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Part 1 – Current Event: Students should identify and explain a current political problem in American politics

FOUNDING FATHERS RESEARCH PAPER POLITICAL SCIENCE 2 Introduction to American Government & Politics


The purpose of this paper is to acquaint you with the political thought of the Founding Fathers by applying their political philosophy to a current event. In addition, through this exercise, students should become familiar with the basics of academic research.

Instructions: Part 1 – Current Event: Students should identify and explain a current political problem in American politics. For the purposes of this paper, a current event is an event related to government or politics that occurred on or after August 1, 2017. To identify a current political problem, students are encouraged to review news headlines from reputable news outlets, the course syllabus, the textbook, or other reputable sources. Students should pick a topic that implicates one or more of the themes discussed in relation to government and politics. Such themes include, but are not limited to, God, the relationship between God, the State, and man, the relationship between Church and State, justice, law, authority, subsidiarity, religious freedom, liberty, federalism, civil liberties, and civil rights. To sufficiently examine the political problem chosen, students must rely on primary sources (a document written during the time under study by a source that was present at the time of the event, e.g. statutes, regulations, case law, executive orders, treaties, provisions of the Constitution, etc.)1 and secondary sources (a source that is one or more steps removed from the primary source which interprets and analyzes the primary source, e.g. newspapers, magazines, peer-reviewed academic journals, commentaries, etc.).2 For additional requirements in this section, consult the checklist below.

Part 2 – Founding Father: Once you have identified a current political problem that interests you, review the list of Founding Fathers below and choose one that interests you. Students must choose a Founding Father from the individuals listed as signatories to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or “Other Founding Fathers” below. For Part 2 of this paper, locate research materials that will enable you to write a thorough summary that identifies and explains your Founding Father’s political ideas that are relevant to the political problem you chose. In order to accomplish this task, you will want to do enough research to locate primary sources, read them, and incorporate your findings in your discussion. Examples of primary sources include speeches, letters, newspaper articles, and pamphlets written by your Founding Father. In addition, the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Articles of Confederation are also primary sources. You may also consult secondary sources such as biographies, peer-reviewed scholarly articles, books, magazine articles, and reputable web articles to assist you in your research. For additional requirements in this section, consult the checklist below. Part 1 – Current Event: Students should identify and explain a current political problem in American politics

Part 3 – Application of Your Founding Father’s Political Philosophy to the Current Event You Chose: Once you have identified a current event and a Founding Father, analyze the current event you chose in light of your Founding Father’s political philosophy. In other words, based your Founding Father’s political philosophy, would your Founding Father support the current event you chose or not? Is the current event you chose consistent with the Constitution and Founding Principles or not? This portion of the paper should constitute the majority of your paper. In order to have a successful paper, especially in the application portion of the paper, you will need to engage in extensive research to assist you with drafting your essay (i.e. a minimum of seven sources). However, to avoid the penalties for cheating and plagiarism, please be sure to use your own words and cite the relevant sources. For additional requirements in this section, please consult the checklist below.

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