Political Science 150, Section 2

Democracy in America

Instructor: Dr. Steve Berg

Teaching Assistant: Mr. John Grove

Meeting in DU 246: 2:00 – 3:15 P.M.  M-W

Office: ZH-107. 

Office Hours: M-W 9:00 to 9:50 a.m. &1:00-1:50 p.m. Otherwise by Appointment

E-mail:; Office Phone: (815)753-0183

Catalog Description:

American democracy studied through the speeches and writings of political leaders involved in founding, preserving, and changing American politics and society. Emphasis on both democratic institutions and continuing problems of liberty and equality. The Federalist Papers and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America are standard texts.
Credits: 3

What This Course Is:

             POLS 150 Democracy in America studies American political and social institutions primarily through the political thought, writings, and speeches of three categories of people: 1.) The nation’s founders and the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution whose work structures the political controversies reappearing through subsequent generations; 2.) Office holders who bore responsibility for dealing with these controversies and who both changed and preserved constitutional institutions and democratic thought and practice; and 3.) The influential non-office holders whose thought helped shape public opinion, social change, and law, and whose thought provided insight into both the goodness and badness of American democracy. Among the latter, Tocqueville’s commentary, is still (160 years after its publication) commonly regarded as the best ever written in this regard and is also what gives this course its name and its spirit.

Why a Constitutional and Democratic Focus?

             Emphasis is placed on the US Constitution because, as the central legitimating symbol of American political life, citizens need to understand how it frames political controversy and how it influences political and social change. To that end, we will study important debates concerning both democratic institutions and the meaning of liberty and equality from the Founding until now. Such debates include whether we needed a national government and how the framers thought it could be kept from being oppressive; disputes about what political/economic conditions make American democracy possible; successive waves of controversies about whether the suffrage (voting rights) should be expanded; whether the Founders’ Constitution was democratic; whether it was a slave or a free Constitution; whether it recognized the humanity of the Negro, as African-Americans were then called; whether the national government should regulate the economy and provide welfare; disputes about what democratic representation is; whether separation of powers prevents democracy or makes it possible; whether religion is an indispensable political institution or a persistent political problem; what makes one a citizen; what law-abidingness means and whether it is or is not a duty; and the relation of women to democratic government and society.

            The persistent and over-arching theme of this class will be the disputed question “What is democracy?” In keeping with its disputed nature, we will study a range of opposing answers. Considerable attention will be given to the perennial dispute on whether democracy, in the most humanly and ennobling sense, is possible primarily through local institutions (as maintained in the American political tradition by the anti-Federalists and Tocqueville); or whether it is possible primarily through national institutions (as maintained by the Progressives, the New Deal, and the Great Society). This dispute turns on whether democracy is understood to involve (or be) primarily “self-government” in that oneself and one’s neighbors are primarily responsible for solving the day-to-day problems of living together (as the Jeffersonian tradition down to the Republican contract with America maintains); or whether democracy is understood to involve (or be) a greater degree of national-level government to regulate the nation’s economy in order to promote “economic democracy” and secure rights (as the Hamiltonian tradition down to modern “civil liberties” and “civil rights” maintains).

            Both these over-arching themes and the nature of the readings present a distinctive approach to American democracy and government. The approach is historical, cultural, and philosophic, particularly emphasizing the mutual interdependence of governmental and social institutions. It is further distinguished by its purpose that (unlike POLS 100) is not necessarily to introduce students to the sub-field of American politics, or even to the political science major/minor (although it does that). It is aimed at all students whether or not they enter the course intending further study of political science. Its aim is deepening citizen’s understanding and awareness of persistent issues, arguments, and themes of American democracy’s development.


Expected Political Science Course Outcomes:


1.   Content: Students should show familiarity with major concepts, theoretical perspectives and empirical findings as related to the course.

2.   Communication Skills: Students should demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.

3.   Research Skills: Students should have an understanding of basic research skills and be able to apply analytical and research skills in written assignments for the course.

4.   Critical Thinking: Students should use critical thinking and skeptical inquiry in problem solving.



Required Texts and Readings

 1.    A POLS 150 Reading Packet. (Although both bookstores have these packets, Village Commons Bookstores usually has more of them).

