• In creating a central government they were therefore more concerned with keeping it under control than with giving it the means to do its job.

    Edmund S. Morgan, The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89

    “It was a government in which Congress rather than the president was assigned the responsibility of leading the nation.” 

    Carol Berkin, A Brilliant Solution; Inventing the American Constitution


    Essential Questions:

    • How did Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and other Enlightenment thinkers impact the United States’ political institutions and beliefs such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution?
    • Why did the Founding Fathers think that government was necessary; and that elected officials should be controlled by a system of “checks and balances.”
    • How does revolutionary political change affect ordinary people?
    • What is tyranny? Why were the Articles of Confederation not effective enough to govern the U.S.A?  How does the Constitution guard against tyranny in the United States?


    Students are to read assigned articles – AND complete the following assignment:

    • Students are to read articles and then complete an OPCVL [Origins, Purpose, Content, ValueLimits] for students studying the Constitution:
      • Students are to complete an OPCVL for ONE of the articles by historians 
      • Students are to complete an OPCVL for ONE of the Federalist OR Anti-federalist readings
    • Students will prepare for a Hands-on-History (H-o-H) class discussion on December 12 and 13, 2019 that address the essential questions above. 
      • Preperation & Seminar materials that will be graded:
        • Evidence of readings complete - annotations or notes
        • 2 OPCVL's
        • Minimum of 4 discussion/debate questions to be asked during the seminar
        • Notes taken during Seminar
        • Participation in the Seminar