Blackman High School AP Government & Politics Summer Assignment M. Giacobbi Room D School Year

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1 Blackman High School AP Government & Politics Summer Assignment M. Giacobbi Room D School Year This college-level course is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and can earn students college credit. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills and essay writing. I am asking that you complete the following assignments to help prepare you for the class. These assignments will enhance your knowledge of American Government and will enable us to begin the course as soon as school begins. Remember, you chose to be in this class and your success will depend upon your willingness s to prepare for it. RUBRIC All responses should be typed or printed neatly in black ink. Print out the questions to include in assignment Place this assignment is a 3-prong folder to turn in Use dividers to separate the individual readings and assignments There should be a title page with all relevant student information. Your summer work must be your own unique creation. Copying from any source written work, online resources, or a classmate is plagiarism and will result in an automatic zero for the entire assignment. Please feel free to contact me over the summer with any questions: This is a long assignment and all these documents are required reading by the College Board for this test. This assignment is due during the first week of the semester you are enrolled in the class. LATE PAPERS WILL lose 10% before it is graded **NO EXCUSE WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR INCOMPLETE WORK. PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ME

2 Part 1: THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Available on line Directions: Read the Declaration of Independence and complete the following questions 1. What is the purpose of the first paragraph of the Declaration? 2. According to the Declaration of Independence, what are the colonists seeking? 3. According to the Declaration of Independence, what is the purpose of government? 4. According to the Declaration of Independence, where does a government get its power? 5. According to the Declaration of Independence, what is one responsibility that the people have? 6. What is meant by the term despotism? 7. According to the Declaration of Independence, what is the political history of the current King of Great Britain? 8. In plain English, list 5 indictments of the King of England. 9. Before declaring independence, what political course of action did the colonists take? 10. What status do the colonists claim? 11. What powers do the colonists claim? 12. What is meant by the reference to divine providence? Part 2: The ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION Available online Directions: Read the Articles of Confederation and complete the following questions 1. What did all the states have four years after the Revolutionary War ended? 2. Why did the colonists want the powers of government written down? 3. What are the natural rights? 4. What did most state constitutions include? 5. What did state constitutions restrict? 6. Why were the Articles of Confederation written? 7. How many votes did each state have? 8. How many states had to approve important decisions? 9. What powers did the Articles of Confederation give the government? 10. What powers did the Articles of Confederation deny to the government? 11. The Articles of Confederation did not allow the government the power to tax. Why do you think that was? 12. Why do you think the Articles did not have an executive? An executive is one person who is in charge and makes major decisions, like a president or a governor. 13. What did the Articles of Confederation establish? Part 3: THE US CONSTITUTION Available online Directions: Read the US Constitution and complete the following questions. 1. Read each article. Summarize the general purpose or subject of each article in one or two sentences. 2. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for members of the House? 3. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for members of the Senate? 4. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for the President? 5. What is the term of House member? What is the term of a Senator? What is the term of the President? How many may someone serve as President? 6. Who fills a vacant seat in the House?

3 7. How many Senators does each state have? How many House members does each state have? 8. Who is the leader of the House? President of the Senate? 9. Who determines the pay of Congress? President? 10. Any bill raising revenue must begin in which house? 11. Who follows the President and Vice President in succession? 12. Who has the power to admit new states? 13. The powers that are specifically granted to the branches of government or to office holders are called express powers. Identify two express powers of the president. What are the express powers of the vice president? Identify two express powers of Congress. 14. Checks and Balance A power that the executive branch has over the legislative branch: This can be found in what article/section A power that the executive branch holds over the judicial branch. This can be found in what article/section A power that the legislative branch holds over the executive branch. This can be found in what article/section A power that the legislative branch holds over the judicial branch. This can be found in what article/section A power that the judicial branch holds over the executive branch. This can be found in what article/section A power that the judicial branch holds over the legislative branch. This can be found in what article/section 15. According to Article I, who has the power to declare war? 16. What power does the Constitution give the President in the area of war? 17. What bodies have the power to override a presidential veto? What margin is required to override a presidential veto? Where in the Constitution is the veto power described? 18. What body has the power to ratify treaties? What margin is required to ratify treaties? Where in the Constitution is the ratification power described? 19. What body has the power to impeach the president? Where in the Constitution is the impeachment power described? 20. What body has the power to convict the president of charges brought against him in the impeachment process and thereby remove him from the presidency? What margin is required to convict and remove a president? Where in the Constitution is the impeachment power described? 21. What body has the power to accept or reject a president s nominations to the Supreme Court? What margins is required to elevate a president s nominee to a seat on the Court? Where in the Constitution are judicial nominations described? How long does a Supreme Court justice serve? 22. If no candidate for the presidency wins a simple majority of the total number of electoral votes, what body has the power to choose the president? What margin is required to choose the president? Where in the Constitution is the Electoral College described? (Hint: there are two parts) 23. The Constitution specifies a three-fourths majority for just one process. What? 24. See Article VI. Explain the supremacy clause in your own words. 25. What are the four ways that amendments to the Constitution can be proposed? 26. What are the four ways that amendments to the Constitution can be ratified? 27. How many states had to ratify the Constitution for it to go into effect? 28. Outline the general purpose of the first 10 Amendments. 29. Which amendment(s) protect the rights of women? Summarize what this amendment(s) says 30. Which amendments (s) protect the rights of African Americans? 31. How were US Senators chosen before the Seventeenth Amendment? 32. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment describes the sequence of events that would install the vice president as acting president against the will of the president. Outline that sequence of events.