 2.    Alexis de Tocqueville. Democracy in America. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 2002.   (originally published in 1833).

 3.    Peter Lawler and Robert Schaefer ed. American Political Rhetoric. Fifth Edition. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto & Oxford.   Rowman &Littlefield, 2005.  

As we will be reading and referring to particular passages in these texts, it is essential that each student brings a copy of these resources to class when readings from them are due for discussion.

 Participation and Attendance

For this class to be successful, all students must regularly and meaningfully participate.  Of course, for this to occur, students must have completed all of the assigned readings prior to each class.  Students should be prepared to discuss the readings and add relevant observations based upon their own experiences.  Should participation not be present to the satisfaction of the Instructor, he reserves the right to assign topics to individual students for them to present in class.   The Instructor also reserves the right to call on any member of the class to have them contribute to the discussion or to verify a suitable level of that student’s preparedness.  If it is sadly apparent that many in the course have not read the material, or if there are other clues indicating that preparation has been lacking in the students, the Instructor reserves the right to inflict pop quizzes on the assembled multitude.


Your Instructor believes that the course will be far more valuable, (and much less boring) if we adopt as much of a seminar format as is possible in a class of this size.  This means that you all must be ready to carry your side of the work by being prepared to intelligently discuss the course material extensively and in depth.  Your Instructor has considerable experience in practical politics and has joyfully spent many years in the study of political theory. You also have a wealth of experience to be tapped, and we shall make the most of it. 


Note taking is an important part of participation.  It shows that you are engaged in the course, and are taking it seriously.  Your notes also provide an excellent platform for study, and if you get together outside of class, it is likely that you will be able to gain a superior understanding of the material by a group discussion.  Taking good notes is a very important skill to have as it is very likely that most of you will be called upon at one point or another to take minutes of meetings.  The old standby of having the token female in the group take the minutes is not going to work any more.


Students are expected to attend all of the classes.  If a student misses more than two classes without an excuse considered valid by the Instructor, or is chronically tardy, the Instructor reserves the right to proportionally lower the participation and attendance portion of their final grade.  Absent and tardy students miss class material and disrupt class discussion.  Tardiness is strongly frowned upon.  If you are in an unusual situation, such as having a class at Barsema Hall or the Engineering Building immediately preceding this one, it is in your best interest to discuss this difficulty with the Instructor in advance to receive Special Dispensation.  The Instructor has noticed an increase of tardy students in the past several semesters.  Such boorish and inconsiderate behavior disrupts the class, and greatly irritates the Instructor.  Should this tardiness problem persist, the Instructor reserves the right to close and lock the classroom door, and the offending individual(s) will not be allowed to enter the room.  Persistently and chronically absent and tardy individuals may also wind up being administratively withdrawn from the course.  Attendance will be taken and recorded.


As part of your Instructor’s ongoing exploration into the wilds of the Blackboard software, we are going to experiment a bit more this semester and utilize the discussion board feature of the program.  For those reticent students who prefer to hide behind a screen and keyboard whilst discussing the course material, this will be a useful alternative to speaking out in class.  Such participation will also count towards the participation portion of your course grade.  Flame wars instigated by keyboard commandos will be harshly discouraged and summarily crushed by the Instructor and/or the Graduate Teaching Assistant.  The quality and relevance of student comments and other postings will be carefully and fairly graded by the Instructor and the Graduate Teaching Assistant, and will apply to the participation part of the student’s grade.  To make keeping track of posters possible, anonymous posting is disabled for this course. Tentative plans are to have one forum for the entire course, though if things get crowded, others might be established by the Instructor as needed.  Students will be allowed to start threads on these forums.





Unless otherwise cleared with the Instructor in advance, all cell phones, pagers, and other assorted communication and entertainment devices shall be turned off during the class meetings.  It is expected that class members will conduct themselves according to classically accepted norms of civility (as understood and exemplified by the Instructor).  Students who fail to comport themselves in a courteous manner and are disruptive, obnoxious, or abusive will find themselves physically and administratively removed from the course and may face charges in the university judicial system. 




The Instructor reserves the right to have a sense of humor, and exercise it in class.


