1. What Citizenship in the nation means:
It means that being a good citizens is to do the following: follow the laws, pay taxes, report to 911 if there is a problem, report someone if breaking the law, vote, serve on a jury, learn about your history and follow the news, serve in the military if needed, be a good volunteer to help others. The rights are to speak freely, assemble freely, not allow soldiers in your house, can marry freely, can obey the laws, right to bear arms and the other aspects of the 2 amendments. The duties are to pay taxes, vote, follow the laws, follow the news learn about our country’s history.
2a. Visit a place listed as a national landmark: I visited Lexington where the Minute men assembled on April 18, 1775. But the shot heard around the world was in Concord on the 19h of April. In addition, Paul Revere and Dawes and Prescott who spread the alarm that the “regulars” were coming. Revere was captured, and Dawes and Prescott got away to alarm the Americans and in the end 20,000 patriots showed up to defend the rights and surround the British when they returned to Boston without taking any ammunition. After that the British were surrounded in Boston for the winter and finally left in the spring of 1776. We rode the trail from Lexington to Concord and saw the North Bridge.
2d. Valley Forge was the monument that I visited where Washington held up for the 3rd winter of the Revolutionary war. It was the most brutal winter, the French alliance was made, and German Stuben was able to train the army. The soldiers died because of disease and not the cold. They actually wanted it to be colder so there would be more ice. There was a lot of mud and that made it hard to bring in supplies and disease was also easy to spread with this close environment.
3. a I read the newspaper five days in a row (actually more than 5 days) and I read about the space program and the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. This is the final shuttle launch. The Russian Soyez will be the only conveyance to the space station. I’ve covered this information in my blog.
4. Discuss the following and how American would be different without the following:
a. The Declaration of Independence was written mainly by Jefferson, but Franklin had a lot to do with it as well. It was signed on July 4, 1776. It declared that we had had enough of our rights taken away and that we should be freed from English tyranny. I’ve covered this discussion in the blog.
b. The preamble of the Constitution. It outlined the 6 aspects of our freedom: general welfare, tranquility (peace), liberty to us, justice for all men, common defense, and blessings of liberty. Without these rights we would still be a captive nation under tyranny. However, it takes a lot of work to maintain these rights like paying taxes and voting.
c. Constitution is the rules of our country and tells how we need to balance the three branches of the government (executive, judicial and legislative). Each branch has it’s own mandates, but each is to balance each other. Also the small and large states must have a balance in their power so that the large states don’t over power the small states. It is about balance and who must do what.
d. Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments of the constitutions which lay our our basic rights: free speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom to worship etc.
e. The amendments to the Constitution are the other 17 rights that have been given to us such as women’s voting, equal rights for all men, gives 18 year olds rights etc.
5. 6 functions of government are as follows: justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and secure liberty to ourselves and those who life after us. This means that our family is secure because we are protected by a national defense, a justice system that is fair, that we are protected with liberty and justice and our security is ensured.
6. I choose the Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln because I visited Gettysburg and studied the speech he gave at the cemetery after the battle between the North and South. This speech brought the country a little closer together and Lincoln stated that he respected all who had given their lives. It applies today because we are one nation and must stay strong as one nation and not separate states. Today people need to understand that they can just not go off and do what they want to do, but rather we must thing about what is best for the whole–the country and the preservation of our country. Men who fight for our country do not die in vain. My favorite part is the last sentence which reads, ” …that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave that last full measure of devotion… that we resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
7. The three branches of the federal government:
legislative: we vote for a representative from our area and hope they represent us at a local level. I have gone to congress to meet my congressional representative. Laws dealing with money come from the house side. The senate has two representatives from each state. This was a balance because the house members are based on population and the senate has two members from each state no matter what is the size of the state.
judicial: The supreme court is appointed by the President and is approved by the Senate. They are appointed for life and make sure that the laws that are passed are according to the constitution.
executive: This is the branch that the President is head of and we vote for him based upon our electoral college. His function is to make sure that the laws of congress are carried out.
There is an important checks and balance role with the three branches so that one is not more powerful than the other and there are legal ways to check on the outcome of each of the branches (vetoes, making laws, and checking on the constitutionality)
8. My two senators are as follows: Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. My letter will be sent to counselor and Representative Jackie Speier.