Discussion 1

Answers must be meaningful and relevant; please do not respond by simply saying “I agree” or “I disagree” without explanation.

George the III Read George the III’s letter. What is his main theme in the letter? What is his determination about the results of the war in terms of commerce? How does the letter differ from what you would expect the monarch of a country that has just lost an important part of its empire to be concerned with? Do you agree with his judgments? Why or Why not?

Reply classmate’s answer 1

The main theme of King George III’s letter seems to be assuring his compatriots in Britain that Britain will remain strong despite what may have initially seemed like a significant blow to Britain’s standing as a great power (economically and otherwise) — the loss of its American colonies. In his letter, King George claims that the colonies in the northern regions of America that Britain had lost control over were not really of much economic importance. Rather, the king discusses the importance of maintaining possession of Britain’s more economically important territories such as those in the West and East Indies. With respect to the king’s goals following the war in regards to commerce, the king discusses the benefits that Britain may enjoy by engaging in trade with their former colony. This is a response that is quite surprising to me. The king seems to be unconcerned with the loss of a significant portion of Britain’s overseas territories — something that I would expect to receive a much more impassioned and negative response. However, perhaps the king was simply trying to convey the sense that such a loss was unimportant for reason’s of his and his nation’s pride. But it would seem to me that Britain ultimately did lose out in a major way given the success that the United States has come to enjoy — a place that was at one time an extension of Britain’s vast global empire.

Discussion 2

Choose one of three

Answers must be meaningful and relevant; please do not respond by simply saying “I agree” or “I disagree” without explanation.

The Bill of Rights After reading the Bill of Rights discuss the specific articles as to which is the most relevant for the times in which it was written and for today? If they are different why are they different? Which of the Articles do you think should be rewritten to fit the exigencies of the present? Which of the Articles could or should have been left out and why? If you could add an Article to the Bill of Rights what would it be?

George Washington’s Farewell Address To the People of the United States Which of Washington’s positions as stated in his Farewell Address do you consider the most important for the country at the time? Then think about today. Which of Washington’s positions still has validity for the country and should be implemented or possibly is implemented but in a way different from the way Washington believed? How should the government or people of the nation change in order to keep faith with Washington’s vision? Use specific quotes from the speech to support your statements.

Marbury v. Madison After reading the Explanation and Background of the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court decision, discuss the issues of the case and how Marshall used his decision to assert a power for the Supreme Court that was not specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. How was Marshall’s decision an ingenious manuever from between a rock and a hard place, so to speak? You may want to research this issue further, but take care of Internet sites that are not trustworthy.

Reply classmate’s answer 2

It would seem to me that the third amendment would be the only one which was of particular relevance at the time it was written but which has not maintained that relevance in the present day. With the third amendment, the forced sheltering of soldiers in the private homes of citizens was prohibited. Given the long stretch of time that has occurred since an actual war on American soil has taken place (a situation which would necessitate housing soldiers at various random locations throughout the country), it would seem that the third amendment is not of particular relevance at the time — not that such protections will not be useful in the future. With that, I would argue that all of the other amendments have maintained their relevance since their creation. For example, protections against cruel and unusual punishment, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and procedures for criminal proceedings all continue to be important elements of today’s society. In my opinion, I would say that the second amendment would be the one which would be in most need of revision or clarification given the manner in which technology has evolved since the writing of the Bill of Rights. At that time, the weaponry that exists in the present day would be simply unimaginable — making it hard for me to imagine that the founding fathers would have not at the very least added elements of clarifying language to the second amendment. If I could add an article, it would likely pertain to privacy rights of individuals as it pertains specifically to technology and the government’s incursion into the privacy of individuals when using said technology.

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