Government-Civics Assignments

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Who Represents Me? in Google Classroom

Who Represents Me?

Too often, too many adults don't know who their representatives are.  I aim to help you know before you leave high school.  We have multiple levels of government in our nation, and have had these levels since our nation's founding as a republic in 1783's Articles of Confederation and our nation's Constitution ratified in 1788.  The basic levels of government are (I did not include school board as we are a public charter school, and our board is not elected; but Rio Rancho Public Schools has an elected board, and your folks and maybe you can vote for them even if you are not in the Rio Rancho public school system):

1. Municipal or City government (mostly mayor and always a council known as a city council);
2. County Commission (In NM, basic county government consists of a Commission with Commissioners.  Other states have county governments known by other names.  Two main names are Board of Supervisors and Freeholds);
3. County Clerk;
4. County Sheriff;
5. County Treasurer;
6. County Assessor;
7. State government: Legislature (In NM, two houses: State House of Representatives and State Senators)
8. State government: Executive (Governor, Lieutenant Governor)
9. State government:  Secretary of State (county clerk for state government, plus more)
10. State government: Land Commissioner (NM pretty unique here, as only a few states have these, mostly in southwest US)
11. State government: Attorney General
12. State government: Auditor
13. State government: Treasurer
14. Federal or United States government: Legislature (US House of Representatives and Senators)
15. Federal or US government: Executive (President and Vice President)

So, the question you should ask is this: "Who represents me?"  The people holding these offices do.  And you should at least know YOUR representatives' names and, eventually, whether you largely agree or disagree with their representation.  The next assignment will be to know the duties of the people who represent you in this nominally titled Republic in the United States.


Political Parties questions in Google Classroom

Political Parties questions

We will go over Political Parties analyses on Monday, Oct 11 and Tuesday, Oct 12. We will have a series of questions to answer at the end.  

I will then upload by Wednesday, Oct 13 the asynchronous classes' assignment, which will be separate from this one.


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.


Tribal Sovereignty: More complicated than you think in Google Classroom

Tribal Sovereignty: More complicated than you think


In this lesson, we will at least scratch the surface of tribal government in New Mexico. The key to understanding is, when a person is on tribal lands, and is not of that tribe's membership, such a person may have certain privileges and rights, but not the same level of privileges and rights that person would have if the person is on non-tribal land. This is because, since hundreds and maybe thousands of years before our national government was founded, Native Americans have had their own organizations and nations.  

Our settler-colonial drive eradicated much of the Native Americans and their governments, but not completely. Therefore, what we will be learning may seem confusing or not clear, but that is because, especially in recent years, the US Supreme Court has become more willing to return certain rights and privileges earlier era Courts and Congress had, in all practicality, not allowed.

At the end of the lesson, I have prepared a Quiz level set of 21 questions. After the information imparted, this may be worked on in class on September 28 and 29, 2021, and the evening of September 29. You have more than enough time to complete this Quiz. 

This again is due September 29, 2021 at 11:59 pm. If not submitted by then, it is a PERMANENT ZERO AS THIS IS A QUIZ.


New Mexico Constitution and Larrazolo in Google Classroom

New Mexico Constitution and Larrazolo

15 Points: Answer the three questions in the document attached below.
12 Points: Answer the questions about Larrazolo.


Are we a republic or a democracy?  in Google Classroom

Are we a republic or a democracy?


15th Amendment: how much voting rights? in Google Classroom

15th Amendment: how much voting rights?


14th Amendment: The revolutionary amendment? in Google Classroom

14th Amendment: The revolutionary amendment?


13th Amendment: Ending slavery--or did it? in Google Classroom

13th Amendment: Ending slavery--or did it?


Habeas Corpus and other legal rights in the Constitution in Google Classroom

Habeas Corpus and other legal rights in the Constitution

Read the first attached document, which explains the different sections of the original US Constitution that defines various legal rights, such as habeas corpus, laws against bills of attainder, and ex post facto laws.  

Then, answer the six questions attached as well.


Federalist Paper no. 51 in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 51

This is the last Federalist Paper we will do, as the remaining ones (Federalist Papers no. 78-83), though in the NM PED standards, are about the judiciary and Hamilton's and even obliquely, Madison's views on the power of the judiciary. In short, Hamilton predicts the power of courts to declare a law unconstitutional, not really established until Marbury v. Madison (1803).  We can spend all class on that, but that is the essence.

This Federalist Paper no. 51, which historians say Madison more than Hamilton wrote (but are not sure), is at least interesting and fairly easy to read at this point.  I attach the questions that go along with this one.


Federalist Paper no. 41 and questions in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 41 and questions

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 which we will work on in class tomorrow, and is due tomorrow night. THERE IS NO EXTENSION ON 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 and the continuing arguments over the scope of Congress' power today.  It goes to the heart of those people who insist on calling themselves "Constitutionalists" and who claim to believe in the "Real Constitution."  And, it further undermines the certainties of those who claim they believe in "Original Intent."

