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Essential Questions

  1. What are the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American Democracy?
  2. Which landmark Supreme Court cases illustrate the court’s changing interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights over time?

Key Terms


In order to fully understand and connect the current topic of inquiry with previous and future topics in history and the social sciences, it is necessary to have a working knowledge of the following key terms.

  1. Government
  2. Public Policy
  3. Constitution
  4. State
  5. Sovereignty
  6. Unitary Government
  7. Federal Government
  1. Confederation
  2. Popular Sovereignty
  3. Ratification
  4. Federalists
  5. Anti-Federalists
  6. Veto
  7. Executive Agreements
  1. Amendments
  2. Treaties
  3. Separation of Powers
  4. Checks and Balances
  5. Elastic Clause
  6. Interstate Compacts
  7. Extradition

Historical People


People are the movers and shakers of history (i.e., history is created by and then molded by the key figures of the day). The knowledge and understanding of the following people and groups’ contribution to this unit of inquiry is essential.

  1. Aristotle
  2. Niccolo Machiavelli
  3. Thomas Hobbes
  4. John Locke
  5. Charles-Louis Montesqueiu
  1. William Blackstone
  2. Alexis de Tocqueville
  3. James Madison
  4. Adam Smith
  5. Karl Marx
  1. Thomas Jefferson
  2. King George III
  3. Thomas Paine
  4. Alexander Hamilton

Events and Ideas


History is a series of events woven together to create the fabric of our history.  Events, however, do not occur in isolation. Events are driven by the popular ideas of the time. As such, students must have a clear understanding of not only the major events of this unit of inquiry, but also the ideas behind those events.

  1. Popular Sovereignty
  1. Checks and Balances
  1. Federalism
Topics

The Constitution

Federalism

Unit Review & Project