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  • As an educational institution, it is our goal to promote thought, discourse, and a love for learning.  Everything on this page is intended to promote productive thought, and nothing is written with the intention to persuade, dissuade, or otherwise dim the glow of the bright light of our wonderful country and all of its people.  Discussions are designed to be academic and provided, mostly, in a debate format for academic purposes.  We hope you participate, include your family, and join our daily discussions.  *None of the views, real or perceived, are attributed to ACA, it's board, administrators or staff.

  • Day 7: Popular Soveriegnty

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/23/2022

    Day Seven:  Popular Sovereignty

    Sovereignty is the idea in political theory that one has authority of one’s land and recognition from other countries or international institutions. While we have individual rights founded on the idea that we are all sovereign individuals and we rule ourselves, it is not individuals who have sovereignty in a political sense but nations. The authors of the Constitution understood the need for international recognition of the new republic and painstakingly outlined the argument for popular sovereignty to an international community very hostile to the idea. Their argument builds on two thousand years of political theory from Aristotle and Cicero through Locke and Montesquieu until they are able to open the Constitution with a definitive “We the People of the United States,”   


    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” - Declaration of Independence


    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

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  • Day 6: Separation of Power

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/22/2022

    Separation of Powers: In Aristotle’s Politics he observed that every form of government performs three functions: “the deliberative, the magisterial, and the judicative.” The authors of the constitution understood that in spite of their fears of consolidating power leading to tyranny they could not have a functioning republic with an absolute or “pure” separation of powers. Therefore, they devised a plan for the separation of power that included checks and balances and is referred to as the “Madisonian Model.” This solution includes duties and responsibilities that are shared across the three branches of government along with the innovation that each branch of government arrives at their power through different modes of election.


    “[Montesquieu] did not mean that these [branches] ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other. His meaning…can amount to no more than this, that where the whole power of one [branch] is exercised by the hands that hold the whole power of another, the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted. [T]here is not a single instance in which the several [branches] of power have been kept absolutely separate and distinct”  - James Madison, The Federalist Papers


    “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”  - James Madison, The Federalist Papers

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  • Day 5: Federalism

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/21/2022

    Federalism: The authors of the constitution understood that checks and balances in a centralized government could eventually be usurped by persistent efforts from factions. Therefore, federalism was introduced as an additional safeguard against tyranny. 


    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” 10th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”- James Madison, The Federalist Papers

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  • Day 4: Checks and Balances

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/20/2022

    Checks & Balances: Recognizing that the vast majority of examples from history demonstrated a concentration of power in governments that led to their eventual overthrow, the authors of the Constitution established a horizontal system of checks and balances. 

    “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”-  James Madison, The Federalist Papers

    “But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department, the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives, to resist encroachments of the others… Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” - James Madison, The Federalist Papers 

    We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln

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  • Day 3 - Republicanism

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/19/2022

    Republicanism: The authors of the Constitution utilized the concept of republicanism as a balance to the classical liberalism of the U.S. Constitution, which focused primarily on individual liberty.  Classical republicanism emphasizes the participation of informed citizens in government.   The exemplary citizen in this theory of government readily subordinates the personal for the public interests and recognizes their duties and responsibilities as citizens to be of paramount importance.  “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Day 2: Limited Government

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/18/2022

    Building on classical liberalism: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to due process, and equality under the law the authors of the United States Constitution founded a system of government based on ideas rather than power, and purposefully delineated a discrete enumeration of powers for the government with the balance being reserved for the people. 

    "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." 9th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

    “Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment, without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourish faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.”- James Madison, The Federalist Papers

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  • Day 1 - September 17, 2022 "Constitution Day"

    Posted by Craig Sims on 9/17/2022

    Day 1 - September 17, 2022 "Constitution Day"

    “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying, 'that the institution of youth should be accommodated to that form of government under which they live; forasmuch as it makes exceedingly for the preservation of the present government, whatsoever it be.”
    ― John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series

    The United States Constitution is the most effective and copied national political charter in western civilization. 

    In order to better understand the United States Constitution and its role in our society and community,, we will be considering the Six Big Ideas in the Constitution. Each day we will be making a Facebook and website post regarding one of these ideas: 

    1) Limited Government

    2) Republicanism 

    3) Checks & Balances 

    4) Federalism 

    5) Separation of Powers 

    6) Popular Sovereignty

    Pleas join us in the celebration by:

    • Having discussions each day with your family about the information provided.
    • Discuss what your students are learning daily in the classroom and on campuses.
    • Participate in the family friendly online discussion on this website below.
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By Month

Academic Discussion or Debate

  • Day 7: (Debate) Popular Sovereignty

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    Day Six: The idea: Popular Sovereignty
    Question: Should voter ballot initiatives be allowed to overturn laws passed by legislative bodies?
    Position A: Yes; ballot initiatives allow voters to directly participate in their government.
    Position B: No; voters already express their views through the election of public officials.

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  • Day 6: (Debate) Separation of Powers

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    Day Five: The idea: Separation of Powers
    Question: Once Congress declares war and the President assumes the role of Commander-in-Chief who decides how the war ends?
    Position A: Congress, the policy making branch which represents the people, should determine peace terms.
    Position B: The President as Commander-in-Chief is in the best position to determine appropriate actions.

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  • Day 5: (Debate) Federalism

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    Day Four: The idea: Federalism
    Question: How should power be divided between the federal government and the states?
    Position A: The Federal government should retain the most power because it is best positioned to insure fair treatment, safety and equal protection for all Americans.
    Position B: The states should retain the most power because they are closer to the people, better informed on local issues and best positioned to exercise authority for their residents.

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  • Day 4: (Debate) Checks and Balances

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    Day Three: The idea: Checks and Balances
    Question: When the President makes a nomination, what should be the nature of the Senate's "advice and consent?"
    Position A: The Senate should defer to the President's choice of who he wants working under him.
    Position B: It is the Senate's duty to make an independent judgment of a nominee's suitability for a position serving the American people, even if that means denying the President his choice.

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  • Day 3 - (Debate) Republicanism

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    Day Two: The idea: Republicanism
    Question: What should be the role of citizens in creating public policy?
    Position A: Public policy should reflect the opinion of voters.
    Position B: Public policy should be created by officials who are most informed about the issues involved.

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  • Day 2 (Debate) Limited Government

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    Question: To what extent should the federal government be involved in economic issues?
    Position A: The federal government's powers over taxation as well as international and interstate trade allow significant latitude in directing economic policy.
    Position B: The federal government should only act to remedy unfavorable economic conditions for business activity.

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  • Day 1: Constitution Day - What is the importance of the constitution to you and your family?

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