AP Government-Civics Assignments

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Practice Tests (MCQs and FRQs) for AP Gov Politics in Google Classroom

Practice Tests (MCQs and FRQs) for AP Gov Politics

I uploaded for those taking the AP Central test in Gov Politics the 2020 MCQs and FRQs, and the 2019 and 2018 FRQs.




20 Points: Read and do Cornell Notes on "Propaganda as a means of control in society"

20 Points: Read and do Cornell Notes on Propaganda Techniques

20 Points: Read and do Cornell notes on Propaganda Politician Rhetorical Techniques


The Judiciary: The least dangerous branch? PART II in Google Classroom

The Judiciary: The least dangerous branch? PART II

This assignment will be Cornell Notes textbook reading, particularly for Chapter 15 in the textbook.

5 Points: Intro: Read only the first paragraph at page 443, and note the number of Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal (I don't know why the book does not say "Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal" as that is the proper name), the fact there is another Federal Court of Appeals FOR the Federal Circuit itself (It is in Washington, DC, a fact the book Intro leaves out), and how may District or trial level federal courts.  And yes, the book is correct to say there are "thousands" of state and local courts throughout the States in our nation.  Oh boy!  Lots of mediocrity there, too. :(

10 Points: For 15.1, I am not requiring Cornell Notes. However, you must make sure you are including in your notes the definition of not merely the bolded terms and phrases, but also terms and phrases that make clear what an "adversary system" is, the difference between criminal and civil law, and who is a  plaintiff in a civil case and what is the status name for the person the plaintiff is bringing the action against. Also, read carefully and take notes on the last part of the chapter dealing with "Groups."

20 Points: For 15.2. Make sure you are including in your notes the bolded terms and phrases PLUS: What are the examples of "legislative courts," how their structures differ from regular courts, and these legislative courts' functions?  Then, copy or screenshot and study Figure 15.1 at page 445 as it shows you the hierarchy of the courts, and 15.3 at page 449 that shows where the US Supreme Court has original or appellate jurisdiction (note: include the bolded definitions of original and appellate jurisdiction at page 446).  Otherwise, Cornell Notes from page 446 starting with "District Courts" through 449 at the end of "Supreme Court" as the information there is important to understand the shorthand that lawyers and political scientists use.

20 Points: 15.3, put into notes "senatorial courtesy" and its examples in the book at page 450. However, note: Senatorial courtesy has gone out the window under Republican Senate control in our day.  Then, jump to page 453 and take careful notes on "Recent Nominations" at pages 453 and 454, as there is a lot of politics discussed that really give us an understanding of how contentious it has gotten over the past nearly six decades regarding US Supreme Court nominations. Also, note the Table 15.3.  Fun fact: Douglas (no relation to Ruth Bader) Ginsburg was withdrawn by Reagan after Ginsburg admitted to smoking pot in college. No need to do any notes for the "You Are the Policymaker" section. Plus, the chart at page 457 is a joke as "judicial conservative" and "judicial liberal" really cannot be defined with any true precision.  One is better off saying Sotomayor is a political liberal who is a judge, Kagan and Breyer are neo-liberals who are judges, and the rest are varying shades of right wing and even fascistic people who are judges.  It used to be the case where one could say, deference to the legislature, and being cautious in approaching questions better left to the legislature would be "conservative," or protecting civil liberties of individuals was "liberal."  We can't say that any longer in our time, at least. I used to call myself a person who leaned "judicially conservative," but, while I haven't changed, I am not sure what to call myself any longer that makes sense to anyone without specifics provided.

20 Points: Cornell Notes for 15.4 from page 457 to the first two full paragraphs on page 459. The last section, ""Background Characteristics and Policymaking," is no longer applicable in our time. Just state in your notes, up until recently, and probably the last is David Souter, US Supreme Court nominees who become justices do pretty much what the presidents who nominated them expected them to do. Some may say Gorsuch is a surprise, but I would dispute that, noting his one pro-gay rights opinion and his pro-Native American opinions are products of his being from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado area, and his decisions are in line with those courts in which he himself served. Gorsuch was placed on the US Supreme Court for one reason: To undermine what the right wing calls the "administrative state." He has begun to do that, along with Kavanaugh, and Amy C. Barrett. 

10 Points: 15.5. Define "writ of certiorari" at page 461 and the bolded terms from pages 461 through 463. Define as well the difference between "original intent" and "original meaning" at the bottom of page 463. Then, explain in words, not just screenshotting the Figures 15.4 and 15.5 at, respectively, pages 461 and 462. Then, do Cornell Notes for pages 464 and 465, plus the top two lines of page 466. 

10 Points: Cornell Notes on this article from Vox.com attacking the foundations of "originalism" in any form.  

5 Points: Mr. Freedman having fun with Senator and former Solicitor General, Ted Cruz (R-TX), on "originalism" in any form.  But, this blog post I wrote last year is actually a good review of the documents we read in class this semester. As I, your teacher, sees it, historicism is often a more enlightening approach in evaluating what is called "constitutional law."  For this, no Cornell Notes. Just provide a paragraph summary and say why you agree or disagree with me--and you'll get full credit just for engaging. :)

FINAL FUN INFORMATION:  Don't ever get fooled in your adult life that the US administrative state did not begin until the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act set up an Executive Branch Commission, or what occurred in the 20th Century under Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR.  A political science professor, Kate Elizabeth Brown, has written a very dense, but brilliant book called "Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law."  In it, Professor Brown provides a jam packed account of the way in which Alexander Hamilton, while running the Treasury Department in the first George Washington administration, formulated what became known as administrative law from the start of the Constitutional Republic. She also finds early Supreme Court and other lower court case law in the 1790s proving, as a practical matter, even the earliest Congressional legislation or statutes on excise taxes and other related economic legislation needed interpretation for enforcement, and creating written regulatory rules as part of the enforcement of congressionally passed statutes. What also came across to me in reading the book was Hamilton's sense of posterity, in making sure not only his views, but competing views, were aired before courts and the administrative tribunals in port-master contexts. He was even cognizant of federalism, that is, of course, concurrent and overlapping jurisdiction of federal and state authority, both judicially as well as in executive authority. I was deeply fascinated by the manner in which Hamilton, oblivious to modern proprieties and ethics, simply contacted judges to discuss potential matters that may come before the courts, and contact other lawyers and business people to set up test cases. However, Hamilton did so in a way that was transparent (most of the time) to all parties who had an interest in the dispute, and sometimes helped both sides with briefing to ensure the most cogent and consistent arguments were made. The book is extraordinary reading, if again very dense, due to the technical nature of the topic.


