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Jason S.
Experienced Online Social Studies Instructor
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US Government and Politics
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Question:

Consider the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Which amendment do you think is most important to your way of life? Why is it relevant to you? How might you be effected if that right was not enumerated in the US Constitution?

Jason S.
Answer:

I am a strong advocate for the first amendment, because it actually guarantees 5 distinct freedoms. First, the freedom to say what I want. Second, the freedom of the press to publicize most anything. Third, the freedom to worship as you please, regardless of the opinion of government officials. Fourth, the freedom to assemble with the people I choose and finally, the right to redress any disagreements I may have with the state. As a political activist, I especially appreciate the protections this amendment as I am often critical of state policy. For examples of life without this level of protection from state power, I would point to fairly reasonable examples like the UK and Germany where censorship is practiced with some restraint to more extreme examples like North Korea and Iran where open opposition to the state will result in persecution if not outright prosecution.

Human Geography
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Question:

Material culture includes the physical items that define a culture. What physical item do you believe best represents your social group or culture? For example, an Inuit tribe member might choose the ulu, a type of knife commonly used in hunting and food preparation, as a strong symbol of their people. What item would you choose? How does it represent your people?

Jason S.
Answer:

I would choose the car. Not only is US culture strongly rooted in the personal mobility of the automobile, it is also extremely important in the local culture of my hometown, Indianapolis. Not only is Indianapolis internationally known for the Indy 500 and other motorsports events, we also have a historic connection to the design and manufacture of the passenger car.

US History
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Question:

Historically, George Washington is held in the highest esteem among the Founding Fathers of the United States. Do you agree with the esteemed or heroic perspective of Washington? Why or why not? Provide specific examples to explain your perspective.

Jason S.
Answer:

Through reading and online research I have determined that George Washington is very much worthy of his celebrated historic esteem. Although critics may point to early military mishaps and his ownership of slaves, these facts only illustrate his ultimate development as a leader and humanitarian. Although Washington was not able to resolve the quandary of slavery in his lifetime, it is important to consider that not only were his slaves freed upon his death, but their care and vocational training was provided for in the will of our first president. Without his leadership, the foundling United States would likely have succumbed to obstacles such as the horrendous winters at Valley Forge, the lack of hard currency or international support.

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