Foundational Documents - Talking Points

Federalist 10

November 22, 1787

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. Cite three (3) direct quotes from Madison in this essay. Restate his arguments in your own words.

  3. Evaluate Madison’s claims from our perspective today.  Have his assurances been realized? Use specific examples to support your answer.

Brutus I

October 18, 1787

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. List three (3) primary criticisms of the new constitution made by Brutus.

  3. Have any of the criticisms made by Brutus in this essay been realized? Were his warnings heeded?

The Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

 

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. List three (3) meaningful lines found in the Declaration.

  3. How have these fundamental values and ideals listed above been realized throughout our history? What areas and issues do we still need to work on to realize the ideals found in the Declaration of Independence?

The Articles of Confederation

1781-1789

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this document was written.

  2. List three (3) provisions found in the Articles that would improve our current government.

  3. List three (3) provisions found in the Articles that thankfully we no longer follow.

The U.S. Constitution

June 21, 1788

 

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which our constitution was written.

  2. Highlight three (3) of the most important commitments found in our constitution.

  3. What amendment would you like to see added?

Federalist 51

February 6, 1788

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. Cite three (3) direct quotes from Madison in this essay. Restate his arguments in your own words.

  3. Evaluate Madison’s claims from our perspective today.  Have his assurances been realized? Use specific examples to support your answer.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. Cite three (3) direct quotes from Madison in this essay. Restate his arguments in your own words.

  3. Evaluate Madison’s claims from our perspective today.  Have his assurances been realized? Use specific examples to support your answer.

Federalist 70

March 18, 1788

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. Cite three (3) direct quotes from Madison in this essay. Restate his arguments in your own words.

  3. Evaluate Madison’s claims from our perspective today.  Have his assurances been realized? Use specific examples to support your answer.

Federalist 78

May 28, 1788

  1. Briefly summarize the context in which this essay was written.

  2. Cite three (3) direct quotes from Hamilton in this essay. Restate his arguments in your own words.

  3. Evaluate Hamilton’s claims from our perspective today.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of a strong independent judiciary? Use specific examples to support your answer.

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                                          Philip Larkin

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