victorious biden campaign flip several states H u m a n i t i e s
1. The fundamental argument of the Anti-Federalists against the ratification of the Constitution was that the Federalists were simply lying—they were selling a federal government of limited, and enumerated powers, and what we were getting was effectively a unitary government with few limits on what it could do. Based on what you have learned this semester, do you think the Anti-Federalists were correct or not? Do we have a government whose powers are strictly limited, or do we have a far more powerful government with very few real restrictions on their use of its power? (Note: Make sure to draw on a range of chapters in answering this question.)
2. Many interest groups hold a great deal of sway in American politics even though they represent an objectively small number of citizens/voters. Indeed, as we talked about this term, most successful interests groups are relatively small (at least compared to the nation as a whole). So, how can a group that is so small (relatively speaking) play such a big role in shaping our nation’s policies? In answering this make sure to think about and touch on (at minimum): the way interest groups operate, the way we vote, and the way we structure elections and representation in the United States.
3. On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the United States held elections for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency. It saw the victorious Biden campaign flip several states into the Democratic column, but it saw the Republicans gain seats in the House and hold a tie in the Senate—in the face of projections of major Republican losses in both. Moreover, the election saw voter turnout rise significantly, to the highest level in over a century.
Based on the material we looked at this semester (you do NOT needed to make use of anything outside the course), tell me two things. First, why was voter turnout so much higher in this election cycle than in generations? Second, what reasons can you give for why the results of the election seem to favor both Republicans AND Democrats? In doing this, make sure to draw upon material from both before and after the midterm.
4. On paper Congress is the most powerful branch. However, in practice, this generally seems to not be the case. Please tell me a) why there is such a disconnect between the “authority” of Congress and its “power” and b) what Congress has tried to make it easier to translates its vast authority into real power.
5.The Emancipation Proclamation freed roughly 3.5 million enslaved persons by presidential fiat—no mean accomplishment, even if it only did so on paper. While this is obviously an example of presidential ability, as we talked about in lecture it also shows the somewhat limited nature of presidential power. Keeping that in mind and thinking about our discussion of executive authority in Chapter 7, please explain to me a) the basis of Lincoln’s claim to the authority to order the freeing of millions of persons, and b) how this basis shows the potential weakness of most significant unitary actions by presidents.
6. THIS IS YOUR EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION!
At the confirmation hearing for Justice Neil Gorsuch, most of the questions were far from hard hitting. Indeed, one of the questions was rather ridiculous and is the basis of your extra credit for this exam. Answer the following question the was posed to Justice Gorsuch by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), keeping in mind that the more interesting your response the greater the amount of extra credit you will receive:
Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck? Explain.
As you answer these questions bear two things in mind. First, I am not grading you on if the answer is ‘correct’. Rather, I am grading you by how clearly you articulate an answer that convinces me it is correct through the use of evidence and clear writing. You can thus answer in any way you please, provided that your answer proves itself correct.