Democratization Project Presentation is a 30 point Project Write-up will be added to Portfolio for grading Directions: As a group, research the history of your country, focusing on the key events and people that explain the country’s relative level of democratization. The group needs to develop a central, overarching argument that explains the country’s development in these areas. The group will present their analysis to the class (PowerPoint). Grading will be on the cohesion of the synthesis, the accuracy and depth of the research, and the professionalism of the presentation. Individually: Identify 2 major events (i.e. the American Revolution not the Boston Tea Party) related to this history and briefly describe how the event fits into the argument (obviously, each member of the group needs a different event). For each event find a representative primary source related to the event (a speech, law, painting, song, poem) and discuss how the source shows how the event fits into the argument. Example: Argument for the United States: While the elite have often attempted to maintain control over the people by extending a faux democracy, the people of the United States have been effective in acquiring greater power within the system, often by threatening to destabilize the system. Events for US: 1) Constitution, 2) Jacksonian Democracy, 3) 14th Amendment, 4) Jim Crow Laws, 5) 19th Amendment, 6) 1965 Voting Rights Act Paragraph on US Constitution using Federalist 10 as primary source: While the American Revolution did create a profoundly more democratic society than existed in Britain, in many ways the intention of the Revolution's leaders was to limit the acquisition of power of the common people in the new government. The Constitution is thus simultaneously a document that proclaims the supremacy and sovereignty of the people, a revolutionary act, while also the product of a series of compromises intended to limit the ability of the people to exercise that sovereignty. James Madison is clear in Federalist 10 that the basis of the new government is republican, a representative government, intended to restrict the powers of the government over the people, but by stating that a central flaw of the Articles of Confederation, and therefore of the State governments, is its inability to control factions, Madison also indicates the Federalists' distrust of the people to wield power. The title of Federalist 10 is "The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection." Fresh in the mi nd of the Federalists was Shays' Rebellion in which Massachusetts farmers, echoing the arguments of the Revolution itself, refused to pay taxes and rose up and used violence to stop the collection of the taxes. The need to control themselves required that the people not completely control the government, as Madison states when he says "By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects." The government must be made representative enough to satisfy the people, but not too representative lest the society fall prey to the "tyranny of the majority." The need to check and balance the influence of the people would be put into practice by various provisions of the Constitution--six-year terms for Senators, an Electoral College, life terms for federal judges--as well as by the Washington and Adams administrations in their responses to the Whiskey Rebellion and in the Alien and Sedition Acts. The people's actual power over their central government might have been thus limited, but it was much improved over their influence over Parliament and the new Constitution's codification of both protected rights and the theory of the social contract would enable Americans to effectively defend and expand their rights in ways unimaginable to the Founders.
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