Political Science 201 Final Paper must respond to one of the following four prompts

Political Science 201 Final Paper must respond to one of the following four prompts. Which side offers a theory of government that best preserves the liberties of the people: the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists? Why?

All of these prompts require you to make an argument, in your own words, for what you think. All of them also require you to demonstrate that you understand our course material, and that you have command over it, and can discuss and analyze it. Underneath each prompt you’ll find a list of sources. While it’s not required that papers draw upon every listed source, composing a top-quality response to your chosen prompt will likely require you to at least familiarize yourself with each of the listed sources. The sources listed here are the only acceptable sources for your paper. Do not use any sources other than those listed below. Papers that use sources other than those listed below, whether cited or not, will not receive credit.

Prompts:

  1. Which side offers a theory of government that best preserves the liberties of the people: the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists? Why?

A thoughtful essay will reference key readings and discussions from our course, including The Federalist Papers 10 and 51, Herbert Storing’s chapter on the Anti-Federalists, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, We the People, and others. A persuasive argument will address–in specific terms–how the theories of government offered by both sides relate to the question of protecting the liberty of American citizens. How does each side understand “liberty”? How does each side think liberty should be protected? What is each side most afraid of?

Sources:

*We the People
*The Declaration of Independence
*The American Constitution
*Martin Diamond, The Founding of the Democratic Republic, pp. 45-55
*The Federalist Papers, 1, 10, 51 and 70
*Herbert Storing, What the Anti-Federalists Were For (Chap. 3)

  1. In his Fourth of July speech, Frederick Douglass finds in the Declaration of Independence both reason to critique–even condemn–America, andreason to hope for the future of his country. Through a careful and detailed analysis of Douglass’ speech, as well as other key readings from the course, explain both of these features of Douglass’ argument. How can he be both critical and optimistic?

Sources:          *We the People
                                   *The Declaration of Independence
*The American Constitution

*Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

*Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address”
*Harry V. Jaffa, “The Universal Meaning of the Declaration of Independence”

  1. Which approach to interpreting the Constitution do you think the Founders would find most compelling: “originalism” or “living constitutionalism”? Why?

A persuasive argument will demonstrate a full understanding of both theories of interpretation. In developing your argument, you should reference key readings and discussions from class, including the speeches of Edwin Meese and Justice Brennan, We the People, The Constitution, readings from Strauss and Scalia, and others.

Sources:          *We the People
*The Declaration of Independence
*The American Constitution

*Barbara A. Perry, “Original Intent or Evolving Constitution? Two Competing Views on Interpretation”
*Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel, “Justice Brennan and Edwin
Meese: A Constitutional Throwdown”

*Edwin Meese, “Speech to the American Bar Association”

*Justice Brennan, “Speech at Georgetown University”

*David Strauss, Excerpt from The Living Constitution

*Antonin Scalia, “Constitutional Interpretation the Old-Fashioned

Way”

  1. In Snyder v. Phelps(2010), Chief Justice John Roberts writes:

“[S]peech on public issues occupies the ‘highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values,’ and is entitled to special protection.”

Discuss Roberts’ argument in favor of the Westboro Church in the context of our discussion of key American principles and values, including liberty, democracy, and equality. How does Roberts’ argument demonstrate the centrality of these principles in American life?

A persuasive essay will reference key readings and discussions from the course, including the Snyder v. Phelps opinion, the Constitution, and We the People.

Sources:          *We the People
*The Declaration of Independence
*The American Constitution

*Snyder v. Phelps (2010)

*The Federalist Papers, 1, 10, and 51

*Herbert Storing, What the Anti-Federalists Were For (Chap. 3)

  1. Argument: Does your paper include an original argument, including a thesis in which this argument is clearly stated?
  2. Analysis: Does your paper include a thoughtful and detailed discussion of its topic? Does it demonstrate reflection on our course materials and discussions?
  3. Evidence: Does your paper support your argument with evidence, and clearly explain how this evidence supports your case?
  4. Counterargument: Does your paper include a counterargument (what someone who disagreed with you would argue)? Do you respond to this counterargument in a specific way?
  5. Clarity: Is your argument clear? Is your writing accessible and grammatically correct? Can your reader follow your argument through your entire paper?
  6. Persuasiveness: Is your argument convincing? Have you done all you can to make your case?

Course: POL S 201 Introduction to Political Theory
School: University of Washington

  • : 30/03/2017
  • : 20