Lesson 1 Texas Government Foundations

Choose ONE of the following topics to answer for the Writing Assignment:

1. Explain the influences that shaped the Texas Constitution of 1876. Explain the individuals and groups that played a role in drafting the document, and the sentiments held by those individuals and groups that resulted in the specific governmental design set forth in the constitution. There are people who have advocated revising the Texas Constitution for years. What are some of their specific reasons for wanting the Constitution revised? Do you think the Constitution should be revised to be more like the U.S. Constitution? Why or why not?

2. Provide an understanding of the relationship between the national and state governments. What is the term used to describe the relationship between the national and state governments in the US? What part of the Constitution grants powers to the states and what are these powers called? If there is a dispute between national law and state law, how does that dispute get solved? Give an example of a recent conflict between a state (or several states) and the federal government. Explain which powers are held by the national government, which powers are reserved to the states, and those powers shared by both the national and state governments.

Choose ONE of the topics above for your writing assignment. Answer all questions posed for that topic. You do not need to attach a file with your writing submission, you can choose “write submission” and type it there directly or copy/paste it from your word processing document.

The Lesson Writing Assignments are worth 50 points each. Submissions that are more comprehensive and detailed will earn a higher point total. You need several paragraphs (minimum 500 words). You cannot just write two or three sentences and expect to receive points. Make sure that you cover all parts of the question. I have added some current event articles you can read to help with your assignment. You can emphasize your point by using information from one of the linked articles, the textbook, or add your own current event or other examples (including the experiences of you or someone you know). It helps to include data in your assignment (such as voter turnout rates, incarceration rates, etc.). I want to see that you have read the material and understand the topic, so make sure you are specific in your answers.

Finally, make sure you do not just cut and paste information from an online source. I also suggest that you wait until your Lesson 1 assignment has been graded before moving on to the other lessons. If you have any questions, please contact me through the Messages link.

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