What are the government essays for als?

Updated: 9/20/2023
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Government Functions

Read the first two paragraphs on page 1 of Lesson 1. The first paragraph provides a basic definition of the study of government and paragraph two examines why countries have governments. Use this perspective and your own experiences to describe, what one day in your life would be like without any government. (Currently Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan can be considered to lack a government.) Write your response in 1-2 paragraphs.

One day may not seem as a long time. However, a day without a government would be a disaster. There would be no limit to crime and power. Random people would want and try to take over. There would be abuse all around. A government establishes control, and that would be lost. There would be no balance between people and crime.

The Nation State

Pages 9- 11 in the study describe four theories describing the origin of nation-state. Choose one of the theories, using that perspective; explain in detail how the concepts of territory, population, sovereignty, and government influenced the development of a nation. Write your response in 1-2 paragraphs.

There are many theories describing how nation-state was evolved. They all meet the requirements of population, territory, sovereignty, and government. The evolutionary theory declares it began with family. Before, a family member acted as a leader. All of the other members followed the leader's decisions and submitted to them. Later groups of families became tribes. Tribes settled to one place instead of following its food for hunting. That created a nation-state.

Systems of Government 1

Introduced on page two through page six is a description of three categories of government systems. Describe in your own words the differences between a democracy and an autocracy. Write your response in 2-3 paragraphs.

An autocracy is a form of government that is under the rule of one person. An autocracy can come to power in three different ways, inheritance, religious leadership, and military power. When the ruler comes to power by an inheritance, the government is a monarchy. There are also absolute monarchies; when the ruler has complete power. A constitutional monarchy shares governing powers. A dictatorship is also an example of autocracy.

In a democracy government, the people rule. Direct democracy requires citizens to vote directly on issues. It is used on very small societies. In the larger societies, such as the U.S. representative democracy is used. Representative democracy is when the people elect a representative to take a seat in their government. These representatives are given power and ability to conduct government for the people.

Origins of Government 1

Many times people do not understand the value of learning about history and other cultures. As you read through this lesson, beginning on page 3, what had Americans learned from past civilizations? First remember the purpose of a democracy, and then describe two influences that Hammurabi and the Greeks had on the development of democracy. Write your response in 2 paragraphs.

The Hammurabi had much influence on the development of the American Government. Hammurabi believed in the famous principle of "an eye for an eye." His laws were created and punishments were set. Even though this code was hard; it was the first time the punishment was known before a law was broken.

The Greeks developed direct democracy. In the direct democracy, every man represented himself in the government. There were many ideas that came from Athens that later influenced the creation of the American government. Athens also developed ideas including the autocracy, oligarchy and democracy.

Origins of Government 2

Many well-educated men influenced the development of the American Constitution, based on their own experiences and what they had learned about other civilizations. Beginning on page seven through ten is a description of the influence of Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu on the early colonization of the Americas. Describe two ways that each man influenced American Democracy. Write your response in 2-3 paragraphs.

John Locke was an English man who had great influence on the colonies. He created the elements that the colonies would use as a national government. The influenced the concept of a written constitution, an elected legislature, and a separated executive and legislative. He believed men were "good". Men were born free before government. He also believed that all men had the rights of life, freedom, and property.

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a French political philosopher. He believed that the government gets its power from the governed. Baron Montesquieu's writing also influenced the American government. He believed that if the branches of the government had equal power, the political liberty could be best preserve. This theory of separate powers became an important element in the U.S. Constitution.

Origins of Government 4

The Articles of Confederation were drafted to unite the thirteen original colonies, a limited federal or central government created many problems. What were the specific weaknesses of The Articles of Confederation? How did the founding fathers fix these weaknesses? Why was it important that corrections be made? Write your response in 2-3 paragraphs.

The main problems in the Articles of Confederation were because the states wanted to keep as much power as possible. Not having an executive branch or president would worsen the situation. It would be hard to solve conflicts between other countries because there wouldn't be a court system. It didn't include a power to tax. Votes were limited to one per state, and a unanimous vote was required.

The founding fathers fixed these weaknesses by hosting meetings. In those meetings they had federalists. The diverse thoughts gave in more ideas. Even though the establishment of the government was based on England's government, it is fully American. The government became a federal government and balanced out the conflicts. This all lead to the constitution.

Origins of Government 5

In 1787 a Constitutional Convention was held in May under the leadership of George Washington. The group was intent on writing a new constitution, came away with a new plan for government organization based on the Great Compromise. On page seven and eight are the concerns of the southern states and why they opposed the Constitution; in 1 paragraph explain their concerns and the resolutions. Define the role of "representation" in a Democratic Republic, and how these issues were resolved.

