- ›› Eras and Sub-Eras : The Age of Jefferson and Madison
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On May 12, 1814, Tennessee settler Isaac Stephens wrote to his uncle Henry Mackey in Virginia about the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama. In that battle on March 27, 1814, US Army and Tennessee militia troops under General Andrew Jackson defeated 1000 warriors from the Creek confederation, ending the Creek War of 1812–1814.
After months of battling and compromises, the US Constitution was finally adopted on September 17, 1787. Still, America was embroiled in heated arguments over exactly how the government would work and what powers it could really exercise. Political parties soon developed as groups argued about the direction of the country. Alexander Hamilton became a leading voice of the Federalists who believed that the federal government needed to be strong. On the other side, Thomas Jefferson, a Republican, argued that too much power...
First Amendment: Freedom of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and petition
Second Amendment: The right to keep and bear arms
Third Amendment: Prohibits quartering of troops in citizens’ homes
Fourth Amendment: Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
Fifth Amendment: Protects against the taking of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; protection against self-incrimination
Sixth Amendment: A person accused of a crime has a right to a defense lawyer, speedy and public trial, the right to hear charges, call witnesses, and be present when witnesses speak in court
Seventh Amendment: The right to trial by jury
Eighth Amendment: Protection against excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments
Ninth Amendment: The rights enumerated in the Constitution are not a person’s only rights
Tenth Amendment: Powers not delegated to the US nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or to the people
Thomas Jefferson has often been called a “Renaissance man,” someone who is talented in many areas. The term is often used to describe the Italian painter Leonardo Da Vinci, who not only painted the Mona Lisa, but who also made important contributions to sculpture, astronomy, physiology, architecture, and many other fields. Jefferson is well known for his contributions to American politics and government; this lesson allows students to explore some of his other talents.Materials ...
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.
—Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787Reading 2
While we have land to labour then, let us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a workbench, or twirling a distaff . Carpenters, masons, smiths, are wanting in husbandry: but, for the general operations of manufacture, let our workshops remain in...
The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, who are representatives typically chosen by the candidate’s political party, though some state laws differ. Each state’s number of electors is based on its congressional delegation (one for each member in the House of Representatives and one for each member in the Senate). Currently, a total of 270 electoral votes is required to win the presidency.Prior to the 1804 election the first runner-up became vice president, as spelled out in the US Constitution. As a...
How could our Founding Fathers balance the needs of the states as we created a national government?Materials The Virginia Plan, 1787 (PDF). Source: Virginia (Randolph) Plan as Amended (National Archives Microfilm Publication M866, 1 roll); The Official Records of the Constitutional Convention; Records of the Continental and...
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-...