The Judiciary: The least dangerous branch?  PART I in Google Classroom

The Judiciary: The least dangerous branch? PART I

This is our final section of the course before FINALS WEEK.  We will explore the judiciary branch in our federal government, and read and answer questions regarding the judiciary.  The judiciary has no army, can't raise funds, and looks fairly powerless. Yet, they have, perhaps with Alexander Hamilton's expectation, taken on the status of philosophers with teeth in our society, with all the rancor and adoration over the first nearly two and a half centuries since our Constitutional Republic was ratified.  Some horrible decisions in the history of the US Supreme Court, whether one chooses Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, Citizens United, or, some say, Roe v. Wade and the Engle v. Vitale decisions, can have dramatic political, cultural, or, in the case of Lochner, economic effects. Please do the following in the order listed for best understanding:

15 Points: Read Federalist Paper 78, attached below, and answer the questions I posed, also attached below.
6 Points: Re-watch the three 2.8 AP Central Videos. More than half of the class did not watch these, as, at the time, they were not required. However, now, I believe this is a better time to watch these. I am having difficulties getting 2.8 AP Video no. 2 uploaded, and so I am copying the link below. Hopefully, it works. The Videos 1 and 3 should be available if one scrolls down far enough. :)
12 Points: Summarize each of the three AP Videos in AP Classroom at 2.8.


Supreme Court cases to know for AP Gov Politics Test in Google Classroom

Supreme Court cases to know for AP Gov Politics Test

Review this list of Supreme Court cases you must know for the AP Test.  I will go over in class. No need to submit anything.  No grade. HOWEVER, THIS WILL HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE REMAINING TWO WEEKS OF CLASS, SO PLEASE FOLLOW ALONG WITH ME.  PLUS, I'LL TRY TO BE FUNNY IN MY DISCUSSIONS AS USUAL.


Free Range Questions: First Three are Short Answers, not Essays, and Final is an Essay in Google Classroom

Free Range Questions: First Three are Short Answers, not Essays, and Final is an Essay

I want us to go over NOW the FRQs. Next week, we will work on a couple of practice FRQs, where I will only grade on Homework scale, and very leniently.  It is more important to learn than to worry about this impacting anyone's grade.  I simply want us to understand the differences within FRQs and how to construct answers as we move into the AP MacroEconomics class in January 2022. Read the full instructions and my hopefully helpful notes below.

15 Points: Watch and then provide a summary and/or bullet points (4 bullet points) of Heimler's video on FRQs.  This is 16 minutes and is jam packed with information which, if you write a solid set of notes, will be something helpful for you when studying for the AP Test. I use this guy to help AP US History and AP World History for Long Essay Questions and Document Based Questions.  

MJF comments: For answering his first example question "A," you could write price control solution but you should add Commerce Clause of Article I, Section 8 of Congress' power.  Remember too what "linkage institutions" are, which are: "channels through which people's concerns become political issue for the government's policy agenda. This will include media, political parties, interest groups, and election campaigns."  Note the first three questions on the AP Test (after the MCQs) are more like Short Answer Questions (SAQs) in AP World and AP US History. That is going to be, in this AP Test more than the other two, about two-three sentences for each part of the answers. Note, in Heimler's discussion of charts, note distinction with "identify," "describe," and "explain." When asked to "describe," you must first "identify," and then draw a conclusion or compare to something else. "Explain" is when you show off what you know, such as the definition of "federalism" and how you apply it.  

15 Points: Heimler's Video on AP Gov Politics Test for Argumentative Essay.  Again, write paragraphs or bullet points of information that is jam packed here. Note he is talking about the foundational documents, and I admit I did not go over Federalist Paper nos. 51 and 70, about the extent of presidential power. I think these are pretty self-explanatory.  When we study, we will go over the basic differences in the Articles of Confederation the Constitution was intended to correct.  We have gone over "Letter from Birmingham Jail" after we returned from Thanksgiving Break.  He also gives a great short explanation of Thesis Statements are, and how to do argument and reasoning.  Refutation, concession, or rebuttal are key words to write down.

20 Points: I am also attaching pages from the AMSCO AP Civics book to give you an overview of FRQs.  Please write a paragraph or four bullet points summarizing.


Letter from Birmingham Jail in Google Classroom

Letter from Birmingham Jail

30 Points:  Read all the way through, after we will have gone over in class, and then write four paragraphs or twelve bullet point notes to understand the essence of this letter that is now taught as if it was a Declaration of Independence. In a sense, it definitely is.  This is part of the key documents for the AP Test, believe it or not. :)

See the Wiki article before we begin. It provides the basic background that King and others were arrested for saying they would defy a southern judge's injunction order against civil disobedience, which is marching in the street without a permit, boycotting stores that were segregated by race, and other peaceful demonstrating.  As King sat in jail, in what were not good or healthy conditions, someone hands him a petition signed by white preachers in the area who said he was behaving badly and without morality.  King was incensed. He wrote this open letter to these preachers and to the larger white audience around the nation.

Therefore, what your "radical" teacher likes about the letter King wrote is King's attack on privileged complacency. Further, he pointedly notes how people who call themselves "moderates" are ultimately more crafty enemies of progress and justice  than the people who want the ones protesting for progress or justice, well, dead.  The "moderates" don't kill those who seek justice or progress. However, they ultimately are fine with keeping the status quo, with maybe some symbolic gestures or tweaks around edges, in a way which continues to maintain that status quo in terms of power dynamics.  You know, like someone who likes Mayor Pete, but thinks Bernie Sanders goes way too far....Hmmmm....LOL.


15 DAY ASSIGNMENT: Federal Bureaucracy in Google Classroom

15 DAY ASSIGNMENT: Federal Bureaucracy


28 Points: Watch the seven (7) videos in AP Central Classroom 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, and 2.15.
56 Points: Summarize each of the seven videos with two paragraphs EACH.
15 Points: AP Central MCQs for each of the AP Central chapters 2.12 (Bureaucracy Quiz), 2.13 (Discretionary and Rule Making Quiz), 2.14 (Holding the Bureaucracy Accountable Quiz), and 2.15 (Policy and Branches of Government Quiz)

TEXTBOOK: CHAPTER 14 (Bureaucracy)

