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Unit 1: Constitutional Underpinnings and Federalism

  • In Unit 1 we will focus on the underpinnings of the US Constitution. From the historical and philosophical influences on the Constitution to an in-depth reading of the Constitution, its main components, and how it is designed to work. 

    The content will cover:

    • Considerations that influenced the formulation and adoption of the Constitution
    • Separation of Powers
    • Checks and Balances
    • Federalism
    • Theories of Democratic Government 



    From College Board:

    The study of modern politics in the United States requires students to examine the kind of government established by the Constitution, paying particular attention to federalism, the separation of powers, and checks and balances. 

    Understanding these developments involves both knowledge of the historical situation at the time of the Constitutional Convention and an awareness of the ideological and philosophical traditions on which the framers drew. Such understanding addresses specific concern of the framers: for example, why did Madison fear factions? What were the reasons for the swift adoption of the Bill of Rights? Familiarity with the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of key provisions of the Constitution will aid student understanding of theoretical and practical features of federalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Students should be familiar with a variety of theoretical perspectives relating to the Constitution, such as democratic theory, theories of republican government, pluralism, and elitism.  

Shay's Rebellion
  • "A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing..." Thomas Jefferson

Last Modified on January 14, 2020