local government/state and funeral


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The United States Constitution is not an ahistorical document. Rather, the crafting and
ratification of the U.S. Constitution reflects political, social, and economic factors particular to
the late Eighteenth century America. Be it the philosophies of the European Enlightenment, a
war of independence against Imperial Great Britain, the failure of the Articles of Confederation,
or the civil discontent post-independence (to name a few), elements of the U.S. Constitution
reflect historical and philosophical context.
Please research at least two historical and/or philosophical influences upon the U.S. Constitution.
Explain, in specific detail, how these external factors influenced a particular provision of the
The ratification of the U.S. Constitution saw the emergence of two, opposed political parties: the
Federalists and Anti-Federalists. As each of the thirteen colonial legislatures sought to ratify the
U.S. Constitution, both Federalists and Anti-Federalists produced political ‘papers’ – often
published in sympathetic newspapers – that explained their ideological rationale.
Examine the writings of the Federalist of Anti-Federalist Parties in light of the historical context
of the late eighteenth century. These are found in MyPolySci Library.
Which party would you align yourself with? Why? Please be sure to support your answer(s) with
the writings of either the Federalist or Anti-Federalist parties.
The U.S. Constitution established a national government based on the principle of federalism –
which delineated federal, state, and local responsibilities. Within the U.S. Constitution federal
and state governments are granted a number of ‘exclusive powers’. In addition, the Tenth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by
the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
the people” (U.S. Const. amend X).
Yet, since ratification, federal, state, and local governments have been embroiled in a series of
authorial and policymaking debates regarding the Constitutional interpretation of the Tenth
This debate between federal power and state’s rights has many contemporary examples.
Provide two specific examples from your state or local government that illustrates the debate
between federal power and state’s rights.
An example: federal highway funds are tied to state adoption of highway speed limits, legal
drinking ages, and other vehicular laws. As a result, many state governments argue that the
federal government has coerced state cooperation through monetary blackmail.
A close examination of the Article II of the Constitution (Executive Branch) suggests that the
founding fathers, leery of tyrannical monarchs, deliberately made vague the powers and
responsibility of the president. Yet the institution of the presidency has grown, over time. This
expansion of presidential power and the growth of the federal bureaucracies, through executive
interpretation of Article II of the Constitution, is a dominant feature of the modern presidency.
Illustrate and assess two specific examples of the growth in modern, presidential power.
The growth of modern presidential power coincides with the growth of federal budget deficits.
Every year the Office of Management and Budget provides a detailed summary of the
President’s proposed budget. U.S.A.’s current federal budget can be found here:
Analyze two federal departments, administrations, or agencies detailed in the President’s
proposed budget. In light of growing federal deficits, make specific arguments for deficit
spending or cuts within each selected department, administration, or agency.
*Within the Table of Contents of the President’s proposed budget you will see a list of all the
federal departments, administrations, and agencies.
The United States Congress is divided into two parts (bicameral): the House of Representatives and the
U.S. Senate. Whereas the U.S. Senate is comprised of two senators per state, the House of
Representatives divides 435 representatives among each state, according to U.S. Census data. By
constitutional law each state has at least one congressional representative. That said, many populous
states have over twenty congressional representatives. California has over fifty congressional
A congressional representative serves two year terms. A representative proposes bills, amendments,
and resolutions, and serves on a myriad of congressional committees. Yet, in contrast to a U.S. senator,
your congressional representative serves a distinct, geographical area – his or her congressional district.
Thus, they are charged with representing the political will of the citizens in their district.
Using the House of Representatives official website (www.house.gov) investigate your district’s member
of Congress. If you do not know your congressional representative enter in your zip code to locate your
congressional district and representative. Then, access your congressional representative’s individual
website. Examine your congressional representative’s legislative policies (proposed bills and voting
record) and constituent services (how the office of your representative helps the citizens in their
Based on your research:
Contact your congressional representative via phone, letter(!), or email regarding a specific piece of
legislative policy or constituent service. Articulate, in detail, how a specific piece of legislation or
constituent service aligns with your individual, political views.

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