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Ch 4: CLEP Social Sciences and History: The United States Constitution & The Making of a New Nation

About This Chapter

Use the video lessons in this chapter to learn about the U.S. Constitution and the challenges of establishing the new nation of the United States. To assess your understanding of the material in this history chapter, take the self-assessment quizzes accompanying each lesson.

The United States Constitution & The Making of a New Nation - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

On the winning side of the Revolutionary War, America gained its independence from Britain. Yet there were many political, economic and social challenges ahead for the new country known as the United States of America. Through the short and entertaining video lessons in this chapter, you'll learn about some of these difficulties. You'll explore the creation of the U.S. Constitution as well as state constitutions. You will also examine early presidencies in addition to the international and domestic political events that affected the young nation. This chapter will help you strengthen your knowledge of topics like:

  • How early state constitutions differed
  • Why the Articles of Confederation were too weak
  • What caused debate over the U.S. Constitution's ratification
  • What the Constitution's Bill of Rights contains and its significance
  • How the first U.S. political parties developed
  • What political challenges the nation's first presidents faced
  • How the U.S. responded to early foreign affairs

VideoObjective
Creating State Constitutions After the American RevolutionCompare and contrast the early state constitutions.
The Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance & Shays' RebellionLearn about the Northwest Ordinance and how Shays' Rebellion revealed problems with the weak Articles of Confederation.
The Constitutional Convention: The Great CompromiseDiscover the issues and compromises that defined the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. GovernmentExplore the debate over the role of the central government and how it contributed to the creation of political parties.
The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and AmendmentsExamine the structure, content and context of the U.S. Constitution.
The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 AmendmentsLearn about the content of the Bill of Rights and their historical significance.
George Washington and the New United States GovernmentTake a look at the presidency of George Washington and the precedents he set for the future of the U.S. government.
Hamilton and the Federalists vs. Jefferson and the RepublicansDiscover the contrasting economic views of Hamilton and Jefferson, and how this led to the founding of political parties.
The French Revolution, Jay Treaty and Treaty of San LorenzoSee how international affairs like the French Revolution, Jay Treaty and Treaty of San Lorenzo threatened the U.S.'s political stability.
The Whiskey Rebellion and Battle of Fallen TimbersLearn how President Washington dealt with domestic issues like the Whiskey Rebellion and Battle of Fallen Timbers.
President John Adams: From Alien and Sedition Acts to XYZ AffairExamine John Adams' presidency and the impact of the XYZ Affair, Midnight Appointments and Alien and Sedition Acts.

5 Lessons in Chapter 4: CLEP Social Sciences and History: The United States Constitution & The Making of a New Nation
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

1. The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

The Constitutional Convention was intended to amend the Articles of Confederation. Instead, those in attendance set out to found a republic (the likes of which had never been seen), which is still going strong well over 200 years later. To accomplish this task, compromises had to be made. The Great Compromise designed the bicameral congress the U.S. has today.

The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

2. The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents in history. It establishes the government of the United States, and its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, assures every U.S. citizen the rights we have all come to hold dear.

The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments

3. The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments

The Bill of Rights was pivotal in getting the U.S. Constitution ratified. More importantly, the Bill of Rights guarantees the rights of every citizen of the United States in a way that is nearly unequaled.

Hamilton and the Federalists vs. Jefferson and the Republicans

4. Hamilton and the Federalists vs. Jefferson and the Republicans

Although President Washington warned against the nation falling into political factions, the different views of the Constitution held by Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans set the path for the two-party system that the U.S. has today.

President John Adams: From Alien and Sedition Acts to XYZ Affair

5. President John Adams: From Alien and Sedition Acts to XYZ Affair

John Adams was an important founder of the United States. In many ways, he was the voice of the Revolution. As president, he had some proud shining moments and one major blight on his legacy.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the CLEP Social Sciences and History: Study Guide & Test Prep course

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