Documents

Brutus #1 Reading

Here is Brutus #1.  This is a reply of the Anti-Federalists to the Federalists and the Federalist Papers.  Brutus #1 is in response to Federalist #10.  Please read Brutus #1 and answer the questions below.

Brutus #1

Questions to Consider

  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?

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation was the form of government that was used during and after the Revolutionary War.  Below you will find the Articles of Confederation and guided reading questions.

Articles of Confederation

Questions

How united were the states under the Articles of Confederation?
What were two flaws in the Articles of Confederation?
Why don’t we still have the Articles of Confederation as the US Constitution?
Would we be better off if the USA were bound less tightly, the states had most of the power, and the federal government had little power?

Declaration of Independence

Read the Declaration of Independence and answer the following questions:
1. What original or novel thoughts were presented by Jefferson in the Declaration?
2. Compare the theory of government defended in the Declaration with the doctrines of Locke.
3. Who does the Declaration give more rights to the state or national government?
4. What is the proper function of government, according to the Declaration, and why had George III violated his right to rule over the American colonies?

Declaration of Independence