Some issues have endured throughout American history. What is meant by civil liberty? Does (or should) Congress truly represent the people? Do the courts ensure that justice prevails? How much power should lie with the President?
For almost 200 years, the federal-state relationship has shifted more and more toward national supremacy. But some observers today believe that over the past twenty years, the balance of power is beginning to tilt back toward the states. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush tried to slow down the growth of the national government under the banner of "New Federalism."
The vast majority of government employees work for local and state åÑ not the federal åÑ governments. Teachers, policemen, clerks at the motor vehicle office. Many of these people are state and local employees. This seems to confirm the general notion that government is in fact "closer to the people," and therefore more democratic. But the real evidence is contradictory.
"Representation" remained the core issue for the Philadelphia Convention. What was the best way for authority to be delegated from the people and the states to a strengthened central government?
The supporters of the proposed Constitution called themselves "Federalists." Their adopted name implied a commitment to a loose, decentralized system of government. In many respects "federalism" which implies a strong central government was the opposite of the proposed plan that they supported. A more accurate name for the supporters of the Constitution would have been "nationalists."
The Antifederalists were a diverse coalition of people who opposed ratification of the Constitution. Although less well organized than the Federalists, they also had an impressive group of leaders who were especially prominent in state politics.
American Government is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected Module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. American Government includes updated information on the 2016 presidential election.Senior Contributing AuthorsGlen Krutz (Content Lead), University of OklahomaSylvie Waskiewicz, PhD (Lead Editor)
Host Harry Kreisler welcomes Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army (ret.), for a discussion of the break down of the national security process in the G.W. Bush Administration. Col. Wilkerson offers an insider's view of the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal that drove American policy in the wake of the Al Qaeda attack on 911. The Vice President’s manipulation of the policy process, he argues, led to a lack of a post conflict planning for Iraq and the failure to abide by the Geneva conventions. Wilkerson analyzes the motives of Cheney/Rumsfeld, their penchant for secrecy, and speculates long term costs to American democracy and power. (58 minutes)
The post-Renaissance world saw the nation-state mature and confront the issue of how to control the lives of its citizens. Two models of political organization, democratic and authoritarian, gradually developed. During the twentieth century, as some nations granted individuals and groups more and more rights, ideology and modern technology enabled authoritarian governments to gain ever more control, until community interest dominated the individual and totalitarianism was born. Although Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union have passed into history and there are cracks in the total control of the People's Republic of China, North Korea still retains all of the characteristics of totalitarianism. Still technically at war with the United Nations Forces, it poses a threat to the world at large with its developing nuclear program. At the same time it continues to threaten its perceived enemies. Very few foreigners have been able to visit and record life in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the official name of North Korea), and the nation remains largely unknown to outsiders. This lesson will begin with an introductory activity that draws on students' prior knowledge to discuss, 'How does a society create social and political order?' After brainstorming the characteristics of totalitarianism, the class will be divided into groups to locate historical examples and create a Document Based Question to share with their classmates. Students will next examine excerpts from the WIDE ANGLE film 'A State of Mind' (2003) to see how the characteristics of totalitarian societies still operate today in North Korea. As a culminating activity, students will analyze editorials on North Korea's nuclear program from newspapers around the world, formulate their own opinions, and write a Letter to the Editor of their local newspaper.
The French Revolution brought fundamental changes to the feudal order of monarchical and aristocratic privilege. Americans widely celebrated the French Revolution in its glorious opening in 1789, as it struck at the very heart of absolutist power. France seemed to be following the American republican example by creating a constitutional monarchy where traditional elites would be restrained by written law. Where the king had previously held absolute power, now he would have to act within clear legal boundaries.