AP US Government Homework

Homework 7

Read Remy, pp. 84-90. Also, read this 2012 piece that argues that it's too hard to amend our Constitution.


If you could add any amendment to the US Constitution, what would it be and why?


Due Tuesday, September 20th



What happened on Election Day?  American's political axis tilted. How long will Trump keep swimming with the Democrats? Don't buy all the PR-style hooey about "dreamers."



Optional Stuff

Amazing Japanese mochi making.

Homework 6



Take a look at these failed amendments and these proposed amendments.


Also, please read James Madison's Federalist 10 and 51


Finally--here's a fantastic site that allows you to explore the ratification of the Constitution in depth.


Did the Founding Fathers make the Constitution too difficult to amend?  What do you think of the amendment process in general?  Did seeing the failed or proposed amendments change your mind? Explain.


Also: for those who are curious to see James Madison's notes of the Philadelphia Convention, they can be found here.


-Due Tuesday, September 19th



What's up DACA?  What will conservatives think about Trump's contortions on the issue? The strange case of Donald Trump and the missing infrastructure. Is Bernie Sanders leading the Democratic party off a cliff?


Optional Reading

Here's an interesting map of the United States with 50 new states--all with more or less equal population.

Homework 5

Read Remy, pp. 63-67.   Also check out this review of Robert Dahl's book "How Democratic Is the American Constitution", written by Hendrick Hertzberg (the editorial editor at the New Yorker magazine). Finally, THE CONSTITUTION. Read it in FULL! Get thee to the interactive Constitution. Even if you do have a physical copy, the site is worth a visit.


Written work: Pick an article from the Interactive Constitution article and creatively disagree with it.



Trump agreed with Democrats to pass DACA protections into law last night... or did he? Hillary Clinton looks back in anger. Maybe changing demographics of the United States don't favor the Democrats after all?


-Due Friday, September 16th


Optional Reading

Proof that my no laptop policy is awesome?

Drilling. It kills your desire to learn... doesn't it?

Why are some languages faster than others?

"No Evidence of Disease"--this is a hell of a story.

Homework 4 

Read Remy, pp. 53-58.  Also read this article about the Constitutional Convention.


Here's a quote from famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, on the Constitution:


There is much declamation about the sacredness of the compact which was formed between the free and slave states, on the adoption of the Constitution. A sacred compact, forsooth! We pronounce it the most bloody and heaven-daring arrangement ever made by men for the continuance and protection of a system of the most atrocious villany ever exhibited on earth. Yes—we recognize the compact, but with feelings of shame and indignation, and it will be held in everlasting infamy by the friends of justice and humanity throughout the world. It was a compact formed at the sacrifice of the bodies and souls of millions of our race, for the sake of achieving a political object—an unblushing and monstrous coalition to do evil that good might come. Such a compact was, in the nature of things and according to the law of God, null and void from the beginning. No body of men ever had the right to guarantee the holding of human beings in bondage. Who or what were the framers of our government, that they should dare confirm and authorise such high-handed villany—such flagrant robbery of the inalienable rights of man—such a glaring violation of all the precepts and injunctions of the gospel—such a savage war upon a sixth part of our whole population?—They were men, like ourselves—as fallible, as sinful, as weak, as ourselves. By the infamous bargain which they made between themselves, they virtually dethroned the Most High God, and trampled beneath their feet their own solemn and heaven-attested Declaration, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights—among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They had no lawful power to bind themselves, or their posterity, for one hour—for one moment—by such an unholy alliance. It was not valid then—it is not valid now. Still they persisted in maintaining it—and still do their successors, the people of Massachusetts, of New-England, and of the twelve free States, persist in maintaining it. A sacred compact! A sacred compact! What, then, is wicked and ignominious?


Do you agree or disagree with the above quote?  If you do agree, were there any alternatives? What do you think?


