1.Why are there two houses in the legislative branch? What conflict atthe Constitutional Convention did the creation of a bicamerallegislature address? What is the fundamental purpose of each branch?
Thetwo houses in the legislative branch emanates from the basicprinciple of government as embraced by the individuals responsiblefor framing the constitution. The need to provide check against thegovernment and also to ensure division of power within the governmentnecessitated the adoption of a two house legislative system. Theconflict that the Constitutional Convention addressed was withregards to the issue of representation. The only way to ensure equaland adequate representation was through the establishment of abicameral legislature without interrupting the separation of powers.The Senate reviews and debates on different bills, legislations andalso providing an oversight role to the government. The fundamentalpurpose of the House is to represent the people’s interest.
2.What is the purpose of the Electoral College? Do we still need anElectoral College?
TheElectoral College serves as a compromise between the elections of thepresident by the vote of the Congress in addition to the popular voteby the people. The Electoral College was established by the foundingfathers with the main purpose of providing power equality within allstates regardless of their size. In my perspective, we do not needthe Electoral College due to its violation of the rule allocating onevote to one person, the foundational basis of democracy.
3.What kind of a relationship does the Constitution define between thestates and the centralgovernment?What problem(s) do you think could arise from this?
TheU.S. Constitution governs the relationship between the federalgovernment and the states. Certain enumerated powers have beendelegated to the federal powers while all other powers have beendelegated to the states unless prohibited by the Constitution. Someof the problem that could result from this is conflict between thefederal and state governments. The States might feel that theirrights are being violated and ignored due to the immense powers heldby the federal government.
4.Why did Washington urge non-interference in European affairs in hisFarewell Address?
Theconcept of non-interference was meant to clarify the government’sjudgement with respect to its foreign policies hence the need toavoid continuing friendly relations or conflicts. Washington notedthat continuing poor relations might blow minor offenses out ofproportion while the tendency for alliances might draw the U.S intounjustified wars with no benefit.
5.Why did Washington urge against political parties?
Heurged against political parties due to the possibility of thepolitical parties destroying the fragile unity that was vital inholding the country together. Personal bitterness and publicdestructiveness were major components that were incorporated withinparty lines and loyalty. 6.Why did Jefferson call the election the Revolution of 1800? What issignificant about theelectionof 1800?
Thiselection marked a shift in power from one party to the next for thefirst time in United States history. There was a shift in power fromthe Federalist power to the Democratic-Republican Party. The electionwas bloodless hence proving that the constitution was functioningproperly (Dunn 11).
7.What kind of a country did the Hamiltonians envision? What kind of acountry did theJeffersoniansenvision? Which of the two visions proved to have a greater impact onthe course of US history? Where can these competing visions beidentified in the modern United States?
TheHamiltonians envisioned a country which was cosmopolitan, commercialand industrial in nature while the Jeffersonians envisioned anagrarian country of yeoman farmers who have not been influenced bythe corrupt nature of banks and brokers. The US history was greatlyconforms to the Hamiltonian visions in comparison to Jeffersoniansvision. These competing visions can be identified in the federalgovernment whereby Hamilton campaigned for a stronger federalgovernment while Jefferson was a proponent of a stronger statessystem. The increase in federal powers favors the Hamiltonian vision.The US economy borrows more from the Hamiltonian vision as opposed tothe agrarian policy envisioned by Jefferson.
8.What is the significance of Marbury vs. Madison? What is JudicialReview and why is it important? What does this have to do with theissue of State vs. Federal power?
Thesignificance of Marbury vs. Madison emanates from the fact that thepower of judicial review was accorded to the Supreme Court of the US(Marshall5).The constitutionality of a law passed the legislature (Congress) isdetermined by the judicial review. It is importance emanates fromthe fact that it provides checks and balances that guard against thepowers of the legislature. The judicial review has the power todeclare laws and actions formulated by the local, state or federalgovernment to be invalid in case they don’t align with theConstitution.
