Lesson 11 – Amendments 11 through 18

Assignment 1

a)   The 12th Amendment was designed to provide a separate vote for president and vice-president in the electoral college. The purpose of the amendment was to avoid a contest in the House of Representatives due to an electoral college tie as was experienced between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron  Burr in the election of  1800. If we assume that the electors were a body of independent thinking statesmen (as Article II Section 1 of the Constitution presumes) why would we expect it to be almost impossible to avoid a contest in the House of Representatives after the ratification of the 12th Amendment? 

Hint: Compare >*Article II Section 1 to the *12th Amendment

– *Article II Section 1
– *The Twelfth Amendment

b)   What would lead you to believe that independent thinking statesmen in the electoral college was a thing of the past even in 1800?

– Assignment 1 Student Comments

Assignment 2

Section 2 of the 13th Amendment introduces a provision that is copied through many of the subsequent amendments:

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

With this clause the 13th Amendment starts a tradition which we believe is one of the most destructive to the proper understanding of the purpose of the Constitution. We refer to this clause as the usurpation  clause because it goes contrary to the whole intent of the Constitution. (See the    to Understanding the Paradigm of the Founding Fathers.)  In your opinion what is the danger to our freedoms that this clause poses?

– Assignment 2 Student Comments

Assignment 3

The 14th Amendment contains what is known as the incorporation doctrine. This allows the national government to micro manage the affairs of the states. Explain why you consider or do not consider this to be a problem.

– Assignment 3 Student Comments

Assignment 4

The 14th Amendment contains the first national constitutional recognition of either an age requirement or a sex requirement for a voter.  What were the voter qualification requirements prior to the 14th Amendment? How were they determined?

– Assignment 4 Student Comments

Assignment 5

How could the provisions of the 16th Amendment be implemented without violating the provisions of the 4th Amendment?

– Assignment 5 Student Comments

Assignment 6

What checks and balances were lost with the ratification of the 17th Amendment? Why did the people not consider these as the loss of something valuable?

– Assignment 6 Student Comments

Assignment 7

The 18th Amendment is an example of legislation by constitutional amendment.  In your opinion why do people resort to this type of activity? Why is this a dangerous precedent?

– Assignment 7 Student Comments