Teaching About the Constitution

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Clair W. Keller, Denny L. Schillings
National Council for the Social Studies, 1987 - Law - 122 pages
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This book provides a historical perspective on the changing nature of the United States Constitution and the society it has shaped. Part I focuses on the eighteenth century with chapters on the origins, writing, and ratification of the Constitution. Activities are designed to help students think about the difficulties associated with the creation of the U.S. Constitution; to teach students to distinguish between Federalist and Anti-federalist principles; to give special attention to the treatment of slavery in the Constitution; and to explore the position of women in U.S. politics. Part II (a focus on the nineteenth century) concerns interpreting and amending the Constitution. Activities in this section explore the Supreme Court decisions of "Marbury v. Madison," and "McCulloch v. Maryland," implied powers, and the Thirteenth Amendment. Part III highlights the evolution of the U.S. Constitution in the twentieth century. Supreme Court decisions are used to illustrate freedom of speech ("Gitlow v. New York"); equality of opportunity ("Brown v. Board of Education"); and executive privilege ("United States v. Nixon"). The process of amending the Constitution is illustrated through tracing the Equal Rights Amendment through the amendment process. Part IV consists of a 25-page annotated bibliography. (SM)

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Distinguishing Federalist and Antifederalist Ideas

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