Archive for September, 2013

Reminders and assignment for Sept 27

While I am at the funeral, you will have a sub. She is a dear friend of mine, and I know you will treat her like a princess. Make sure you prepare for these two quizzes!

1. You will take a combined 9-10 terms check first, and then grade it. Turn those in.

2. You will then take your MC check over your homework. You will grade that and turn it in.

You will then do this assignment, which can all be done online. Click here to download the assignment: Federalist 51 Document Analysis– Hyperlinks are provided within the document.

If you need to, search for the APPARTS form you will need on the blog, and download a copy. I COULD put it here, but you need to learn how to do this. Keep that copy on your hard drive.

You may write in it in word, but SAVE AS Federalist #51, so that you keep the original. This is due Monday!!!

Excerpt from Bailyn on Power

By historian Bernard Bailyn.

Excerpt: The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Chapter 3, from pp 55-69

The theory of politics that emerges from the political literature of the pre-Revolutionary years rests on the belief that what lay behind every political scene, the ultimate explanation of every political controversy, was the disposition of power. The acuteness of the colonists’ sense of this problem is, for the twentieth century reader, one of the most striking things to be found in the eighteenth century literature: it serves to link the Revolutionary generation to our own.

The colonists had no doubt about what power was and about its central, dynamic role in any political system. Power was not to be confused, James Otis pointed out, with unspecified physical capacity—with the “mere physical quality” described in physics. The essence of what they mean by power was perhaps best revealed inadvertently by John Adams as he groped for words in drafting his Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law.  Twice choosing and then rejecting the word “power,” he finally selected as the specification of thought he had in mind “dominion,” and in this association of words the whole generation concurred. “Power” to them meant the dominion of some men over others, the human control of life: ultimately force, compulsion….

Most commonly the discussion of power centered on its essential characteristic of aggressiveness: its endlessly propulsive tendency to expand itself beyond its legitimate boundaries. In expressing this central thought, which explained more of politics, past and present, to them than any other single consideration, the writers of the time outdid themselves in verbal ingenuity. All sorts of metaphors, similes, and analogies were used to express this view of power.  Power, it was said over and over again, has “an encroaching nature”; “… if at first it meets with no control [it] creeps by degrees and quick subdues the whole.” Sometimes the image is of the human hand, “the hand of power,” reaching out to clutch and to seize: power is “grasping” and “tenacious” in its nature; “what it seizes it will retain.” Sometimes power “is like the ocean, not easily admitting limits to be fixed in it.” Sometimes it is “like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour.”….

What gave transcendent importance to the aggressiveness of power was the fact that its natural prey, its necessary victim, was liberty, or law, or right. The public world these writers saw was divided into distinct, contrasting, and innately antagonistic spheres: the sphere of power and the sphere of liberty or right. The one was brutal, ceaselessly active, and heedless; the other was delicate, passive, and sensitive. The one must be resisted, the other defended, and the two must never be confused….

Not that power was in itself—in some metaphysical sense—evil. It was natural in its origins, and necessary. It had legitimate foundations “in compact and mutual consent”—in those covenants among men by which, as a result of restrictions voluntarily accepted by all for the good of all, society emerges from a state of nature and creates government to serve as trustee and custodian….

Belief that  a proper system of laws and institutions should be should be suffused with, should express , essences and fundamentals– moral rights, reason, justice– had never been absent from English notions of the constitution….[I]f the ostensible purpose of all government was the good of the people, the particular goal of the English constitution–“its end, its use, its designation, drift, and scope”– was known by all and declared by all to be the attainment of liberty. This was its particular grandeur and excellence; it was for this that it should be prized….

The Articles of Confederation

A little background:

The actual Articles, from the Avalon Project at Yale:

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

This video can also be accessed at

A short history of the articles of Confederation

This video can also be accessed at

This is a student presentation. She did a pretty good job, and found some great pictures.

This video also discusses the role of Shays’ Rebellion on support for the Articles:

This video can also be located at

Chapter 10 questions

Chapter 10 questions
Make sure you are answering FULLY and including dates, leaders, places etc.

