Alabama

Alabama Statutory Mandate:

Ala. Code § 16-6B-2, Core Curriculum “Four years (equivalent of four credit units) of social studies with an emphasis on history, music history, fine arts history, geography, economics, and political science. History courses shall include material on the history of the United States and the Constitution of the United States. The Legislature further requires that the curriculum content of American history shall include the teaching of important historical documents including the Constitution of the United States, The Declaration of Independence, The Emancipation Proclamation, The Federalist Papers, and other such documents important to the history and heritage of the United States.”

 

Alabama Social Studies Standards

Kindergarten

  • Identify rights and responsibilities of citizens within the family, classroom, school, and community.
    • Examples: taking care of personal belongings and respecting the property of others, following rules and recognizing consequences of breaking rules, taking responsibility for assigned duties.
  • Describe how rules provide order, security, and safety in the home, school, and community.
    • Construct classroom rules and procedures.
    • Determine consequences for not following classroom rules and procedures.
  • Identify symbols, customs, famous individuals, and celebrations representative of our state and nation.
    • Examples: symbols – United States flag, Alabama flag, bald eagle; customs – pledging allegiance to the United States flag, singing the “Star Spangled Banner”; individuals –George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Squanto, Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrations – Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day.

Grade 1

  • Identify rights and responsibilities of citizens within the local community and state.
    • Describe how rules in the community and laws in the state protect citizens’ rights and property.
    • Describe ways, including paying taxes, responsible citizens contribute to the common good of the community and state.
    • Demonstrate voting as a way of making choices and decisions.

Grade 2

  • Relate principles of American democracy to the founding of the nation.
    • Identify reasons for the settlement of the thirteen colonies.
    • Recognize basic principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the establishment of the three branches of government, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
    • Demonstrate the voting process, including roles of major political parties. o Utilize school and classroom rules to reinforce democratic values.
  • Identify national historical figures and celebrations that exemplify fundamental democratic values, including equality, justice, and responsibility for the common good.
    • Recognize our country’s founding fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, John Adams, John Hancock, and James Madison.
    • Recognize historical female figures, including Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Harriet Tubman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
    • Describe the significance of national holidays, including the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
    • Describe the history of American symbols and monuments.
      • Examples: Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, bald eagle, United States flag, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial.

Grade 3

  • Recognize the functions of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
    • Describe the process by which a bill becomes law.
    • Explain the relationship between the federal government and state governments, including the three branches of government.
    • Define government systems, including democracy, monarchy, and dictatorship.
  • Explain the significance of representations of American values and beliefs, including the Statue of Liberty, the statue of Lady Justice, the United States flag, and the national anthem.

Grade 4

  • Describe Alabama’s entry into statehood and establishment of its three branches of government and the constitutions.
  • Explain reasons for Alabama’s secession from the Union, including sectionalism, slavery, states’ rights, and economic disagreements.
    • Identify Alabama’s role in the organization of the Confederacy, including hosting the secession convention and the inauguration ceremony for leaders.
    • Recognize Montgomery as the first capital of the Confederacy.
    • Interpret the Articles of the Confederation and the Gettysburg Address.
  • Analyze political and economic issues facing Alabama during Reconstruction for their impact on various social groups.
    • Interpret the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
    • Identify Africans Americans who had an impact on Alabama during Reconstruction.
    • Identify major political parties in Alabama during Reconstruction.
  • Analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.
    • Example: implementations of the Plessey versus Ferguson “separate but not equal” court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
    • Explain the Jim Crow laws.
  • Analyze the modern Civil Rights movement to determine social, political, and economic impact on Alabama
    • Recognize important persons of the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr., George C. Wallace, Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, John Lewis, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, Hugo Black, and Ralph David Abernathy.
    • Describe events of the modern Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, the Freedom Riders bus bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March.
    • Explain benefits of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court case of 1954.
    • Use vocabulary associated with the modern Civil Rights Movement, including discrimination, segregation, integration, suffrage, and rights.

