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Ch 5: The U.S. Constitution

About This Chapter

Use these lessons and quizzes to learn about the preamble, articles and amendments to the United States Constitution. Get information on the Bill of Rights and find out how some of the later amendments were passed.

The U.S. Constitution - Chapter Summary

In this chapter's lessons, our instructors will discuss the structure of the U.S. Constitution and look at some of its articles and amendments. You will see what the Constitution does and what the process is for altering it.

This chapter examines the rights granted by the first 10 amendments and looks at some of the controversy surrounding these rights, such as the right to bear arms. Other lessons examine amendments passed in the aftermath of the Civil War. You will also learn about the women's suffrage movement and the 19th amendment. After watching these lessons, you should be ready to:

  • Name the parts of the U.S. Constitution
  • Explain how the Constitution provides for limited government
  • Detail how amendments are added to the Constitution
  • State what rights are granted in amendments 1 through 10 and examine some issues regarding them
  • Analyze the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments
  • Define progressive politics and how reform movements have shaped the Constitution
  • Tell what the 24th amendment did and explore its impact on the country

Our instructors will guide you through these topics in our brief and engaging lessons. Multiple-choice quizzes at the end of every lesson let you check your knowledge. Video timelines with a jump feature make it simple to go back and review areas that require further study.

15 Lessons in Chapter 5: The U.S. Constitution
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.
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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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