Political Party Project

A political party is group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office. In America there are many political parties. The two largest are the Democrats and Republicans.  For this activity you will be gathering information on political parties. You will need to select three issues, or planks from five different political parties. The planks can be anything that interests you, such as education, welfare, military spending, and taxes are just a few examples.

Requirements:

You will select three planks from five parties. The planks may be any topic that interests you.  You will create a visual representation of the planks from all five parties.  This can be a prezi, video, posters, or another form.  PowerPoint is not encouraged, think outside the box. It is highly encouraged that you use the Democrats and Republicans as two of your parties.  The other three are entirely up to you.

Here is a sample of political parties. This list is by no means the only parties that you may use. If you use a party that is not listed here you must include the web address in your paper. This assignment is due at the start of the next class period.

Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee
The Green Parties of North America
Communist Party USA Libertarian Party

Congress Readings

For the readings below answer the questions and email your responses to lwaddell@tuhsd.k12.az.us

The Federalist Papers 53, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63

1. How do the authors of The Federalist explain the different terms of office for the House and the Senate?

2. According to the theory of The Federalist,  how does the Constitution bring about a system of checks and balances between the House and the Senate?

3. What are the primary functions of the legislature to be according to The Federalist?

Congress: The Electoral Connection

 1. Define and give an example of advertising.

2. Define and give examples of credit claiming.

3. Define and give examples of position-taking.

Congress Court Cases

The two court cases that deal with Congress are Baker v Carr and Reno v Shaw. Your task is read each case and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the background of the case (facts and prior history
  2. What is the Constitutional provision(s) at issue?
  3. What was the majority opinion and what was the dissenting opinion?
  4. What are the implications (what effects did it have on government and or individuals; why is it an important decision?)

This assignment is due at the beginning of the next scheduled class period.

Federalism Court Cases

In this assignment you will brief the two Supreme Court cases that deal with Federalism.  How to brief a court case is here-How To Brief.  The cases are McCulloch v Maryland and US v Lopez.  There are more sites that offer insight to the cases than the ones provided here.  Videos explaining the court cases is here – Court Case videos.  One key factor to be aware of is the usage of the Commerce Clause.  A link explaining the clause has been provided.  These two briefs are due at the start of the next scheduled class period.

Federalism Readings

Answer the following questions and submit them at the beginning of the next scheduled class meeting.

The Merits of the Federal System

1. Bryce points out that none of these political mechanisms would be successful without moral and material influences: the love of self-government and a “sense of community in blood, in language, in habits and ideas, a common pride in the national history and the national flag.” Is he right? Are these factors more important than the mechanism established under the Constitution, and are they still important? Are they still realistic assessments of the American populace?

2. Bryce notes that federalism allows local governments to experiment in legislation and administration without risking the fate of the nation as a whole. Is this kind of separation necessarily good? Does Bryce overlook many of the costs of federalism?

Gonzales v Raich

1.  Who did the Supreme Court defer to?

2.  What two clauses were cited in this case?  Explain both clauses and how the court used the clauses in their ruling.

McCulloch v Maryland

1.  What were the principal arguments used by Chief Justice Marshall to justify the extension of congressional power to include the power to incorporate a bank, even though the words “bank” and “incorporation” are no where to be found in text of the Constitution itself?