• Introduction

    What are the purposes of the Constitution and what system does it set up to accomplish those purposes?

    How has the Constitution changed and what connections can we make to how it started and what it means today?


    The Task

    Your task is to complete the attached outline using the link to the Constitution.  In addition, you will use these web resources to answer questions on each section of the Constitution.


    The Process

    Along with completing the outline, you will be responsible for three sections: Article I is required of everyone, and you will be assigned two additional Articles.  You will be evaluated based on participation in a whole class discussion of Article I, the completion of the packet, and your answers to the questions before eachof the Articles.


    ****Did the Framers of the Constitution use the Iroquois Confederation’s Great Law of Peace as a model for the Preamble and other parts of the Constitution?

    ****According to the Supreme Court, do the six goals listed in the Preamble give specific powers to the government or are they general guidelines?


    This site argues for the influence of the Iroquois on the U.S. Constitution.


    This site only allows reading of one page of a journal article, but that page provides the basic information arguing against Iroquois influence on the Constitution.


    This site includes the decision of Justice Harlan in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. (Click here for a specific excerpt from that decision.)


    Article I – required of all students

    **How has representation of the states changed in the House over the lifespan of the Constitution?

    **Who is the U.S. Representative from your district?  What would you ask him or her?

    **What committees has the House appointed and what do they do?

    ***Why did it take the Senate a long time before they could do anything during their first session?  How did they deal with the problem?  What was the first order of business once the problem was solved?


    This site gives background information on the House of Representatives as dictated in Article I along with a chart showing the growth from 59 to 435 members with each event that changed the number.


    This site tells about the twenty standing committees in the House and the function of both standing and temporary committees.  It also provides a way for students to write to their Representative.


    This is a link to the Journal of the Senate.  From here, you open the first session and use the entries from the beginning through page 8 of the journal.  (Page 8 is contained in the Monday, April 6 section of the Senate Journal Session 1.) On page 8, you must open the “page image” to see the table of the first count of Electoral votes for President.  The preceding entries show the difficulties in getting the attendance of a quorum in both the House and Senate following ratification of the Constitution.


    Article II

    **What part of Article II suggests the President’s system for getting advice? Who are the members of the President’s Cabinet of advisors today?  What departments do they lead? Visit some of the department links and tell about some of the things one department does.


    This site shows the current members of the President’s Cabinet.  It also lists the executive orders the President has issued, starting with the most recent (a lot more background knowledge of recent events required to do anything with executive orders). At the bottom of the web page under "Administration" there is a link entitled "The Cabinet".


    Article III

    *How many members are on the Supreme Court today?  How many are women?  How is this different than when the Supreme Court was first created?

    **How has the system of Courts of Appeals and District Courts changed?  How does a case get to the Supreme Court?  Is there only one way?

    **What words are carved above the entrance to the Supreme Court building?

    ****Explain what the case of Marbury v. Madison was about and why the Court’s decision set an important precedent.


    This site gives a brief history of the Supreme Court and its connection to the Constitution.  It also lists all the Chief Justices and the members of the current Court and which President appointed each. 
    This site gives information about the Supreme Court Building.


    This site provides lots of information.  I chose it for the description of the Marbury v. Madison landmark case and its history.  The site also gives good background on the Judiciary Act establishing the national court system in 1789.  It explains the Appellate and District Courts as they were set up then and as they are now (Supreme Court too, of course).


    Article IV

    ***What does “full faith and credit” mean for the states in relation to the national government?

    ****What did James Madison say is the difference between republican and democratic?


    This site gives a history of the Full Faith and Credit clause and is a more difficult source than most of the other sites.


    Article V

    *What are the different ways an amendment can be made to the Constitution?

    ***What do you think is the most important amendment that has been made?

    **Are there any proposed amendments that you are surprised have not been ratified?


    This site describes the process for amending the Constitution, the history behind the ratified amendments, and proposed, but failed amendments.


    Article VI

    *What was one major difference between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution?

    **Why couldn’t the national debt be paid off under the Articles?  Who did the United States owe $35 million to?


    This site compares the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution.

    Free Riders PowerPoint


    Article VII

    ***Who is with George Washington in the “Federal Chariot” in the cartoon?  Why do you think the artist chose these two men?

    **What two states were the last holdouts in ratifying the Constitution even though nine states ratifying made it official?  Think back to the Journal of the Senate link from Article I if you worked with that question.


    This site gives a brief history of the states ratifying the Constitution following the Constitutional Convention, but preceding the Bill of Rights.



    You will be graded on your completion of the outline, class participation, and answering the questions based on your Articles!


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