I’m teaching Intro to American Government this semester. It’s always a fun class to teach, which is an odd thing to say about an Intro lecture course. But…I like trying different ways of engaging students with American politics. This semester I’m using the same approach as the last time I taught the class. I assign students a variety of Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. Each student reads about 20-25 of these papers over the course of the semester. They are tough reads, but that’s part of what makes them so great. If you commit the time to engage and read these papers closely, you find so many parallels to contemporary political cleavages. I’m proud to say that we read both the Federalist AND (many) anti-Federalist papers. The latter are more scattered, but just as powerful. Fans of the Tea Party will find these papers quite compelling. They express a similar opposition to a large central government, particularly its potential threat to individual liberty. Here is a link to all of the papers (look under “Quicklinks”).