1 . What are the major functions performed by all governments? Give examples of how these functions are performed in the United States.
2. Describe the five principles of traditional democratic theory, as identified by Robert Dahl. Under what circumstances would the reality of democratic politics fall short of each of these ideal principles? Provide specific examples in your answer.
3. Compare and contrast the three leading contemporary theories of how American democracy works. Which do you think most accurately describes the reality today? Explain.
4. Discuss the political differences between young people and older adults. What might account for these differences? And what are the implications of these differences for democracy in the United States?
5. Discuss the differences in political involvement between young people and older adults. How might youth involvement be increased in our democracy?
6. Describe the major elements of the Madisonian model as embodied in the Constitution. Why did the Founding Fathers make this model so fundamental to the document?
7. Explain how the colonial experience and the ideas of John Locke influenced the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
8. Explain what the founders intended the scope of the new United States government to be. Has the structure created by the founders actually limited government-or made it more accessible to citizens?
9. Evaluate the democratic nature of the original and current Constitution with its amendments. Does the Constitution, with its checks and balances and separation of powers facilitate or impede effective policy making? Use relevant examples.
10. Identify and explain the formal method of amending the Constitution. Give examples of both successful and unsuccessful amendments.
11. What were the personal characteristics of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention? What were their basic philosophical views and how did these views affect the document they ultimately approved?
12. What was the significance of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution? Were they intended to extend or to limit the power of the central national government? Explain.
13. Summarize the major arguments of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist. What were the major political compromises and manipulations used to ensure ratification of the constitution?
14. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the national government under the Articles of Confederation. Would you call the Constitution an improvement? Explain.
15. Describe the founders’ attitudes toward democracy. What specific features of the Constitution reflect this sentiment?
16. What was the economic condition of the country at the time of the Constitutional Convention? What were the major economic issues at the convention and how were they resolved? Why were economic issues so important to the founders?
17. Some argue that the Constitution has been “democratized” over the years. Explain what is meant by “democratization”, and give examples using references to relevant Constitutional amendments.
18. Describe American federalism and contrast federalism to unitary government. For a country like the United States, is federalism an appropriate system? Explain.
19. Define what is meant by “fiscal federalism”. How is it manifested through the federal grant system? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the different types of grants?
20. Explain what happened in the Sup0reme Court cases of McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden? What is the importance of each case to the distribution of powers between the states and the national government?
21. List some of the powers specifically granted to the state governments by the Constitution. List some of the powers specifically denied the states by the Constitution. Do the powers granted and denied seem wise? Explain
22. How was the issue of slavery resolved at the Constitutional Convention? Was this necessary for national survival? Explain.
23. Describe some of the key checks and balances in the United States government as established by the Constitution. Does this lead to more smooth and efficient government? Why or why not?
24. Describe the major features of the Articles of Confederation and explain why the Articles failed.
25. Describe the federal system as formulated in the original design of the Constitution. Explain how federalism has evolved or changed since the writing of the Constitution, particularly in terms of the establishment of national supremacy.
26. How can the constitution be amended? Is the process meant to encourage or discourage changes? Explain and evaluate.
27. Discuss how federalism creates a more democratic political system.
28. Describe which groups in society the Federalists and Anti-Federalist represented. How did the political views of the Federalist and Anti-Federalists differ?
29. What are the advantages and disadvantages to democracy under a federal system? If you were drafting the Constitution today, would you opt to continue federalism or try something else? Explain.