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Joseph J. Ellis, Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, discusses his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, explains the emergence of the men who led the Revolutionary War and created the new nation, and delves into the four criticisms modern society lays at the door of the Founding Fathers.
Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of Kissinger: A Biography, traces Benjamin Franklin’s life from runaway apprentice to Founding Father, exploring how Franklin’s commitment to the common American and his appreciaiton for the possibilities of democracy helped forge an American national identity.
US Constitution, Our Documents
Finkelman, Paul. Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2001.
Why did the Founders find it necessary to provide protections for slavery in the US Constitution?Learning Objective ...
The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 was full of conflict and compromise. Yet as the convention drew to a close, some of the biggest debates were just beginning. According to the Constitution, nine of the thirteen states needed to ratify the document before it could go into effect (although most acknowledged that without the support of all the states, the government would struggle with legitimacy). It would take almost three years for all thirteen states to ratify the Constitution. Some...
The Evolution of the US Constitution: The Preambles to the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution
This lesson plan 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.Overview
Students will have the opportunity to read, interpret, discuss, and compare portions of the Articles of Confederation and two versions of the...