Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, February 3, 2013


Current Events 




A. States Affect Everyone's Lives


B. States do things differently

     Example: Capital punishment




        Interstate economic competition



The Economic Shift to the Sunbelt


           The Political Shift to the Sunbelt:



Population Shifts Result In Shifts In ....

... The distribution of Seats In The House Of Representatives,



.... and Therefore in The Electoral College that elects the President




Civil Rights:
When Government Must Step in to Protect People 




The Constitution left many unanswered questions about civil rights


1) Unanswered Question #1

    Do slaveowners hold the balance of power in America?


    How did the U.S. answer the question?   Political Compromise (Missouri Compromise)


2). Unanswered Question #2

        Can slaveowners start their own nation?


          How did the U.S. answer?   Civil War


3). Unanswered Question #3

      Are African-Americans' civil rights protected by the states?



       How did the U.S. answer?  In the courts


          At first, by letting states decide (de jure segregation; "Jim Crow")


            Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 upheld Jim Crow laws


  In the 1950s, Brown versus Board of Education (1954) rejects de jure segregation in schools

         The Civil Rights Movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act & the 1965 Voting Rights Act


4). The legacy


    a). The Civil Rights agenda expands to de facto segregation: Housing, Schools, Jobs


    b). ... and to other groups: Gender, Other Minorities, the Disabled, and Gays