The concern of the south states influenced majority vote. If slaves didn't count; their population would be lower than the northern states. Regarding majority vote on trade, they did not want the north to define trade and interfere with slave trade. This conflict was resolved. The three fifths compromise put this conflict aside. It stated that slaves would count 3/5 of a person towards the states' population.

Applied Government

Page two provides a definition of government; beginning with page seven through ten are diagrams that represent three forms of government. In 2-3 paragraphs describe the differences between federal, parliamentary, and confederate forms of government.

In a federal government, the people give the government the power to govern. It is divided into a central government and states governments. Both governments are to provide service for the people.

In a confederate government, it is divided by the central government and the state governments. The central government doesn't have power over the state governments. The states aren't controlled by the central government. The central government has only the authority given to it by the member states.

In a parliamentary, the people elect. The people in an election select the members of the legislature. Therefore, judges are appointed. The chief executive may be removed by the legislature.

The Ratification Process

Beginning on page two are two ways available to amend the Constitution. You will most likely need to read the entire lesson to truly understand why, how and what happens when the constitution is amended. In at least 2 paragraphs, describe the two methods used to amend the Constitution.

The first way to amend the constitution is by the Formal Amendment process. It has been amended twenty-seven times. All have been formally. It was first amended in 1789. Out of the four possible ways to amend the constitution, only two have been used.

The Informal Amendment is another way to amend the Constitution. This process is usually through the judicial interpretation of the certain law. If a law already in the constitution isn't clearly stated, it will be add to it. The changes in the Informal Amendment aren't as severe as the ones in the Formal Amendment process.

Bill of Rights Debate

On page 3 of this lesson are two opposing viewpoints with regard to the debate over the Bill of Rights. Choose a viewpoint and explain in a paragraph.

Federalist did not want to ratify the constitution. They believed that the new constitution was safe enough for the people. They thought that it didn't need change. Federalists believed that the constitution was going to protect the people without having to amend their opinion, they needed to give it a chance before any changes were made. They also believed that it didn't endanger the rights of the people.

Amendments 1

On pages seven through nine is a discussion of the personal rights contained in Amendment 1. In the next lesson they are discussed further on page one. Think about what you have learned about the way people were treated in Britain and why the colonists wanted these included in the constitution. In 2-3 paragraphs describe each right and explain why these would be considered "personal".

Freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion was one of the most important rights. Freedom of religion was the main reason to leave Britain. It was necessary to have these right because they would guarantee the freedom of believes. The right to maintain arms and a military would guarantee safety and the ability to defend the new nation.

No lodging troops would also guarantee safety, but in peace time. It would also prevent many problems some drastic such as a new war. No search without warrant guarantees the people privacy. Having rights in criminal trials creates a system that is equal. Powers reserved to the state prevents the government from having too much power over the people.

Amendments 3

Amendments XIII, XIV and XV from the 1800's address slavery. Beginning on page seven and reading through page fifteen determine what three changes occurred as a result of these. Describe these amendments and the changes using your own words in 2-3 paragraphs.

Amendment XV extended the right to vote for all men. It stated that no matter the race or color, every man had the right to vote. Even if it was a law, many southern states did not follow it. Some southern states placed literacy tests or poll tax when voting. This was made to prevent black men from voting.

Amendment XIII stated that slavery was not acceptable in ANY state. Slavery was only acceptable as a punishment for a crime. This was a dramatic change because all of the southern states supported slavery.

Amendment XIV defined citizenship. It sated that any person born in the nation is a natural born citizen. It was the first time ever that citizen was defined in the constitution. It also extended the citizenship to former slaves that were now free.

Amendments 4

As you read through this lesson notice that the actual amendment is written in blue. The black text explains the meaning or purpose of the amendment. Identify the amendments that were concerned with voting rights, and then explain the problems they attempted to correct? Write your responses in at least 2 paragraphs.

One of the amendments that were concerned with voting rights was Amendment XXIV. There was also XIX. Another amendment to mention voting is Amendment XXVI. Voting is very important part of the United States. Voting creates a democracy.

These amendments tried to solve the many problems dealing with voting. Some of those problems were related to the most important; who could vote. After amendments were passes, women and black men could also vote. Another main problem that was fixed by the amendments was the voting age. It moved from being twenty-one years old to eighteen.