Grade 5

  • Explain the early colonization of North America and reasons for settlement in the Northern, Middle, and Southern colonies, including geographic features, landforms, and differences in climate among the
    • Recognize how colonial development was influenced by the desire for religious freedom.
      “Example: development in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Maryland colonies.
    • Identify influential leaders in colonial society.
    • Describe emerging colonial government.
      • Examples: Mayflower Compact, Representative government, town meetings, rule of law.
  • Determine causes and events leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party.
  • Identify major events of the American Revolution, including the battles of Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Yorktown.
    • Describe principles contained in the Declaration of Independence.
  • Explain contributions of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, George Washington, Haym Solomon, and supporters from other countries to the American Revolution.
    • Explain contributions of ordinary citizens, including African Americans and women, to the American Revolution.
    • Describe efforts to mobilize support for the American Revolution by the Minutemen, Committees of Correspondence, First Continental Congress, Sons of Liberty, boycotts, and the Second Continental Congress.
    • Recognize reasons for colonial victory in the American Revolution.
    • Explain the effect of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 on the development of the United States.
  • Explain how the inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation led to the creation and eventual ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
    • Describe major ideas, concepts, and limitations of the Constitution of the United States, including duties and powers of the three branches of government.
    • Identify factions in favor of and opposed to ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
      • Federalist and Anti-Federalist factions.
    • Identify main principles in the Bill of Rights
    • Analyze the election of George Washington as President of the United States for its impact on the role of president in a republic.
  • Identify causes of the Civil War, including states’ rights and the issue of slavery.
    • Describe the importance of the Missouri Compromise, Nat Turners’ insurrection, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown’s rebellion, and the election of 1860.
    • Recognize key Northern and Southern personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Joseph Wheeler.
    • Identify Alabama’s role in the Civil War.
      • Examples: Montgomery as first capital of the Confederacy, Winston County’s opposition to Alabama’s secession.
    • Explain events that led to the conclusion of the Civil  War.
  • Summarize the successes and failures of the Reconstruction Era
    • Evaluate the extension of citizenship rights to African Americans included in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
    • Analyze the impact of Reconstruction for its effect on education and social institutions in the United States.
      • Examples: Horace Mann and education reform, Freedmen’s Bureau, establishment of segregated schools, African-American churches.
      • Explain the black codes and the Jim Crow laws.
      • Describe post-Civil War land distribution, including tenant farming and sharecropping.

Grade 6

  • Describe the reform movements and changing social conditions during the Progressive Era in the United States.
    • Identify workplace reforms, including the eight-hour workday, child labor laws, and workers’ compensation laws.
    • Identify political reforms of Progressive movements leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt and the establishment of the national park system.
    • Identify social reforms of the Progressive movement, including efforts by Jane Addams, Clara Barton, and Julia Tutwiler.
    • Recognize goals of the early civil rights movement and the purpose of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
    • Explain Progressive movement provisions of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-First Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
  • Critique major social and cultural changes in the United States Since World War II.
    • Identify key persons and events of the modern Civil Rights Movements.
      • Examples:
        • Persons – Martin Luther King, Jr; Rosa Parks; Fred Shuttlesworth; John Lewis.
        • Events – Brown v. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, student protects, Freedom Rights, Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March, political assassinations.
    • Describe the changing role of women in the United States’ society and how it affected the family unit.
      • Examples: women in the workplace, latchkey children.
  • Evaluate significant political issues and policies of presidential administration since World War II.
    • Identify domestic policies that shaped the United States since World War II.
      • Examples: Desegregation of the military, Interstate Highway system, federal funding for education, Great Society, affirmative action, Americans with Disabilities Act, welfare reform, Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind Act.
    • Recognize domestic issues that shaped the United States since World War II.
      • Examples: McCarthyism, Watergate scandal, political assassinations, health care, impeachment, Hurricane Katrina.
  • Recognize the election of Barack Obama as the culmination of a movement in the United States to realize equal opportunity for all Americans.

