American Government: Readings and Cases, 19th edition

  • Peter Woll

American Government: Readings and Cases

ISBN-13:  9780205116140

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This best-selling book in American government puts readers directly in touch with the great authors and political leaders who have shaped–and are shaping–American government.  American Government: Readings and Cases has been the bestselling American government reader for over 40 years.  This anthology continues to provide a strong, balanced blend of classic selections that illustrate and amplify important concepts in American government, along with current readings and cases drawn from today's headlines.

Table of contents

* Indicates new reading


PART ONE: The Setting of the American System


Chapter 1. Constitutional Government

Topic: Constitutional Democracy: The Rule of Law

Reading 1. John Locke, Second Treatise, Of Civil Government

Topic: Framing the Constitution: Elitist or Democratic Process?

Reading 2. John P. Roche, The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action.

Reading 3. Charles A. Beard, Framing the Constitution.

Topic: Limitation of Governmental Power and of Majority Rule

Reading 4. James Madison, Federalist 47, 48, 51.

Topic: Interpreting the Constitution

Reading 5. Laurence H. Tribe and Michael C. Dorf, How Not to Read the Constitution.


Chapter 2. Federalism

Topic: Constitutional Background: National Versus State Power

Reading 6. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 16, 17

Reading 7. The Anti-Federalist Papers No. 17

Reading 8. James Madison, Federalist 44

Reading 9. James Madison, Federalist 45

Reading 10. James Madison, Federalist 39

Reading 11. James Bryce, The Merits of the Federal System

Topic: Implied Powers and the Supremacy of National Law

Reading 12. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheaton 316 (1819)

Reading 13. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheaton 1 (1824)

Topic: National Power over the States: A Recurring Constitutional Debate

Reading 14. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 59 (2000)

Topic: What State Actions Are Beyond Federal Regulation? California’s Medical Marijuana Law

Reading 15. Gonzales v. Raich, U.S. Supreme Court (2005)

Topic: Gibbons v. Ogden Revisited: Federalism and the Commerce Clause

Reading 16. Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)*


Chapter 3. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Topic: Constitutional Background

Reading 17. Antifederalist Paper No. 84, On the Lack of a Bill of Rights

Topic: The Nationalization of the Bill of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment

Reading 18. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)

Topic: Freedom of Speech and Press

Reading 19. Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Need to Maintain a Free Marketplace of Ideas, Abrams v. United States 250 U.S. 616 (1919)

Topic: Expanding the Boundaries of Permissible Criticism of Government and Public Officials

Reading 20. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan 376 U.S 254 (1964)

Topic: Equal Protection of the Laws: School Desegregation

Reading 21. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)

Reading 22. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

Reading 23. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 349 U.S. 294 (1955)

Topic: The Constitutional Right to Vote

Reading 24. Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339 (1960)

Topic: The Judicial Sources of Political Controversies over Civil Liberties and Rights: The Establishment Clause and the Issue of School Prayer

Reading 25. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

Topic: The Right to Privacy

Reading 26. Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis, The Right to Privacy

Reading 27. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)

Reading 28. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

Topic: Affirmative Action

Reading 29. University of California Board of Regents v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978)

Topic: Gun Control: The First Major Gun Control Case

Reading 30. District of Columbia v. Heller, United States Supreme Court, 2008 *




Chapter 4. Political Parties and the Electorate

Topic: Constitutional Background

Reading 31. James Madison, Federalist 10

Reading 32. E. E. Schattschneider, Party Government

Topic: The Party Model of Government

Reading 33. Sir Ernest Barker, Government by Discussion

Topic: The American Party System

Reading 34. Report of the Committee of Political Parties, American Political Science Association, Toward More Responsible Two Party System

Topic: Political Parties in Divided Government

Reading 35. David R. Mayhew, Divided We Govern

Topic: Functions and Types of Elections

Reading 36. V.O. Key, Jr., A Theory of Critical Elections

Topic: Voting Behavior: Rational or Irrational?