The Legislative Branch

The Preamble on page 1 of this lesson was a list of goals the founding fathers wanted to accomplish in the constitution. To make sure these six goals were met they approved the Articles listed on page 2. Whew! Didn't realize that all of this government stuff was so complicated?! Beginning on page three is a list of Legislative Powers given to Congress. Within the lesson are flowcharts, descriptions and explanations of specific powers given and powers denied. In 1-2 paragraphs explain how these powers are limited to a national scale, and give specific examples.

In the United States, the National Government has the most powers. All of the powers that aren't given to the national government are given to the state government. The people form each states choose representatives to represent them in the national government. These representatives make the decisions on the behalf of the people. Even after the many powers that both the states and the national government have, there are some shared powers. The division of powers between states and national government keeps our nation in balance.

Origin of the Presidency

As you read through this lesson try to rememberwhy it was such a big deal to decide rules for the Executive Position of the Federal Government. Americans did not want another anarchy system but wanted that position to value the goals and guidelines determined by the constitution. If you would have been there at this time, choose a quality you think was most important for the first President of the United States, why did you choose that quality? Then choose a president you believe has demonstrated this quality and describe this person. Write your response in 2-3 paragraphs.

There are many qualities needed to be president, especially the first president. The most important would be leadership. Without the leader ship of all the presidents, this country wouldn't be what it is today. When it was a new country, it was harder because the people of the government didn't have much experience and it wasn't always how they imagined it would be. Their fear was for their new country to be like England because there were many reasons to why they left it. They needed someone who was willing to start over and stand up for the people.

In my opinion, the president that showed even more leadership was President Lincoln. He had much to deal with. He had to deal with a war in his nation. He had to lead and set the example for the people. He stood up when he believed something was wrong. He made a difference in slavery. He tried to change what he did not like. He created the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all slaves within his territory.

Presidential Powers

The office of the President is described in this lesson, the president plays roles in all the branches of the government; judicial (courts, judges), legislative (congress) and executive as listed on page four. In 2-3 paragraphs try to divide and explain the Presidential judicial, legislative, and executive powers.

The president has many powers. Besides the executive branch, some of the president powers are in the judicial and legislative branch. In the judicial sense, he has to appoint federal judges that will serve the Supreme Court. The president is also in charge of the bills. If he agrees with them, he sings and the bill proceeds; if he doesn't agree the bills get sent back to the congress.

He is also in charge in making sure everyone from the government is following the laws. He has to take the Oath of Office, which is what swears him into the government. By this, he swears that he will not be above the laws. That he will be following the rules as the citizens do.

Presidential Cabinet 2 & 3

Remember in earlier lessons that the Preamble is a list of goals the founding fathers wanted to achieve through the Constitution. Below is a chart that lists 6 of these goals. Each cabinet department is described in these lessons.

Read the objective in column one and list the cabinet department(s) that match(es) it in column two. More than one department may be assigned to one preamble objective, or no cabinet department may match. Be sure to justify of your choices below!

Preamble Objective

Cabinet Department

"form a more perfect union"



Attorney General


"establish justice"

Attorney General

"insure domestic tranquility"

Homeland Security


Attorney General


"provide for the common defense"


Attorney General

Homeland Security

"promote the general welfare"

Health & Human Services

Housing & Urban Development





Veteran Affairs

"secure the blessing of liberty"



Attorney General

Homeland Security





1. Judicial Branch

This lesson discusses how issues were handled in Britain in the past and the system that Colonial America used in the beginning. Beginning on page 15 is the Judiciary Act that attempts to resolve the issue of power between state and the federal government. After you have read the lesson explain in your own words, in 1-2 paragraphs, the historical background behind the modern Federal Court System in the U.S

The modern federal court system used in the United States has a history and has evolved. It is based on England's government around the time of establishment. For the federal government, many things were changed. It became the government that was ideal because everything that the people opposed in the English government had been corrected in the federal government. The best example is that freedom of religion was changed for the best of the people.

The Supreme Court

If you have ever heard of having your "Miranda Rights" read or have been in court and an attorney says, "based on the court decision of Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka" or even watched shows like Law and Order where they refer to how other cases have been decided; then you will notice this lesson discusses how that came about.

The federal judiciary focused on the Preamble to the Constitution, remember these are the goals determined by the founding fathers. The Supreme Court was established on September 24, 1789, The Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 focused on the second goal of establishing justice for American citizens.

Beginning on page 9 is the significance and description of "Marbury" vs. "Madison". First you will need to determine what this decision meant for American Citizens, and then beginning with page 10 is a list of nine cases based on the "Marbury" case. Choose at least 4 examples and in 2-3 paragraphs explain how the Supreme Court has reinforced "Marbury" since its occurrence in 1803.

