Understanding the foundations of American democracy is essential to understanding modern debates over government power and political participation. For example, the framers of the Constitution embedded checks and balances into the federal government, but, today, the executive branch has more power than many believe the Founders intended. In fact, some even refer to it as an "imperial presidency." In this unit, you'll learn all about the principles and beliefs that America's government was founded on and the key documents that influenced it.
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The most important thing you need to know about this unit:
THE FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
This unit will review the concepts and ideals that make the foundation for the US Government. It is necessary that you understand the basics and foundations of the government in order to have a strong base to apply to future units.
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The Constitution set up the blueprint for the structure of the government, and the Bill of Rights provided a basis for Americans' rights in relation to their government.
Over the years, there have been changes to the Constitution in order to keep up with the needs of society.
With these changes, there have been debates and compromises on the balance of power between the national and state governments.
The Declaration of Independence
The U.S. Constitution
Brutus No. 1
Federalist No. 10
Articles of Confederation
Great (Connecticut) Compromise
Compromise on the importation of slaves
separation of powers
checks and balances
Federalist No. 51
necessary and proper clause/elastic clause
McCulloch v Maryland
United States v. Lopez
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1.0Unit 1 Overview: Foundations of American Democracy