Unit 1 ​Foundations of ​American Government

Unit 1 ​Foundations of ​American Government
  • Themes with Concepts/Topics:

    Limited Government

    • Three key English documents
    • Three key philosophers

    Popular Sovereignty

    • Declaration of Independence
    • The Social Contract Theory

    Civil Liberties/Rights

    • Rights established by key historical documents

    Comparative Governments

    • Structure and organization of world governments
  • Standard SSCG1

    The student will demonstrate knowledge of the political philosophies that shaped the development of United States constitutional government.
    a. Analyze key ideas of limited government and the rule of law as seen in the Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights.
    b. Analyze the writings of Hobbes (Leviathan), Locke (Second Treatise on Government), and Montesquieu (The Spirit of Laws) as they affect our concept of government.

    Learning Targets: I can explain the key ideas of limited government and rule of law and can identify historical documents/situations in which these ideas are developed. I can connect specific philosophers with their ideas about government and analyze excerpts from their writings.

    Essential Questions: What big ideas about the role of government inform our own system? To where/when/whom in history can we trace these ideas about government? How did the political writings of the Enlightenment influence our Founding Fathers? What essential ideas about the nature of government explained in these writings form the basis of our own government?
  • Standard SSCG2

    The student will analyze the natural rights philosophy and the nature of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
    a. Compare and contrast the Declaration of Independence and the Social Contract Theory.
    b. Evaluate the Declaration of Independence as a persuasive argument.

    Learning Targets: I can identify events that led to the separation of the American colonies from England. I can explain how the founders pulled from the Enlightenment thinkers' ideas about government to justify independence. I can identify how the Declaration of Independence is structured. I can explain natural rights, social contract, and consent of the governed.

    Essential Questions: Why did Americans break away from England? How did key European Enlightenment thinkers' ideas about government influence our founders as our government was formed?