Religious Holidays


Your Instructor has no way of knowing a student’s religious affiliation.  Nor, does he care unless your Faith requires involuntary human sacrifice.  Consequently, if observances of your Faith require your absence from a regularly scheduled class meeting, a prudent student will notify the Instructor in advance so accommodations can be appropriately worked out.



 There will be twelve quizzes given in class throughout the semester. They will commence on Wednesday, January 20, and will cover the class material for that week, with the exception of the first quiz, which will also contain material from the first week of the course.  The grades from these quizzes comprise 10% of the final grade in the course. The quizzes will consist of 3 short answer questions to be completed at the beginning of class. Make-up quizzes will be given only with adequate documentation that the absence was unavoidable, and only at the discretion of the Instructor. The make-up quizzes will be significantly more difficult than the original. It is in the student’s best interest to avoid make-up quizzes if at all possible.

Term Paper

           There is one term paper required for this course.  The assigned topic for this paper is: American democracy is best fostered and supported by: (A.) state and local institutions, or (B.) national institutions.   Pick one of the two choices, and write a literate essay of at least 3 pages and no more than 5 pages in length supporting your chosen answer.  If you quote or closely paraphrase one or more sources, you need to make appropriate citations, and include the source(s) in a bibliography page in addition to the rest of the paper.  The papers you hand in for this course are to be typed or printed by ink-jet or laser computer printers.  Papers and tests should be double-spaced, and preferably be in size 12 type in a standard font like Times New Roman.  As this is a college level course, spelling, command of the English language, and grammar are important elements of your work, and will be taken into account during grading.  Papers showing evidence of plagiarism will be dealt with harshly.   Please follow one of the appropriate citation formats explained below in the section of this syllabus on academic misconduct & cheating.  The term paper is due on Monday, April 12.  Due to significant problems with papers handed in electronically, your Instructor recommends that you hand them in on paper, in class. 


            There will be 2 examinations in this course-a midterm examination, due on (Wednesday, March 10) and a comprehensive final examination to be handed in on the date assigned by the university (Monday, May 3rd from 2-3:50 p.m.).  The Exam questions will be posted on Blackboard, in the Course Documents section, one week before the exams are due to be handed in.  The format of the take-home mid-term and final exams will be an assortment of essay questions, out of which you will pick two (2) to write on.  The tests and papers you hand in for this course are to be typed or printed by ink-jet or laser computer printers,  Papers and tests should be double-spaced, and preferably be in size 12 type in a standard font like Times New Roman.  As this is a college level course, spelling, command of the English language, and grammar are important elements of your work, and will be taken into account during grading.  Papers showing evidence of plagiarism will be dealt with harshly.  If you quote or paraphrase something, cite it appropriately so that I can look it up.  If you use Internet sources, you can cite the URL from the website(s) you use in your paper.  If you use a search engine such as Yahoo or Google, do not just give me the search engine URL.  To not cite something properly constitutes plagiarism.  Proper citations indicate superior scholarship.  Please follow one of the appropriate citation formats explained below in the section of this syllabus on academic misconduct & cheating.  If you have any questions on this, please ask them before handing in your tests or papers.  Make-up examinations will be given only with adequate documentation that being unable to hand in the test on the original due date was unavoidable. The make-up exam will be significantly more difficult than the original. It is in the student’s best interest to avoid make-up exams if at all possible.  Make up exams are given at the discretion of the Instructor, and are in no way to be construed as a right.  Due to past problems with examinations handed in via the Digital Dropbox in Blackboard, and also via e-mail, it is strongly suggested that you hand in your exams, in class, on paper.  The Instructor is not responsible for low grades caused by papers lost or mangled by high technology.

Office Hours

The Instructor will make every reasonable effort to be available to you. If you cannot come during my scheduled office hours, please e-mail me to schedule a mutually convenient appointment. You are also very welcome to come in to chat during office hours.  Due to problems with the phone system in my office, I will only answer it during office hours.  The voice mail does not work.  The best way to reach me is via my NIU e-mail account:  Under no circumstances am I to be called at my home telephone number.  

