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Why Did We Need a New Constitution?
For Constitution Day, your students can see the economic problems of the Articles of Confederation by reading this petition.
The First Act of the First Congress
The First Congress faced numerous tasks, but one thing was so important that it was the first act signed into law.
“His Highness, The President” and the First Congress: Moving Toward Republicanism
A congressional debate in 1789 about a title of nobility for the president was a turning point toward republicanism.
Congress Protects the Right to Vote: The Voting Rights Act of 1965
A lesson on the Voting Rights Act puts students in the shoes of members of Congress as they deliberated the bill.
Congress and Harriet Tubman’s Claim for a Pension
Harriet Tubman was also a nurse, cook, and spy. This lesson can help your students understand how her service was acknowledged by Congress.
To What Extent was Reconstruction a Revolution?
Reconstruction was a tumultuous period in American history, and the question of whether it produced lasting change in regard to civil rights is still debated by scholars. A DocsTeach Activity using primary sources allows your students to enter the debate and develop critical thinking skills by evaluating historical congressional records as historians. Available on DocsTeach.org, … Continue reading To What Extent was Reconstruction a Revolution?
The Equal Rights Amendment: The Most Popular Never-Ratified Amendment
Documents from the records of Congress help students understand why the Equal Rights Amendment wasn't ratified, even with its considerable support.
Kidnapping of Free People of Color
Abolitionist Elisha Tyson wrote to Congress with details on several kidnapping cases of free African Americans in the North who were sold into slavery under the guise of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. Tyson argued that federal legislation was necessary to address the problem.
Dumping the Flow Chart of the Legislative Process
Watching C-SPAN or using the old textbook flow chart can be a pretty boring way to teach the legislative process. As future voters, it is important for students to understand how lawmaking works and what role they will play in that process. But how can you do it without putting your students to sleep? Making … Continue reading Dumping the Flow Chart of the Legislative Process