9.Discuss the Agrarian Ideal. How does it fit with the national visionof the Jeffersonians? What became of Jefferson’s vision? Where canwe see evidence of it in the modern US?
TheAgrarian Ideal focused on philosophies which placed a higher value onthe rural society as opposed to the urban society. Farming was seenas a means through which the social values of the society could beshaped. The Agrarian Ideal focuses on land redistribution from therich to the poor. Even though Jefferson’s vision was not adoptedentirely, it has contributed towards the pillars of the Americandemocracy. Evidence can be seen from the modern liberal capitalisteconomy in addition to the dynamic federal government led by anenergetic executive.
10.What is the importance of the Hartford Convention of 1814? What wasthe basis of the controversy addressed there? What does it tell usabout the Constitution?
TheHartford Convention occurred in 1814-1815 in the US in which therewas ongoing discussion about the grievances regarding the continuingwar of 1812 and the political concerns emanating from the dominanceof the federal government. This meeting was constituted by the NewEngland Federalist. The Convention indicated that the Constitutioncould be amended to alter its intended purpose hence the two-thirdsvote amendment that was essential in declaring a war.
11.Howdid each of the policies advocated by Monroe that would later becomeknown as the American System affect each of the three regions of thecountry: North, South, and West? Which region gained the most? Whichone gained the least? What could be among the long term consequences?What does the American System tell us about American politics and theParty system in this era?
Northernersfeared that the tariff would affect their shipping business whichwould lead to the collapse of the manufacturing business. The hightariff led to the resentment from the Southerners as it contributedto the high prices of goods limiting the foreign market for goodsproduced in the South thereby inhibiting international exchange. TheWesterners lacked a uniform stand with regards to the tariff issue.High duties were favored in the Northwest so as to protect theagricultural products while low duties were favored in the Southwest.Southerners and Westerners favored the national bank policy whileNortherners were against the re-charter of the Bank of the UnitedStates. Western farmers were the worst hit when gold and silver coinswere introduced as the mode of payments of debts as they could notobtain the specie required. Farms with outstanding loans wereforeclosed as proposed by the Second Bank of the United States. TheAmerican System tells us that political parties could establishpolicies that could be adopted by the entire country. The Whig Partywas responsible for advancing the American System in addition toother leading politicians.
12.How does the American System relate to the Missouri Crisis of 1820?Why is political parity essential to the compromise?
Theintended purpose of the American System was to develop the nationwideinfrastructure so as to link the west which was mainly anagricultural zone, to the north which was mainly an industrial zone.Missouri applied to be accepted as a member of the Union despitebeing a slave state. However, this application was rejected by theNortherners due to their intention to maintain balance between thefree and slave states. Political party is essential to the compromisedue to the need to maintain a balance between the slave states andthe Free states. The entrance of Missouri was a threat to this parityas it would favor the interests of the slave states.
13.Discuss the effects of American expansion into the west on NativeAmerican peoples. Consider the effect of each of three responses(Resist, Assimilate, Move) on Native American cultures. Why didAmericans not recognize the rights of Native Americans to theirlands? How do you think Americans could have solved the conflictsbetween the desire for expansion and the rights of Native Americans?
NativeAmericans were forced to leave their traditional homes leading totheir resettlement in the West of Mississippi. The 1830 IndianRemoval Act involuntarily led to the immigration of majority of theNative Americans. Most Eastern Tribes were reluctant to comply withthe directive. Cherokees were also required by law to migrate to theWest especially in Georgia and other States. Most Cherokees renouncedthe settlement of 1835 which provided them with land in the IndianTerritory. After Jackson’s term had ended, 15000 Cherokees wereforced to leave Georgia by the U.S army. Some Native Americans werepeacefully assimilated into American Society. Many Americansconsidered the Native Americans to be uncivilized and Barbaric. Therewere a lot of pressure resulting from the need to expand, establishnew settlements and also engage in commerce contributed to theforceful eviction of Native Americans from their land. The only way to solve the conflict was through signing of treatieswith the Native Americans.
14.In what ways does the election of 1828 signal a significant change inAmerican politics? How does Andrew Jackson exemplify the newdemocratic spirit?