5 Points: Summarize (not Cornell Notes) Intro to Chapter 14
15 Points: Summarize (not Cornell Notes) 14.1, including (1) rewriting the definition of every bolded term or phrase, (2) summarizing what the book calls myths about bureaucrats at page 411, (3) pie chart at page 413, which proves my point about why we don't talk about the high percentage of military spending for most non-discretionary spending and taxation, and (4) the last two pages of the chapter at pages 415-416 about the Plum Book and the issues surrounding employment in the government.
10 Points: Summarize 14.2: (1) rewriting the definition of every bolded term or phrase, (2) listing the actual departments in the Executive Branch at page 417--lots!
20 Points: Summarize 14.3: (1) rewriting the definition of every bolded term or phrase, (2) three elements of policy implementation as stated at page 14.3, (3) lack of resources list at page 422 is worth reading, and writing a few lines about how well our military spending is spent (secrecy hides deep inefficiencies), (4) page 425, how Defense Secretary Melvin Laird refused an order from the president to bomb the Palestine Liberation Organization hideaway (this happens fairly often, not just to Trump with respect to China, for example) and (5) first three paragraphs of page 426.
20 Points: Summarize 14.4: (1) rewriting the definition of every bolded term or phrase, (2) pages 430 and 431, "Regulation in the Economy and in Everyday Life"
20 Points: Summarize 14.5: (1) rewriting the definition of every bolded term or phrase, (2) analyze and write a two paragraph summary about the Iron Triangle, discussed at pages 434-436, and how sometimes, an Iron Triangle in nuclear power or tobacco can be overcome, whether we may like nuclear power or tobacco or not
5 Points: Summarize in one paragraph 14.6. It is just the issue of whether a permanent bureaucracy is necessary in a modern, interdependent society on the one hand and democratic/republican theory on the other.


One Week Assignment: Federal Revenue and Spending in Google Classroom

One Week Assignment: Federal Revenue and Spending

5 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 13 Intro definitions at page 383 (The book discussion of the "debt ceiling" is horribly misleading).
30 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 13.1.
30 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 13.2
30 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 13.3
3 Points: AP Central Classroom 2.2 MCQs ("Structures, Powers, and Functions of Congress Quiz")


Is cable news slipping in its power to dominate the political narrative, or is that only for Mr. Freedman's Boomers and Mr. Freedman's parents' generation? in Google Classroom

Is cable news slipping in its power to dominate the political narrative, or is that only for Mr. Freedman's Boomers and Mr. Freedman's parents' generation?

10 Points: Cornell Notes on 33 Fascinating Cable News Viewership statistics
10 Points: Summarize in three paragraphs the article from The Daily Beast (an often snark styled online magazine, but often pro-Establishment despite the style) about FoxNews covering up its audience decline
10 Points: Summarize in three paragraphs the article from Ad Week, a venerable pro-advertising industry magazine, regarding CNN's Third Quarter viewer results, which shows CNN is averaging less than 1 million viewers a night. This may not be the limit of viewers, as YouTube's algorithms ensure the big three cable news networks (FoxNews, MSNBC, and CNN) get priority when you do a subject search, and they may get several million more views among them from YouTube viewers. However, I found this fascinating reading, as it shows, in a nation of 300 million, how difficult it is to gauge just how dominant or influential cable news is or continues to be.  I want you to engage deeply with this particular article, so you can, in effect, argue with yourself as to whether this snapshot is significant as part of a trend, or a result of an off-election year.
10 Points: Summarize in three paragraphs the article from Deadline.com, a major online magazine that is ad industry-oriented.  It shows a dramatic viewer decline for all three cable news networks. After reading the Ad Week deep dive into CNN, one may more easily digest and evaluate what the numbers are showing for all three networks.
4 Points: Watch AP Central Videos 5.13.
8 Points: Write two paragraph summaries for EACH of the two videos (four or more paragraphs overall).


Introduction to the corporate owned media and social media (Ch 7 in text and supp reading) in Google Classroom

Introduction to the corporate owned media and social media (Ch 7 in text and supp reading)

5 Points: Summarize in one paragraph the Introduction to Chapter 7 of the textbook, and its significance (in your view)
30 Points: Cornell notes for Chapter 7.1, and don't forget to explain what GOTV used to mean and what it means in modern times--but skip the following parts of the chapter: (1) page 202 "Your are the policymaker"; (2) the middle paragraphs of page 203 (just take notes on the first paragraph beginning "Yet the fact..." and then the last paragraph on the page as it goes into the next page, 204). Pay careful attention and take careful notes as to points made, such as the history of print and broadcast media, and the last section, which is about the private control of most media we "consume."
20 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 7.2, and make sure you note at page 207, towards the bottom of the page, the points about how the corporate owned media covered Clinton's health care initiative of 1993-94 and Obama's health care package in 2009-2010. Note carefully the discussion of bias in the news and how the political scientists failed to follow the Daniel Bell formulation, which kept them from seeing how the corporate owned media may be more culturally liberal, but it leaves open whether it is more conservative on economic issues, the military (look how today we know Bernie's/Biden's $3.5 trillion is SO expensive over 10 years, but that is half the military budget over ten years, and nobody says on tv or radio, "Oh! That's alot!"), and the American Empire.  You can skip the second sub-heading of the chapter "Finding the news" except to define the two bolded words or phrases.
AP Central Classroom:
4 Points: Watch the two videos in 5.12 The Media, paying careful attention to the substance of the first video, and the process of doing an FRQ in the second one.
8 Points: Two paragraphs summaries for EACH of the two videos. Screenshot if you wish to really help yourself remember information.
Supplemental Reading:
10 Points: Cornell Notes on the Business Insider article about corporate control of media.  This is a business biased source, but nails business practices that are unfair, misleading, and the like. It was founded by a guy who had been convicted of unethical business practices--irony alert!
10 Points: Summarize data from Forbes article about corporate media and political advertising.  This is from a business biased source, but I find them very reliable and when necessary, open in their biases.  Well worth reading on a regular basis, as is Business Insider.
10 Points: Summarize in three paragraphs this article about structural imbalance on talk radio (from 2007, but it is still true today). This is a liberal biased source, and often tied up with the corporate wing of the Democratic Party--though they do have hard hitting and deep dive analyses highly worth reading. However, in analyzing this article, if one uses the Bell formulation I have discussed, one can see how and why this is likely and largely accurate even if one is not a Clinton liberal. One may also see how advertising affects what is said or not said on talk radio, and even cable news on tv. On the other hand, please know there was an attempt at "liberal" (Not hard economic left) talk radio a few years later, and it failed (It was called "Air America."). I found it largely dull and geared toward cultural liberalism more than economic populism.  I often say the true counterpart to "Rush Limbaugh" is not "Rachel Maddow, " but a guy on the Internet named "Jimmy Dore."  No need to look them up if you don't want to do so. :) 
10 Points: Summarize this "We are all propagandists now" article from Talking Points Memo, an online magazine. This article is about how social media has given us platforms that, if we go viral, or represent a trend, can be significant in challenging corporate owned media--though it is chaotic, and can be delusional or ridiculously uninformed. This source is a liberal-oriented investigative news source. The outlet broke several important stories over the past fifteen years, and I find them, sometimes neo-liberal, sometimes New Deal, and sometimes economically marginally conservative depending on the topic. 
10 Points: Summarize this "Breaking Points" episode on whether the coverage of the social infrastructure bill--you know, that $3.5 Trillion bill--was too focused on the top number and horserace coverage. Note how the show rips into CNN's attack on Bernie's point about horserace coverage, and how what the show finds instead fits with how the Bill Clinton health care plan of 1993-1994 and Obamacare were covered. 

