Dr. Robert C. Jeffrey
Associate Professor of Government

Govt. 202 - Introduction to American Government

Syllabus for Fall 2004

Dr. Robert Jeffrey
206 Daniel Building
Phone: x4581 (office) or 948-1297 (home)
E-mail: jeffreyrc@wofford.edu or rcjeffrey@home.com 
Office Hours: 9:30-12:00 TTH and 9:30-10:30 MWF or anytime I'm around

Required Books

The Perfect TieHamilton, Madison, Jay, The Federalist Papers
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America, tr. Mansfield and Winthrop
James Q. Wilson, American Government: The Essentials
Leon R. Kass, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity
Selected Articles (Xeroxed and from the Internet)

Course plan
Week of:
September 6:
Aristotle, Politics (excerpt)
Willmoore Kendall, “Is Violence a Human Necessity?”
 Locke, Second Treatise of Government (excerpt)
Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted (excerpt)
The Declaration of Independence (in Wilson, pp. A1-A3)
September 13:

Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? (xeroxed excerpts)
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America, pp. 27-53

September 20:

Huntington, Who Are We?, continued
John Fonte, “Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism”
Tocqueville, Democracy, pp. 274-295


September 27:
The Constitution Itself: Highlights and Greatest Hits
October 4::

Self Interest and the Common Good
Federalist 1, 6, 9-11, 14, 55-57, 62-63
James Q. Wilson, American Government, Ch. 2

October 11:

Limited Government and National Greatness
Federalist 47-48, 51, 70-72
The Rule of Law
Federalist 78
Brutus, “The Problem of Judicial Review” 

October 18:

Self-Government and Federalism
Tocqueville, Democracy, pp. 56-58, 82-93
Federalist 15, 17, 23, 39
McCulloch v. Maryland (excerpt)
Wilson, Ch. 3


October 25:

Wilson, American Government, Ch. 11
The Constitution

November 1:

President and Supreme Court
Wilson, Ch. 12-14
The Constitution

November 8:

Tocqueville, Democracy, pp. 212-220, 243-248, 399-415, 417-428, 433-443, 450-452458-463, 469-472

November 15:

Tocqueville, Democracy, pp. 479-484, 485-524

November 22:

Christopher Lasch, “The Common Schools” and “The Lost Art of Argument” (xeroxed)
George Anastaplo, “Self Government and the Mass Media” (xeroxed) 

November 29:

Tocqueville, Democracy, pp. 535-539, 544-545, 558-576, 578-581, 587-588, 599-604, 639-645, 661-676

December 6:
  Leon Kass, Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity, pp. 1-8, 12-22, 81-106, 115-173, 256-274
Course Requirements:
Two Midterm Exams 40%
Final Exam 20%
Term Paper 20%
Quizzes and Participation 20%

The Term Paper topic will be chosen by the student from a question arising out of the readings in the course, specifically from Huntington, Lasch, Tocqueville, or Kass. The paper will consider the arguments dealing with a major issue raised by one of these authors.  It will not be primarily a research paper, but should show depth and seriousness of thought.  The paper will be 7-10 pp. in length and will be due December 3rd.

Because the course takes place during a general election campaign, we will from time to time read articles concerning the presidential election and electoral politics in general.  These will supplement the main readings and serve as our treatment of campaigns and elections.  I will also be announcing a contest to see who can best predict the outcome of the Electoral College vote. 

There is never enough time to do all that one would want in an introductory course in American Politics.  This semester I have chosen to concentrate on the questions of American Identity and our souls under the conditions of the biotechnical revolution in addition to our study of the Federalist, Tocqueville, and our governing institutions.  Each of you contributes to the course most by reading as carefully as you can the assigned texts and thinking as seriously as you can about the questions therein both before and after our class meetings.  My hope is that the combination of the study of first principles and some of the most important issues before us will lead you to see further and deeper, and that you will thereby also be encouraged to make thoughtful citizenship your lifelong vocation.   

Dr. Robert Jeffrey
Daniel 206
x4581 (office)
948-1297 (home)


Homepage for Dr. Robert C. Jeffrey

 Last Update: December 3, 2004