Tutor profile: Cassandra V.
What are two key characteristics of a claim?
Claims are statements that advance logically-reasoned arguments, and are important elements of persuasive writing. They must be both substantive and contestable. SUBSTANTIVE: A claim must address an issue worth considering. Why does your argument matter? How does it connect to other important issues? When writing a persuasive essay, you must convince the reader that your argument is not only correct, but that it is worth investigating or caring about. CONTESTABLE: In order for you to argue a claim, it must be contestable, or debatable. It must be possible for reasonable people to disagree with your claim. Otherwise, you are only presenting a factual statement, not persuading an audience. Strong writers will consider objections to their own arguments, and will address the most convincing arguments against their claims within the body of their paper in order to demonstrate that their claim holds up to rigorous scrutiny.
Subject: US Government and Politics
What were some of the primary flaws of the Articles of Confederation?
The Articles of Confederation created a very weak central government, with most power going to the loosely unified states. The weak central government led to a number of problems, including: A LACK OF FEDERAL AUTHORITY. The federal government was not able to compel states to obey its laws, and it was not able to tax the states. As a result, laws on important issues varied from state to state. The federal government was also profoundly underfunded, making it difficult to pay debts incurred from the American Revolution or secure new lines of credit. A LACK OF NATIONAL SECURITY. A lack of funding meant that there was no national army or navy; instead, the young United States relied on poorly organized state militias. The government’s failure to put down Shays’ Rebellion in 1787 demonstrated an inability to quell discontent amongst the citizenry and called into question the militias’ capacity to protect the U.S. A LACK OF NATIONAL COHESION. State currency was not standardized, and each state was able to tax interstate commerce via tariffs. The states acted independently of each other’s interests, which was only worsened by the lack of a national court system to adjudicate disagreements between the states on matters of commerce. For these weaknesses, the Articles of Confederation were abandoned and the founders held a Constitutional Convention to create a stronger central government.
Subject: Comparative Government and Politics
Define, in your own words, the difference between a federal and a unitary state.
In a federal state, the powers of government are constitutionally divided between the federal (national) government and subnational governments, often called states or provinces. Subnational governments have defined powers and spheres of responsibility, and they have the right to exist regardless of the federal government’s will. Examples of federal states in the AP Comparative Government and Politics curriculum include Nigeria, Russia, and Mexico. Unitary states are systems where all government powers are vested in a single central government. While the central government can create subnational governments at any time for administrative purposes, these subnational units may be dissolved at any time, as they have no constitutional right to exist. Examples of unitary states in the AP Comparative Government and Politics curriculum include the United Kingdom, China, and Iran.
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