Theelection of 1828 signaled a change in American politics due to theestablishment of the two party system, change in votingqualifications and participation. After assuming presidency in 1829,Jackson set out to exemplify a new democratic spirit by getting ridof the aristocratic concept with reference to the representativegovernment established by the founding fathers. He was alsodetermined to end the claim to independence advanced by many publicofficials. He appointed individuals who adopted his way of thinkingas had been endorsed by voters.
15.In what ways did President Andrew Jackson’s behavior in officecontradict the ideals of American democracy?
Jacksonhad a narrow interpretation of the powers given to Congress hence hevetoed more bills during his term. He also signed into law the IndianRemoval Act hence his concept of democracy did not to NativeAmericans. He also contributed to the collapse of the national bankthrough his financial policies leading to increased prices of landand goods.
16.Who were the Whigs? Why did they call themselves Whigs? Where werethey from? What did they have in common?
Whigswere initially a political group then political parties formed in theparliaments of United Kingdom, Scotland, England and Great Britain.Formed in 1834 by President Andrew Jackson, its main aim was tocontest nationally for Jacksonian democrats. They named themselvesafter the English antimonarchist party. Commonality of the Whigs wastheir huge contribution in banking, morality in politics, economicgrowth, and corporations among other significant areas.
17.How does the Nullification Crisis relate to the Hartford Conventionof 1814? What major constitutional question drives both events? Wheredoes this question arise from? In what ways did the resolution of thecrisis present victories for both sides? How does the resolution ofthe crisis pave the way for further conflict?
Nullificationis the process whereby a state officially suspends a federal law. In1814, the Hartford Convention incorporated this concept in additionto some of the Southerners who saw it as a shield against federalviolation of their rights. The major constitutional question thatdrives both events was the national tariff policy which was developedafter the 1812 war. Both parties emerged victorious after theresolution of the crisis in that a new negotiated tariff which SouthCarolina considered satisfactory was passed in 1833. On the otherhand, Force Bill was passed by Congress giving the president powersto use military action. The resolution of the crisis paves way forfurther conflict due to the controversial nature of the states’rights doctrine.
18.How did the American Revolution encourage southerners to believe thatthey could withstand the northern attempt to restore the Union byforce?
Thesoutherners presumed that there would be very little or noconsideration of the opinion of the black people and therefore, byusing force, there would be restoration of the citizenship that hadbeen extended to them prior the war. And with this effect, hence thesoutherners would have a control over the earlier confederacy. Thewhite Southerners threatened to secede due to the attempt of theNorth to force emancipation upon Missouri. This led to the 1820Missouri Compromise prohibiting slavery in the North while allowingit in the South.
19.Why did Lincoln wait until after the Battle of Antietam to issue theEmancipation Proclamation? What was his fundamental reason for doingso? What does this tell us about the relationship between slavery andthe causes of the war?
ThoughLincoln himself detested slavery, he could not stop it before thebattle since he was bound by the acts of the constitution thatallowed slavery as per the states by which the citizens wanted. Healso could not abolish the trade since he could lose the support ofthe democrats andfour states that were at the border of slaves’states .the slaveholders, democrats and the four states could haveturned away from the republicans if they had abolished slavery.
20.Why was the Confederacy able to withstand the overwhelming advantagesof the Union forces for so long?
Theconfederacy had a vast size of land that served as a blockade to thenorth. Geography was their main significant assets as they didn’tneed to invade, only defense was necessary.in north Virginia, theriver acted as a barrier to the armies of the union and hence theconfederate capital, Richmond remained secure. Slavery also providedmanpower for the war. The southerners were securing their land andhence they needed to fight harder against the northerners who wereonly in pursuit of a reunification.
Dunn,Susan. Jefferson`ssecond revolution: the election crisis of 1800 and the triumph ofrepublicanism.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004.
Marshall,Chief Justice John. "Marbury v. Madison." DomesticExpansion and Foreign Entanglement4 (1803): 1797-1820.