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At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, delegates analyzed, argued, and debated the new Constitution. George Mason, a Virginian, pleaded with the fifty-five delegates for the inclusion of a list of guaranteed rights. Mason (sometimes referred to as the “father of the Bill of Rights”) wanted the new Constitution to guarantee freedom of speech, press, and religion, and the right to a fair jury trial. He also wanted to include the freedom to vote.
Earlier in his career, Mason had worked hard at the...
When George Washington was a teenager, he wanted to make a good impression on his elders. Good manners were important to him. He made sure that he knew how Rules of Civility from a French rulebook into his own handwriting. Rules of Civility was a list of 110 rules for people to follow. These rules dealt with different situations, such as how to be respectful to people, how to be polite when dining with others, and how to behave. Here are ten of the rules:Every Action done in Company...
Two conflicting policies have governed this country’s treatment of Native Americans—assimilation and removal. As the United States expanded, it became necessary to issue formal policy statements and make treaties with Native peoples. Besides providing for a methodical process of colonization and future statehood, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 initiated a policy regarding the treatment of Native Americans that encouraged fair and equal treatment. By the 1820s Native Americans had demonstrated the ability to adapt to...
This lesson is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These resources were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
This activity can be used in most US history, economics, or civics classrooms. I would recommend that this lesson/unit in its current form be used in 11th- and 12th-...
This lesson on the First Inaugural Address of George Washington is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core–based units. These units were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by writing summaries of selections from the original document and, by the end of the unit, articulating their understanding of the complete document by answering questions in an argumentative writing style to fulfill the Common...