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Ch 19: Early Evolution of American Government

About This Chapter

Review the early evolutionary process of American government by examining the key points illustrated in this study guide chapter. Instructors outline the main ideas in the founding documents and discuss some of the country's early presidencies.

Early Evolution of American Government - Chapter Summary

Rediscover the early beginnings of the establishment of American government as taught by the expert instructors in these lessons. As you examine some of the key documents that established the laws of the new nation, you'll also review their relevance to one another and their overall importance. You'll also discuss the policies of some of the country's first presidencies. By the end of this chapter, you'll have a better understanding of:

  • The creation of state constitutions
  • The Articles of Confederation and its reliance on the Northwest Ordinance
  • Outcome of the Great Compromise from the Constitutional Convention
  • The ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
  • Jeffersonian Democracy
  • Madison's presidency during the War of 1812
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • Chief Justice John Marshall's leadership of the Supreme Court
  • President Jackson's policies and the uprising of the Whig Party

As you carefully and thoroughly study the people, policies and documents featured in these lessons, take the opportunity to assess your comprehension by utilizing the multiple-choice quizzes and chapter exam. These assessment tools measure your retention of the material while also identifying areas you may need to further review. Lesson quizzes also include printable worksheets that, along with transcripts for video lessons, can be used as hard-copy study material.

10 Lessons in Chapter 19: Early Evolution of American Government
Creating State Constitutions After the American Revolution

1. Creating State Constitutions After the American Revolution

After the revolution, the states had to figure out what the rule of the people would be like. The early state constitutions and how they were drafted would inform the process and the resulting document that would become the U.S. Constitution.

The Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance

2. The Articles of Confederation and the Northwest Ordinance

The Articles of Confederation was the new nation's founding document, but the government established under the Articles was too weak. The new central government had no way of raising revenue and no ability to enforce the commitments made by the states. The Northwest Ordinance paved the way for the growth of the new nation.

The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

3. 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 Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government

4. The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government

The U.S. Constitution may be one of the most important documents in history, but it wasn't a sure thing. A lot of debate took place. There were many people passionate about ratification, and many people passionate about ensuring it didn't get ratified. The divide over the Constitution shows us the root of political parties in the U.S.

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.

President Jefferson's Election and Jeffersonian Democracy

6. President Jefferson's Election and Jeffersonian Democracy

The presidential election of 1800 was a rematch between President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson. An electoral tie between Jefferson and his running mate forced the House of Representatives to decide. The election inaugurated 24 years of political dominance for the Democratic-Republican Party.

President Madison and the War of 1812

7. President Madison and the War of 1812

Though often overlooked in the annals of American history, the War of 1812 was really a landmark event for a young nation finding its footing amidst a global power struggle. Watch our lesson to follow President James Madison and the War of 1812 into the inky shadows of history.

James Monroe's Presidency: The Monroe Doctrine

8. James Monroe's Presidency: The Monroe Doctrine

Can you imagine a time when there was only one political party in the United States? Find out why James Monroe was one of the nation's most popular presidents during his lifetime and learn about his foreign policy that endured for nearly a century.

John Marshall's Supreme Court During the Virginia Dynasty

9. John Marshall's Supreme Court During the Virginia Dynasty

Think old Supreme Court cases don't relate to your life today? Under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court made many landmark decisions that shaped the American judicial system - including the rights of citizens - and affect the most important cases in the country to this day.

Andrew Jackson vs. the Whig Party: Rise of Executive Power

10. Andrew Jackson vs. the Whig Party: Rise of Executive Power

In this lesson, we will discuss how Andrew Jackson's administration strengthened executive power as well as the rise of the Whig Party in opposition to Jackson and his policies.

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