November 21, 2017

Timely Connections: Slavery & Compromise

In a Fox News interview with White House chief of staff John Kelly on Oct. 30, 2017, the former marine general said that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War”. Kelly's statement set off a firestorm of impassioned responses across traditional and social media about the cause of the Civil War and the history of slavery and compromise prior to this seminal event. Read some of the contemporary articles, review background information about compromises over slavery prior to the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing

Students deepen their understanding of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with this primary source image sequencing activity. Lesson implementation Direct students to work individually, in pairs or in small groups to write a definition of the word “democracy”. When students have finished, tell them that the word “democracy” comes from two Greek words: “demos” meaning “people” and “kratos” meaning “power” or “authority.” Ask them if they now want to revise the definitions they … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Constitution

Primary source lesson plans & activities American Memory Timeline: Primary Source Excerpts and Discussion Questions Related to the Constitution The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing Collection Connections Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional … [Read more...]

Today in History: New Jersey

Today in History–December 18–the Library of Congress features the state of New Jersey, which ratified the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1787; it was the third state to join the Union. Nicknamed the "Garden State" in the 19th century for its rolling farmlands, today New Jersey is known for its shoreline tourism and is also one of the most developed and industrialized states in America. Find out more about this revolutionary politico by visiting the Today in History section, then click the … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Synopsis of the Fugitive Slave Law

Review this synopsis of the fugitive slave law. Choose one of the synopsis points and find which part(s) of the fugitive law text the author drew from to create the summary. Use the text from the fugitive slave law to create your own synopsis using modern-day language. In the objections, the author states that the fugitive slave law "violates the spirit and letter of the Constitution" and then lists several examples. Look for one of the examples in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. … [Read more...]

Today in History: U.S. Constitution

Today in History–September 17–the Library of Congress features the U.S. Constitution. After much debate and compromise, the members of the Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution on this day in 1787. It would take just over nine months to ratify this document that would become the supreme law of the land. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and by delving into the extensive list of U.S. Constitution teaching resources & primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: 24th Amendment Ends Poll Tax

Today in History–January 23–the Library of Congress features the 24th amendment, ratified on this day in 1964. This constitutional amendment barred the poll tax which, up until this time, required voters in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia to pay in order to vote in a national election. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links to related resources below. The 24th Amendment Ended the Poll Tax from America's Library Poll tax … [Read more...]