California

California Statutory Mandate: 

CAL. EDC. CODE §51225.3 (D) “Three courses in social studies, including United States history and geography; geography; world history, culture, and geography; a one-semester course in American government and civics; and a one-semester course in economics.”

 

California Social Studies Standards 

Introduction to the California History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools: 

“These standards emphasize historical narrative, highlight the roles of significant individuals throughout history, and convey the rights and obligations of citizenship” as well as “emphasize Western civilizations as the source of American political institutions, laws, and ideology…”

Grade 1

  • Standard 1.3: Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and tradition of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across
    • Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing songs that express American ideals (e.g., “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”).
    • Understanding the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with
    • Identify American landmarks, and essential documents, such as the flag, bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and know the people and events associated with them.

Grade 3

  • Standard 3.4 Students understand the role of rules and laws in our daily lives and the basic structure of the U.S.
    • Determine the reasons for rules, laws, and the U.S. Constitution; the role of citizenship in the promotion of rules and laws; and the consequences for people who violate rules and
    • Discuss the importance of public virtue and the role of citizens, including how to participate in a classroom, in the community, and in civic life.
    • Describe the lives of American heroes who took risks to secure our freedoms (e.g., Anne Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr.).
    • Know the histories of important local and national landmarks, symbols, and essential documents that create a sense of community among citizens and exemplify cherished ideals (e.g., the U.S. flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Capitol).
    • Understand the three branches of government, with an emphasis on local government.
    • Describes ways in which California, the other states, and sovereign American Indian tribes contribute to the making of our nation and participate in the federal system of government.
    • Describe the lives of American heroes who took risks to secure our freedoms (e.g., Anne Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr.).

Grade 4

  • Standard 4.5 Students understand the structures, functions, and powers of the local, state, and federal governments as described in the U.S. Constitution.
    • Discuss what the U.S. Constitution is and why it is important (i.e., a written document that defines the structure and purpose of the U.S. government and describes the shared powers of federal, state, and local governments).
    • Understand the purpose of the California Constitution, its key principles, and its relationship to the U.S. Constitution.
    • Describe the similarities (e.g., written documents, rule of law, consent of the governed, three separate branches) and difference (e.g., scope of jurisdiction, limits of government powers, use of the military) among federal, state, and local governments.
    • Explain the structures and functions of state government, including the roles and responsibilities of their elected officials.
    • Describe the components of California’s governance structure (e.g., cities and towns, Indian rancherias and reservations, counties, school districts).

Grade 5

  • Standard 5.6 Students understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.
    • Identify and map the major military battles, campaigns, and turning points of the Revolutionary War, the roles of the American and British leaders, and the Indian leaders’ alliances on both sides.
    • Describe the contributions of France and other nations and of individuals to the outcomes of the Revolution (e.g., Benjamin Franklin’s negotiations with the French, the French navy, the Treaty of Paris, the Netherlands, Russia, the Marquis Marie Joseph de Lafayette, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben).
    • Identify the different roles women played during the Revolution (e.g., Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Molly Pitcher, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren).
    • Understand the personal impact and economic hardship of the war on families, problems of financing the war, wartime inflation, and laws against hoarding goods and materials and profiteering.
    • Explain how state constitutions that were established after 1776 embodied the ideals of the American Revolution and helped serve as model for the U.S. Constitution.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of land policies developed under the Continental Congress (e.g., sale of western lands, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787), and those policies’ impact on American Indians’ land.
    • Understand how the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence changed the way people viewed slavery.
  • Standard 5.7 Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution’s significance as the foundation of the American republic.
    • List the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation as set forth by their critics.
    • Explain the significance of the new Constitution of 1787, including the struggles over its ratification and the reasons for the addition of the Bill of Rights.
    • Understand the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy, including how the government derives its power from the people and the primacy of individual liberty.
    • Understand how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government and compare the powers granted to citizens, Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court with those reserved to the states.
    • Discuss the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution.
    • Know the songs that express American ideals (e.g., “America the Beautiful, “The Star Spangled Banner”)

