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The most influential recent work on the determinants of civil wars found the factors associated with the grievance motivation to be largely irrelevant.Our paper subjects the results of this empirical work to further scrutiny by embedding the study of civil war in a more general analysis of varieties of violent contestation of political power within the borders of the state.The bias review committee suggested the terms “enslaved people” or “enslaved Africans” instead of “slaves.”The overall goal was that every Michigan student — a third of whom are nonwhite — would be able to “see themselves” in the social studies standards, said Marsha Lewis, a Detroit assistant principal and a chair of the bias review group.
Previously, conservatives pushed for the nation to be called a “constitutional republic” founded on “core values,” not “democratic values.” The previous draft also used the term “roles of the citizen” instead of “civic participation.”“When you read Article IV, Section IV, it says you’re guaranteed a republican form of government,” said Patrick Colbeck, a Republican former state senator, citing the United States Constitution.
While the founders were indeed skeptical of direct democracy, mainstream historians, political scientists and legal scholars say that the United States is both a representative democracy and a republic — and that there is no contradiction between those terms.
A democracy is government by the people, who may rule either directly or indirectly, through elected representatives.
A republic is a form of government in which the people’s elected representatives make decisions.
Some of the country’s political processes, like ballot referendums, are more democratic than others, like the Electoral College.
Grappling with that complexity is key to understanding American government, according to social studies experts. Colbeck to participate in the standards-writing process after he submitted a 13-page critique of a 2015 draft of the document. Colbeck, a former aerospace engineer who became active in politics through the Tea Party movement, saw liberal bias throughout the standards.
Georgia has also debated the term, eventually settling, in 2016, on standards that use the phrase “representative democracy/republic.”The Michigan conservatives — who prefer “constitutional republic” — say their arguments are historical, not partisan.
The kindergarten section of the new draft of the Michigan social studies standards.
After a local publication, Bridge Magazine, reported the changes, the backlash in this political swing state was intense.
In response, the state brought a broader group of Michiganders into the process to redraft the standards, which will be presented to the State Board of Education on April 9.