American Political Culture and Government Questions

Instructions: Write a response (at least 4-5 paragraphs) to the question below. Your response must be double spaced, 12 font and have 1 inch margins.

Question #1: Reflect upon the topics we have covered this semester. Based on what you know about institutions (constitution, federalism, legislature, executive, and judiciary) and processes (public opinion, media, interest groups, political parties, campaigns, and elections), assess in what ways the U.S. political system is democratic and in what ways it is less than fully democratic? Consider the democratic values of popular sovereignty, political equality and political liberty in your assessment. What might/should be done to make the system more democratic?

Question #2: American Government has three branches. Many note that the legislative branch (Congress) was given the most powers in the U.S Constitution and was designed to be closest to the people. In addition, the Executive branch, headed by the President, has increased its power during the last century; many argue beyond what the founding fathers anticipated. Finally, the judiciary branch created its own power in Marbury v. Madison. Alexander Hamilton called the Supreme Court “the least dangerous branch” and the courts consistently score as the most popular or trusted part of government.

Reflect on the powers given to each of the branches and how they have used or use power(s) today. Be certain to give examples for each branch.

Which of the branches do you believe to be the most powerful or influential? Which branch do you believe should be the most powerful? Explain your answers.

Question #3: Explain and evaluate the ways an individual can effectively participate in politics at the national, state and local level. Be certain to provide examples for each level of government. Are there differences possible for the different levels of government? Where would you be most interested or motivated to participate? Why?

Question #4: The U.S. Constitution has 27 Amendments. The first ten amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791 to address issues noted by the Anti-federalists. Later amendments were added to address concerns that arose in subsequent years.

Please select

a) one of the Bill of Rights Amendments


b) one of Amendments 11-27 that you find to be the most essential.

If the amendment has multiple parts, be specific about the part that you find most important. Be thorough in your explanation and support for your selection. Please use examples in your essay to support your points.