Grade 8

  • Standard 8.1 Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.
    • Describe the relationship between the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and the development of revolutionary fervor.
    • Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”).
    • Analyze how the American Revolution affected other nations, especially France.
    • Describe the nation’s blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions.
  • Standard 8.2 Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.
    • Discuss the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact.
    • Analyze the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution and the success of each in implementing the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
    • Evaluate the major debates that occurred during the development of the Constitution and their ultimate resolution in such areas as shared power among institutions, divided state- federal powers, the rights of individuals and states (later addressed by the addition of the Bill of Rights), and the status of American Indian nations under the commerce clause.
    • Describe the political philosophy underpinning the Constitution as specified in the Federalist Papers (authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay) and the role of  such leaders as Madison, George Washington, Roger Sherman, Gouverneur Morris, and James Wilson in the writing and ratification of the Constitution.
    • Understand the significance of Jefferson’s Statute for Religion Freedom as a forerunner of the First Amendment and the origins, purpose and differing views of the founding fathers on the issue of the separation of church and state.
    • Enumerate the powers of the government set forth in the Constitution and the fundamental liberties ensured by the Bill of Rights.
    • Describe the principles of federalism, dual sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and balances, the nature and purpose of majority rule, and the ways in which the American idea of constitutionalism preserves individual rights.
  • Standard 8.3 Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it.
    • Analyze the principles and concepts codified in state constitutions between 1777 and 1781 that created the context out of which American political institutions and ideas developed.
    • Explain how the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 privatized national resources and transferred federally owned lands into private holdings, townships, and states.
    • Enumerate the advantages of a common market among the states as foreseen in and protected by the Constitution’s clauses on interstate commerce, common coinage, and full-faith and credit.
    • Understand how the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton resulted in the emergence of two political parties (e.g., view of foreign policy, Alien and Sedition Acts, economic policy, National Bank, funding and assumption of the revolutionary debt).
    • Know the significance of domestic resistance movements and ways in which the central government responded to such movements (e.g., Shays’ Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion).
    • Describe the basic law-making process and how the Constitution provides numerous opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and to monitor and influence government (e.g., function of elections, political parties, interest groups).
    • Understand the functions and responsibilities of a free press.
  • Standard 8.9 Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
    • Describe the leaders of the movement (e.g., John Quincy Adams and his proposed constitutional amendment, John Brown and the armed resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass).
    • Discuss the abolition of slavery in early state constitutions.
    • Describe the significance of the Northwest Ordinance in education and in the banning of slavery in new states north of the Ohio River.
    • Discuss the importance of the slavery issue as raised by the annexation of Texas and California’s admission to the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850.
    • Analyze the significance of the States’ Rights Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise (1820), the Wilmot Proviso (1846), the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857), and the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858).
    • Describe the lives of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedom and economic opportunities.
  • Standard 8.10 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.
    • Compare the conflicting interpretations of state and federal authority as emphasized in the speeches and writings of statesmen such as Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun.
    • Trace the boundaries constituting the North and the South, the geographical differences between the two regions, and the differences between agrarians and industrialists.
    • Identify the constitutional issues posed by the doctrine of nullification and secession and the earliest origins of that doctrine.
    • Discuss Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his significant writings and speeches and their relationship to the Declaration of Independence, such as his “House Divided” speech (1858), Gettysburg Address (1863), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), and inaugural addresses (1861 and 1865).
    • Study the views and lives of leaders (e.g., Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee) and soldiers on both sides of the war, including those of black soldiers and regiments.
  • Standard 8.11 Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction
    • List the original aims of Reconstruction and describe its effects on the political and social structures of different regions.
    • Identify the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers).
    • Understand the effects of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the restrictions placed on the rights and opportunities of freedmen, including racial segregation and “Jim Crow” laws.
    • Trace the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and describe the Klan’s effects.
    • Understand the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and analyze their connection to Reconstruction.

Grade 10

  • Standard 10.1 Students relate the moral and ethical principles in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, in Judaism, and in Christianity to the development of Western political thought.
    • Analyze the similarities and differences in Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman views of law, reason and faith, and duties of the individual.
    • Trace the development of the Western political ideas of the rule of law and illegitimacy of tyranny, using selection from Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics.
    • Consider the influence of the U.S. Constitution on political systems in the contemporary world.
  • Standard 10.2 Students compare and contrast the Glorious Revolution of England, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution and their enduring effects worldwide on the political expectations for self-government and individual liberty.
    • Compare the major ideas of philosophers and their effects on the democratic revolutions in England, the United States, France, and Latin America (e.g., John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Simon Bolivar, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison).
    • List the principles of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights (1689), the American Declaration of Independence (1776), the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789), and the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791).
    • Understand the unique character of the American Revolution, its spread to other parts of the world, and its continuing significance to other nations.
    • Explain how the ideology of the French Revolution led France to develop from constitutional monarchy to democratic despotism in the Napoleonic empire.