NOTE: "Breaking Points" is an Internet only "show" featuring the economically populist-left, cultural liberal, and political liberal, Krystal Ball (Her Dad is a physicist and thought it amusing to name her after crystals he studied and worked on) and Saagar Enjeti, an economically populist-right, cultural conservative, and political liberal. They do some of the best commentary on a regular basis because they dive into polling data, criticize each other's "own side" (Saagar voted for Trump in 2016, but railed against the corporate influence in the Trump White House; Krysal shares my disdain for Pelosi, Schumer, Obama, the Clintons, Biden, Harris,  and is critical of The Squad for going along with DC power/insider politics), and challenge many corporate media orthodoxies, good and horrible. Both are highly educated and previously worked in media--Krystal for MSNBC before being pushed out for questioning, in 2015, whether Hillary Clinton would be a great candidate--Krystal said no!--and Saagar worked for the Tucker Carlson outfit, The Daily Caller), including together on an Internet show, "The Hill: Rising," which was from the insider magazine, The Hill, owned by a pro-Trump businessperson.  I consider K&S's show far more informative than the usual fare of corporate cable news outlets, though there is definitely room to argue with them--though they recognize that and are open with viewers who disagree with them. :)


Cat Your Vote! in Google Classroom

Cat Your Vote!

My Third Period Gov/Politics class put this together.  Let's get five points for some fun.  Due Monday 11:59 pm.


History of political parties and third parties in Google Classroom

History of political parties and third parties

20 Points: Cornell Notes in textbook 8.5, which the AP testers also think is important to know for the AP Test
10 Points: Cornell Notes in textbook 8.6, a short chapter on third parties, also something AP Testers want you to know
2 Points: AP Central 5.5 Video one only
4 Points: Summarize AP Central 5.5 Video one
3 Points: AP Central MCQs (I found these contained value judgments that make more than one answer okay, but let's see how we all do)


Textbook 9.2 (part only), 9.3, and 9.4, plus AP Central Classroom 5.11 (Campaign Finance) in Google Classroom

Textbook 9.2 (part only), 9.3, and 9.4, plus AP Central Classroom 5.11 (Campaign Finance)

5 Points: In textbook chapter 9.2, simply list the things you need to run a political campaign in modern America at pages 255 and 256. That should show us what is involved and why this is relevant to money domination in political campaigns.
20 Points: Cornell Notes for the entire 9.3 chapter, and not merely the bolded words, right down to the last paragraph of the chapter.
20 Points: Cornell Notes for the article (attached below) from OpenSecrets.org, and make sure you also pay particular attention to the part where it briefly discusses free media Trump and Clinton each received in 2016--and compare to the last paragraph in the textbook.
10 Points: Cornell Notes for entire 9.4 (short chapter)  
 4 Points: Watch AP Central Classroom 5.11 videos (two videos)
8 Points: Summarize in detail and use screenshots if you wish but not exclusively the two 5.11 AP Central Classroom videos
3 Points: AP Central Classroom MCQs 

Ungraded: And have a laugh with Michael Moore, who nails arrogant corporate media types in the run up to the 2016 election, and even election night--not realizing what Moore, and even your teacher, saw, namely (1) all the free media Trump received, where CNN and MSNBC, and eventually FoxNews, which initially opposed Trump as too vulgar and a secret "lib" based upon his commentaries before the Obama presidency, would interrupt regularly scheduled shows to allow Trump rallies to be shown unfiltered, with little to no commentary--once going for nearly an hour with cameras focused on an empty podium while, as was learned later, Trump intentionally delayed showing up just to see if the media would turn away. Find the empty podium media coverage hard to believe?  See this link, which also shows what the media didn't cover that day regarding Clinton:


And (2) the social media targeting work the Trump campaign did. 

These two strategies, one freely given to Trump as a celebrity candidate, and the other intelligently orchestrated, were really effective in OH, MI, WI, FL, PA, and NC against Hillary Clinton, a reasonably- seen-as-an-uncaring-elitist, whose husband worked with Republicans to push through trade deals that decimated those areas. I won't ever deny white racism as a factor, but too many liberals and progressives discount this other stuff waaaay too easily.


Political Campaigns (Textbook Chapter 9 Intro and 9.1, plus AP Central Classroom 5.10 videos)  in Google Classroom

Political Campaigns (Textbook Chapter 9 Intro and 9.1, plus AP Central Classroom 5.10 videos)

Sorry, but we must return to Cornell Notes for the textbook, as the intro and chapter 9.1 are actually fairly well done--subject to the pattern of limitations, of course.

5 Points: (Summary, not Cornell Notes) Intro is important to read as it shows what I said to people in 2020, which is Biden will find it easier on his mental state to be president than campaigning for president, as travel wears one out if one is over 60 years old--unless one is named Bernie Sanders. :)  
20 Points: Cornell Notes for Chapter 9.1. This is far more than making sure you have the definitions of the phrases or words that are bolded.  There is significant narrative information about the history of presidential nomination processes, the 1968 Democratic convention, and the reforms, and then back tracks with superdelegates, and how big a role money plays in what are called "invisible primaries."  And list the italicized info on page 252 after noting the information on page 251, among other aspects of this chapter.
4 Points: Watch the two videos in 5.10 of AP Central Classroom
8 Points: Write a detailed summary of the information, and I am good if you ALSO (but not don't exclusively) include screenshots of substantive information


Interest Groups: Textbook reading/notes taking PLUS AP Central videos and questions in Google Classroom

Interest Groups: Textbook reading/notes taking PLUS AP Central videos and questions

We are a week behind in our syllabus, but I am realizing the later Congress section is going to be cut, largely because of our detailed analysis about Article 1, Section 8 congress powers, and our analyses of the various Federalist Papers and early Republic case law. The later President chapter can also be cut, too, as I looked at it again. 