1. What were the specific strengths and weaknesses of the new nation as of 1789? Had anything changed since 1787? Include population growth in your calculations.
2. Why was Spain a possible threat to western development? Where were their claims?
3. List the specific ways the presidency of Washington established precedents for later presidents (try saying that three times fast).
4. Prior to the building of the District of Columbia, what was the temporary capital of the US? Why was this so?
5. How many specific rights were included in the Bill of Rights? (Count them—you will be surprised.) What was the fear regarding the enumeration of rights? How was this fear ameliorated?
6. What exactly does the Constitution say about the judicial branch’s organization and requirements, and how does this compare with the descriptions of the other two branches? What did the Judiciary Act of 1789 do?
7. Why does the author pinpoint Alexander Hamilton as the key figure of this period– over Jefferson and even Washington? What office did he hold, and what were Hamilton’s major goals?
8. Explain why Hamilton claimed that funding at par would benefit the nation. Be able to explain “funding at par”– if you have to research this, that’s okay
9. What deal did Jefferson make to get the location of the US capitol to be in the South?
10. What were the main sources of government revenue during the Washington administration? How does that differ from today? Look it up.
11. Explain the different claims of Hamilton and Jefferson regarding a national bank. How did this reflect a deeper disagreement about the Constitution? What were the characteristics of the 1st Bank of the United States?
12. Why was the excise tax on whiskey especially resented on the frontier? How was the response to this rebellion different from that against Shays’ Rebellion?
13. List all the effects of Hamilton’s financial plan.
14. What is the difference between a faction and a party? What are the pros and cons of a 2-party system? How did the French Revolution affect the partisanship in American political life—why did each party view the Revolution differently?
15. Compare and contrast the French Revolution to the American Revolution. Make sure you consider causes as well as characteristics.
16. Why did Washington nullify the Franco-American Alliance with his Neutrality Proclamation? Explain this quote: “American neutrality in fact favored France.”
17. How responsible were the British for our troubles on the Frontier? What is significant about the Treaty of Greenville?
18. How else did Britain violate American sovereignty, and what was our specific response? Evaluate Jay’s accomplishments in England. How did this treaty lead to Pinckney’s? How was Jay’s Treaty received by France?
19. Why did Washington’s Farewell Address advise isolationism?
20. What specific challenges did Adams face as president that Washington did not? Why was this so?
21. Why did undeclared war erupt with France? Why did Adams’ action toward France prove to be wise? How did the Quasi-War—and the Franco American Alliance—come to an end?
22. How did the Federalists attempt to stifle dissent? What were the political considerations used in altering immigration laws? Why was the Sedition Act not overturned by the courts? How did the Alien and Sedition Acts lead to the promotion of the doctrine of nullification?
23. Explain the compact theory of government. How did the compact theory lead to support for secession later in US history (and even now)?
24. Look at the chart on p. 219. What aspects of the different beliefs of the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans can still be seen today in our political parties? Did either party support full democratic participation (universal manhood suffrage)? Explain. What types of people were more likely to support each party?
25. How did Jefferson link slavery with the preservation of democracy?

Notes on the Declaration of Independence

Continuing our discussion of the ideological and philosophical differences that lay at the roots of the drive toward rebellion and revolution by the colonists, I have included our notes we took today after we read and discussed the Declaration of Independence.

Some links at which you need to look: – This is the text we read in class.

You can also look in your textbook on pp. A1-A3. The text of the Declaration included in your book also explains (in blue text) the antecedents of each of the specific acts to which Jefferson alludes in each of the grievances against the King, so look at that as well.

The notes we went over in class after reading the Declaration are as follows:

Main Political Claims/ Political Theory Expounded in the Declaration:

(Directly derived from Locke)

1. All men are created equal. (which means that…)
2. All men have certain natural rights. (life, liberty, property)
3. Government is formed BY THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED to protect those rights.
4. If the expectations of #3 is not fulfilled, consent may be withdrawn, and government can LEGITIMATELY be abolished.

Note that the colonists are no wild-eyed anarchists– they want a LEGITIMATE government that respects and protects their rights, not no government at all. In fact, note that in the last paragraph, Jefferson points out that states are now independent– and they all had state governments. On July 5, it is those state governments where the power given up by the people by consent now resides. This also touches directly upon the claims made in the Example of a Letter from a Committee of Correspondence.

The Crux of the Problem: Where is the Philosophical Difference of Opinion Between the Colonists and the British Government:

Is consent required?

Basic Charges against the British Empire:

(4 points–These can be seen as being paired)
1. Laws were not passed that we needed– 2. Laws were passed to which we did not assent.

3. The British authorities subverted our ability to govern ourselves– 4. The king’s government violated our rights and liberty and therefore did not legitimately govern us either.

Links for more information that you must look at: –This puts phrases from the Declaration of Independence parallel to the Lockean arguments in the Second Treatise on Government. – Interesting facts about the Declaration