It is May 1861. President Lincoln wants you to figure out why Americans seem to have trouble deciding how to allocate power between federal and state governments. In particular, Lincoln wants you to examine how our beliefs in self-government, individual liberty and states’ rights have shaped the role of the federal government in this country from the early 1600s to the Civil War. To do this, you need to discuss the following

1. Discuss the reasons for creating (and characteristics of) the first colonial governments (4 points). Next explain why the colonists opposed the Stamp Act and the Coercive Acts and how they justified their protests based on the ideals of John Locke and their own belief in self-governance (8 points). List four examples from the Declaration of Independence that reflect these ideals/values (4 points)

2. Describe four characteristics of the Articles of Confederation that reflect the ideals of the Revolution and detail the reasons why this government failed (18 points). 3. Describe three ways that the Constitution fixed the problems of the Articles of Confederation and in so doing created a strong central government (9 points). Describe two ways in which the Constitution tries to prevent the central government from becoming too powerful (6 points). Explain why the Bill of Rights was created and how it both protects individual rights and the power of the states (5 points). 4. Describe six events from 1791 to 1861 that illustrate the struggle over who should have power (national government, state government or individuals) (30 points). 5. Explain why Southern leaders claimed secession was an issue of state’s rights but how it was more driven fears how abolition would affect the South’s economy, society and politics. (12 points)

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