What are checks and balances? What are examples we see often in government?
To ensure no one branch of government wields more power, the Constitution established a system of checks the executive, legislative, and judicial branches have within American government. For example, if the president vetoes (rejects) a law passed by Congress, he is exerting influence over the Congress. But Congress may override the president's veto with two-thirds majority votes, and this is a check on the influence of the president. Through judicial review (thanks to the landmark Marbury v. Madison supreme court case), the Supreme Court may review laws passed by Congress and deem them unconstitutional, which is a check on the legislative branch's authority. Congress may signal its legislative intent more explicitly and change a law that the judiciary has found is unconstitutional.
What factors led to Spanish conquest of North and South America in the 15th and 16th centuries?
During the 15th century, European countries increased exploration in search of new trade routes and wealth. Through their travels, Spain began to find new land to gain glory for their country. They justified their conquest under the banner of the Catholic Church who gave them full permission to conquer new lands and peoples in order to bring non-Christians to salvation and convert them to Christianity. Though the Spaniards were outnumbered, they had superior weapons and armor, and they used strong military tactics and alliance building to overcome the great American civilizations. The Spaniards had armor and swords made from Toledo steel, some the finest and strongest in Europe. Native American weapons were not as strong and were less effective at killing Spanish attackers. The Spanish had superior weaponry like cannons and iron armor. They also brought tall horses and strong dogs as war animals. This caused fear for the native Americans. The Spaniards brought sturdy horses to America to aid them in conquest, while the native populations at the time of conquest had never seen horses (Source B). They created cavalry, or mounted soldiers, along with strong infantry formations allowed them to be more effective against the native warfare tactics. Pizzaro, the Spanish invader of the Incas, formed alliances with nearby groups and took advantage of internal Incan political struggles in order to overcome their empire. Such alliances most likely aided the conquerors in understanding their enemy and increasing their own fighting force which would make them more effective.
What were the causes of the Chicago race riots of 1919?
Starting in the early 20th century, African Americans left the South in large numbers and tried to find work and freedom in the North. In 1919, this Great Migration led to the “Red Summer” due to the number of race riots that broke out in cities across the U.S. Because of racial tension and job competition, race riots broke out in Chicago in 1919. According to Walter White of the NAACP, racial tension increased as Blacks were segregated into their own neighborhoods, and Whites committed acts of violence on Blacks in the city. Because the author is writing for the NAACP magazine, he is addressing a Black audience and likely wrote this to build sympathy for the plight of African Americans who are facing discrimination as a result of the Great Migration. According to the Chicago Tribune, White workers were receiving preference in job opportunities, which led to increased racial tension in the city. Because this article was published in the Chicago Tribune, this means it had a large readership to explain the effects of the Great Migration in Chicago.