Part 1. “Things never turn out the way you plan “American History, Constitution and Elections.
a.The story of the coming of the Revolution, as often in life in general, is one of unintended consequences, i.e., acts or policies with one purpose but a different unintended or unexpected result. Describe how British policies from 1763 to 1775 and the colonial reaction to them illustrate this point.
b. For a specific example, go to the following website and locate the Boston Massacre trial. Read some of the trial transcripts and other materials. How do the origin and consequences of this event demonstrate unintended consequences? In other words, is this where the British wanted to go? Did they achieve their goals?
Part 2: Compromise and the Constitution
The creation of the Constitution required a number of compromises over some bitterly divisive issues, including how to deal with slavery.
a. What were the various compromises made in creating the Constitution?
b. Why were the drafters able to make these compromises considering how deep the divisions were over the structure of the new government, representation in the Congress and slavery?
1) In contast, why did compromise fail to prevent the Revolution? What was different?
2) Why is compromise so difficult or impossible in our government today–what is the difference?
c. What were the compromises over slaves and slavery? Why were they made? Could slavery realistically have been handled differently at that time? How?
Part 3: Election of the President
Why was the electoral college set up as it was? What were the issues surrounding this question? Was this also a compromise?
Part 4: Go to the following Famous Trials website and locate the entry for “Celia, A Slave Trial”
Read through the account and read the ‘Statement of Celia to the Justice of the Peace‘ and look through the Trial Testimony, both of which are linked on the right side of the entry. Answer these questions:
1. How did the national tensions over the events of the 1850s, especially the Kansas Nebraska Act and ‘Bleeding Kansas’ affect Celia’s trial and its outcome?’
2. How was the trial rigged against Celia? Could she have been acquitted under any circumstances?
3. What does this story tell you about the realities of slavery and the lives of female slaves in particular?
Part 5: For this assignment you will need to familiarize yourself with the issues involved in and conduct of the impeachments of President Trump in order to compare with our first presidential impeachment.
Go to the Famous Trials website below and locate the entry for ‘Johnson Impeachment’
American History, Constitution and Elections. Read the account of the case and study these topics on the links provided: ‘Constitution and Impeachment’, ‘Opinions of Senators in the trial’, ‘Proceedings of the Senate’ and any others you may find useful.
Cite each document that you use so that I know that you investigated the links and what sources you used.
Answer these questions:
1. a. What were the charges against President Johnson? What was their constitutional basis?
b. What are the differences and similarities with the charges against Trump?
2. Was the impeachment of Johnson justified under the law?
3. Why was Johnson acquitted? What message was sent by this action?
4. Using the links listed above on senators’ opinions and Senate proceedings,
a. Do you see the senators as so strictly divided along partisan lines in the Johnson trial as ours were in the Trump trial or was there more division over the issues and crossing of party lines?
b. In what ways was the conduct of the Johnson trial different from the Trump trials?