Search Resources

182 Results

View
Selected filters:
  • MI.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2
01. The Nature of Government
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Do you believe in government "by the people, for the people, and of the people"? Few Americans would say no, especially since these words spoken by Abraham Lincoln in his 1863 Gettysburg Address are firmly imbedded in the American political system. Yet governments over the centuries have not always accepted this belief in popularly elected rule.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
02. Foundations of American Government
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The American colonies began developing a democratic tradition during their earliest stages of development. Over 150 years later, the colonists believed their experience was great enough to refuse to recognize the British king. The first decade was rocky. The American Revolution and the domestic instability that followed prompted a call for a new type of government with a constitution to guarantee liberty. The constitution drafted in the early days of the independent American republic has endured longer than any in human history.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
02a. The Colonial Experience
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean created a safe distance for American colonists to develop skills to govern themselves. Despite its efforts to control American trade, England could not possibly oversee the entire American coastline. Colonial merchants soon learned to operate outside British law. Finally, those who escaped religious persecution in England demanded the freedom to worship according to their faiths.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
02d. The Bill of Rights
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

States cherished their new freedom from British control, and ratification of the Constitution by state legislatures was by no means certain. All thirteen states finally ratified by 1790, but only with the addition of ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, that guaranteed citizens' rights and freedoms.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
03. Federalism
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Did you ever wonder why you don't need a passport to go from New York to California, but if you were to move from one state to another, you would need a new driver's license? Or why you can use the same currency in all states, but not be subject to the same speed limits? Or why you have to pay both federal and state taxes?

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
03a. The Founders and Federalism
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The founders very carefully divided powers between federal and state governments. They were responding to both the colonial aversion to the tyranny of King George III as well as the failure of the Articles of Confederation. Their careful separating and blending of state and national powers guarded against tyranny, allowed for more citizen participation in government, and provided a mechanism for incorporating new policies and programs.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
03b. Tipping the Scales Toward National Power
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Some issues have endured throughout American history. What is meant by civil liberty? Does (or should) Congress truly represent the people? Do the courts ensure that justice prevails? How much power should lie with the President?

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
03c. Federal-State Relations Today: Back to States' Rights?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

For almost 200 years, the federal-state relationship has shifted more and more toward national supremacy. But some observers today believe that over the past twenty years, the balance of power is beginning to tilt back toward the states. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush tried to slow down the growth of the national government under the banner of "New Federalism."

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
04e. Voting: A Forgotten Privilege?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Voting is at the heart of democracy. A vote sends a direct message to the government about how a citizen wants to be governed. And yet, only 48.8 % of eligible voters actually cast their ballots in the 1996 presidential election. That figure represents the lowest general presidential election turnout since 1824. In off-year elections (those when the president is not running) the statistics are even worse. Why don't people vote?

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
06. Congress: The People's Branch?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Despite promises made by presidential candidates, the President has no direct power to pass any legislation. This very important power lies solely with the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Subject:
Law
General Law
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
06a. The Powers of Congress
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The Constitution specifically grants Congress its most important power — the authority to make laws. A bill, or proposed law, only becomes a law after both the House of Representatives and the Senate have approved it in the same form. The two houses share other powers, many of which are listed in Article I, Section 8. These include the power to declare war, coin money, raise an army and navy, regulate commerce, establish rules of immigration and naturalization, and establish the federal courts and their jurisdictions.

Subject:
Law
General Law
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
06b. Leadership in Congress: It's a Party Matter
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Partisanship — or fierce loyalty to one's political party — generally is not admired in the United States today. Many people today call themselves independent voters, and bickering between the parties in Congress is often condemned. But parties are very important in both the House of Representatives and the Senate today. Even though political parties do not play as big a role in elections as they once did, they still provide the basic organization of leadership in Congress.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
06d. Who Is in Congress?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

A paunchy, older, silver-haired man with no facial hair wearing an ill-fitting dark suit. This is the image evoked in the minds of many Americans when they try to picture a Representative or Senator. This stereotype is actually grounded in truth, although the makeup of Congress has changed a great deal in the past few decades.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
06e. How a Bill Becomes a Law
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Creating legislation is what the business of Congress is all about. Ideas for laws come from many places — ordinary citizens, the president, offices of the executive branch, state legislatures and governors, congressional staff, and of course the members of Congress themselves.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
07. The Presidency: The Leadership Branch?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The presidency was created in the image of George Washington, the man everyone believed would first occupy the office. Washington's personality shaped the expectation that the President should be wise, moderate, dignified, and nonpartisan. Of course, the President could not be all-powerful like the king of England. This person had to be sensitive to treading on individual rights and liberties. But especially for the fledgling nation, strong leadership was necessary.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
07a. The Evolution of the Presidency
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The 21st century dawned on a very different presidency than the one created at the end of the 1700s. Constitutional provisions limited the early presidency, although the personalities of the first three — George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson — shaped it into a more influential position by the early 1800s. However, throughout the 1800s until the 1930s, Congress was the dominant branch of the national government. Then, in the past seventy years or so, the balance of power has shifted dramatically, so that the executive branch currently has at least equal power to the legislative branch. How did this shift happen?

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018
07b. All the President's Men and Women
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Just as the power of the presidency has grown tremendously in recent years, so have the numbers of people that surround the executive branch. George Washington began his first term with only one aide — his nephew — who he paid out of his own pocket.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Date Added:
02/15/2018