Instructions: The discussion topics below are based on course material information you have read; which includes the course text chapters, and the Module Week-1 Learning page information and handouts for Chapter 1 The Spirit of American Politics/ and Chapter 2 The Ideas That Shape America to response to discussion topic questions. Reading the relevant material will benefit students to answer relevant chapter questions on study guide number 1, and to Know terms associated with each chapter. [There are also added areas or topics students should “know:” for exam number one.]
Philosophers Thomas Hobbes, John Locke’s and Jean-Jacques Rosseau’s theory on Social Contract implied agreements by which people form nations and maintain a social order. In laymen’s terms this means that the people give up some rights to a government in order to receive social order. Social contract theory provides the rationale behind the historically important notion that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed.
Topic: Social Contract
1. Discuss: How does the theory of Social Contract mean to your participation
in a government of democracy?
Topic: Representative Democracy
2. Discuss: If you think that all election voting should be available to everyone on
home computers provided by government? Will it cure the low voting turnout problem
for elections? Will it increase the voice of the majority in reference to getting closer to
obtaining a true representative democracy?
Topic: Political Culture
3. Discuss: Which source(s) do you learn your American Political Culture from [which is
defined in the chapter 1 extra terms handout] the most out of the five main areas?
Topic: Political Ideology (handout)
4. Discuss: Which Political Ideology you like the most and why? Discuss which Political
Ideology you dislike the most and why?
Nevada Early History and Constitution
Topic: Nevada Early History and Constitution
[Read: resource notes on this topic located on Module-Week 1 course information module
Know: What are the three events that was the result of settlement in Nevada by the
Know: some of the explicit reasons why Nevada Settlers wanted their own territory.
Settlers felt that they were receiving unfair treatments and it led to a chain of events in
which the settlers petitioned Congress and the President for their own territory, and to be
separated from the Western Utah Territory (currently Nevada), which was overseen by
Brigham Young. Settlers, who were predominately Non-Mormon, complained that some
laws made by the Utah territorial officials had “no separation of church and state.”
Settlers believed they had no true representation in their own interest, and felt their
interests were ignored within the jurisdiction they lived in. The capital was far away (first
it resided in Fillmore City and then in Salt Lake City which was 500 miles distance); and
the Western Utah Territory lacked law and order. The settlers eventually created a
squatter government; and hired an attorney to travel several times to Congress to
petition for their own territory, and statehood.
Know: how the leadership of the Utah territory affected the settlers’ liberty and equality?
Topic: Nevada Early History
1. Discuss: How would that type leadership affect our liberty and equality today?
Topic: Statehood and Territory
[Read: notes on this topic located on Module-Week 1 course information module page.]
Know: What were the two main barriers that stop the ratification of the first Nevada 1863
Know: What are the four significant reasons Lincoln wanted Nevada to become a state?