Grade 7

  • Compare influences of ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Magna Carta, federalism, the Mayflower Compact, the English Bill of Rights, the House of Burgesses, and the Petition of Rights on the government of the United States.
  • Explain essential characteristics of the political system of the United States, including the organization and function of political parties and the process of selecting political leaders.
    • Describe the influence of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Paine, Niccolo Machiavelli, Charles de Montesquieu, and Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) on the political system of the United States.
  • Compare the government of the United States with other governmental systems, including monarchy, limited monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, theocracy, and pure democracy.
  • Describe structures of state and local governments in the United States, including major Alabama offices and officeholders.
    • Describe how local and state governments are funded.
  • Compare duties and functions of members of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Alabama’s local and state governments and of the national government.
    • Locate political and geographic districts of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Alabama’s local and state governments and of the national government.
    • Describe the organization and jurisdiction of courts at the local, state, and national levels within the judicial system of the United States.
    • Explain concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances among the three branches of state and national governments.
  • Explain the importance of juvenile, adult, civil, and criminals laws within the judicial system of the United States.
    • Explain rights of citizens as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights under the Constitution of the United States.
    • Explain what is meant by the term rule of law.
    • Justify consequences of committing a civil or criminal offense.
    • Contrast juvenile and adults laws at local, state, and federal levels.
  • Describe individual and civic responsibilities of citizens of the United States.
    • Examples
      • Individual – respect for rights of others, self-discipline, negotiation, compromise, fiscal responsibility.
      • Civic – respect for law, patriotism, participation in political process, fiscal responsibility.
    • Differentiate rights, privileges, duties, and responsibilities between citizens and noncitizens.
    • Explain how United States’ citizenship is acquired by immigrants.
    • Explain character traits that are beneficial to individuals and society.
      • Examples: honesty, courage, compassion, civility, loyalty.
  • Compare change in social and economic conditions in the United States during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
    • Examples:
      • Social – family values, peer pressure, education opportunities, women in the work place.
    • Trace the political and social impact of the modern Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to the present, including Alabama’s role.
  • Describe how the United States can be improved by individual and group participation in civic and community activities.
    • Identify options for civic and community action.
      • Examples: investigate the feasibility of a specific solution to a traffic problem, develop a plan for construction of a subdivision, use maps to make and justify decisions about best locations for public facilities.
    • Determine ways to participate in the political process.
      • Example: voting, running for office, serving on a jury, writing letters, being involved in political parties and political campaigns.
  • Identify contemporary American issues since 2001, including the establishment of United States Department of Homeland Security, the enactment of the Patriot Act of 2001, and the impact of media analysis.

Grade 10

  • Compare effects of economic, geographic, social, and political conditions before and after European explorations of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries on Europeans, American colonists, Africans, and indigenous Americans.
    • Describe the influence of the Crusades, Renaissance, and Reformation on European exploration.
    • Compare European motives for establishing colonies, including mercantilism, religious persecution, poverty, oppression, and new opportunities.
    • Analyze the course of the Columbian Exchange for its impact on the global economy.
    • Explain triangular trade and the development of slavery in the colonies.
  • Compare regional differences among early New England, Middle, and Southern colonies regarding economics, geography, culture, government, and American Indian relations.
    • Explain the role of essential documents in the establishment of colonial governments, including the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact.
    • Explain the significance of the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings in colonial politics.
    • Describe the impact of the Great Awakening on colonial society.
  • Trace the chronology of events leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War, passage of the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, passage of the Intolerable Acts, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the publication of Common Sense, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
    • Explain the role of key revolutionary leaders, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Crispus Attucks, and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.
    • Explain the significance of revolutionary battles, including Bunker Hill, Trenton, Saratoga, and Yorktown.
    • Summarize major ideas of the Declaration of Independence, including the theories of John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
    • Compare perspectives of differing groups in society and their roles in the American Revolution, including men, women, white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and American Indians.
    • Describe how provisions of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 affected relations of the United States with European nations and American Indians.
  • Describe the political system of the United States based on the Constitution of the United States.
    • Interpret the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States; separation of powers; federal system; elastic clause; the Bill of Rights; and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments as key elements of the Constitution of the United States.
    • Describe inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation.
    • Distinguish personalities, issues, ideologies, and compromises related to the Constitutional Convention and the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, including the role of the Federalist papers.
    • Identify factors leading to the development and establishment of political parties, including Alexander Hamilton’s economic policies, conflicting views of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and the election of 1800.
  • Explain key cases that helped shape the United States Supreme Court, including Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Cherokee Nation v. Georgia.
    • Explain concepts of loose and strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.
  • Describe causes, courses, and consequences of United States’ expansionism prior to the Civil War, including the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the Northwest Ordinance of 1785, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Louisiana Purchase, the Indian Removal Act, the Trail of Tears, Manifest Destiny, the Mexican War and Cession, Texas Independence, the acquisition of Oregon, the California Gold Rush, and the Western Trails.
  • Analyze key ideas of Jacksonian Democracy for their impact on political participation, political parties, and constitutional government.
    • Explain the spoils system, nullification, extension of voting, the Indian Removal Act, and the common man ideal.
  • Evaluate the impact of American social and political reform on the emergence of a distinct culture.
    • Explain the impact of the Second Great Awakening on the emergency of a national identity.
  • Explain the influence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dorothea Lynde Dix, and Susan b. Anthony on the development of social reform movements prior to the Civil War.
  • Describe the founding of the first abolitionist societies by Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin and the role played by later critics of slavery, including William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Angelina and Sarah Grimké, Henry David Thoreau, and Charles Sumner.
    • Describe the role of religious movements in opposition to slavery, including objections of the Quakers.
    • Explain the importance of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 that banned slavery in new states north of the Ohio River.
    • Describe the rise of the Underground Railroad and its leaders, including Harriet Tubman, and the impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, on the abolitionist movement.
  • Summarize major legislation and court decisions from 1800 to 1861 that led to increasing sectionalism, including the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Acts, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision.
    • Describe Alabama’s role in the developing sectionalism of the United States from 1819 to 1861, including participation in slavery, secession, the Indian War, and reliance on cotton.
    • Analyze the Westward Expansion from 1803 to 1861 to determine its effect on sectionalism, including the Louisiana Purchase, Texas Annexation, and Mexican Cession.
    • Describe tariff debates and the nullification crisis between 1800 and 1861
    • Analyze the formation of the Republican Party for its impact on the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States.
    • Describe how the Civil War influenced the United States, including the Anaconda Plan and the major battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg and Sherman’s March to the Sea.
      • Identify key Northern and Southern Civil War personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, and William Tecumseh Sherman.
        • Example: President Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy of union, executive orders, and leadership.
      • Describe the non-military events and life during the Civil War, including the Homestead Act, the Morrill Act, Northern Draft riots, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address.
      • Describe the role of women in American society during the Civil War, including efforts made by Elizabeth Blackwell and Clara Barton.
      • Compare congressional and presidential reconstruction plans, including African-American political participation.
        • Trace economic changes in the post-Civil War period for whites and African Americans in the North and South, including the effectiveness of the Freedmen’s Bureau.
        • Describe social restructuring of the South, including Southern military districts, the role of carpetbaggers and scalawags, the creation of black code and the Ku Klux Klan.
        • Describe the Compromise of 1877.
        • Summarize post-Civil War constitutional amendments, including the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.
        • Explain causes for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
        • Explain the impact of the Jim crow laws and Plessy v. Ferguson on the social and political structure of the New South after Reconstruction.
        • Analyze political and social motives that shaped the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine the long-term effect on politics and economics in Alabama.

