American Government


1.      Federalism in the United States

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Define Federalism.  Explain the supremacy clause in Article VI of the US Constitution.  What is the meaning of the 10th amendment to the US Constitution?


What does the elastic clause (the last paragraph of Article I Section 8 of the US Constitution) mean?  Explain enumerated and implied powers.  How was the elastic clause applied in the 1819 Supreme Court decision McCulloch v. Maryland?


Explain how the power and responsibilities of the national government grew following the Civil War taking into account the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, the New Deal during the economic depression of the 1930s, and the modern civil rights laws of the 1960s.


2.      Civil Liberties

Explain “incorporation”, based on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which applies the Bill of Rights to the state constitutions.


Referring to the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, explain the application and limits of the establishment clause (separation of church and state).  What is the meaning of and what are the limits of the free exercise of religion clause?  Regarding freedom of speech and the press, what speech is protected and what is not protected in the 1st Amendment?  What does “no prior restraint” mean>?


Explain “The right of the people to be secure…against unreasonable searches” and “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable clause…describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized” clauses in the 4th Amendment, the “no person shall be compelled…to be a witness against himself” clause in the 5th Amendment, and the “accused shall…have the assistance of counsel for his defense” clause in the 6th Amendment to the US Constitution.  How are these applied to the exclusionary rule and the Miranda guidelines?


·         In a 6 page essay answer both sections using the following sources:

·         American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change by Cal Jilson, chapters 3, 13, 14, and the United States Constitutions.

·         The movies Federalism, and Civil Liberties.


·         APA Format

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