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Handout A: Republican Government Video Viewing Guide

Before watching the video, answer the pre-viewing questions. Then answer the questions that follow after you have watched the video. Keep in mind that while the two major political parties in the U.S. are the Democratic and Republican parties, these terms are unrelated to the terms democracy and republic.

Before you watch:

  1. What do you think of when you hear the term “democracy?” Write down some key words and phrases.
  2. Have you heard the phrase “majority rules”? Should the majority always rule? Why or why not?

After you watch:

  1. What does the principle of republican government (or representative government) mean?
  2. What was the chief reason that the Founders were wary of democracy?
  3. Do you agree with those reasons? Why or why not?
  4. How did James Madison challenge traditional thinking about republics?
  5. “Democracy alone is not enough to protect everyone’s rights. Something more is needed.” What would you say is that “something more”? Explain.
  6. Do any of the key words and phrases you wrote down for #1 in the “Before you watch” section still apply to a republican system?