Academic Misconduct & Cheating:

Cheating will not be tolerated in this course.  This includes the offense of plagiarism.  If there is any doubt about possibly committing plagiarism, it is best to avoid it by prudently citing the sources of your materials. Generally, if you use quotation marks in a sentence, you need a citation.  Your Instructor prefers that you use the Chicago or Turabian styles of citations.  Here is an example of how to cite information from a book:


“Initially, in his 1751 essay “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind”  (1965: 71), Franklin was concerned lest the English colony of Pennsylvania be overrun by the “Palatine Boors.”  Yet, later on in a 1753 letter to his friend in England, Peter Collinson, he praised the German immigrants for their frugality and industry (1965: 72-79).”


In this example, the author is citing work by Benjamin Franklin.  These are an example of a format that cites within the text.  Each citation is linked to a bibliographical entry by the year and then the page number(s), enclosed in parentheses.  Consequently, works consulted for your papers need to be included in a bibliography placed at the back of the paper.   Here is the bibliographical format used with the preceding citations from Benjamin Franklin:


“Franklin, Benjamin.  1965.  The Political Thought of Benjamin Franklin.  Edited by             Ralph L. Ketcham.  Indianapolis, New York, Kansas City: The Bobbs – Merrill Company, Inc.”


When you use an Internet source, I expect you to use the following format, taken off of the Library of Congress website.  “Chicago Citation Format:
(Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sections 17.270, 17.237)


  1. Author last name, first name, middle initial, if given.  If no author, use the site owner.
  2. Title of Site (italicized); a subsection of a larger work is in quotes.
  3. Editor of site, if given.
  4. Publication information, including latest update if available.
  5. Name of sponsoring institution or organization.
  6. Electronic address or URL.
  7. Date of access, in parenthesis.

Last name, First name Middle initial.  Title of Site.  City: Publishing Company, copyright date.  Sponsoring source.  http://…(accessed date).


Library of Congress. (accessed January 5, 2006).”

Library of Congress.

Accessed August 4, 2009).


You should put the same information in your bibliography page.  The Library of Congress website also gives good information on how to handle citations for many other sources of data.  I prefer the Chicago Manual of Style format, but the others work well, too.  The main ideas behind using proper citations is to give credit to the work of other people, and also make it easier for your readers to go back and read your sources for further information.  You will need to use proper citations and bibliographical references for all of the papers and tests in this course.  If you have any doubt about how to proceed with citations, please contact your Instructor, or the relevant English language tutors working in the English Department or the Residence Halls.  Students who fail to properly cite in their papers can expect to be written up for plagiarism, and charges will be appropriately filed.  Proper citation is essential for any material you quote or closely paraphrase. Respect for intellectual property is one of the core values of this university and also of your Instructor.  It is also imperative that you do your own work.  Your Instructor has frequently worked on group projects, where he and a minority of the project team performed the lion’s share of the work.  Reflecting on this, he expects each of you to work independently and not copy, steal, or collude with others in the performance of the assignments for this course.  This is not to preclude the laudable socializing and lifelong friendships that hopefully are being formed as you trudge through the labyrinth of your academic career.  I trust that you are getting together outside of class for socializing and discussions.  (And also to plot against me.)  Just do your own work.  Marked similarities of work occurring in tests and papers is an indicator of possible cheating, and arouses my suspicions.  A word to the wise: your Instructor has been known to detect plagiarism quite well, and he reserves the rights to give a student a zero (0) on a given plagiarized test question, term paper or test, a 0 (zero) on the entire assignment, and/or an F in the course.  Those who cheat can expect to face the full force of the Departmental, College and University rules on intellectual property and academic misconduct. 



            Final course grades are based upon the required written assignments, quizzes, and exams, as well as the regularity and quality of class participation, less any penalties due to extended unexcused absences and other non-completed course requirements. Attendance and participation will comprise up to 15% of the student’s final grade.  The Instructor will not give a formal grade for class participation, although he reserves the right to raise a student’s grade if he judges that student’s participation to have been exceptionally good. Grades will not be lowered merely for lack of active class participation.  The Instructor will hand back tests and papers with at least one sheet of printed comments and the grade for that assignment stapled to the back of the paper.


Final letter grades will be based upon the following basis:


Grading scale:

90% to 100% = A

80% to 89% = B

70% to 79% = C

60% to 69% = D

0% to 59% = F


The scale in use indicates that grading will not be done on a curve but as a percentage of successfully completed work. The following list shows the percentage toward your final grade for each type of graded exercise.  The possible pop quizzes are counted toward the Participation and Attendance part of your final grade.



