Western Civilization

New American Republic

Political Campaign Video


The New American Republic faced numerous challenges between the formation of the Constitution and the War of 1812.  Political factions, disagreement over the new Constitution, government intrusion into freedoms of speech and press, a quasi-war with France and a British invasion all marked the first generation of America as a new nation.


In GROUPS OF 2-3 (or by yourself if you prefer), you will create a modern campaign video that uses modern political tactics in order to sway the voters to choosing your side on the political issue of your choosing from the time period of the Failure of the Articles of Confederation to the War of 1812.  Your video must fit the following requirements

     • Video must be 1--2 minutes in length

     • Video must use modern campaign tactics (see the list and examples below)

      •Video must highlight the positive qualities of your candidate or political position

      • Video must use mudslinging to defame the opposition candidate

      • Costuming and filming locations must -- as much as possible -- look early American (avoid

     modern stuff!... cars, houses, etc.)

      • Video must be appropriate for school and YouTube display

      • Video must involve everyone in your study group (either acting, filming, editing, or

     writing the script)

Your video has to focus upon only ONE political issue (election of a representative, a problem facing the nation that the government should fix, declaration of war, staying peaceful in war, secession from the Union, etc.).  The following is a list of possible examples:

     Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

     Ratification of the Constitution

     Bill of Rights

     George Washington for President

     John Adams for President

     Thomas Jefferson for President

     James Madison for President

     Aaron Burr for President

     Hamilton's Economic Policy

     Federal Assumption of War Debt

     Alien & Sedition Acts

     Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions

     Impressment of American Sailors

     Quasi-War with France

     XYZ Affair

     Problems with French Immigrants

     Midnight Judges

     Embargo Act

     War with Great Britain (War of 1812)

     Federalist Hartford Convention (Federalist Secession)

How to Make a Campaign Video

See the lists and links below for ideas on how to complete your campaign video, and be sure to ask your instructor for any help that you need with filming or editing:


      • Modern Political Campaigns use the following tactics of Propaganda:

           Assertion -- common sense, general knowledge

           Bandwagon -- appeal to follow the crowd, victory is inevitable

           Card Stacking -- only presenting positives, omitting anything negative or contrary

           Glittering Generalities -- simple words that demand approval without thinking  (Ex:  “freedom,”

          “love of country,” “honor,” “democracy,” “united we stand”)

           Pinpointing the Enemy -- targeting a specific group

           Plain Folks -- ideas presented are the ideas of the common man (easy to relate to)

Click here to see modern campaign video examples

Click here to see examples from last year