Unit 1: Foundations of American Democracy

Essential Questions for Unit 1:
• What is the purpose of government?
• What was the founders’ view of the purpose of government and the role of the citizen in the American Republic?
• Are these views still relevant at the close of the millennium?
• How does the constitution underpin U.S. government?
• Why was the concept of “checks and balances” a novel idea in the 18th century versus today?
• How does Madison’s concept of checks and balances challenge popular understanding of Montesquieu’s theory of separation of    powers?
• Define the following concepts: democratic theory, republicanism, pluralist theory, majoritarianism, and the elitist theory.
• Why did the Anti-Federalists fear the new governmental system?

• Does this new federal system strengthen or weaken the concept of separation of powers? Why or why not?
• What are the powers of state and local governments in an era of “new federalism” and devolution?
• What influence should the federal government have over state and local issues such as education, affirmative action, abortion, and the environment?

Class Lecture Notes/PowerPoints
Purpose and Problems Seminar – Presented in class week 1
PEARSON Supplied Chapter 1 PPT
Public Policy and Culture Seminar – Presented 8/29 or 8/30
Pearson Chapter 2 supplied PPT
Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation – 9/6 through 9/11
Amendments – Presented in class 9/12 and 9/13
Federalism Class Presentation
Fiscal Federalism

Class Readings, Articles, and Resources
Declaration of Independence
New York Times – Tyranny of the Minority
The Atlantic – How American Politics Went Insane
New York Times – The End of Identity Liberalism
Anti-Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers

Extra Resources, Videos, Important Links
Common Sense by Paine
Cows explain governments

Study Stuff and Bonus Assignments
Chapter 1 Study Guide
Chapter 2 Study Guide
Chapter 3 Study Guide
APGOV Unit 1 Study Guide