Would you like the power of the national government concentrated in one branch, such as in a parliamentary system, or diffused through two or more branches?Why?


POSC 121 short essay

Constitution Short Essay Assignment

There are multiple parts to this assignment; for full credit, please respond to them all. Keep in mind that this is a graded assignment and I am primarily looking for inclusion of assigned course material. Have fun!

1. Federalist Papers: Expand your understanding of Federalist Paper 10, Federalist Paper 51, and Anti-Federalist Paper #1 by examining the arguments made in each of these documents and their role in contemporary government and politics. Do the limits on power enshrined in our Constitution and articulated in these Federalist Papers continue to work today? For Federalist Paper 10, Federalist Paper 51, and anti-Federalist Paper #1:

a. Explain the central argument made and why it was important in the context of then-proposed Constitution.

b. Apply the argument made to an example of contemporary politics. Do the arguments made in these Federalist Papers still apply today? Explain why or why not.

c. What would the Federalists have thought about the current conflict between the President and Congress over the funding of a border wall? Did the Federalists intend that the President should be able to get whatever he wants by holding government funding hostage?

2. The U.S. Constitution: If you were writing a Constitution for the United States today, what would be some of the major ideas you would like that Constitution to reflect?What is important is not which option you choose, but whyyou chose that option. Again, keep in mind that I am primarily interested in the integration of assigned course materials. You may also refer to contemporary media sources should you wish to do so.

a. Would you like the government set up by the Constitution to allow for majority rule on all issues, or would you rather allow minorities power to slow or even stop majority rule? Why?

b. Would you like a system that works rather rapidly to make and implement decisions, or would you like a system that works fairly slowly? Why?

c. Would you like a central government with great powers, state governments with great powers, or something in‑between? Why?

d. Would you like the power of the national government concentrated in one branch, such as in a parliamentary system, or diffused through two or more branches?Why?

e. How is the Constitution you have created similar or different from the U.S. Constitution? Have you always chosen the most democratic options (remember, the Founders of the U.S. Constitution often did not)? If not, what other values enter into the decision to choose the least democratic option? Were these the values that affected the decisions of the Founders of the U.S. Constitution?

Source Material:

American Government Examined e-reader Chapter 2:

  • Aichinger, “The Relevance of the Federalist Papers”
  • Federalist #10
  • Federalist #51
  • Anti-Federalist #1

Tips for Success:

  • I will be looking for direct references to assigned readings (author and page # or chapter and section citations are adequate). Again, this is an assignment in which I am looking for your ability to display your knowledge of course materials.
  • I recommend composing your content in an offline text editor and then copying and pasting in post. That way you will have an offline copy of all of your hard work.


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