American History, the Founding Principles, Civics and Economics

Download 69.66 Kb.
Size69.66 Kb.

Foundations of Government

American History, the Founding Principles, Civics and Economics

Unit Overview:

Foundations of government / Declaration of Independence / Articles of Confederation / Shay’s Rebellion

Essential Standard Correlations:




CE.E.1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

CE.C&G.1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4



Conceptual Lens:

Limited Government

Unit 2

Civics and Government

  • Foundations of Government

Magna Carta

Mayflower Compact

VA House of Burgesses

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

Maryland Toleration Act

English Bill of Rights

Zenger Case

  • Causes of the American Revolution

  • Declaration of Independence

  • Articles of Confederation

  • Shays’ Rebellion


  • Imports/Exports

  • Mercantilism

  • Trade deficit/surplus

  • Taxation

  • Tariffs


Conceptual Lens:

Limited Government

Personal Financial Literacy


Essential Understandings (Generalizations) and Guiding (Essential) Questions:
Wars affect social, political, economic, and cultural institutions.

  1. How and why did the economic relationship between Great Britain and its colonies change after the French and Indian War?

  2. How and to what extent did various colonists protest British economic policies leading up to the American Revolution?

  3. How and why did the political relationship between the colonists and England change after the French and Indian War?

The quest for equality and freedom can shape a society’s identity and lead to a pursuit of limited government.

  1. How did the ideals of mercantilism guide the economic development of the colonies, as well as their relationship with Great Britain?

  2. What were the intellectual origins and major ideas of the Declaration of Independence?

  3. How did the Declaration of Independence establish the foundation of American government?

  4. How did the idea of limited government evolve in the United States?

Conflict and compromise can shape the politics of a society.

  1. Was the American War for Independence inevitable?

  2. Were the colonist justified in breaking away from Great Britain?

Shared values and principles may be necessary for a group of people to progress and form a political system.

a. How did the colonists’ experiences under the British government influence them to establish a system of self-government?

b. Which documents and people influenced the colonists’ viewpoints on self-government?

c. How did the successes and failures of the colonial governments influence the colonists’ attitude about self-government?

d. What events and actions led the colonies to rebel against Great Britain?

e. How did colonists react to the treatment they received from the British government?

Unit Vocabulary

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Low level, every day basic words
Cause and Effect






More complex, interdisciplinary words
Natural Rights



Civil Rights

Civil Liberties






Resources (raw materials, manufactured goods)


Civil Disobedience


Content specific, complex words

Salutary Neglect

“No taxation without representation”


Consent of the Governed

Social Contract Theory

Limited Government

Representative Democracy

Direct Democracy

Popular Sovereignty

Great Awakening


Triangle Trade

Middle Passage

Indentured Servant

Rule of Law

Writs of Assistance

Inalienable Rights

Key People

Daniel Shays

John Locke

Thomas Paine

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Thomas Hobbes

Baron de Montesquieu

Thomas Jefferson

John Peter Zenger

King George III

By the end of this unit, students should be able to state…

• I can explain how salutary neglect led to independence in the colonies.

• I can describe evidence of self-rule in the colonies.

• I can interpret why certain events led the colonists to independence.

• I can defend the colonists’ reasons for writing the Declaration of Independence.

• I can explain how John Locke influenced the Declaration of Independence.

• I can describe how the Enlightenment thinkers influenced the US Constitution.

• I can describe the weakness of the Articles of Confederation.

• I can explain how Shays’ Rebellion led to the fall of the Articles of Confederation.

• I can compare the Federalists’ and Anti-Federalists’ desires for the new Constitution.

• I can predict how the Federalists and Anti-Federalists would feel about current events.

• I can list and describe the compromises made at the Constitutional Convention.

• I can make connections between colonial events and the Constitution today.

Performance Task and Scoring Guides/Rubric
Generalizations: The quest for equality and freedom can shape a society’s identity and lead to a pursuit of limited government.

Why: To demonstrate student understanding of the causes leading to the separation of the U.S. from Great Britain and implications for today

How: Constructing an argument from the perspective of an American colonist

What: Well constructed essay that uses textual evidence to explain what the Declaration of Independence meant to colonists and how it is used in American politics today

Performance Task: Declaration of Independence

Reading Tasks: Students will closely read what the text is saying and make inferences when necessary. Students will determine central ideas and analyze how they are developed. Students will analyze the how and why this document was written, and how the ideas are developed in writing. Students will analyze the structure of the text, and assess the point of view of the writer. Students will evaluate the arguments and claims within the text.

