Government is the institutional authority that rules a community of people. The primary purpose of government is to maintain order and stability so that people can live safely, productively, and happily.
Modern federalism is the division of governmental powers between a central national government and provincial or state governments within the country. Powers granted exclusively to the central government are supreme.
Equality in a constitutional democracy means equal justice under the law. No one is above or beyond the reach of the law, and no one is entitled to unfair advantages or subjected to unequal penalties based on the law.
A primary defining characteristic of democracy is the regular occurrence of free, fair, competitive elections in which practically all the people of a country can vote to select their representatives in government.
In a constitutional democracy, there is bound to be diversity among the people. It may be expressed as diversity in ideas and interests, diversity in social and political groups, diversity in religion, race, and ethnicity, and diversity in centers of power.
Democracy in the governments of countries today is representative, meaning that the people rule indirectly through their elected public officials. Democracy today is also constitutional, meaning that government by the people’s representatives is both limited and empowered to protect equally and justly the rights of everyone in the country.
Constitutionalism is a way of thinking about the relationship between the rulers and the ruled in a community. It combines two concepts, limited government and the rule of law, that permeate the constitution, a country’s framework for government.
A constitution is the basic law and general plan of government or a people within a country. The purposes, powers, and limitations of government are prescribed in the constitution. It thus sets forth the way people are governed or ruled.
Civil society is the network of voluntary associations, or non-governmental organizations, that are separate from the institutions of the government but subject to the rule of law. Apart from the government, civil society is a private domain that serves the public good.
All democratic countries provide formal and informal opportunities for civic education, or teaching and learning about citizenship. Formal civic education is carried out through the curriculum of schools, and informal civic education occurs through the interaction of individuals in various societal organizations.
Citizenship is the legal relationship between citizens and their government and country. Citizens owe their government loyalty, support, and service. The government owes the citizens the protection of constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty, property, and equal justice under law.
Accountability means that the government in a democracy is responsible to the people for its actions. This responsibility is primarily ensured by periodic public elections through which the people choose their representatives in government.
In this lesson, students will explore the fundamental reasons for the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment. Students will engage in a simulation and identify the history and evolution of the confrontation clause.
The Monticello Digital Classroom, launched in 2017, combines content from the prior classroom archive with materials from the Sea of Liberty website. The Digital Classroom includes lesson plans, articles, and multimedia content for use by teachers, students and scholars of all levels.
The ABOTA Foundation provides free civics and law-related education resources and programs to teachers and students. Lesson plan topics include media literacy; civic participation in the justice system; the Constitution; federal and state courts; judicial independence; Magna Carta; trial by jury; and separation of powers. ABOTA also offers the James Otis Lecture Series on the Constitution and Teachers Law School, a crash course in the law and legal system for middle and high school educators.
The Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause gives the accused the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him” at a criminal trial. This video uses the U.S. Supreme Court case Crawford v. Washington to help explain the history and importance of the confrontation clause and why the framers knew it would be crucial to an effective system of justice.”
This guide for K-12 educators provides four types of activity suggestions and related resources for your upper elementary, middle or high school students: class starters; in-depth classroom activities; projects/performances for assessment; and culmination activities.
The landmark Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright examines the impact that one event can make on the Constitution through the judicial process. This lesson is designed to give students an opportunity to interact with the Constitution
This lesson focuses on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, which challenged the extent to which the president of the United States can exercise power during times of foreign conflict.