-Due Thursday, September 14th


OTHER POLITICS NEWS: Trump has stabbed the GOP in the back--will it be worth it? Single-payer health insurance--a bad idea that Democrats love. And why legal efforts to Mideast peace are misguided.

Homework 3

Read Remy, pp. 48-52.  Also read the Articles of Confederation. These also can be found in the back of our textbook (pp. 808-811).  Also, read this article comparing the European Union to the Articles.


1) To what extent were the Articles of Confederation totally unworkable as a blueprint for the new nation?


2) Analyze at least one article in the Articles for HW.  Show why it's a good or bad idea.


OTHER POLITICS NEWS: Long and well-written New Yorker piece about possible nuclear war with with North Korea. Do retiring Republican representatives augur well for a Democratic takeover of the House? And is it time to restrict the President's power to wage nuclear war?



-Due Wednesday, September 13th

Homework 2

Read Remy, pp. 42-7 and the Declaration of Independence found at pp. 770-773.


Also, check out this piece about the impact of the Declaration in early US history


To what extent did the United States live up to the revolutionary ideals of the Declaration of Independence? Should it have?


ALSO: Former George W. Bush advisor writes (originally in the Wall Street Journal) about Obama's "Deplorable DACA Decision," while former Obama Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano explains "Why I'm suing the Trump administration over DACA."


-Due Tuesday, September 12th


Optional Stuff

Two pieces from Vox: (1) 38 Maps that Explain the Global Economy and (2) How to Win a Nuclear Standoff.

Homework 1

Two broad assignments for Monday:


Assignment 1

1) Make sure you have a Dropbox account!


2) Share a folder with me.  The format should be as follows:  If your name were Joe Biden and you were in my 3rd period AP US Gov class, the folder would be entitled: Joe Biden, 3.  My e-mail address for sharing is mpolazzo@gmail.com


3) Upload a headshot (not a whole body picture) of yourself that (a) is not too large and (b) actually looks like you. Place it in the shared folder. Name it joebiden.jpg (substitute your first and last names).  Please note that all headshots should be in JPEG form!


4) All uploaded data is due by the start of the period that I teach you on Monday!


Assignment 2

We are beginning to use the textbook, henceforth known as "Remy."  Read pp. 35-40.  Also, take a look at these excerpts from John Locke's Second Treatise of Government. 


Written work: What do you think of Locke's work?  What are his hypotheses and do you agree with them?  Why?


What format should this work be in?  It should be:

1) In PDF form.  You should be able to use Word or any other word processing software to save as PDF. Also Macs and some other programs allow you to print to PDF.  Also, Google Docs allows you to save as a PDF. PLEASE NOTE THAT HOMEWORK SUBMITTED IN .DOC OR .DOCX FORM IS NOT GRADABLE!

2) Double spaced

3) No longer than two, but no shorter than one page.

4) Titled "HW 1, John Smith" if your name were John Smith

5) Uploaded into our shared Dropbox account by the start of class  tomorrow.


AND: Current events coverage! Why did Trump cave to Schumer and Pelosi? Why North Korea is a black hole for American spies. And is Trump right to want to eliminate the debt ceiling?


-Everything Due Monday, September 11th



Optional Stuff

Here is a short George Orwell essay about good writing: "Politics and the English Language." Let it be your guide.


Here are some fascinating charts.  Curious about where the federal budget goes?  This chart by Death and Taxes is a nice graphical representation here (I know they are trying to sell the poster, but you can still look at all the spending and taxes using the magnifier tool).


Also: want to engage in a bit of military procurement through the Department of Defense?  No problem!  Simply master this organizational chart.


Wait... one last thing!

I'm not usually one to post scholarship stuff, but this one seems pretty good: the Jack Kent Cook foundation pays $40,000 a year and is for seniors with some financial need. Here's a link with more info--though the application process doesn't open until Thursday, September 14th


Please go to this form and enter in your information!


-Due Friday, September 8th