Vocabulary Tasks: While meaning of the words will initially be derived with help from the teacher, the meaning within the context of the passage will be discerned by students as they read the various components of the declaration.

Discussion Tasks: Students will evaluate the arguments and claims within the text. Students will analyze how and why the document was written, and how the ideas are developed in writing.

Writing Tasks: Students will write an argument with claims supported by using valid reasoning and evidence from the text. Students will produce clear writing which is developed with an essential question in mind. Students will gather evidence from their reading to write in response to the anchor questions. Students will clarify their writings over the course of the lesson. Students will draw evidence from the primary source in all their writings within the unit.

Essential Question(s):What did the declaration of independence mean to the American Colonists, and how is it used in American politics today?

Student Page

Text Under Discussion


My Thoughts/Notes


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.w

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
























Grading Rubric for Writing Assignment

A (4)

B (3)

C (2)

D/F (1/0)

Focus: Purpose

Purpose is clear

Shows awareness of purpose

Shows limited awareness of purpose

No awareness

Main idea

Clearly presents a main idea and supports it throughout the paper.

There is a main idea supported throughout most of the paper.

Vague sense of a main idea, weakly supported throughout the paper.

No main idea

Organization: Overall

Well-planned and well-thought out. Includes title, introduction, statement of main idea, transitions and conclusion.

Good overall organization, includes the main organizational tools.

There is a sense of organization, although some of the organizational tools are used weakly or missing

No sense of organization

Organization: Paragraphs

All paragraphs have clear ideas, are supported with examples and have smooth transitions.

Most paragraphs have clear ideas, are supported with some examples and have transitions.

Some paragraphs have clear ideas, support from examples may be missing and transitions are weak.

Para. lack clear ideas


Exceptionally well-presented and argued; ideas are detailed, well-developed, supported with specific evidence & facts, as well as examples and specific details.

Well-presented and argued; ideas are detailed, developed and supported with evidence and details, mostly specific.

Content is sound and solid; ideas are present but not particularly developed or supported; some evidence, but usually of a generalized nature.

Content is not sound

Research (if assignment includes a research component)

Sources are exceptionally well-integrated and they support claims argued in the paper very effectively. Quotations and Works Cited conform to MLA style sheet.

Sources are well integrated and support the paper’s claims. There may be occasional errors, but the sources and Works Cited conform to MLA style sheet.

Sources support some claims made in the paper, but might not be integrated well within the paper’s argument. There may be a few errors in MLA style..

The paper does not use adequate research or if it does, the sources are not integrated well. They are not cited correctly according to MLA style, nor listed correctly on the Works Cited page.

Style: Details and Examples

Large amounts of specific examples and detailed descriptions.

Some use of specific examples and detailed descriptions. May have extended examples that go on for too long.

Little use of specific examples and details; mostly generalized examples and little description.

No use of examples

Unit Resources

Resource Title



Declaration of Independence

Library of Congress; textbook

Link to original document for a close reading exercise

Foundational documents

Library of Congress

Magna Carta, Virginia House of Burgesses, Zenger Case, English Bill of Rights, Maryland Toleration Act, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, Mayflower Compact, Articles of Confederation

SHEG: Primary Document activity “How did American’s React to Shay’s Rebellion?”

Stanford History Education

Great resource from Stanford education that has short primary document excerpts that allow students to answer a central question

Boston Massacre engraving

Library of Congress

Engraving by Paul Revere

Join or Die political cartoon

Library of Congress

Cartoon by Benjamin Franklin

Too Late to Apologize- A Declaration


Music video

School House Rocks clips


No More Kings, Shot Heard ‘Round the World


French and Indian War- Crash Course


John Green summary of the French and Indian War

The Patriot

The Patriot DVD

Clips can be used to show Loyalists vs. Patriot point of view

Common Sense- Thomas Paine

Excerpts from ‘Common Sense”

Excerpts can be used to analyze arguments for independence

John Adams series

HBO series

Can be used to give a visual on events leading up to the American revolution and through John Adam’s presidency

Declaration of Independence- modern translation

DOI Modern Translation

Original text with a modern translation; helpful with LEP students

Second Treatise of Government- John Locke

Second Treatise of Government

Excerpts can be used to discuss social contract theory, and can be used to compare with Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence

CMS Social Studies – Revised 2014-2015

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page