Term Paper                                                      15%  

Quizzes                                                                      10%  

Midterm Examination                                        30%  

Final Examination                                        30%  

Participation & Attendance                          15%  

Total                                                                100% 


Statement Concerning Students With Disabilities

Under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first weeks of the semester.


Department of Political Science Website

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach this site, go to  If you have not already done so, it is also a good idea to sign up for the Departmental e-mails.





The Instructor of this course was a champion non-traditional student at this University for many years.  Consequently, he realizes that most students must work in order to afford to attend NIU, and that crises and emergencies crop up in the lives of students.  Should a crisis or emergency arise (and I most surely hope they do not), whenever possible, prompt discussion of the situation with the Instructor is a Really Good Idea.  There are very few of us in academia who have not had to deal with our own “Semester From Hell” and often ways can be worked out to prevent total disaster from coming about.  Those students who are on scholarships requiring the maintenance of acceptable grade point averages are advised to contact the Instructor immediately, should they suspect that they might be in some difficulty in the course.  This is especially true for those students with athletic scholarships.  Should any of you have a personal crisis of one sort or another that adversely impacts your performance in this course you are advised to see me immediately during my office hours.  I do not need to hear the gory private details, although some sort of documentation makes it much easier to possibly make adjustments, but will try to work with you to salvage as much of your grade in this course as is possible.  This University, like most others operates on Rawlsian principles of Justice.  According to these, Justice is Fairness.  So, if I offer special treatment to one person after the fact, I must offer it to everyone else.  It is always much easier to make accommodations before the end of the semester.  It is virtually impossible to do much after the semester is ended.  In the hopefully unlikely event that anyone must be absent due to a death in the family or similar tragedy, please come talk to me and give me some documentation such as a newspaper obituary, or one from the funeral home hosting the funeral, and most if not all problems relating with what you missed from class can usually be worked out.   The best way to contact me is before or after class.  Otherwise, contact me via e-mail at my NIU e-mail address.


Tentative Course Schedule

The following schedule is meant to serve as a broad outline of this course. The instructor reserves the right to make reasonable adjustments to the schedule if necessary. Also, please bear in mind that there are several editions and versions of the Lawler and Tocqueville books, and so page numbers may not be the same among them.  The reading packet was not reprinted at the time this syllabus was prepared, so there was no way to double check the page numbers on that book.

Week 1:  01/11 and 1/13

Introduction: Go over the Syllabus.  Then, what is Liberal Education and how does the study of democracy in America foster it?  Also discuss political rhetoric, and how this has changed over time.

             1. Horace Mann, “Go Forth and Teach,” July 4, 1842, RP p.173-174.

            2. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Purpose of Education,” 1948, RP p.175-176.

3. Thomas Edison, “They Won’t Think,” 1921, Instructor handout from: 

4.  Jeanne Kirkpatrick, “Speech to the Republican National Convention in 1984”

I.                   What is American democracy? (How American ideas of democracy have both changed and stayed the same over time.)

A.    Democracy in America before the Constitution.  Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1833) (hereafter DA), pp. 31-49.


Week 2: 1/18  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day---No class. 1/20; First Quiz

B.  The Declaration of Independence, in American Political Rhetoric (hereafter Lawler), p. 1-4



Week 3: 1/25 and 1/27; Second Quiz   


C.  At the Founding:

1.      How the Founders distinguished between two kinds of “popular governments”:  "democracy" and "republic”. Federalist Papers (1787-88), #14 in Reading Packet (RP) p. 161, #63 in RP p. 60-61, #39 Lawler pp. 45-49.

2.      The problem of “faction” in “popular governments: and the Founders’ solution. 

Federalist #10 in Lawler, pp. 15-21.

D.     Jeffersonian Democracy. Thomas Jefferson, Agriculture vs. manufacturing as ways of social life (1782), RP, pp. 161-162. First and Second Inaugural Addresses (1801, 1805) in RP, pp. 3-11. “On Citizenship" in RP, pp. 33-35.


