American Government I - Essay Prowess

American Government I


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W1 Assignment “Liberty”

American Government I


In Lecture 1, we explored how “liberty” was interpreted by the Founders of the American Constitution. These Founding Fathers were influenced by political philosophers who argued that liberty is always at risk, and because of that risk, liberty must be protected, not just by the leaders of a nation, but also by the citizens.

While our founding fathers realized government was necessary to protect the citizens from criminals and outsiders (Lecture 2, comments about the King of England), they were concerned with amount of power the government should be given. To ensure that the people maintained power, the first Ten (10) Amendments (also called: The Bill of Rights) were added.

For this week’s assignment, write a 500-750 word essay addressing each of the following questions:

  • What is liberty? Provide a definition and at least one example.
  • Why does it matter? Explain what you think the citizens of a nation might gain or lose through their liberty.
  • What is your personal responsibility to protect it? Provide examples of what you can do, what you should do, and what you must do.
  • In modern times, do you think Americans have gained/maintained liberty in the way the Founding Fathers described it in the Constitution? Why or why not?

As in all your weekly written assignments, be sure to tie your writing to the readings for that week. You should strive to demonstrate to your instructor (and to the rest of the university) your full understanding of the course concepts being addressed. Don’t just answer the questions; really think them through. How will your ideas fit within Locke’s “social contract?”

Submit your work as an attached file. Double-space your paper and use 12 point Times NewRoman as your font.

Grading Criteria AssignmentsMaximum Points
Meets or exceeds established assignment criteria40
Demonstrates an understanding of lesson concepts20
Clearly present well-reasoned ideas and concepts30
Mechanics, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling that affects clarity, and citation of sources as needed           10
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