Marbury vs. Madison is a case which was established for the Supreme Court. This case, allows the Supreme Court to review laws and see if they are in agreement with the constitution. This is also known as "judicial review" and is one of the most important cases. There are several examples leading to Marbury vs. Madison.

Some cases reinforced Marbury such as the McCulloch v. Maryland. In this case, the results were that Maryland law was found unconstitutional. The Feiner v. New York stated that there was freedom of speech but had limited scope. The Engel v. Vitale was found that prayer in school was against the first amendment of the constitution. The Gideon v. Wainwright case was the agreement that even the poor deserve defense, as stated in the constitution.

Fiscal and Monetary Power

Although, Taxes were the result of the Boston Tea Party, the colonists knew taxes had to be collected to keep government running. This lesson begins to examine thirteen different taxes based on three basic categories of taxes, these are on page 5. Name the 3 basic types of taxes and explain their purposes in 1-2 paragraphs.

The three basic types of taxes are proportional, progressive and regressive. In Progressive taxes, the rate of payment increase as the base increases. Some examples of progressive taxes are inheritance tax and excise taxes on luxuries. A proportional tax is when a tax rate doesn't change. It charges the same amount regardless of the factors; such as, gasoline and sales tax. A regressive tax is a tax that charges less as income decreases. State tax and some sales tax can be regressive.

Political Parties

You may have decided whether your political views are more democratic or republican. Maybe you are tired of the party lines and have decided to be independent.

As you have noticed in the lessons there have been basically two groups with opposing views throughout this entire process of deciding on the constitution and the government system. Once again this lesson revisits the Preamble, on page 5 begins to explain the purpose of political parties. In 2-3 paragraphs describe the functions of political parties and explain why they are necessary for our government system to work.

The main purpose of political parties is to join people. These hold similar points of view about the government, together. These groups work to participate in and influence the government by having its members elected for a government position. Parties recruit and nominate candidates on all levels of government. These also run campaigns and provide sources.

The parties are an important communication element within the government and the people. Parties are a way to organize the voters and to determine who is eligible for an election. It would be hard to inform the people and some information would be misunderstood. Government would be completely different without the help of political parties.

Political Campaigns

Think about a person (from the past or present) you believe would make (have made) an excellent president, list the presidential qualities that you noticed in this person within 1-2 paragraphs.

I believe that Hillary Clinton would make an ideal president. She is a former first lady and she knows how to balance the nation. She has the experience of working in the presidential environment. She is outgoing and confident of herself. Her decisions seemed to be the best and she would fight until the end.

State Government 1

The first state constitution was the Mayflower Compact, Article 4 and Amendment X provide for State's Rights. The lesson reviews types of governments and systems', beginning on page 11 is a description of rights the states have when it comes to its citizens. What services provided by government are basically reserved to the states? Write your response in 1-2 paragraphs.

There are many State Rights, and power involved between the states and the government. The Federal Government gives the states the right to control individual trade. The states have to make sure that meanwhile a product is within the state, the product is safe for the citizens. The state also has to make sure that nothing illegal is happening. States can also set up elections for the House of Representatives. They also have the power to provide health, morals, and safety for the citizens. There are also rights to establish local governments, vote on or change the constitution, tax, and establish a militia.

State Governments 2

This lesson reviews the levels of government, if you haven't answered the question for State Government 1, state services are identified within this lesson. Beginning on page eleven the office of the governor is described; on page 13 the executive duties are listed. In 2-3 paragraphs describe the duties of a state Governor and compare it to the role of the President of the United States.

The governor is the public and private state symbol at ceremonies and functions. The governor's job is to enforce the state laws. Governor also has to deliver a budget at the beginning of the year. There are state agencies that are also responsible for carrying out and enforcing the law. The head of the agencies is decided by the governor, and then approved by the senate.

State governor is a position that is very much like the presidents. A governor has the same responsibilities, except it is a smaller region. The president has a bigger region, a whole nation to be aware of. A president is a symbol for that country as a state governor is a symbol for that state.

State Government 3

This final lesson reviews the Preamble of the Constitution, the role of the state government, departments and services the state generally provides. Petition, referendum, and recall are discussed beginning on page eleven. Write a 1-2 paragraphs response discussing which one you believe is the best way for citizens to have their voices heard.

Petition, Referendum, and recall are ways the people can have their voices heard. Referendum allows the citizens to vote on laws passes by the state legislature and governor.

Petitions allow the people to pass laws by collection of signatures. Recall allows the citizens to remove elected officials by voting. Petition is the most accurate way for citizens to get their voice heard.

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Q: What are the government essays for als?
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