So, let's dive into "Interest Groups" this week! I must say the textbook is relatively strong here, though with perhaps usual limitations (heh).  This assignment is provided in a full week format, as the chapters tend to blend together (As we know, this is SLATE week, and we have asynchronous learning Wednesday, Oct 13, and Thursday, Oct 14). The assignment is therefore due Sunday night, Oct 17. However, please, please, please use your time management skills, and work on the chapters throughout this week--and then tackle the AP Central Classroom videos and three MCQs. Points breakdown:

20 Points: Cornell Notes for the Intro section and section 10.1.  I like this intro section as it explains how the soda tax was proposed in the context of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/"Obamacare"), how it seemed like a good idea to many, and then died on a rock of monetary corruption, ingrained anti-tax sentiment, and just a pinch of weaponized anti-racism in the service of big money interests.  (pages 283-289)
10 Points: Cornell notes for section 10.2 (pages 289-291)
10 Points: Cornell notes for a PORTION Of 10.3 (we will deal with PACs later as it gets us too deep in the Courts) (pages 292-294; stop at Electioneering subsection)
15 Points: Cornell notes for 10.4 (pages 299-304)
5 Points: Summarize in a paragraph or two 10.5 (pages 304-306)

4 Points: Watch 5.6 videos "Interest groups influencing policy making" (two videos)
8 Points: Summarize in one or two paragraphs each of the two videos
3 Points: AP Central MCQs. For graph lovers, a feast. :)


Political Parties, part 1 (but a big part) in Google Classroom

Political Parties, part 1 (but a big part)

I went through much of Chapter 8 in the book because I found it was better for me to summarize, and talk with you in class, than have you laboriously read the chapter. I also found it once again limited by their neo-liberal and elitist perspective. If you fall asleep in class, and I hope to be somewhat entertaining, you better find time to read the summaries I created (see attached) as they will help you understand various concepts and analyses necessary for the AP Test.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT:  Watch the following FIVE videos and do two paragraph summaries of EACH video. There are TWO points for each video watched, and FOUR points for each video summarized in two or more paragraphs each. You may find it useful to screenshot too, but that does not mean you don't summarize in your own words.  The total for watching and summarizing these videos are 30 POINTS.  

5.1 Daily Video 1 
5.1 Daily Video 2
5.2 Daily Video 1
5.3 Daily Video 1
5.3 Daily Video 2

* I mistakenly assigned on AP Central 5.3 Daily video 3. Do not watch as next month, we will go through those videos helping you write what are Free Response Questions (FRQs), which are shorter than Long Essay Questions (LEQs) and are often really about translating into words what are numbers in charts.

3 Points: AP central MCQs: 3 questions under "How and Why Political Parties Change and Adapt"

MJF personal notes, which, while illuminating, are biased, and should be read with a critical eye (I am open to you telling me that of course!): 

Yes, some of you will laugh at some of the AP teachers' explanations' biased assumptions. There is again a shallowness that plays into professional-managerial class (PMC) biases when not falling into neo-liberalism that is soft about the realities of corporate power.  

I found it amusing that they assume monolithic voting on minorities' part, when, in 2020, over 20% of black men and nearly a third of Latino men voted for Trump, for example (though one may say those men tend to exhibit racist/ethnic hostility toward the other when they are queried, as many are not in the information professions and jobs, and compete with each other for often stagnant wages--at least pre-COVID). 

Also, the AP teachers don't seem to want to tell you how white folks, especially those living in the areas where the racial/ethnic demographics are most pronounced, can end up voting with their whiteness on the line (the Great Replacement theory we discussed a couple of weeks ago). For the AP folks to even imply only minorities vote on racial lines is, as I hope you know, a terrible misunderstanding of American history. 

I chalk up those numbers for minority men voting for Trump, and the elite misunderstandings, to a general political confusion in our corporate media dominated national discourse, and our poorly informed political self-reflection that never defines what we exactly mean by even "liberal" and "conservative." This makes it difficult to properly evaluate what voters mean when they claim to be "moderate" and where they are enraged and alienated.  As we may see, when one applies the Daniel Bell Three Realms analysis, one realizes so much of our political polarization, weariness, cynicism, and frustration may be (and I emphasize "may be") derived from cultural clashes and resentments--which may ultimately be intentional when we then analyze who benefits and who does not from the current system. Example: corporate media outlets make lots of money from political advertising, which tends to come from big donors with their own class interests, which may have some deviation, but not as much as political scientists hope.

Thus, over the years, I have been led to wonder whether people who are attracted to becoming political scientists and electoral consultants are those who hold the type of assumptions which reify a level of political confusion that re-enforce the reactions from voters that we see. It is a form of "manufacturing consent" or in this modern era, "manufacturing and highlighting cultural resentments as diversions from climate crises and political/economic inequalities arising from corporate power around the globe, but headquartered for now in the United States."  It sort of becomes the financier Jay Gould's supposed statement in the early 1870s to labor union leaders who threatened his railroad with a general strike: "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other." 


Redistricting Questions in Google Classroom

Redistricting Questions

Please see the 10 page document (from Google Docs below) which we went over in class, and then answer the questions, also in the Google Docs attachment below.


Portions of Chapter 6 and related (better?) readings in Google Classroom

Portions of Chapter 6 and related (better?) readings

15 Points: Go to page 191 in the textbook and look up and write definitions of the terms that are identified. Start with the phrase "political socialization" at the page 170 mark.
10 Points: read the article in the Smithsonian (attached) on polling data over the past nearly 80 years and write two paragraph summary of the article.
10 Points: read the article on exit polling from AAPOR organization (also attached); then write two paragraph summary of information, noting defined words and phrases
10 Points: read the article from comnetwork on 10 Things You Ought to Know about Polls; then write two paragraph summary of information, noting defined words and phrases.
10 Points: read the Scientific American article on polling issues, and why polling may become more wrong in an age of QAnon and economic stratification, and write a two paragraph summary of the article.


AP Central: videos and MCQs for 4.1 and 4.2; Textbook 6.1 and 6.2 in Google Classroom

AP Central: videos and MCQs for 4.1 and 4.2; Textbook 6.1 and 6.2

4 Points: Watch Unit 4.1 and 4.2 videos

4 Points: summarize in one paragraph each of the two videos (So two paragraphs altogether)

6 Points: AP Central MCQs (six questions)

10 Points: Read and take Cornell/detailed outline notes for Intro, 6.1, pages 162-165 (but not "You are the policymaker" section); at page 166, write down definitions of "melting pot" and 'majority minority"; at page 167, look at chart, and cite/write down where various racial/ethnic groups began as a percentage of US population in 2015 and are projected to end up in 2060; page 168, write definition of "political culture" and at page 169 write definition "reapportionment." I am not asking you to read entire pages once you get past page 165.

10 Points: 6.2 Cornell/detailed outline notes, pages 170-171.

I will give time in class on September 28 and 29 to do.


4th through 8th Amendments: Criminal defendant rights in the Constitution: Cornell Notes in Google Classroom

4th through 8th Amendments: Criminal defendant rights in the Constitution: Cornell Notes

First, don't forget to complete the earlier assignments regarding the post-Civil War Amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments) questions and the one paragraph response to the two videos I assigned about the January 6th Insurrection and the Trump supporters who believe Trump will be reinstated as president this year.

