October 5, 2021

Timely Connections: Constitutional Rights of Students

Every year the United States celebrates Constitution Day on September 17. How much do you know about U.S. constitutional rights? Did you know that those rights are different in the context of public schools? School officials have significant leeway when instituting and enforcing rules to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning but, over the years, the Supreme Court has weighed in on the balance of students' constitutional rights as U.S. citizens and as public school students. What can … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Three-Fifths Compromise & the Northwest Ordinance

U.S. Constitution Article I Section 2 Clause 3 Fragment of an original letter on the slavery of the negroes; written in the year 1776, by Thomas Day, Esq James Madison correspondence related to slavery Madison Debates, Avalon Project June 11, 1787 July 11, 1787 July 12, 1787 August 8, 1787 August 25, 1787 The Constitution a pro-slavery compact; or, Extracts from the Madison papers, etc. selected by Wendell Phillips 1856 Mysteries of Madison’s Notes of the … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: The Iroquois Confederacy

Senate Resolution 702 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) was agreed to on November 26, 2018. It recognized the contributions of Native Americans to the United States, including the Iroquois Confederacy. Whereas Congress has recognized the contributions of the Iroquois Confederacy and the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy on the Founding Fathers in the drafting of the Constitution of the United States with the concepts of— (1) freedom of speech; (2) the separation of governmental powers; … [Read more...]

NHD 2019: Early U.S. History

Salem Witch Trials Today in History: Salem Witch Trials background, primary sources, secondary sources American Settlers Versus Native Americans Stories from America's Library Raid of Deerfield, Massachusetts in Queen Anne's War Roger Williams & Freedom in Rhode Island Curated source collections: background, primary sources, secondary sources Thanksgiving Wampanoag Jamestown Captivity Narratives Fort Necessity & the French and Indian War … [Read more...]

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

Congress.gov Constitution Annotated analysis & interpretation of the U.S. Constitution Guided primary source analysis activities The Constitutional Amendment National Anti-Suffrage Association Lessons from the Citizen U Multidisciplinary Civics Lesson Library Find Your Freedom Beyond the Bill of Rights Citizen U Constitutional Rights Foundation Introduction to the Constitution California History-Social Science Project Journalists and a Free Press Citizen U … [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...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: 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...]