Grade 11

  • Evaluate social and political origins, accomplishments, and limitations of Progressivism.
    • Explain the impact of the Populist Movement on the role of the federal government in American society.
    • Assess the impact of muckrakers on public opinion during the Progressive movement, including Upton Sinclair, Jacob A. Riis, and Ida Tarbell.
      • Examples: women’s suffrage, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, temperance movement.
    • Explain national legislation affecting the Progressive movement including the Sherman Antitrust Act and Clayton Antitrust Act.
    • Determine the influence of the Niagara Movement, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Carter G. Woodson on the Progressive Era.
    • Assess the significance of the public education movement initiated by Horace Mann.
  • Evaluate the impact of social changes and the influence of key figures in the United States from World War I through the 1920s, including Prohibition, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the Scopes Trial, limits on immigration, Ku Klux Klan activities, the Red Scare, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Jazz Age, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, W. C. Handy, and Zelda Fitzgerald.
  • Trace events of the modern Civil Rights Movement from post-World War II to 1970 that resulted in social and economic changes, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the March on Washington, Freedom Rides, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March.
    • Trace the federal government’s involvement in the modern Civil Rights Movement, including the abolition of the poll tax, the nationalization of state militias, Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    • Explain contributions of individuals and groups to the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr, James Meredith, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the civil rights foot soldiers.
    • Appraise contributions of persons and events in Alabama that influenced the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Rosa Parks, Autherine Lucy, John Patterson, George C. Wallace, Vivian Malone Jones, Fred Shuttlesworth, the Children’s March, and key local persons and events.
    • Describe the development of the Black Power movement, including the change in focus of the SNCC, the rise of Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panther movement.
    • Describe the economic impact of African-American entrepreneurs on the modern Civil Rights Movement, including S.B. Fuller and A.G. Gaston.
  • Describe changing social and cultural conditions in the United States during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
    • Examples: economic impact on the culture, feminist movement, recession, Arab oil embargo, technological revolution.