E.  Tocquevillian Democracy

            1. Equality of conditions.  DA, pp. 45-53, 479-482.

2. Majority Rule. DA, "The Principle of the Sovereignty of the People in America"     pp.  53-55.  "The Omnipotence of the Majority in the United States and its Effects" pp. 165, 235-245.

            3. Liberty. DA, pp. 41-45.

            4. Rights. DA, “The Idea of Rights in the United States" p. 227-229.

Week 4: 2/1 and 2/3; Third Quiz

F. Slavery and Democracy

            1. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1784), Lawler, pp. 247-8.

            2. William Lloyd Garrison, (1843) in RP p.11.

3. Frederick Douglass, speech at Rochester New York July 5, 1852, "The Meaning of  July Fourth for the Negro" in RP pp. 12-24.

4.  Abraham Lincoln, Reply to Douglas at Chicago, Illinois,” July 10, 1858 in RP pp. 111-113

5. Abraham Lincoln, "Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at     Gettysburg," (1863), Lawler, 186.                 

G. Economic Democracy: The Progressives, the New Deal, and the Great Society

1. Theodore Roosevelt, "Two Noteworthy Books on Democracy," (1914) in RP, pp.25-27.

2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Commonwealth Club Campaign Speech," (1932), Lawler pp. 188-196.

3.  Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Message on the State of the Union ("The Economic Bill of  Rights") (1944) in RP pp. 28-29.

            4.   Lyndon Johnson, "The Great Society" (1964) in Lawler pp. 208-210.


H. Civil Liberties Democracy

            West Virginia v. Barnette (1943) in RP pp. 30.


Week 5: 2/8 and 2/10; Fourth Quiz

I.   Civil Rights Democracy

           Martin Luther King, "I Have a Dream" speech (1963) in RP pp. 30-33.

II. What political institutions enable American democracy to exist?

A.     Voting: If “everyone” must have a right to vote in order to be a democracy, when did America become a democracy?

1.      Who did the original Constitution provide could vote? and for what offices? The Constitution, For Congress: Art. I, Sec. 2, and Sec. 3, Cl. 1 in Lawler pp. 406.  For President: Art. II, Sec. 1, Cl. 2, Lawler p. 411; The Supreme Court? Art. 3, Sec. 2, Lawler p. 413-14.

2.      What are voting and elections for? How important did the Founders think the right to vote is? Federalist Paper #52, in RP p. 38-39.

            3.   Who should have a right to vote?  Federalist Papers #39 in Lawler pp. 45-46

            4.   What is "universal suffrage"?

a)      "Chancellor Kent on Universal Suffrage", speech to the New York  Constitutional Convention of 1821, in RP pp. 39-43

b)     DA, "Universal Suffrage" pp. 53-55, 174, 261.

5. Voting and Equality (of social conditions) and voting. Review DA, pp. 45-53,      503-06.

            a)  Extending the right to vote to women.

1)      The argument from rights: “The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions," July 19, 1848, in RP pp. 44-47.

2)      The argument from practical considerations: Jane Addams, "Why Women Should Vote," (1910), in RP pp. 47-49.

3)      Is voting a right of democratic citizenship? Minor vs. Happersett (1875), in RP pp. 49-52.

4)      U.S. Constitution Amendments XIV, Section 1 (1864) and XIX (1920) in Lawler, p. 419, 421.

            Week 6: 2/15 and 2/17; Fifth Quiz

                  b)  Extending the right to vote to Blacks.

1)  United States Constitution, 15th Amendment (1870) in Lawler p.              420.

2)  Lyndon Johnson, “Address on Voting Rights” (1965), in RP pp.             52-58.

c)  Extending the right to vote to 18 year olds.United States Constitution, 26th      Amendment (1971), Lawler, p. 425.

            6. Are any principled limits on the right to vote consistent with democracy,                 in terms either of rights or of practice?

                  a)      DA, pp. 187-194.

                  b)  “The Motor-voter Act” (1994) Carol Moseley-Braun in RP pp.59-60.   

            7. Who/what should voters have a right to vote for (directly)?

a)      The Constitution's answer:  they should be able to vote for their representatives, but not directly for laws. and RP pp. 60-61.

1)  Why was the Senate originally selected by state legislatures and why was that changed by the 17th Amendment? Federalist Papers #63, Lawler pp.84-86.

