not wait? 4. What is the difference between just and unjust laws? (Be sure to explore the various definitions King gives.) What are our responsibilities with respect to just laws? What about unjust laws? 5. What consequences should those who disobey the law in the name of nonviolent protest expect? John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Inaugural Address 1. What role does Kennedy say America has in promoting freedom on a world scale? How does he propose to promote freedom? 2. Kennedy understands that all nations, while politically polarized, have many things in common. He wants America and other nations to work towards these commonalities, establish peace, and conquer common world problems together. What problems, issues, and opportunities does Kennedy say Americans and other nations can work together to address? How might working together be a better solution than war or conflict?

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