Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings

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Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings

We will begin by exploring the various philosophical perspectives regarding power in democratic government. Next, we will identify the motivations behind the Founders’ choice to divide power between the three branches, as well as between state and federal governments, and compare this to their division in contemporary America.

Essential Questions:

  1. What is the best way to govern ourselves?

  2. Is federalism a viable form of government today?

  3. Is the concept of separation of powers a reality today?

Date (B Day; A Day)


Possible Activities

Homework (This list is not exclusive; additional readings/assignments may be added!)

8/28; 8/29



Read 35-45 in textbook

8/30; 9/3

Power and Legitimacy, Review Historical Background of the Constitution

  • Pretest?

  • Who has power?

Read through Federalist 10 & 51

Read 45-50 in textbook

Due Today: Signed Syllabus

9/4; 9/6

The History of the Constitution-Factions

  • Constitution History-Timeline

  • Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

  • Federalist Papers 10/51

Complete guiding questions for Federalist Papers 10/51

Read 50-57 in textbook

9/9; 9/10

The History of the Constitution

  • Federalist 10 & 51

Read 57-67 in textbook

9/11; 9/12

The Constitution in Action

  • Principles of Democracy

  • Interpret Articles I-IV, VI-VII of the Constitution

Read 72-76 in textbook

Complete FRQ 1

9/13; 9/16

The Constitution in Action

  • How to Amend the Constitution (Article V)

  • Bill of Rights

Read 77-84 in textbook

Complete FRQ 2

9/17; 9/18

Federalism and Powers

  • Current event and Federalism debate(Medical Marijuana and Gay Marriage)

Read 84-95 in textbook

Due Today: FRQ 1

9/19; 9/20

Federalism and Powers

  • Federalism and the Supreme Court Activity

Read 95-100 in textbook

Due Today: FRQ 2

9/23; 9/24

Federalism and Powers

  • Federalism and Health Care: What would you do if you were governor?

Read 15-18 in textbook

Reading on War Powers Act

9/25; 9/26


  • War Powers Act

  • How does the US Constitution reflect different theories of government?

Study for Part 1 of Unit I test

9/27; 9/30

Review Unit I /FRQ (Part One of Unit I Test)

  • Review and Unit Test

Study for Part 2 of Unit I test

10/1; 10/2

MC Test(Part Two of Unit I Test/Begin Unit II

  • Part 2 of Unit Test

  • Political Ideologies

Due Today: Overview Packet and Vocabulary

Unit I Vocabulary:

power democracy (direct & indirect)

government pluralism

politics political participation eliteism

majoritarian politics republic

policy agenda popular sovereignty

public policy political system direct democracy

representative democracy power elite theory of democracy

bureaucratic view of democracy linkage institutions

majority rule-minority rights republic

three fifths compromise great compromise

Shay’s Rebellion New Jersey Plan

Virginia plan Bill of attainer

Social contract factions

natural rights confederation government

consent of the governed intergovernmental relations

limited government supremacy clause

Articles of Confederation 10th amendment

factions (Federalist #10) enumerated powers

writ of habeas corpus implied powers

checks and balances elastic clause

separation of powers Gibbons v. Ogden

Federalists full faith and credit clause

Anti-federalists privileges and immunities

The Federalist Papers dual federalism

Bill of Rights cooperative federalism

Marbury v. Madison fiscal federalism

judicial review categorical grants

social contract block grants

federalism commerce clause

unitary government amending process

mandates (funded & unfunded)

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