Using an inquiry based approach, Michigan high school students will learn about the foundations of American government by studying the Constitution and exploring how it works today.
The Founders did not create our system of government out of thin air. They were well-read and lived at a time when many new ideas about government were being developed. They took their inspiration from the ideas of a variety of thinkers, but each of the following had a distinct influence on what government in the United States would become: Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
The Declaration of Independence is key to understanding American government. Written in June and July of 1776, by the Committee of Five (Thomas Jefferson of Virgina, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York), the document was forged in a time of crisis. American colonists were engaged in a war on their own soil against their mother country, England , who possessed the most disciplined military in the world. This document was like none previously seen.
In Democracy in America. Alexis de Tocqueville referred to America as “The Great Experiment.” But what did he mean by saying that America’s constitutional democracy was an experiment? America was founded on key principles which, are the same principles that govern our nation today. America’s Founders initiated the experiment in democracy by trying out a new form of government, including the ideas that power should ultimately come from the people, that government power should be limited, and that individual liberties of all peoples should be protected.
A citizen is someone who is entitled to the legal rights granted by a state, and who is obligated to obey its laws and to fulfill certain duties. Living in the United States does not mean that someone is automatically a citizen. Permanent residents, people who have been lawfully admitted to the United States, are also granted certain legal rights and protections even if they are not citizens. For example, residents can live and work anywhere in the United States, attend public schools, join our armed forces and can also qualify for some Social Security benefits as well. Typically, people who are granted permanent resident status are immigrants who are related by birth or marriage to U.S. citizens or possess important job skills needed in the United States. Unlike citizens, permanent residents may not be able to hold public office or vote in elections. Why should someone consider becoming a citizen if they are not? Check out a list of all of the privileges of citizenship in the United States.
Have you ever stopped to think about why we have certain policies, laws and regulations? For instance, why is the driving age 16 or the drinking age 21? Why are there nutrition labels on all food packages? Why in Michigan, do you have to go to school until you are 18? Do you believe the United States should spend $601 billion dollars in 2016 on our national defense? Do you agree with how the United States handles issues with immigration? Do you even know how immigration issues and situations are handled? These are all examples of public policy.
In a letter written to James Madison in 1797, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution…” The separation of powers was one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution’s Framers. The Legislative Branch is sometimes referred as the “people’s branch” since the Founders believed and intended the legislative branch to closely reflect the will of the citizens.
Understanding economics, what some people call "economic literacy," is becoming essential for citizens in our national and increasingly interconnected world economy. Increasingly, productive members of society must be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate the causes and consequences of individual economic decisions and public policy including issues raised by constraints imposed by scarcity, how economies and markets work, and the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence. Such literacy includes analysis, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making that helps people function as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and responsible citizens. - From the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations
Understanding economics will help to make you a more successful person. Economics is a broad subject, just like any academic topic, that can be pursued from undergraduate programs at the university level, all the way to doctoral programs that require upwards of seven years of research to complete. However, our goal is to give you the most important basics of economic thinking so that you can not only earn an “A” in your high school economics class, but also learn how to be a more effective earner, saver, spender, and citizen.
In this economics unit you will explore how buyers and sellers meet together in markets to trade. Also you will look at the process of how prices are determined. Next, you will take a special look at what equilibrium is in economics as well as how it responds to a change in certain factors that affect supply or demand. Finally you will be asked to judge the fairness and efficacy of how equilibrium is reached in current American markets.
Berkeley is opening a new retail business selling local products to tourists in the summer. She is an entrepreneur, someone who identifies a need and takes a risk by starting a business to fill that need. Entrepreneurs often have similar traits. They are self-starters, independent minded, hard working, and willing to take risks. What form of business structure should Berkeley choose for her new business? She has a number of business structures to choose from.
Over time, many tools have been developed by economists to monitor a nation’s economic performance. And while many of these tools can seem too large in scale and too overwhelming to apply to your daily life, looking at some of the same indicators that economists do can actually help you as an individual make decisions on how to make the most of your income.
Markets fail. That is to say free markets do not always offer all of the goods and services that people might want. In addition, free market economies suffer from that difficulties caused by the business cycle. Periods of growth that are too rapid are followed by periods of decline, recession, or even depression. Because of these factors, governments act or intervene in free market systems.
Scarcity means that individuals as well as entire countries have to make choices about what to do with their resources. How a country answers the three fundamental economic questions (What to produce? How to produce? Who receives what is produced?) determines what type of economy it possesses. These decisions are also made on a global level, meaning the coordination of the planet’s resources involves making decisions on what should be made, how it should be made, and to whom it will be distributed. Thanks to improved transportation and communication, demand in one country may be easily met by a country in the opposite hemisphere. Of course, this give-and-take has been going on for centuries, but international trade over the past half-century has reached new heights, resulting in globalization, or the growing interdependence of countries upon one another.
How do circumstances influence individuals in making sound and purposeful financial decisions ensuring personal economic success in both a national and global economy? Why is it important to create a budget and set goals?