POLITICAL SCIENCE 102
FIRST MIDTERM EXAMINATION–Written Component
Instructions: Please put your answers to all of the exam’s 10 written questions into one file, and submit it by 11:59PM (one minute before midnight) on Thursday, October 10, to the Turnitin link posted under Assignments on Blackboard. Please make sure to do your responses in order, and number them so that we know which question you are answering. Please do NOT include the text of the questions in the file you submit, only the question numbers of the questions as you answer them. Each of the 10 questions is worth up to 10 points, so the whole exam is worth 100 points total. Your response should be single-spaced and should require no more than 4 pages at maximum. You should need most of the 4 pages to write a good and sufficiently detailed response to each of the questions, but please do not exceed 4 pages total. You should not need to cite any sources other than the lectures, the Kernell text, and Blackboard readings. Please do make sure to indicate when you are quoting from any source, whether from in the class resources or outside them, and make sure to provide full citations for any sources you use that are not included in the class syllabus. Usually, it is a bad idea to use any extracurricular sources because it is at the expense of the sources from class that you should be citing.
1. In the Declaration of Independence, the founders of the United States wrote: â€œPrudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.â€ Please explain how this sentence ties in with Thomas Hobbesâ€™ argument in the Leviathan, as discussed by Kernell et al.
2. Why would it reflect on the legitimacy of the U.S. government if we view the comic book character of Batman as a hero or a villain? Please explain how vigilantes reflect our notions of governmental efficacy.
3. Please discuss the constitutional amendment process. Why is it difficult to alter the document? What are the positive and negative results of making it so difficult to change?
4. Please comment on the fact that the preamble of the Constitution uses the term “ordain” to refer to the institution of the government of the United States.
5. Are checks and balances an efficient way to govern a country?
6. Please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of federalism in terms of consistency and fairness.
7. Please assess the trajectory of civil rights cases from 1857-1954, in terms of issues of racial equality in the United States.
8. Discuss the change over time in the civil rights movement strategy from one of litigation to peaceful protest and then one of confrontational demonstrations. Be sure to give concrete examples of activity from each era.
9. What issues can you see with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s claim that
while it was difficult for him to come up with a written definition for obscenity, he knew
it when he saw it?
10. What is the disadvantage of depending on the federal judicial branch to protect people’s
rights, such as privacy? Please discuss.