THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM by we9mj6AB

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									                                   THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM

STEP ONE

* What do you think the political terms Liberal and Conservative, and Democrat and Republican
mean? What does it mean to be an independent? List some of the hot-button issues on which
Republicans and Democrats differ.
  * What are the characteristics of a person who has been labeled a conservative or a liberal?
How do these two political positions differ in respect to social issues such as race relations,
abortion, the environment, or education? How are they different on fiscal policies such as taxation
and government spending?

Day One Activity Reading

     A. Radical: Seen as being on the far left of the political spectrum, radicals call for wide-
sweeping rapid change in the basic structure of the political, social, or economic system. They
may be willing to resort to extreme methods to bring about change, including the use of violence
and revolution.

      B. Liberal: Liberals believe that the government should be actively involved in the promotion
of social welfare of a nation’s citizens. Liberals usually call for peaceful, gradual change within the
existing political system. They reject violent revolution as a way of changing the way things are,
often called the status quo.

     C. Moderate: Moderates may share viewpoints with both liberals and conservatives. They
are seen as tolerant of other people’s views, and they do not hold extreme views of their own.
They advocate a “go-slow” or “wait-and-see” approach to social or political change.

      D. Conservative: People who hold conservative ideals favor keeping things the way they are
or maintaining the status quo if it is what they desire. Conservatives are usually hesitant or
cautious about adopting new policies, especially if they involve government activism in some way.
They feel that the less government there is, the better. They agree with Jefferson’s view that “the
best government governs least.”

     E. Reactionary: Sitting on the far right of the ideological spectrum, reactionaries want to go
back to the way things were—the “good ol’ days.” Often reactionaries are willing to use extreme
methods, such as repressive use of government power, to achieve their goals.

  2. Political parties are loosely formed around these broad political ideologies. Of the two major
political parties, for example, Republicans are generally seen as conservative because they
advocate a reduction in government. Democrats are generally seen as liberal because they
support government regulation of the economy. Within parties, there are people who hold a
variety of opinions on social and economic issues that fall along the spectrum of political
ideologies, such as moderate Democrats, liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans, and
moderate Republicans.

  3. These labels have had different meanings, depending on when and where they were used. In
Britain, during the 19th century, the term liberal referred to people who opposed government
interference in the economy. This definition now refers to conservatives.

  4.The term right refers to people who hold traditional values. Left is used to describe people
who support change in society. These terms originated from the French National Assembly during
the French Revolution. All those who supported the monarchy went to the right of the speaker,
while those who supported the revolutionaries moved to the left.
 5. The terms republican and democrat have different meanings when written lowercase. A
person who supports a republican form of government wants elected leaders rather than a
monarch. And a democrat supports a democratic form of government, or a government where the
people rule through elected representatives. The Republican and Democratic political parties
have evolved over the years. The early political party of Thomas Jefferson was called the
Democratic-Republicans, and they were the liberals of their day. That party developed into the
Democratic Party of Andrew Jackson, which championed the rights of the common person. The
Republican Party was formed to fight the spread of slavery during the 1850s, and their views
were seen as quite liberal, if not radical, during the time of Abraham Lincoln. The modern
Republican Party, with its conservative reverence for big business, emerged during the economic
boom of the 1920s under the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin
Coolidge.

 6. There are two key factors in determining a person’s political ideology:

      * How much change in government the person is willing to allow, and how quickly he or she
believes that change should take place.
      * How much government involvement in the lives of citizens should take place, especially in
the area of the economy.




Political Spectrum - Day One Questions

- Read through the “Political Spectrum - Step One Reading” and answer the following
questions.
1. How did the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ first begin to be used?

2. Which ideology given on the web page advocates a ‘go slow’ approach?

3. Which ideology favors keeping things the way they are or maintaining the status quo?

4. Which ideology calls for rapid sweeping change and may resort to violence to achieve that
change?

5. Which ideology most closely might agree with Thomas Jefferson who said, “The best
government governs least”?

6. Which ideology believes that the government should concentrate its efforts increasing the
nation’s social welfare programs?

7. Which ideology might be willing to use extreme methods to go back to the ‘good old days’?

8. Was Abraham Lincoln a Republican or a Democrat?

9. Was Lincoln a liberal or conservative?

10. Would Lincoln more closely fit with the Republicans or the Democrats today?

11. Which of today’s major parties tends to be more liberal?

12. What are the two key factors in determining a person’s political ideology?
STEP 2

Label "Step TWO" on your assignment. In this step, you will be taking a series of self-quizzes on
the Internet to help determine where you might land on the political spectrum.
Record your score to each quiz (it is different with each quiz) and your reaction to that score (is
the score what you thought it would be?).