Second, here are four (4) attachments that will cover, in a much shorter and effective way than the book, the criminal defendants' rights embedded into the Bill of Rights Amendments to our Constitution, i.e. 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments. Remember, our Founders were treasonous men opposed to the British government, and so they were very much aware of what it may be like to challenge official authority.  

The first attachment covers the 5th through 7th Amendments, the second covers the 4th Amendment, the third covers the meaning of "probable cause" in the 4th Amendment, and the fourth attachment explains the origin and meaning of the 8th Amendment. 

I want Cornell Notes or the detailed outline style notes for each of these four rather short online articles.  And yes, most come from Nolo Law, which remains an amazing resource for lay people to be able to converse with lawyers, and maybe even show up us lawyers from time to time. :)  The word "nolo" is Latin for "I do not want," and the purpose of the website was to say "I do not want lawyers! I want to know what the law is without paying a lawyer!" The danger, of course, is Nolo cannot quite nor exactly know the full facts of your circumstances, and law is nothing if it is not about weighing circumstances.  Still, it is a highly useful and salutary resource.

POINTS: 10 points for each reading and doing the Cornell/detailed outline Notes.

Anyway, the only other amendments we haven't really covered are the 3rd Amendment, which is about no quartering of troops (something which really angered colonists in the run up to the American Revolution; though some say the no quartering of troops is related to the 2nd Amendment to the extent the militia should not be quartered nor any standing army quartered) and the 9th Amendment (which at least Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg wanted to use in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) to find a right to privacy, but which, like the 10th Amendment, is mostly seen as a truism or declaratory statement, not a substantive right).


The Post-Civil War Amendments that continue to be controversial or relevant in Google Classroom

The Post-Civil War Amendments that continue to be controversial or relevant

These Post-Civil War Amendments, the 13th (end to slavery), 14th (national rights and other matters), and 15th (right to vote) have revolutionary implications, but have loopholes, whether in the language itself of each, or through Supreme Court precedent that limited the scope that was so promising to African-Americans and others who have suffered invidious discrimination or worse.

Read through the attached documents, answer, and submit through Google Docs the Exit Tickets for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.


Roe v. Wade (1973): Another Great Debate in Google Classroom

Roe v. Wade (1973): Another Great Debate

This is the second case for debating.  It is the main pro-choice decision from the US Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, from 1973.  There are eight scholars, who will be divided into two two-person prosecutor and two two-person teams for the defense. The work is divided as follows: one person does opening, asking a question of the other side, and answering one question from the other side. The other does closing argument, asking a question to the other side, and answering a question from the other side.

The prosecution team will argue Roe v. Wade was an appropriate, reasonable, and constitutionally correct decision which establishes a constitutional right to an abortion. The defense will argue the right to an abortion is not a constitutional right. 

The attached documents to read and rely on for the debate are as follows:

1. The Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Roe v. Wade.

2. Roe v. Wade, majority and dissenting opinions.

3. The Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992) case, particularly the concurring decision of Justice Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe, and the dissent from Justice Scalia, who had been opposed to Roe's jurisprudence from the time he joined the Supreme Court in 1985.


Anti-Abortion/Roe: Kaleigh Gonzalez and Aidan; Nicholas and Livia

Pro-Choice/Roe: Cole and Alexandria; Marshall and Alex


Why did people appear to join the Jan 6 insurrection? in Google Classroom

Why did people appear to join the Jan 6 insurrection?

Thought question after watching the two videos. On a Google Doc, tell me what you think of the information from the two videos, and why I juxtaposed the two videos (look at the people in the Tooning Out the News video, and ask what the economic class their Zoom backgrounds may potentially denote, what states many of those folks came from, and whether these two data points are consistent with the data from Professor Pape). 

Just a paragraph, as I don't want you to have to belabor things while you are preparing for the debates next week. I just thought you'd find this illuminating, partially amusing, and partially, well, frightening. :)


Heller v. DC (2008): The Great Debate in Google Classroom

Heller v. DC (2008): The Great Debate

I am deciding that we should try the debate after all.  I want to divide the class up into three teams of two prosecutors each and two defenders each. The work is divided as follows: one person does opening, asking a question of the other side, and answering one question from the other side. The other does closing argument, asking a question to the other side, and answering a question from the other side.  That is a total of 12 of the 20 scholars in the class. The topic is: Does the 2nd Amendment establish a broad right of individuals to own and use guns?

The eight scholars who are left out from Heller will be getting Roe v. Wade (1973) next week. I attach the following documents for your reading to prepare for the Heller debate, which debates will begin Tuesday, September 14, 2021. The Roe debates will be held the following week. 

In between, we will learn about the 13th-15th Amendments as I have prepared analyses and short answers (exit tickets) that you will be able to answer. My advice is the people preparing for Heller will wait till next week to do the 13th through 15th Amendment reading and questions, and the ones doing Roe next week will do those this week. 

Here are the documents for the Debate:

1. A YouTube summary that is just under six minutes long. It provides you with the factual background of the case, and nicely summarizes the majority and dissenting opinions. The video only fails with its subtitle spelling city "council" as "counsel." It is "council," not "counsel."  I was a counsel, as in lawyer. :)

2.  A somewhat detailed summary of the arguments the majority opinion and dissenting opinions each make. This reading will lead you more into the actual reading of the majority and dissenting opinions.  You are not being graded for your notes taking for each reading. However, you should, as a matter of your own preparation, take notes.  The rubric, also provided below, is what your grade is based upon your work for the debate. What we will be looking for is a written document that sets forth your questions for the other side, your opening statements, and your closing arguments.

3. Justice Scalia's majority opinion.  Pay careful attention to all four sections of the opinion, as one may see how the fourth section qualifies the first three sections.  Also, you have to do something lots of us teachers may not have taught you to do, which is read ALL footnotes. There are often gold nuggets of information contained in the footnotes, and how justices hide arguments they are less sure about. And circle in your own notes (again for preparing for the debate) how many times Scalia has footnotes or text references to what Stevens wrote in the dissent.  Per court watchers, Scalia did lots of rewrites after reading Stevens' dissent.

4. Justice Stevens' dissenting opinion. Open the first webpage of the Heller decision and you will see near the top, the Dissent of Stevens to click on. Again, when reading Stevens' opinion, please pay careful attention in comparing Stevens' dissent with Scalia's opinion, and how much Stevens' historical analysis differs from Scalia's.

5. For extra reading that will help attack each side, Garry Wills' 1995 essay in the New York Review of Books on "The Right to Bear Arms" (The original title was one Wills' hated and made NYRB change after its paper publishing, "Why There is No Right to Bear Arms").

