Ch 2: Constitutional Democracy

About This Chapter

Watch comprehensive and engaging online political science video lessons and learn about the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights and more.

Constitutional Democracy - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use the video lessons included in this chapter to explore America's earliest form of government and its roots in the democratic ideals that proliferated during the struggle for independence. You can also examine delegates' negotiations to create a stronger union during the Constitutional Convention and follow the debate over the Constitution's ratification. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to identify the following:

  • Shortcomings in early forms of American government
  • Processes involved in drafting and ratifying the Constitution
  • Constitutional structure and components
  • Steps required to amend the Constitution

Video Objective
The Spread of Democratic Ideals During the Revolutionary War Examine the spread of democratic ideals in the period leading up to the Revolutionary War.
The Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance Outline the reach of the Articles of Confederation and explain the effectiveness of this early attempt at government.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and Shays' Rebellion Discuss limitations of the U.S. government under the Articles of Confederation and describe the problems it created, such as the 1780s economic crisis and Shays' Rebellion.
The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise Follow the issues facing delegates during the Constitutional Convention. Trace the processes resulting in the U.S. Constitution.
The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government Explore arguments in favor of and against the form of government created by the Constitution. Examine how these arguments formed the basis for political parties.
The U.S. Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments Summarize the structure of the U.S. Constitution. Outline contents of the seven original articles, the amendments and the Preamble.
Constitutional Provisions for Limited Government Describe the provisions of limited government, including separated institutions, checks and balances on power, federalism, judicial review and elections.
The Process of Amending the Constitution Outline the process for amending the Constitution. Identify liberties that the amendments have strengthened.
The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments Discuss the legacy of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Examine their content.

5 Lessons in Chapter 2: Constitutional Democracy
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Spread of Democratic Ideals During the Revolutionary War

1. The Spread of Democratic Ideals During the Revolutionary War

Democratic ideals spread before, during and after the American Revolution. This generated the democratic government known in the United States today. This lesson explores the Revolutionary roots of the Constitution.

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.

Constitutional Provisions for Limited Government

3. Constitutional Provisions for Limited Government

The United States Constitution lays out a limited federal government. Our federal government is based on federalism, with a separation of powers. This lesson explores constitutional provisions for a limited government.

The Process of Amending the Constitution

4. The Process of Amending the Constitution

Amending the United States Constitution is a complicated process. It's only been accomplished 27 times. This lesson outlines the process by which the U.S. Constitution can be amended.

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

5. 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.

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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