Quiz 1 site: http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/political-spectrum-quiz.html

Quiz 2 site: http://selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=no

Quiz 3 site: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

Quiz 4 site - no longer works, skip quiz 4

Quiz 5 site: http://typology.people-press.org/typology/ Click on the big '?' to take the quiz.




STEP 3 - Economic Issues

Here is what I would like you to do with the information at the next site.

- You will find a set of issues that are listed under the LEFT and the RIGHT.

- Choose a MINIMUM four issues from each side – the right and the left.

- Click on the issues and read the general outline of that sides view on the issue.

- Write a MINIMUM one sentence for each issue describing whether you agree or disagree with
the view and why. Title your document with your responses - “Political Spectrum Step 3”

- That is a MINIMUM of 8 sentences. One sentence each on four issues from the left (4
sentences) and one sentence each on four issues from the right (4 sentences).

Next, on the website from step 3 at the bottom it says "to go to step three, answer this question:
so far, do you lean to the Left or Right? Click on the 'left' or 'right' link to go to Step 4.

http://www.district94.dupage.k12.il.us/social_studies/political_spectrum/spectrummenu.htm


STEP 4 - Social Issues

Step 4 is similar to step 3. Again, there is a list of social issue links.
Here is what I would like you to do with the information at the next site.

- You will find a set of issues that are listed under the LEFT and the RIGHT.

- Choose a MINIMUM of four issues from each side – the right and the left.

- Click on the issues and read the general outline of that sides view on the issue.

- Write a MINIMUM one sentence for each issue describing whether you agree or disagree with
the view and why. Title your document with your responses - “Political Spectrum Step 4”
- That is a MINIMUM of 8 sentences. One sentence each on four issues from the left (4
sentences) and one sentence each on four issues from the right (4 sentences).

Here is the site:
http://www.district94.dupage.k12.il.us/social_studies/political_spectrum/lithmus.htm#anchor45856


STEP - 5

Label your next page Step 5: Party Platforms.

Below are links to the 2008 Republican and Democratic Parties Platforms. Go to each platform
and choose an issue that is interesting to you and read how the party stands on that issue.
Select a similar issue from the Republican and Democratic Parties Platforms and write a one-
paragraph response to the following questions for each party platform (2 paragraphs total).
        -What did you agree with?
        -What did you disagree with?
        -Did anything surprise you?

http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/

http://www.democrats.org/issues     Click the "What We Stand For" tab



STEP - 6

Label your next page Step 6: 'Primary Document Analysis'.

Some thing change and some things stay the same. Study the red headings of the document at
the link below. Then answer the 3 questions written on the website under step 5.

http://www.district94.dupage.k12.il.us/social_studies/political_spectrum/documents.htm



STEP - 7

POLITICAL SPECTRUM - Step 7
(Line, Essay, and Grading rubric)

Spectrum Line - Go back to the beginning page of your Political Spectrum assignment. Add to
your political spectrum line the name of a politician or leader who is an example of each place
on the political spectrum.

Next, add to the political spectrum line a 'star' where you think you fall on the spectrum now that
you have completed most of the assignment.

Essay - Write a brief essay (3 paragraph minimum) in which you incorporate (include) all of the
information you gathered in the previous steps to describe where you think you are on the
political spectrum.

Essay Structure– Remember your essay must have the following:

* Introduction - that explains your place on the spectrum
* Body - you must use at least three reasons/issues for why you place yourself where you did.
You must use issues and explain your opinion on those issues to justify your placement on the
spectrum.

  UNDERLINE EACH OF THE REASONS/ISSUES that you use to explain the placement of your
'star'

* Conclusion that briefly and clearly restates your placement and
 reasoning


Political Spectrum Grading Rubric 10-11

_____ (4) Step 1 - reading, 12 questions.


_____ (8) Step 2 - 4 Quizzes (Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5), recorded response and reaction to each quiz


_____ (8) Step 3 - 4 topics from each side, 1-2 sentences each (at least 8 sentences)


_____ (8) Step 4 - 4 topics from each side, 1-2 sentences each (at least 8 sentences)


_____ (4) Step 5 - Look through 2000 Dem. and Repub. Platforms, write 1 paragraph about
each (agree/disagree...)


_____ (3) Step 6 - Answer 3 Questions from Primary Document


_____ (10) Step 7 - Write a 3 paragraph (min.) essay on why you placed yourself where you did
(star) on the political spectrum. Also, completed spectrum line with places and names.

______/45

								
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