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Role of Civic Engagement in a Republic- Analysing and Critiquing

Role of Civic Engagement in a Republic- Analysing and Critiquing

Civil engagement refers to when a group or individual intends to address a public problem. These consist of people functioning alone or communities operating together where their activities are intended to safeguard community morals or institute a societal transformation. Thus, a civic meeting is vital since it develops well-being by creating social wealth. Since the industrial revolution in the U.S., immigration has been a problem, which immensely heightened in the 2016 presidential polls. The primary historical aspect of the immigration matter is Henry Lodge’s 1896 speech. Lodge’s speech is perceived as the American society’s view that migrants have occupied the best openings and flooded the nation. Lodge’s speech proposes introducing a capitation tax for immigrants, posits that immigrants are the root cause of criminal activities and illnesses, and suggests the introduction of a literacy test as an effective measure to minimize immigration.

The first measure Henry predicted to be used to minimize immigration into the U.S. was the introduction of a capitation duty (The Restriction of Immigration – speech by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1896, N.D.). He proposed that Congress and the president enforce a tax on migrants as a policy that he supposed would significantly limit migration into the nation. For Lodge, the capitation levy would inhibit any valueless person from seeking entrance into the country. This levy would discriminate against immigrants and make them feel like introducers within the U.S. It would also prejudice immigrants working in less-paying jobs because Lodge proposed a hefty levy payment. I perceive capitation duty as a discriminative act against the values of American liberalism and democracy. Martin Luther King, in 1963, gave a moving speech that detailed, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote” (King, 1963). African-Americans were deprived of many rights that all men had and were never treated as equals. Thus, it is suitable for citizens to demonstrate against the government because of the rights and treatment of African Americans. According to the Declaration of independence (2020), “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” Even though the U.S. government argued that all men were equally created, they never practiced this written credence.

The second issue was Lodge claimed that immigration is responsible for illness, low productivity, and crimes in the United States. Lodge stated that the diseased, contract laborers, paupers, and criminals belonged to a class that should be excluded (The Restriction of Immigration – speech by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1896, N.D.). This proposal was unrealistic because immigrant laborers were the backbone of the industrial revolution in the U.S. as they offered cheap labor. In addition, the speech stated that immigrants were criminals within society. Contrarily, white Americans in the U.S. had more prisoners than other races then. Therefore, the speech seems incorrect in its conclusion and evaluation that immigrants make up the highest number of criminals. Yet, white Americans were statistically more liable for crimes in the nation. America is full of opportunities, and I believe the most qualified individuals are more likely to get jobs. I believe the most educated group are the immigrants who will definitely make the U.S. develop and support the economy. They should be motivated to migrate than discouraged.

The other technique that Henry suggested was to introduce a literacy test to stop immigration. (The Restriction of Immigration – speech by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1896, N.D.). This literacy test was offered to people to examine their level of English proficiency. They were used to stop immigrants from gaining entrée in the U.S. This teat was added to the bill and utilized to deny persons the right to vote. Personally, the literacy test also encourages discrimination against individuals due to their educational background and would never withstand in current times. Besides, the test was unfair to diverse countries because Britain immigrants were somewhat more advantaged than other immigrants. Adler (2002) affirms that the quest for truth is achieved in myriad ways by using various strategies and resorting to multiple devices to correct mistakes or expand knowledge. Thus, whether they get the contributions lawful or unlawful, they should never report that to their citizens, offering them the knowledge of the truth. Even when they never agree with the choice, offering truth to citizens will ensure everyone is provided the knowledge.


Adler, M. J. (1984). Chapter 8. In Six great ideas: truth, goodness, beauty, liberty, equality, justice: ideas we judge by ideas we act on. Essay, Collier Books.

Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream Speech – American Rhetoric. (1963).

National Archives and Records Administration. (2020). Declaration of Independence: A Transcription. National Archives and Records Administration.

The Restriction of Immigration by Henry Cabot Lodge. The Restriction of Immigration – Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1896. (N.D.).


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Role of Civic Engagement in a Republic

Learning Objective: Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s “Three Great Untruths” are examined: 1) life is a battle between good people and evil people, 2) what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, and 3) always trust your feelings. Civic engagement is the antidote to the divisiveness and self-centeredness that belief in these “untruths” fosters.

Role of Civic Engagement in a Republic- Analysing and Critiquing

Role of Civic Engagement in a Republic- Analysing and Critiquing

Political Speech and Civic Engagement (aka Deeply Flawed Article)

In June 2019, the Gallup polling organization reported that 23% of Americans viewed immigration as the most important political issue facing the United States. Although we frequently hear American society described as a nation of immigrants, concerns over immigration is not a new topic. In 1896 Senator Henry Cabot Lodge delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, titled, The Restriction of Immigration. For this assignment, write a paper of no less than 550 words analyzing and critiquing three arguments presented by Senator Lodge. In your role as an engaged citizen, how would you respond to the views expressed by Lodge? Use specific ideas from the assigned readings in weeks one and two to support your argument.

The Restriction Of Immigration by Henry Cabot Lodge – Speech in the Senate, March 16, 1896,

This assignment is worth 100 points.


Each Primary Assignment requires:

  • a thesis statement,
  • an APA style bibliography,
  • use of APA style in-line citations, and
  • adherence to the 3+1 Rule.

The 3+1 Rule requires students to use a minimum of three assigned readings from the current week and one from a previous week.

Weekly Content

The Coddling of the American Mind, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, 2015

Six Great Ideas, Chapter 8,  Pursuit of Truth, M Adler

I have a Dream… Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words are Violence, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, 2017

The Harm in Free Speech, Stanley Fish, The New York Times, 2012

Previous Week.

Bowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam

Civic Virtue, Sara Bosin, Learning To Give

Declaration of Independence: A Transcript, National Archives (pages 55 – 63: ending at The Method)

Rethinking poverty, What makes a good society?,  Open Access

What is Social Capital?, OECD Insights: Human Capital

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