6. The letter war at the NYRB between constitutional law professors who support broadly based constitutional rights to own and possess guns against Wills. 

7. The Debate information in the Rubric must come from the sources above, most from #3-4, as #1 #2 help you better comprehend the court opinions, while #5, and #6 provide more historical analysis from before the Heller decision being rendered (Heller decided in 2008, Wills' articles and argument with law profs is from 1995).

Time requirements:

Opening: 3-4 minutes
Closing: 5 minutes
Rebuttal (by person doing Opening): 1-2 minutes (But Opening has no more than five minutes total, not six minutes. The range is for the person doing Opening to allocate the time)

Prosecutor teams (pro-2nd Amendment):

1.  Timothy Bautista and Benjamin Williams;

2.  Hayden Yost and Ziven Lopez;

3. Lucas Le Bow and Isaac Martinez.

Defense teams (pro-DC law):

1. Gage Toepper and Andrew Erickson;

2. Alexander Williams and Gavin Fillip; 

3. Karishma Robertson and Kaleb Hanes.


The Bill of Rights, Part I in Google Classroom

The Bill of Rights, Part I

20 Points: I will walk you through Chapters 4.1 through 4.4, and you will take Cornell Notes or Detailed Notes style on what I believe is important for you to know for the AP Test.  We will hit all of the bolded words and phrases, and case law, as well as knowing exactly what each of the first 8 amendments state.  It looks like a lot of pages, but by the time I am done, you will see it is significantly less.

Wednesday, Sept 8: Part II, the assignment will be to read the Second Amendment, and then read District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), particularly the majority opinion from Justice Scalia, and main dissenting opinion from Justice Stevens.  And yes, a debate is coming for the class.


3.5 and 3.6 notes in Google Classroom

3.5 and 3.6 notes

10 Points: 3.5 notes
10 Points: 3.6 notes

As discussed in class, these will not be as detailed, but to ensure you get essence of the paragraphs we discussed. 


Chapter 3.4 Notes in Google Classroom

Chapter 3.4 Notes

20 Points: Write Cornell or Detailed Outline Notes for Chapter 3.4. I will go over this longish chapter in today's class. I will give you tonight, tomorrow's entire class, and tomorrow night to complete.

We will then be assigning Chapter 3.5 and 3.6, about the same length combined as Chapter 3.4, for the Labor Day weekend.  This way, we complete this entire chapter in one week. :)


Chapter 3 Federalism Cornell Notes: 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3  in Google Classroom

Chapter 3 Federalism Cornell Notes: 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3

5 Points: Cornell or Detailed Outline notes for 3.1
10 Points: Cornell or Detailed Outline notes for 3.2
15 Points: Cornell or Detailed Outline notes for 3.3

You will find 3.3 is a longer sub-chapter, but it should be familiar to you because of the Enumerated Power essay I wrote for this and the other class, which we discussed last week. In that sub-chapter, we will see how the book didn't want to upset those who think they are "Constitutionalists" and believe the 10th Amendment has any meaning beyond a truism. Yes, they cite Darby v. United States to that effect, but those states' righters can mumble, well, that's 1941 under that blasted FDR Court.  But, we know how Madison kneecapped the states' righters in 1790 and made sure the 10th Amendment had no meaning beyond a wishful declaration.  And we know, in the Sprague case from 1931, before FDR pushed the Court back to a Marshall-style of interpretation of the Constitution, held the same as Darby.  History matters, ya know? 

Anyway, the book writers do a great job with McCulloch v. Maryland on the factual background, but not so good on the legal holdings that would give you the deeper understanding my essay did for you with the extended quotations from the decision. The book writers also did a drive-by at page 66 on Gibbons v. Ogden, which, had you not read the decision excerpts I provided in the essay, you would not know how powerful the decision is against "strict constructionism" as a philosophical interpretative tool regarding the Constitution's grant of power to Congress under the Commerce Clause. Again, you know, history matters. 

Finally, note the essay included every one of the cases the book writers cited--except for Printz and Mack, which I will reconfirm are not cases you need to know for the AP Test. Still, that part of the chapter is worth writing down, as it is a great one sentence summary of the two cases and deals beautifully with the continuing argument over how far the feds can go with respect to telling state and local governments what to do. 


Federalist Paper no. 41, Brutus no. 6, and Congress' Enumerated Powers in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 41, Brutus no. 6, and Congress' Enumerated Powers

Today, in class, we will discuss Article I, Section 8, Federalist Paper no. 41, and Brutus no. 6, and the debate over Congress' enumerated powers. 

I am then assigning a take-home quiz. The take-home quiz is due Sunday night, and there is no extension for this--as it is a quiz. 

I decided to call this a quiz because I want us to take this assignment seriously, as the subject goes to the heart of Congressional power. It will also help lead us into the Federalism chapter in the textbook next week. We are putting off the Judicial related Federalist Papers until the later chapter in the book about Judicial Power, which is another reason why this AP course is different from the regular Gov Politics course.:)

Read the attached Federalist Paper number 41 and Brutus #6, both of which are what you are supposed to know for the AP Test.  Then, read the attached analysis I wrote for both classes (the other class will see this next week) and note the case law, 10th Amendment and 14th Amendment which I discuss are also going to be tested in the AP Test.  Then, answer the ten questions in the document I also attach.


Federalist Paper no. 37 and questions in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 37 and questions


Federalist Papers background, and Federalist Paper nos. 1 and 10; Brutus no. 1 in Google Classroom

Federalist Papers background, and Federalist Paper nos. 1 and 10; Brutus no. 1

Madison and Hamilton wrote (John Jay wrote a couple himself) a series of anonymous--meaning they were not signed at the time of publication in newspapers--of 85 articles or essays, which became known later as "the Federalist Papers." The articles were written in the period of 1787 to 1788,  and were published in two main newspapers in New York State, which Hamilton, Madison, and Jay believed was a pivotal state if the Constitution would be granted. The articles-essays, however, ended up being published in other states, as well.  Not long after the Constitution was ratified, a publisher numbered the articles-essays, and that is how we refer to them today.  We also learned, over time, who wrote each Federalist Paper article-essay.

Some justices of the US Supreme Court have said, over the two plus centuries of the Constitution's existence, that we should NOT use the Federalist Papers as a basis to interpret what particular constitutional provisions mean. It is said the articles-essays are polemical and political, meaning they are done to persuade, and, as there are many who were at the constitutional convention framing or crafting the Constitution, two men (plus a bit of John Jay) should not have so large or definitive a voice. 