4 Part 4: THE FEDERALIST PAPERS/ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS All are available online Directions: Read the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers indicated and complete the following questions Federalist Paper 10 James Madison 1. What does Madison mean by faction? 2. What do you think Madison might be referring to when he refers to the unsteadiness and injustice with which a faction s spirit has tainted our public administrations? 3. Why, according to Madison, is it impossible to eliminate faction? 4. According to Madison, which one poses the greater danger to a just republican government the sinister designs of a minority, or the selfish pursuits of a majority? Why? 5. What does Madison mean by a republic, and how is a republic in his view superior to a democracy? How does that superiority come about? 6. How is the Union (the national government) superior to the states? Federalist Paper 51 James Madison 1. What is the general theme of this paper? Why is this theme important, according to the author? 2. What are the four elements of the separation of powers? 3. What does Madison mean by the statement, Ambition must be made to counteract ambition? 4. Is government (and its form) merely the greatest of all reflections on human nature? How so or why not? 5. What is the great difficulty with government? Why? 6. What does the author mean when he asserts that the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public? 7. What does this say about human nature? 8. If what the author says is true about human nature, why are checks and balances of power necessary? 9. What checks are placed by the Constitution on the legislative branch? 10. According to the authors first of two considerations, how is the federal government divided into two distinct governments and into distinct and separate departments? 11. Does this balance (or separation) still exist today? 12. According to the authors second of two considerations, how do you protect the people from another? (Think about Federalist No. 10; faction) 13. Is it true that Justice is the end (i.e., goal or purpose) of government? Is it the end of civil society? 14. Does government have other purposes? 15. What other goals can there be for republican government, according to the last half of the last paragraph? 16. Do you agree with the author that In the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties, and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good? 17. How does a federal principle enable the people inhabiting a republic to engage in self-government? 18. What does the last sentence mean?

5 Federalist Paper 70 - Alexander Hamilton 1. What benefits does a strong presidency provide to a representative democracy? 2. Why does a weak executive create a bad government? 3. What are four ingredient of an energetic executive? 4. What, according to Hamilton, is the most necessary quality for a president? 5. What are characteristics of the legislative branch? 6. How do human weaknesses complicate decision making, according to Hamilton? 7. What problems might arise if the presidency were split between two people? 8. Why is disagreement within the legislative branch beneficial, while in the executive branch it is detrimental? Federalist Paper 78 Alexander Hamilton 1. On what grounds does Hamilton argue that the judicial department of government is the least powerful branch of government? 2. Why do you suppose that Hamilton was so careful to point out the relative impotence of the judiciary? 3. What was Hamilton s position regarding the power of the judiciary to declare void any legislative acts that were contrary to the Constitution? 4. Why does Hamilton consider the independence of the judiciary to be a vital component of constitutional government? 5. What arguments does Hamilton use to support life tenure for judges? Anti-Federalist 1 Brutus 1. Which form of government (a large national republic or a confederation of small republics) is more likely to preserve and protect personal liberties and why? 2. Can a larger republic, based on the principle of consent of the governed, sufficiently protect the rights and liberties of the individual states and people, or is a confederation the only method of securing such liberty? 3. Should the federal legislature be able to repeal state laws in order to impose federal laws for the purpose of promoting the general welfare or common defense of the nation? If so, why? If not, why? 4. Brutus argues that in a republic, the manners, sentiments, and interests of the people should be similar if not, there will be a constant clashing of opinions and the representatives of one part will be constantly striving against the other. Should a republic be made up of a small group of like-minded people? Or, is diversity of opinion beneficial to the success of a federal government? Part 5: LETTERS FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL Available online Directions: Read and complete the following questions 1. King faced criticism for being in Birmingham as an outsider. Explain this criticism, and his response to it (his rationale for being there). 2. Explain King s belief about the interconnectedness of communities all across the United States? What does it mean to be interconnected? Do you agree with this concept? 3. Describe the four basic steps for a nonviolent campaign, as outlined by King. 4. Describe the circumstances that lead up to King s nonviolent direct action approach in Birmingham. 5. According to Dr. King, does direct action hinder negotiation? 6. Explain, in detail, King s reaction to the advice wait and give us time to act.

6 7. Dr. King describes what a just laws look like. Additionally, he explains at length some ways in which laws can be unjust. Using King s description of just vs. unjust law, create a just law rubric or just law checklist. ( Be sure to examine what it means for a law to be just on it s face but not in application ) 8. King refers to the holocaust to explain that people are morally obligated to act against unjust laws. Why does he use the holocaust as an example? What connections does he make? Consider the social/political context in the U.S at the time the letter is written. 9. King is more disappointed with the white moderate than with the KKK please explain this phenomenon. How could King be more upset with moderate whites than violent extremists like clansmen? 10. How is King viewed by fellow clergymen (church leaders)? How does he feel about being viewed this way? 11. Why is King disappointed with the church leaders upon his arrival to Birmingham?

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