APS Unit I: Legislative Branch

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Possible Essays




Date Due


Key Concepts to Master
Reflections on Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau are due



  • The key elements of the organization of the Constitutional Convention
  • The basics of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans for Representation, and the compromises necessary for resolution of the representation issue
  • The reasons for the struggle over ratification and it's eventual outcome
pp. #123-131
  • The requirements for membership in the House and Senate
  • The terms of service in each house, as well as the senate
  • The process and politics involved with congressional districts and "gerrymandering
Mr. Smith Response is Due
Speech Research
Please Remember that in writing your speech you should:
  1. Make a big, clear, opening statement: "I am here today to speak in strong support of (opposition to)…"
  2. State your big overarching reason (e.g. “This threatens the daily lives of millions of Americans…”
  3. Break your smaller points (job loss, personal safety, civil rights) down into 2-3 paragraphs that support your big reason
  4. Repeat your position and big reason - Close Hard!



  • The rationale behind the separation of powers into three branches of government
  • The basic powers of each of the three branches of government
  • The ways that conflicts over the use of powers can rise up between the three branches
Bring your book to class
  • The purpose of house rules and committees in the process of law making
  • The roles of House leadership in the law making process

Simulation Packet is Due

  • The key differences between the rules and leadership of the House and the Senate
  • The scheduling of bills in the Senate and the use of the filibuster
  • The purpose and role of various congressional committees
  • The reasons why committee membership is so important to members of congress
  • The major legislative powers that Congress has, and examples of the ways that they have used them in the past
  • The major non-legislative powers of congress and example of the ways that they have been used in the past

  • The major ways that the Constitution places Congress and the President at odds with each other
  • The steps Presidents can take to rein in Congress and the role Congress has in limiting the Emergency powers of the President
Unit I Test 

Possible Test Essays include (you will need to answer one question from Group A & one from Group B):

Group A

  • Describe the ways in which the ideas of enlightenment thinkers are closely connected to our national government.
  • Discuss the separation of powers between the three branches of our federal government. Provide specific examples of how our system of checks and balances works.

Group B

  • Describe the organization of the United States congress. Be sure to include requirements of service, leadership roles, and the reelection process.
  • How does a bill become a law? Who are the key individuals and groups involved in this process?
  • What specific things have you learned from your current events (e.g. the Financial Bailout) that have strengthened your understanding of Congress and the powers of Congress?