by John Locke
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Bill of RightsJames Madison
Adopted December 15th, 1791, "The Bill of Rights" refers to the first ten amendments made to the United States Constitution. This document grants and secures a number of freedoms for the federal government, the states, and for U.S. citizens.Pair "Political Society" with the Bill of Rights to generate a discussion surrounding the inherent tensions between individuality and national government. How can a government protect the rights of individuals, and also make laws that govern them?
Excerpts from LeviathanThomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1697) was an English philosopher, best known for his political philosophy. In this famous work, Hobbes discusses the concept of the "social contract," the idea that humans benefit from a common rule of law; otherwise, they fall into disorder and violence. In social contract theory, Hobbes proposes that humans consent to surrender some of their freedoms in order to secure their remaining rights.Pair "Political Society" with the excerpt from “Leviathan” to give students the opportunity for an in-depth study in political philosophy and democratic government.
From 'A Time for Choosing' SpeechRonald Reagan
"A Time for Choosing," also known simply as "The Speech," was presented by Hollywood actor and motivational speaker Ronald Reagan during the 1964 U.S. presidential election in favor of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. It is considered the event that launched Reagan's political career. In this famous speech, Reagan argues for "the maximum of individual freedom."Pair the excerpt from “A Time for Choosing” with “Political Society” and ask students to consider the two perspectives on freedom and society.
Stop and Frisk: Right or Wrong?Mike Kubic
This article examines the rationale behind "Stop and Frisk," a controversial law enforcement tactic, and the impact of its decline.Pair “Political Society” with “Stop and Frisk: Right or Wrong?” and ask students to connect Locke’s theory with the tradeoffs of “stop and frisk.” Is security against unreasonable searches and seizures an individual sacrifice that comes with living in a peaceful society?
Excerpt from Democracy in America: Why Americans Are So RestlessAlexis de Tocqueville
In this excerpt from Democracy in America, Tocqueville breaks down how democracy functions in America and the effects equality have on Americans' happiness and sense of success.Pair “Political Society” with “Excerpt from Democracy in America: Why Americans are So Restless” and ask students to compare the political ideas of the two texts. How do the two authors’ ideas concerning freedom and equality compare? How does John Locke suggest a society achieve equality? How does this compare to Alexis de Tocqueville’s beliefs?
The Declaration of IndependenceThomas Jefferson
In "The Declaration of Independence," representatives from the 13 American colonies declare their independence from Great Britain.Pair “Political Society” with “The Declaration of Independence” and ask students to compare the ideas found in these texts. Thomas Locke’s “Political Society” supposedly influenced the Declaration of Independence. What connections, if any, do students see in these texts?