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Constitutional Foundations/Federalism: Free Response

Directions:. It is suggested that you take a few
minutes to plan and outline each answer. Spend approximately one-fourth of your time (25 minutes) on
each question. Illustrate your essay with
substantive examples where appropriate. Make certain to number each of your
answers as the question is numbered below.

1.  “But
the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the
same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the
necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of
the others.  The provision for defense
must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of
attack.  Ambition must be made to
counteract ambition.  The interest of the
man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.  It may be are reflection on human nature,
that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government.  But what is government itself, but the
greatest of all reflections on human nature? 
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angles were to govern, neither external
nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be
administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first
enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it
to control itself.  A dependence on the
people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has
taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

Using the quotation and your knowledge of American politics,
complete the following two tasks:

  1. Identify
    what the author saw as the TWO problems in forming a government.

  2. Identify
    and describe the “auxiliary precautions” that the author believed were
    necessary to prevent tyranny.

  1. It has been said, “The Constitution reflects a basic
    distrust of direct popular government.”

    a) List TWO features of the
    Constitution and

  1. Explain
    how EACH feature displayed a distrust of popular government.

    3.    Discuss
    TWO facts about the landmark case McCulloch v. Maryland.  Next, what were TWO constitutional provisions
    used by the Supreme Court’s majority in the McCulloch v. Maryland
    decision to justify its opinion.  Lastly,
    explain how the McCulloch case expanded the power of the federal
    government in relation to the states.

  1. Define
    federalism.  Explain THREE reasons for
    continuing federalism in its current form in the United States.  In other words, defend America’s federal
    system of government.

  2. The
    text discusses FIVE theories on how political power is distributed.  List and explain each theory.

  3. The
    text concludes that politics is about the “public interest,” not just “who gets
    what.” Consider the two forms of democracy (direct and representative) and
    discuss which form is best able to achieve “the goal of politics” promoting the
    public interest.