AP US Government Homework

Homework 7

Please read Section 2.4 "The Ratification of the Constitution" Also, 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 a (scholarly) article from the Interactive Constitution article and creatively disagree with it.


Other Politics News:

The media has officially lost its damn mind.

How the Kavanaugh confirmation process silenced women.

America is a foreign policy control freak.




Proof that my no laptop policy is awesome?

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



-Due Wednesday, September 18th

Homework 6

Please read Section 2.3 "The Development of the Constitution."  Also read this article about the Constitutional Convention, which gives a bit more of a behind-the-scenes look.


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?


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



Other Politics News:

The emoluments clause is meaningless.

Joe Biden is problematic.

Why treating Uber and Lyft drivers in California as company employees is not going to work.




Moore's Law graphed vs real CPUs & GPUs 1965 - 2019--surprisingly fascinating.



-Due Tuesday, September 17th

Homework 5

Please read section 2.2 "The Articles of Confederation." Also, please read the Articles of Confederation in its entirety, found here.


Written work:

1) To what extent were the Articles of Confederation feasible blueprints for the new nation?


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


Other Politics News:

Debate verdicts!  Who won?  Warren! Biden! Trump!

No matter what, a Warren v. Sanders fight to the death is looming.

The meritocracy is ripping America apart.





Can you make bread out of weeds growing on the side of the road?

How Japan's bullet trains changed travel.



-Due Monday, September 16th

Homework 4

Please read section 2.1 "The Pre-Revolutionary Period." Also, please read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, found here.


Written work: To what extent has the United States lived up to the revolutionary ideals of the Declaration of Independence? Explain.


Other Politics News:

Biden is leading because electability is a thing.

The Biden-Warren confrontation we've been waiting for.

Zak Cheney-Rice's response to Ross Douthat's piece on white nationalism here.




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

And... why are window ACs stuck in the past?



-Due Friday, September 13th

Homework 3

Please read section 1.3, "Engagement in a Democracy." Also, check out this backgrounder on Robert Putnam as well as this piece he wrote for the New York Times a couple of years ago.   For an opposing POV, check out this piece from Pacific Standard as well as this one.


Written work: Have you ever gotten involved in trying to change society?  If yes, how and why?  If no, why not?  Also, what degree of confidence do you have in your own ability to cause change in the world?


Other Politics News:

How John Bolton got himself fired.

I was a Chinese nationalist.  The Hong Kong protests changed my mind.

San Francisco's assault on the NRA is dangerous to our democracy.




Would terraforming Mars be a bad idea?

Bonkers animation from last year showing how devastating a storm surge during a hurricane can be.




-Due Thursday, September 12th

Homework 2

Please read section 1.2, "Who Governs?"  Also, check out this very interesting interview with Robert Dahl.  You can watch the video, or just read the transcript below it.


Written work: Which perspective do you think does a better job of describing the United States: pluralism or elite theory?  Why? Explain


Other Politics News:

Dear Bernie: here's how you can still win--before your chances slip away.

Four things that are not white nationalism.

The hate-crime spike in New York City has nothing to do with white supremacy.




Myers-Briggs--the bogus personality test that conned the world.



-Due Wednesday, September 11th

Homework 1

We are beginning to use the OpenStax textbook.  It can be found here.  Please note that OpenStax also has iOS and Android apps if you prefer to read the text on your phone or tablet.  For class, please read section 1.1, "What is Government?"  Also, please read these excerpts from John Locke's Second Treatise of Government.  Finally read this short George Orwell essay about good writing: "Politics and the English Language." Let it be your guide.



Written work: What are Locke's hypotheses, and to what extent do you agree with them?


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 Monday.


Other Politics News:

Dismissing Donald Trump as a crumbling, unfit fool will get us four more years--don't buy it!

CNN's climate change town hall was insane.

The enduring mystery of Tulsi Gabbard.



Mike Diva is getting a lot of attention for directing Lil Nas X's new video, but who can forget the amazing "Japanese Donald Trump commercial" that he made back in 2016?



-Due Monday, September 9th


Please go to this form and enter in your information! Also, check out this interesting video about the tiny subway that runs under the U.S. Capitol.




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 9th period AP US Gov class, the folder would be entitled: Joe Biden, 9.  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!




-Due Friday, September 6th