Copyright

Ch 11: Overview of the US Constitution - MTEL Political Science/Political Philosophy

About This Chapter

Consult this chapter as a comprehensive overview of the United States Constitution during your studies for the MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy exam. These lessons will explain the basics of the document and many of its amendments.

Overview of the US Constitution: MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you will learn about the purpose of the United States Constitution and its amendments to help you prepare for any pertinent questions on the MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy exam. The lessons will address the following aspects of the Constitution:

  • Preamble, articles, and amendments
  • Provisions for limited government
  • The amendment process
  • Significance and explanations of specific amendments within the Bill of Rights
  • Amendments for due process and equal protection
  • Civil rights amendments for African Americans and women
  • Progressive politics
  • Voting rights amendments

These short video lessons present an overview of the Constitution in a creative and informative way. You can utilize the Timeline feature to skip to a specific topic in the video if you desire, and you may also read the provided full transcript.

Overview of the US Constitution: MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy- Chapter Objectives

Before you acquire your license to teach courses in political science or political philosophy in Massachusetts, you must pass the MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy exam. There will be 24-26 multiple-choice questions that relate to U.S. government and civics, including the Constitution as a founding document of the country. You may be tested on your knowledge of multiple aspects of this document, including its evolution, a topic thoroughly explained in the lessons of this chapter.

Through carefully reviewing these lessons, you will be presented with a thorough analysis of the components of the Constitution, which should adequately prepare you for any related questions on the exam. The lesson quizzes will also provide you with a valuable resource, as they enable you to practice answering questions on some of the same topics and a similar format as the MTEL Political Science/ Political Philosophy exam.

15 Lessons in Chapter 11: Overview of the US Constitution - MTEL Political Science/Political Philosophy
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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.

The First Amendment: Commercial Speech, Scrutiny & Restrictions

5. The First Amendment: Commercial Speech, Scrutiny & Restrictions

The First Amendment of the Constitution states that all citizens are free to practice their preferred religion, speak freely and to assemble. Learn how and why businesses are less protected and are held to a higher scrutiny in this lesson.

The Right to Bear Arms: History, Pros & Cons

6. The Right to Bear Arms: History, Pros & Cons

In this lesson, we will learn about the right to bear arms. We will take a closer look at the right to find out what it includes and what it means to society today.

The Fourth Amendment: Search & Seizure

7. The Fourth Amendment: Search & Seizure

One of our rights according to the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution is the Fourth Amendment, and it protects citizens from illegal search and seizure of person or property with proper warrants stating probable cause.

Due Process & Taking the Fifth & Fourteenth Amendments

8. Due Process & Taking the Fifth & Fourteenth Amendments

There are only two amendments that stand for the same rights: the 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment. In this lesson, we will learn how both amendments speak to the rights of life, liberty and property with government protection and due process.

The Equal Protection Clause in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments

9. The Equal Protection Clause in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments

Both the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution provide all citizens with equal protection of their right to life, liberty and property. The main difference being the 5th Amendment provides it under the Due Process clause.

Ninth Amendment: Rights Retained by People

10. Ninth Amendment: Rights Retained by People

The purpose of the Ninth Amendment is to protect the citizens' rights that aren't necessarily mentioned elsewhere in the Constitution, like the right to privacy or the right to marry. It also prevents the violation of those rights by the government.

The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

11. The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

Between 1865 and 1870, during the historical era known as Reconstruction, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified to establish political equality for all Americans. Together, they are known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

Progressive Politics: Definition, Reforms & Amendments

12. Progressive Politics: Definition, Reforms & Amendments

During the Progressive Era, from around 1900-1917, political reformers pushed for an end of abuse of power in politics and government. Learn how political reforms of the Progressive Era helped make government more responsive to the people, prompting changes at every level of government.

Women's Suffrage & Early Feminism: Movement, 19th Amendment & Leaders

13. Women's Suffrage & Early Feminism: Movement, 19th Amendment & Leaders

The women's suffrage movement became one of the most prominent areas of reform during the Progressive movement. Learn about the work of early feminists, changing roles of women and notable women suffrage leaders who pushed for women's right to vote.

The 24th Amendment: Description, Ratification & Impact

14. The 24th Amendment: Description, Ratification & Impact

In this lesson, we will learn about the 24th Amendment. We will examine what provisions it set forth, the background behind it, and the impact it has had.

What Was the 26th Amendment?

15. What Was the 26th Amendment?

The 26th Amendment was passed in 1971, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In this lesson, learn about what led to the creation of this amendment, the fight to get it ratified and its ratification.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MTEL Political Science/Political Philosophy (48): Practice & Study Guide course

Support