Reading 37. Bernard R. Berelson, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, and William N. McPhee, Democratic Practice and Democratic Theory

Topic: Political Campaigns and the Electorate

Reading 38. V.O. Key, Jr., The Responsible Electorate


Chapter 5. Interest Groups

Topic: Constitutional Background

Reading 39. Jeffrey M. Berry, Madison's Dilemma

Topic: First Amendment Barriers to the Regulation of Interest Groups and Political Parties

Reading 40. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976)

Reading 41. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, United States Supreme Court, 2010

Reading 42. Daniel R. Ortiz, The Democratic Paradox of Campaign Finance Reform

Topic: Group Theory: The Nature and Functions of Interest Groups

Reading 43. David B. Truman, The Governmental Process

Reading 44. Pendleton Herring, The Role of Interest Groups in Government

Topic: Money, PACs, and Elections

Reading 45. Larry J. Sabato, The Misplaced Obsession with PACs


PART THREE: National Government Institutions 


Chapter 6. The Presidency

Reading 46. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 70

Reading 47. Mark J. Rozell, George Washington and the Origins of the American Presidency*

Topic: The Nature of the Presidency: Power, Persuasion, and Paradoxes

Reading 48. Clinton Rossiter, The Presidency -- Focus of Leadership

Reading 49. Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power

Topic: Presidential Politics: Presidential Character and Style

Reading 50. James David Barber, The Presidential Character

Topic: The Constitutional Presidency and Emergency Powers

Reading 51. Ex Parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866)

Topic: Presidential Power, Due Process, and the Separation of Powers in the Time of the War on Terror

Reading 52. Boumediene v. Bush, President of the United States, United States Supreme Court, 2008


Chapter 7. The Bureaucracy

Reading 53. Peter Woll, Constitutional Democracy and Bureaucratic Power.

Topic: The Political Roots and Consequences of Bureaucracy

Reading 54. James Q. Wilson, The Rise of the Bureaucratic State


Chapter 8. Congress

Topic: Constitutional Background: Representation of Popular, Group, and National Interests

Reading 55. James Madison, Federalist 53, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63

Topic: Congress and the Washington Political Establishment

Reading 56. Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government

Reading 57. Morris P. Fiorina, The Rise of the Washington Establishment

Topic: Committee Chairmen as Political Entrepreneurs

Reading 58. Lawrence C. Dodd, Congress and the Quest for Power

Topic: Congress and the Electoral Connection

Reading 59. Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol

Reading 60. David R. Mayhew, Congress: The Electoral Connection

Reading 61. Richard F. Fenno, Jr., Home Style and Washington Career

Reading 62. Senator Evan Bayh, Why I’m Leaving the Senate*


Chapter 9. The Judiciary

Topic: English Common Law Precedents

Reading 63. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 1765

Topic: Constitutional Background: Judicial Independence and Judicial Review

Reading 64. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78

Reading 65. Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (1803)

Reading 66. John P. Roche, Judicial Self-Restraint

Topic: The Political Question Doctrine

Reading 67. Daniel Webster - Counsel for Defendant Borden in Luther v. Borden (1849), Why Courts Cannot Fairly Decide Political Questions

Reading 68. Luther v. Borden, 48 U.S. 1 (1849)

Topic: Judicial Decision-Making

Reading 69. William J. Brennan, Jr., How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions

Topic: The Importance of Precedent-Stare Decisis

Reading 70.Sandra Day O’Connor, The Obligation to Follow Precedent*

Topic: A Case Study in the Use of Precedent: Should the Slaughter-House Precedent be Overruled?

Reading 71. In Re Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1873)*

Reading 72. Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court: McDonald v. Chicago (2010)

Topic: The Decision

Reading 73. McDonald v. Chicago, United States Supreme Court (2010)


Appendix 1: The Declaration of Independence.


Appendix 2: The Constitution of the United States



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Published by Pearson (March 7th 2011) - Copyright © 2012