Unit Outlines Standards

Civics / Government Version: CPS08-09

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Unit Name: 01 - Foundations of American Government

Essential Question

Elaborated Unit Focus: The focus of this unit is on the study of the political philosophies that influenced the Founding Fathers in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. This unit also examines why countries throughout the world develop different forms of government.

Enduring Understanding

The practical experience and writings of philosophers influence the development of a new government.

  • What major ideas from European political thinkers were adopted by the Founding Fathers and how do these ideas affect our concept of government? 
  • Countries throughout the world develop different types of governments.

  • Why do countries throughout the world develop different forms of government? 
  • Topic 1

    Limited Government

  • Three key English documents
  • Three key philosophers
  • Topic 1 Standards and Elements


    Topic 2

    Popular Sovereignty

  • Declaration of Independence
  • The Social Contract
  • Topic 2 Standards and Elements


    Topic 3

    Civil Liberties/Rights

  • Types of governments
  • Rights established by key documents
  • Topic 3 Standards and Elements


    Unit Vocabulary

    • State
    • Nation
    • nation-state
    • consensus
    • sovereignty
    • government
    • evolutionary theory
    • Thomas Hobbes
    • social contract
    • John Locke
    • Second Treatise of Government
    • force theory,
    • divine right
    • unitary system
    • federal system
    • confederacy
    • constitution
    • constitutional government
    • preamble
    • constitutional law
    • politics
    • industrialized nation
    • developing nation
    • autocracy
    • totalitarian dictatorship
    • monarchy
    • absolute monarchy
    • constitutional monarchy
    • oligarchy
    • democracy
    • direct democracy
    • representative democracy
    • republic
    • political party
    • free enterprise or capitalism
    • civil society
    • social consensus
    • free market
    • Adam Smith
    • laissez-faire
    • socialism
    • democratic socialism
    • communism
    • Karl Marx
    • command economy
    • Magna Carta
    • Petition of Rights
    • English Bill of Rights
    • representative government
    • House of Burgesses
    • Mayflower Compact
    • Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
    • separation of powers
    • Charles-Louis Montesquieu
    • Albany Plan of Union
    • Articles of Confederation
    • Northwest Ordinance
    • ratify, unicameral
    • Shays' Rebellion
    • Annapolis Convention
    • Virginia Plan
    • New Jersey Plan
    • Connecticut Compromise
    • Three-Fifths Compromise
    • interstate commerce

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