However, in our nation's popular discourse, and even in case law, most citizens and many judges, whether highly informed or not, treat the Federalist Papers as definitive statements of important constitutional framers, namely Hamilton and Madison. Therefore, for better or worse, the papers carry great weight. However, as with anything written by a human being, their language is often understood in different ways, and we get continuing arguments.

The requirements for this course include knowing what some of the articles of the Federalist Papers say, including Federalist Paper nos. 1, 10 (and Brutus #1, an Anti-Federalist essay-article), 11, 37, 41 (and Brutus #6), 51, 70, and 78.


Federalist Paper no. 11 and questions in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 11 and questions


AP Central Videos in Google Classroom

AP Central Videos

For two points each, watch the following videos in AP Classroom:

Three videos in 2.3 Congressional Behavior (6 Points)
Two videos in 2.4 Presidential Power (4 Points)
Two videos in 2.6 Expansion of Presidential Power (4 Points)
Three videos in 2.8 on the Judicial Branch (6 Points)
One video in 2.13 (2 Points)

And then, for two points each, describe in one paragraph what the video was about so I know you watched the videos. As I have said, or may have said, the videos are about 4-9 minutes each.  I would time myself starting tonight and through the weekend.

After today's lecture (Aug 19), you should be able to follow most of this.  And it is a big intro to using the videos, which I hope we can get onto the same page after we do the Federalist Papers next week.  What I hope we can do is watch a few videos a week and do a short one paragraph summary so I confirm your watching them. The system tells me if you watched, but I wanted one paragraph to make sure someone is not incentivized to let the video run. :)


Chapter 2.4 notes in Google Classroom

Chapter 2.4 notes

20 Points. This is a long one, as I went over.  I am giving time in class tomorrow and is due tomorrow night.


Chapter 2.3 notes in Google Classroom

Chapter 2.3 notes

15 points: Chapter 2.3 notes (Cornell or Detailed Outline Notes)  UPDATE: I am told by at least one scholar I had promised this class no homework for the weekend now ending.  If that is the case, I am fine with scholars handing in this assignment by Monday, Aug 16 at 11:50 pm.


Chapter 2 reading and notes: portion of sub-chapter 2.1 (pages 28-30, starting with English heritage) and sub-chapter 2.2 in Google Classroom

Chapter 2 reading and notes: portion of sub-chapter 2.1 (pages 28-30, starting with English heritage) and sub-chapter 2.2

10 Points: Sub-chapter 2.1, but start at page 28 under English Heritage: The Power of Ideas. Remember what I have been saying about details in the notes, noting the names and here at page 28 the Locke writing mentioned--it's a biggie in understanding government in a post-feudal sense--and the table 2.1 at page 29 is excellent for note taking. Note Lipset at page 29 as we have seen multiple republics in the US, with the first being the Articles of Confederation, then the US Constitution, then the post-Civil War Amendments, and then the New Deal and post WWII and 1960s reforms, as well as the retrenchment on some fronts, while integrating the US into a corporate dominated global economy on the other--or is it part of the same project? Also, at page 30, the conservative revolution topic sub-heading is something to put into the notes to the extent it compares the difference between the American Revolution with later ones.

10 Points: Same types of points as above, and Table 2.2 is awesome for notes to give you a great understanding of what will be differences with the US Constitution. Note, too, the info about the Northwest Ordinance at page 31 and relations among states, the stats at page 32, and the Figure 2.2. The issues about creditors and debtors is vital to understand economic motives, not merely political ones, with our Framers/Founders.  And Shay's Rebellion is a big deal.  Finally, did all of the largely independent states make the call for a constitutional convention?  Hmmm....


Take Home Quiz: Declaration of Independence in Google Classroom

Take Home Quiz: Declaration of Independence

Worth 21 points as a Quiz.


Complete 1.4 and 1.5 of textbook; read through Declaration of Independence info in Google Classroom

Complete 1.4 and 1.5 of textbook; read through Declaration of Independence info

I will give you individual feedback through Google Classroom on the remaining reading notes for sub-chapters 1.4 and 1.5.

On Monday, I plan to go over in class the materials in the Declaration of Independence section of Google Classroom.  If you can at least skim these materials this weekend (as I confirmed all have Google Classroom access at home), it will greatly help with comprehension.  

I plan to show (a) how Jefferson honestly and morally wanted to put in anti-slavery provisions in the Declaration of Independence; and (b) the debate over what Jefferson meant by the phrase "pursuit of happiness," i.e. whether the phrase is collective, not individual, or an obligation, not a hedonistic definition of "happiness." 

This is also a fun topic because I think this will show why we, as discerning people, should be wary of fact-checkers in the corporate owned news media and on the Internet.  That is not because "Snopes" is "liberal" or the fact checkers are "liberal" or "conservative."  We should read and rely on fact-checker sites because of the links the fact-checkers cite. The links are what we should read, so we will be in a position to do further research, and then make our determinations as to whether something somebody has asserted is false, true, or mostly false or true.  

In the Google Classroom for the Declaration, I include a scholarly article on the definition of "happiness" in Jefferson's time (there are many more out there, and entire books on the subject), as well as an article in "Politfact." I strongly recommend reading the scholarly article first.  You may then see what I saw was perhaps unfair in the Politifact article's conclusion with regard to former Senator Rick Santorum's somewhat recent statement interpreting the phrase "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration.  As you may guess from my comments already in class this first week, I am not a fan of former Senator Santorum's policy views. However, it is part of a good faith political discourse to engage with what someone is saying, and do our best to look for where we may find agreement with those with whom we disagree--and, just as importantly, challenge those with whom we normally agree when we have an honest disagreement.  We should be humble in realizing there is a good reason why most political, economic, and cultural disputes go back at least hundreds of years--and that is nobody is 100% right or wrong, and, depending upon circumstances we should be required to articulate, why someone we disagree with generally happens to be correct in various particular instances, and someone we agree with generally happens to be wrong in those particular instances. Bottom line: Nobody has a monopoly on truth, especially humanities class teachers/project managers. :)


Notes for 1.3 and portions of 1.4 (pages 9-16) in Google Classroom

Notes for 1.3 and portions of 1.4 (pages 9-16)

Please use Cornell Notes, detailed outline notes, or what I have approved personally for you, to do the notes for these pages 9-16 in the book. I will be giving more time to do notes in class today as I feel we are progressing right now and can stabilize our pacing next week.


Intro, and Chapters 1.1 and 1.2 in Textbook: Notes in Google Classroom

Intro, and Chapters 1.1 and 1.2 in Textbook: Notes

10 Points: Read pages 1-7 in Textbook, which consist of the Introduction, Chapter 1.1, and Chapter 1.2; and write down notes in Cornell Notes or Detailed Outline Notes styles (see templates in Google Classroom).