Grade 12

  • Explain historical and philosophical origins that shaped the government of the United States, including the Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the influence of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the Great Awakening.
    • Compare characteristics of limited and unlimited governments throughout the world, including constitutional, authoritarian, and totalitarian governments.
    • Examples:
      • Constitutional – United States
      • Authoritarian – Iran
      • Totalitarian – North Korea
  • Summarize the significance of the First and Second Continental Congresses, the Declaration of Independence, Shays’ Rebellion, and the Articles of Confederation of 1781 on the writing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States of 1787 and the Bill of Rights of 1791.
  • Analyze major features of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights for purposes, organization, functions, and principles, including rule of law, federalism, limited government, popular sovereignty, judicial review, separation of powers, and checks and balances.
    • Explain main ideas of the debate over ratification that included the Federalist Papers.
    • Analyze the Bill of Rights for its application to historical and current issues.
    • Outline the formal process of amending the Constitution of the United States.
  • Explain how the federal system of the United States divides power between national and state governments.
    • Summarize obligations that the Constitution of the United States places on a nation for the benefit of the states, including admitting new states and cooperative federalism.
    • Evaluate the role of the national government in interstate relations.
  • Compare specific functions, organizations, and purposes of local and state governments, including implementing fiscal and monetary policies, ensuring personal security, and regulating transportation.
    • Analyze the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine its impact on local funding and campaign funding.
    • Describe the influence of special interest groups on state government.
  • Analyze the expansion of suffrage for its effect on the political system of the United States, including suffrage for non-property owners, women, African Americans, and persons eighteen years of age.
    • Describe implications of participation of large number of minorities and women in parties and campaigns.
    • Analyze the black codes, the Jim Crow laws, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March for their impact on the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Describe the process of local, state, and national elections, including the organization, role, and constituency of political parties.
    • Explain campaign funding and spending.
    • Evaluate the impact of reapportionment, redistricting, and voter turnout on elections.
  • Describe functions and the development of special interest groups and campaign contributions by political action committees and their impact on state and national elections.
    • Analyze rulings by the United States Supreme Court, including Buckley versus Valeo, regarding campaign financing to determine the effect on the election process.
  • Evaluate constitutional provisions of the legislative branch of the government of the United States, including checks by the legislative branch on other branches of government.
    • Compare rules of operations and hierarchies of Congress, including roles of the Speaker of the House, the Senate President Pro Tempore, majority and minority leaders, and party whips.
    • Identify the significance of congressional committee structure and types of committees.
    • Trace the legislative process, including types of votes and committee action, from a bill’s presentation to presidential action.
  • Evaluate constitutional provisions of the executive branch of the government of the United States, including checks by the executive branch on other branches of government and powers, duties as head of state and head of government, the electoral process, and the Twenty-fifth Amendment.
    • Critique informal powers of the President of the United States, including press conferences, State of the Union addresses, total media access, head of party, and symbolic powers of the Oval Office.
    • Identify the influence of the White House staff on the President of the United States.
    • Rank powers held by the President’s Cabinet, including roles of Cabinet secretaries, appropriations by Congress, appointment and confirmation, and operation of organization.
    • Compare diverse backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and levels of education of United States’ presidents.
  • Evaluate constitutional provisions of the judicial branch of government of the United States, including checks by the judicial branch on other branches of government, limits on judicial power, and the process by which cases are argued before the United States Supreme Court.
    • Explain the structure and jurisdiction of court systems of the United States, including lower courts and appellate courts.
    • Identify the impact of landmark United States Supreme Court cases on constitutional interpretation.
      • Examples: Marbury versus Madison, Miranda versus Arizona, Tinker versus Des Moines, Gideon versus Wainwright, Reno versus American Civil Liberties Union, United States versus Nixon, McCulloch versus Maryland, Wallace versus Jaffree,
        Wyatt versus Stickney, Powell versus Alabama
    • Describe the shifting political balance of the court system, including the appointment process, the ideology of the justices, influences on court decisions regarding executive and legislation opinion, public opinion, and the desire for impartiality.
    • Contrast strict and loose constructionist views of the Constitution of the United States.
  • Describe the role of citizens in American democracy, including the meaning, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship; due process and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States; and participation in the election process.
    • Explain how the balance between individual versus majority rule and state versus national authority is essential to the functioning of the American democratic society.
      • Example: majority rule and minority rights, liberty and equality, state and national authority in a federal system, civil disobedience and rule of law, freedom of the press, right to a fair trial, relationship of religion and government.