Grade 11

  • Standard 11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.
    • Describe the Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas as the context in which the nation was founded.
    • Analyze the ideological origins of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers’ philosophy of divinely bestowed unalienable rights, the debates on the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and the addition of the Bill of Rights.
    • Understand the history of the Constitution after 1787 with emphasis on federal versus state authority and growing democratization.
    • Examine the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction and of the industrial revolution, including demographic shifts and the emergence in the late nineteenth century of the United States as a world power.
  • Standard 11.5 Students analyze the major political, social, economic, technological, and cultural developments of the 1920s.
    • Discuss the policies of Presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.
    • Analyze the international and domestic events, interests and philosophies that prompted attacks on civil liberties, including the Palmer Raids, Marcus Garvey’s “back to Africa” movement, the Ku Klux Klan, and immigration quotas and the responses of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Anti-Defamation League to those attacks.
    • Examine the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act (Prohibition).
    • Analyze the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and the changing role of women in society.
  • Standard 11.7 Students analyze America’s participation in World War II.
    • 5. Discuss the constitutional issues and impact of events on the U.S. home front, including the internment of Japanese Americans (e.g., Fred Korematsu v. United States of America) and the restrictions on German and Italian resident aliens.
  • Standard 11.11 Students analyze the major social problems and domestic policy issues in contemporary American society.
    • 4. Explain the constitutional crisis originating from the Watergate scandal.

Grade 12

  • Standard 12.1 Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.
    • Analyze the influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English, and leading European political thinkers such as John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesequieu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and William Blackstone on the development of American government.
    • Discuss the character of American democracy and its promise and perils as articulated by Alexis de Tocqueville.
    • Explain how the U.S. Constitution reflects a balance between the classical republican concern with promotion of the public good and the classical liberal concern with protecting individual rights; and discuss how the basis premises of liberal constitutionalism and democracy are joined in the Declaration of Independence as “self-evident truths.
    • Explain how the Founder Father’s realistic views of human nature led directly to the establishment of a constitutional system that limited the power of the governors and the governed as articulated in the Federalist Papers.
    • Describe the system of separated and shared powers, the role of organized interests (Federalist Paper Number 10), checks and balances (Federalist Paper Number 51), the importance of an independent judiciary (Federalist Paper Number 78), enumerated powers, rule of law, federalism, and civilian control of the military.
    • Understand that the Bill of Rights limits the powers of the federal government and state governments.
  • Standard 12.2 Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured.
    • Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition and privacy).
    • Explain how economic rights are secured and their importance to the individual and society (e.g., the right to acquire, use, transfer and dispose of property; right to choose one’s work; right to join or not join labor unions; copyright and patent).
    • Discuss the individual’s legal obligations to obey the law, serve as a juror, and pay taxes.
    • Understand the obligations of civic-mindedness, including voting, being informed on civic issues, volunteering and performing public service, and serving in the military or alternative service.
    • Describe the reciprocity between rights and obligations; that is, why enjoyment of one’s rights entails respect for the rights of others.
    • Explain how one becomes a citizen of the United States, including the process of naturalization (e.g., literacy, language, and other requirements).
  • Standard 12.3 Students evaluate and take and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of civil society are (i.e., the autonomous sphere of voluntary personal, social, and economic relations that are not part of government), their interdependence, and the meaning and importance of those values and principles for a free society.
    • Explain how civil society provides opportunities for individuals to associate for social, cultural, religious, economic and political purposes.
    • Explain how civil society makes it possible for people, individually or in association with others, to bring their influence to bear on government in ways other than voting and elections.
    • Discuss the historical role of religion and religious diversity.
    • Compare the relationship of government and civil society in constitutional democracies to the relationship of government and civil society in authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
  • Standard 12.4 Students analyze the unique role and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.
    • Discuss Article I of the Constitution as it relates to the legislative branch, including eligibility for office and lengths of terms of representatives and senators; election of office; the roles of the House and Senate in impeachment proceedings; the role of the vice president; the enumerated legislative powers; and the process by which a bill becomes a law.
    • Explain the process through which the Constitution can be amended.
    • Identify their current representatives in the legislative branch of the national government.
    • Discuss Article II of the Constitution as it relates to the executive branch, including eligibility for office and length of term, election to and removal from office, the oath of office, and the enumerated executive powers.
    • Discuss Article III of the Constitution as it relates to judicial power, including the length of terms of judges and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
    • Explain the processes of selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices.
  • Standard 12.5 Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.
    • Understand the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time, including interpretations of the basic freedoms (religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly) articulated in the First Amendment and the due process and equal-protection-of-the-law clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    • Analyze judicial activism and judicial restraint and the effects of each policy over the decades (e.g., the Warren and Rehnquist courts).
    • Evaluate the effects of the Court’s interpretations of the Constitution in Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and United States v. Nixon, with emphasis on the arguments espoused by each side in these cases.
    • Explain the controversies that have resulted over changing interpretation of civil rights, including those in Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, and United States v. Virginia (VMI).
    • Standard 12.10 Students formulate questions about and defend their analyses of tensions within our constitutional democracy and the importance of maintaining a balance between the following concepts: majority rule and individual rights; liberty and equality; state and national authority in a federal system; civil disobedience and the rule of law; freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial; the relationship of religion and government.