January 3, 2019
January 3, 2019

These questions are all from Slaughter’s book,

The Idea That Is America ISBN 9780465078097


1. According to Slaughter, what are the seven values underpinning the idea that is America? Give a brief description of each of these seven values.

2. Slaughter writes, “Keeping the promise of our founding- the promise of America- means keeping faith with our values,” (p. 5) and “we must return to a foreign policy far more attentive to practicing what we preach.”(p. 11) Do you agree her? Explain.

Chapter 1: Liberty

3. An important concept for Slaughter is “ordered liberty.” What does she mean by this concept? How is it different from “absolute liberty.”

4. Slaughter gives examples of how America has not lived up to its values. What are three examples that she gives?

Chapter 2: Democracy

5. There are some important people Slaughter discusses and they are listed below. Tell us who this person was, and why he or she is significant.

James Madison Susan B. Anthony John Marshall

6. What is the difference between a republic and a pure democracy? What did the Founders want? (see p. 46)

7. What is a faction?

Chapter 3: Equality

8. Slaughter introduces three aspects of democracy: Popular government, Accountable government, and Rights-regarding government. What do each of these aspects mean?

9. According to Anne-Marie Slaughter, Was there equality in U.S. political history? What examples does she give to support her argument?

10. In Slaughter’s view, Is there equality in America today? How does she support her argument? Do you agree with her?

11. “Racial inequality and class inequality have always correlated in our society” (p. 93). Explain what Slaughter means by this statement. Do you agree with her?

From Slaughter, The Idea That Is AmericaISBN 9780465078097

(Chapter 4)

1. Please consider these two cases discussed by Slaughter, and answer the questions at the end of each case.

Case #1

Korematsu v. United States (1944)

In World War 2, the United States was at war with not only Germany but also Japan. The U.S. president at that time, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, issued an executive order requiring that all 125,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast area had to enter internment camps, where they had to stay for most of the war. Many of these people were American citizens, either by birth or through naturalization. Also, many of them were children and elderly people. There was not one case of someone accused or convicted of spying before this internment occurred.

The Supreme Court held that Roosevelt’s executive order was constitutional. (6-3)

Question: Did the Supreme Court promote justice?

Case #2 Starting after Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. Government has detained about 600 people at Guantanamo Bay, saying they are terrorists linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Many of them were not given hearings or attorneys. According to many human rights groups, they have been tortured.

Questions: Was this policy just? Does it violate the Geneva Convention?

From Wasserman, The Basics of American Politics 15th edition ISBN 9780133815436

2. What did the Constitution of 1789 do?

3. What was the Articles of Confederation?

4. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

5. Who were some of the framers of the Constitution? How many were slaveholders?

6. Explain the differences between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

7. Do you like the U.S. Constitution that was ratified in 1789? Explain.


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