2)      Why is the President elected through the "Electoral College" rather                          than through "direct popular election?" U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2-4 and Amendment XII in Lawler p. 411-412, 418-19.

3)      Why is the Supreme Court appointed rather than elected? Federalist Papers #78, Lawler, pp. 120-1, 124-5.

b)     The Progressives: voters should be able to legislate directly (initiative &   referendum) because representation has failed.

1)  Theodore Roosevelt, “The Heirs of Abraham Lincoln” (1913) in RP pp 154- 160

2)      Theodore Roosevelt, “The Recall of Judicial Decisions” (1912) in RP pp.61- 68.  --Important Terms: fixed terms of office, recall, initiative, referendum, "terms limits"   

Week 7: 2/22 and 2/24; Sixth Quiz    


c)      Constitutionally, who elects which federal offices?  The Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 2 and Sec. 3, Cl. 3. Art. II, Sec. 1, Cl. 3 & 5, in Lawler 405-6, 411-12.


  B. Representation, political parties and interest groups

1.  The Founders' Concern: the danger of "faction" and how representation is supposed to mitigate it Federalist Papers #10 in Lawler pp. 18-21 (read only the second half of #10); #57, Lawler pp.79-81; #71, Lawler pp. 87-88;  #52 in RP pp. 38-39.

2.   Tocqueville on democratic representation. DA, p. 173.

3.      The distinction between "great parties" and "small parties". DA, 166-172.


C.      Separation of Powers     

1.  What is separation of powers and why is it necessary? Federalist Papers            #47 in Lawler pp.21-27.

 2. What is separation of powers supposed to do?                                                          

a)  To secure liberty and protect us from tyranny.  

 1)Federalist Papers #48, #51, #71 in Lawler pp. 27-31, 34-36, 87-89.   

                         2)Justice Brandeis in Myers v. U.S. (1926) in RP 89-90.

           b)  To make possible an energetic executive "independent" of the legislature.

1)  Federalist Papers #73, in RP pp. 90-92 (combining stability and                       energy).

                            2)  Federalist Papers #70 in Lawler 86-87.

                  3)  Foreign Affairs. DA, pp. 217-220.

c)  To make possible an independent judiciary to enforce the Constitution and laws.

1) Federalist Papers #78 in Lawler pp. 120-26.

2) Thomas Jefferson "Against Judicial Review"(1815), RP pp. 92-93.

D. Federalism: What is it and why do we have it?

1.   The Constitution, Article I, Secs. 8 & 9. Lawler pp. 408-411. Amendment X, in Lawler, p. 418.

2.  The distinction between "federal" and "national." Federalist Papers #39 in Lawler pp.45-49. Important terms: "the federal government", "the national  government," "the general government," "sovereignty," "division of sovereignty".

3.   DA, pp. 56-65; What does Tocqueville think is the advantage of the federal system for democracy? pp. 53-56 & 235, note 1.  Important terms: decentralization, federalism, federal government, & national government.

4.      Ronald Reagan, “The State of the Union Address” (1982) in Lawler pp.60-62.

5.      Garcia v. San Antonio (1985) in Lawler, pp. 62-66.


Week 8: 3/1 and 3/3; Review for Mid-term and posting of  Mid-term exam. Seventh  Quiz

E. Religion as a political institution.

      1.  DA, pp. 42-43; 274-299; 417-424.         

2.  United States Constitution, 1st Amendment (1791), Lawler p. 416.

3. George Washington, "Farewell Address" (1796) in Lawler pp. 43-44.     "Thanksgiving Proclamation" (1789) in RP p. 93-94.

4.    George Washington, “Thanksgiving Proclamation” (1789), RP, 93-94.  James Madison, “[Repentance and Thanksgiving] Proclamation,” November 16, 1814, RP, 94-95.  Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation of Thanksgiving” (1863), RP, 95-96.

3/8, 3/10, & 3/12: Spring Break, No Class!

Week 9: 3/15 and 3/17; Mid-Term Exam due at the beginning of class.  Eighth Quiz

III. Persistent questions about the meaning of liberty and equality in American democracy.

A. Religion as a political problem.

1.    Thomas Jefferson, "A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom," (1786) in RP pp. 96-97.

2.      Thomas Jefferson, Letter "To Nehemiah Dodge and Others, A Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut," (1802) in RP pp. 98.

