What is the purpose behind having a Constitution?

Describe our political system under the Articles of Confederation. What were the inherent problems with the Articles? What factors generated the need to replace this system of government?  What were the essential differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution that we adopted?

What were the differences between the Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, and Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)?

What are the basic principles embodied in the Constitution?

How can each Branch check the power of the other two Branches?  Can you provide some examples?

Explain how Madison dealt with the concept of factions.  Why were factions a problem? What was Madison’s Constitutional solution?

Explain the Anti-Federalist versus Federalist argument regarding the size and scope of government – explain how each camp deals with the issue of preserving liberty; i.e., how did their respective solutions differ?

What are the differences between delegated (enumerated) powers, reserved powers and implied powers?  Where in the Constitution are these powers found?  What are some specific examples of delegated powers?

Explain why McCulloch vs Maryland and Marbury vs Madison were important cases.  What was the significance of each?

In way ways does the Constitution embody the philosophy of John Locke?

Explain the “Necessary and Proper” Clause that is found in the Constitution.  Why is it important?

Explain the following terms: writ of habeas corpus, bill of attainder, and ex post facto law

What is the purpose of the Missouri Constitution? How many constitutions have we had? What are the distinguishing characteristics of each?

In what ways is the Missouri Constitution both similar and different from the U.S. Constitution?

Other important terms:  “privileges and immunities” clause; the “full faith and credit” clause; the “supremacy” clause

An argument can be made that our original Constitution was not particularly democratic in nature.  Can you provide some examples?

How do we amend the Constitution?

What is a confederal system of government?  How does this compare to a federal and unitary system?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of our Federal system?

How did the concept of “states’ rights” and the doctrine of nullification fit into the debate about federalism?

What are the differences between dual-federalism, nation-centered federalism, and cooperative federalism?  When, in our Country’s history, did cooperative federalism begin?

What is fiscal federalism? Explain the differences between block grants, categorical grants, and general revenue sharing.

What are unfunded mandates?

Explain the difference between the “marble-cake” versus “layer-cake” views of federalism.


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