What is Gerrymandering and why is it a problem?
Gerrymandering is the manipulation of electoral boundaries in the form of redistricting to establish a political advantage and it has been an issue in American politics for centuries. The job of redistricting belongs to the state legislature and whichever party is in control, will try to gain an advantage by drawing district lines that will likely give that party an optimal number of votes. Its a problem because gerrymandering essential changes the weight of one's vote, as well as the fact that there is no way to prove what constitutes a partisan (party) gerrymander and therefore no way to prove its unconstitutionality. With that being said, some states such as Arizona have hired a non-partisan and independent commission to make fair districts based on the census to combat gerrymandering.
What were some of the main factors that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism in Germany (the Weimar Republic)?
After the defeat of Germany in World War I, the War Guilt Clause, otherwise known as Article 231, of the Treaty of Versailles led to crippling economic conditions for the Weimar Republic (the name of the German government after the war). The Weimar Republic, although set up as a democracy, was destined to fail from the beginning. The implications of the Treaty of Versailles and the flawed constitution set up at the first National Assembly were too detrimental for Germany’s first democracy to handle. Although it is argued that the structural weaknesses brought down Weimar, overall it were the events of the events preceding the formation of the democracy that caused the failure of the Weimar Republic. The hyperinflation, unemployment, political unrest, and the increase in civic culture were all factors caused from the Paris Peace Conference that ensured the failure of the Weimar while carving a route for the rise of the Nazi Party. The desire to put the blame on the Jewish people led to the extremist, militarist, and, nationalist policies that would ultimately lead to the beginning of World War II.
How were the framers of the US Constitution able to solve the dilemma of representation of the people?
In terms of representation, smaller states like New Jersey wanted each state to have the same amount of representatives (the New Jersey Plan) and larger states, like Virginia, wanted the amount of representatives to be based on the state's population (the Virginia Plan). The Connecticut Compromise, also known as the Great Compromise (1787), solved this dilemma by creating a Bicameral Legislature with the United States Congress being composed of two houses. The Senate calls for every state having the same amount of representatives (2), while the number of representatives in the House of Representatives is proportional to the state's population.