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, and note the case law, 10th Amendment and 14th Amendment.  I also attach the questions to be answered.


Federalist Paper no. 37 and questions to answer in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 37 and questions to answer


Federalist Paper no. 11 in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 11


Federalist Paper no. 10 (Madison) in Google Classroom

Federalist Paper no. 10 (Madison)

This is a two day assignment.  We will go through Madison's somewhat long, philosophical, but practical explanation of the extent of Congress' powers. We will also go through Brutus #1, which is part of what are more known in modern times as the Anti-Federalist papers.  Here is Madison at his most expansive in terms of what he believes the Constitution will allow the national legislature to do, while Brutus will sound like so many pundits on talk radio and most of corporate owned media. :)


History of Federalist Papers and Paper no. 1 in Google Classroom

History of Federalist Papers and Paper 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.


Exit Ticket:  Article III of the Constitution in Google Classroom

Exit Ticket: Article III of the Constitution


Exit Ticket: Article II of the US Constitution in Google Classroom

Exit Ticket: Article II of the US Constitution


Exit Ticket: Article I of the US Constitution (Congress) in Google Classroom

Exit Ticket: Article I of the US Constitution (Congress)

34 Points: Complete and submit the attached Exit Ticket, based upon the US Constitution's Article I, which we will go over in class on August 17. I will hand out a physical copy of the Exit Ticket during class and provide time to complete the Exit Ticket in class, while giving until tonight to submit the Exit Ticket through Google Docs. You may hand in a hard copy tomorrow morning, however, but I would strongly advise not to first complete the Exit Ticket tomorrow morning.  IT IS BEST TO GET AS MUCH DONE IN CLASS AND THEN COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THIS AFTERNOON OR EVENING.


Exit Ticket: Summary of articles in US Constitution, Preamble in Google Classroom

Exit Ticket: Summary of articles in US Constitution, Preamble

Complete these questions. If you do so in class, you may hand in to me. If not, complete by the due date and time by submitting through a Google Doc.


Hobbes, Locke etc.  Questions in Google Classroom

Hobbes, Locke etc. Questions

For those who missed class, or don't have the handout, I attach the homework assignment and the reading we went over. All one has to do is read the brief bios and explanations of the four philosophers, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau, and not any of the other activities or questions.  

The homework assignment I have crafted is the other document in this Assignment.


Take Home Quiz for Declaration of Independence unit in Google Classroom

Take Home Quiz for Declaration of Independence unit

Rather than an Exit Ticket, I realize this is more than an Exit Ticket of work.  However, I did not want this to be a full on class Quiz. I figured, let's try a take home quiz first.  

This take home quiz is as much about your opinion, backed with facts, than trying to have you simply show multiple choice answer type of knowledge.  It is in essence both the government side, which are largely factual, and the politics side, which are largely about opinions, values, and judgments.  

Each question and answer will be worth three points each for a total of 21 Quiz points. I am giving you till tomorrow night to complete the quiz.  I am going to look very carefully at how each of you phrases the answers to look for signs of cheating or plagiarism. I am fine if you talk about it with each other, as that is also learning, but the work must be your own.


Pursuit of Happiness: What did Jefferson mean, as best as we can determine? in Google Classroom

Pursuit of Happiness: What did Jefferson mean, as best as we can determine?

I apologize for not putting up the assignment for this weekend.  All I wanted you to do is read through, even skim, without notes, the two articles that I had posted onto the Declaration of Independence materials which concerned the "pursuit of happiness" language in the Declaration.  We will go over the two articles on Monday, Aug 9, which I post below for convenience.  Just a skim or reading, and there is no grade until we do an Exit Ticket, which I will provide near the end of the class.

The purpose of this exercise is to not only show how one may view the phrase "pursuit of happiness" in different ways, each with support from the time Jefferson coined the phrase overall. It is to also show, as I said last Thursday, why we, as discerning citizens, 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 may be either "liberal" or "conservative."  Instead, we should read and rely on fact-checker sites to the extent we review 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 OWN determinations as to whether something somebody has asserted is false, true, or mostly false or true.  

I strongly recommend reading the scholarly article first, then the Politifact article.  We will go over the two articles and then ask ourselves, is the Politifact ruling fair to reactionary (in politics, economics, and especially culture) former senator from Pennsylvania or not.  


Liberal and Conservative/3 Realms in Google Classroom

Liberal and Conservative/3 Realms

Write at least two paragraphs that explain whether you are more radical, liberal or conservative, reactionary, etc. on politics, economics, and culture issues.  Put it in Google Doc or hand me the handwritten paper tomorrow morning (Aug 4).