3.      Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801); Second Inaugural Address (1805) in RP pp. 3-11.

4.  Justice Hugo Black, Everson v. Board of Education (1947) in RP pp. 99-104.

5.  Ronald Reagan, "Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayers Breakfast," August 23, 1984 in  RP pp. 105-108.

B. Women and Democracy in America

1.  Tocqueville's view of women's equality and its consequences for democracy.  DA pp. 274, 278-279, 563-577.

2.  A contemporary view of women's equality and its relation to democracy. "Change: From What To What" Keynote speech by Barbara Jordan to the Democratic National Convention, July 1992 in RP pp. 108-110.

C.  Citizenship:  What makes one an American?  Proposition 187 and the recent immigration debate.

1.  Being born here or being naturalized. United States Constitution, 14th Amendment, Lawler p. 419-20.

                        2.  Dedication to the proposition that all men are created equal.

a)  The Declaration of Independence, Lawler 1-4.

b)  Abraham Lincoln, Reply to Douglas at Chicago, Illinois, July 10, 1858 in RP 111-113.

c)  Dred Scott v. Sanford (1856), Opinion of the Supreme Court by Chief  Justice Taney, in RP 121-128.

Week 10: 3/22 and 3/24; Ninth Quiz

d)  Abraham Lincoln, “Speech on the Dred Scott Decision” June 26, 1857 in RP pp. 128-130.  Fredrick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” July 5, 1852 in RP pp.  11-13, 20-21; Frederick Douglass, “Speech on the Dred Scott decision,” May 11 1857, RP 131-136. 

e)  Stephen A. Douglas, Speech from the fifth debate at Galesburg, Illinois, October 7, 1858 in RP pp. 113-116.

f)  Abraham Lincoln, Reply to Douglas at Galesburg, October 7, 1858 and Speech at Ottawa, Illinois August 21, 1858 in RP pp. 117-120.


D.  Affirmative Action: Should constitutional rights belong to individuals or to groups?

            1.  Robert Goldwin, "Why Blacks, Women, and Jews are not mentioned in the      Constitution," (1987) in RP 76-85.

            2.  President Bill Clinton, “Mend It Don’t End It” (1995) in RP 163-168.

            3.  Ward Connerly, “With Liberty and Justice for All” (1996) in RP 168-172.

       4.    Rep. J. C. Watts (2000) in RP, 173.

Week 11: 3/29 and 3/31; Tenth Quiz

E. Law-abidingness: Should I obey the law?

1.  Remember the Declaration of Independence? Can a political system founded on the right of revolution successfully require law-abidingness? Or is lawlessness built into the foundational principles of American political life?

2.  What is law abidingness? Is disagreement with the Supreme Court                                                                     disobedience to the Lincoln, “Speech on the Dred Scott decision”, June 26, 1857 in RP pp. 128-130.

Frederick Douglass, "The Dred Scott Decision" May 11, 1857, in RP p. 138.

            3.  Why do/should we obey the law?

                  a)  Because it is self-imposed. DA, pp. 229-231.

                  b)  Out of enlightened self-interest. DA, pp. 225-227.

c)  Out of public spirit. Abraham Lincoln, "The Perpetuation of Our Political   Institutions," (1838) in RP pp. 137-142.

4.      Civil Disobedience: Is law abidingness sometimes neither good nor a duty?

      a)Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" (1963) in RP                                                                     pp. 143-153. 




Week 12: 4/5 and 4/7; Eleventh Quiz

b) Henry David Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government”(1849).  TO BE DISTRIBUTED BY INSTRUCTOR.

  Week 13: 4/12 and 4/14; Twelfth Quiz  Term Paper due on Monday at the beginning of class.  Catch up.

Week 14: 4/19 and 4/21; No Quiz  Catch up.

  Week 15: 4/26 and 4/28; Final Exam posted to Blackboard.  No Quiz!

  Catch up and Review for Final.

FINAL EXAM: Due in class, Monday, May 3rd from 2-3:50 p.m.  If there is sufficient student demand, the Instructor will hand out donuts at this time.  According to University regulations, the class must meet, so your Instructor will be there during this time period to receive your exams.