Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Month 3 Week 4: Emancipation

The Civil War: An Online Exhibit 

Discovering the Civil War Logo

Directions: The Civil War emancipated the slaves and preserved the Union at great cost to American lives. The political and moral convictions that fueled the war were so deep that men and women risked their lives. View actual documents reflective of the core issues surrounding the Civil War by going to an online exhibit at:  Discovering The Civil War: Online Exhibit  Look at the section called: Endings and Beginnings. Answer the questions below. Post your responses. Respond to a classmates post.

Union General Ulysses S. GrantConfederate General Robert E. LeeConfederate General Joseph E. JohnstonAfrican American Drummer Boy

  1.  After the War, how did the South begin to rebuild itself economically? Describe the problems it faced in accepting equal rights for freed slaves?
  2.  How did former slaves begin to shape their lives as free people?
  3. Describe the role the Federal Government played in rebuilding the South politically?
  4. In what ways did government not fully support the freedoms of the former slaves?
  5. What do you think should have been done to ameliorate the lives of former slaves?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Month 3 Week 3: Current Events- Elections

Image result for current events images

Directions: With this being Election Week, obtain an article from a reputable news source ( O.C. Register, LA Times,,, that deals with a government-related event on either the federal, state, or local level. Some possible topics might be: election issues, ballot initiatives, judicial cases, legislation under consideration, world affairs, campaigns and candidates, etc.

Use good judgement in your selection. The article subject may be different from what I suggested as long as you can justify how your article relates to government or the election. 

After you select an article, you must summarize the story in the following format in at least 2 full paragraphs. 

  • Title of Article                                            
  • Source, Date,Section and Page
  • Aspect of Democracy to which the article is related
  • Summary of article-
  • What is it about: How does it pertain to Democracy? Finally, what is your opinion on the article?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Month 3 Week 2: The Dred Scott Case

Directions: Refer to your textbook on p.166 regarding the historic decision of the Dred Scott vs. Sandford (1857). Read about the Dred Scott Case at the following link by clicking here.  Answer the questions below. Post your response. Comment on another student's post.

The Dred Scott Decision: The Slavery Debate Intensifies

Comprehension Questions: 
  1.  Explain what the Supreme Court declared in the Dred Scott Case. According to the ruling, could a slave be free if he lived in free territory?
  2. Describe the ways the Nation's political debate over slavery changed with the Supreme Court ruling on the Dred Scott Case.
  3. Describe how the ruling polarized the nation moving us closer to Civil War. 
  4. As you studied this Supreme Court Case, what thoughts do you have surrounding this Supreme Court Ruling? 

Month 3 Week 1: The Nullification Process

The Nullification Crisis: The Nation Moves Towards Civil War

The Age of Jackson

Directions: Refer to your textbook page 128 regarding Nullification under the States Rights. View the following video.  Read proclamation on nullification.  Answer the questions below. Post your answers.

Now that the U.S. Government is established, conflict over interpretation of the Constitution especially in the area of the states rights verses federal governments rights.  The question of nullification of states rights or federal rights becomes an important in our democracy. 

Nullification is a state's refusal to recognize an act of Congress that it considers unconstitutional. The Nullification Crisis was a crisis in 1832–33, which took place during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. It involved a confrontation between South Carolina and the federal government. The heart of the conflict was a question of state independence to determine if a state could declare a federal law invalid

Excerpt from Andrew Jackson’s Nullification Proclamation (1832)

For what do you throw away these inestimable blessings-for what would you exchange your share in the advantages and honor of the Union? For the dream of a separate independence-a dream interrupted by bloody conflicts with your neighbors, and a vile dependence on a foreign power. If your leaders could succeed in establishing a separation, what would be your situation? Are you united at home-are you free from the apprehension of civil discord, with all its fearful consequences? Do our neighboring republics, every day suffering some new revolution or contending with some new insurrection- do they excite your envy? But the dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subjectmy duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you-they could not have been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. Their object is disunion, but be not deceived by names; disunion, by armed force, is TREASON. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? If you are, on the head of the instigators of the act be the dreadful consequences-on their heads be the dishonor, but on yours may fall the punishment-on your unhappy State will inevitably fall all the evils of the conflict you force upon the government of your country….the consequence must be fearful for you, distressing to your fellow-citizens here, and to the friends of good government throughout the world. Its enemies have beheld our prosperity with a vexation they could not conceal--it was a standing refutation of their slavish doctrines, and they will point to our discord with the triumph of malignant joy. It is yet in your power to disappoint them. There is yet time to show that the descendants of the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Rutledges, and of the thousand other names which adorn the pages of your Revolutionary history, will not abandon that Union to support which so many of them fought and bled and died. I adjure you, as you honor their memory--as you love the cause of freedom, to which they dedicated their lives--as you prize the peace of your country, the lives of its best citizens, and your own fair fame, to retrace your steps. Snatch from the archives of your State the disorganizing edict of its convention-bid its members to re-assemble and promulgate the decided expressions of your will to remain in the path which alone can conduct you to safety, prosperity, and honor…. 

Full text available at Yale University, Avalon Project.

Questions on Nullification Readings:

  • What was the cause of the Nullification Crisis between South Carolina and the Federal Government?
  • Who is the author of the Nullification Proclamation?
  • Name some words or phrases that give you a clue to his position? (Provide at least 5)
  • Select one quote that reflects this reading?
  • What is his position on nullification?
  • What does this person think about the power of the national government? (Provide at least one detail.)
  • Summarize the reading using at least 5 sentences

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Month 2 Week 4: The Role of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists

Dear Parkview History Students, 
Although you will have already studied chapter 2.4 pg. 75 - 79, and the Living Constitution pg. 82-105 in your U.S. History book The Americans Reconstruction to the 21st Century by McDougal Littell,  some of the concepts are covered again in this post due to their importance.
Mrs. Bernstein

Directions: Audio learners, listen and watch the video posted below. Next, read the background essay below. Complete the comprehension questions and post your answers. 

The Role of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists in the Establishment of the Constitution 

U.S. History is the story of the men and women who came to the Americas and sought a better life. They had the ingenuity and the opportunity to create a system of rules and laws with with which to rule themselves to maintain their freedoms and well being. This process is what the first part of your history book is consumed with conveying to you. As a child you learned about who and what were the pilgrims, colonists, continental army, redcoats, founding fathers, and presidents to name a few. Now as a teenager you are required to  learn about the thought process and reasoning that drove such historical figures. You are even asked now to examine their moral decisions and philosophical foundations and judge for yourselves the effectiveness of their choices. Before you can analyze the rules and laws they created to govern themselves with, you must understand what they were thinking. You must be able to explain the terms Federalist and Anti-Federalists. These two groups wrestled to balance individual rights and federal rights as they wrote and ratified our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  


Why a Bill of Rights? What Impact Does it Have?

     While the Founders were in broad agreement that the responsibility of government is to protect liberty, when they began to create a new government they often disagreed about the best ways to accomplish that task. The Bill of Rights was created through the kind of debate and exchange of ideas that it still protects today. 
     The Declaration of Independence states that the purpose of government is to protect our basic natural or inalienable rights. The Founders all agreed with this principle. But if they created a great system to protect rights, why did they disagree about a bill of rights? 

Who Were the Federalists and Anti-Federalists? 

    The Constitutional Convention prompted the emergence of two groups—the Federalists and the AntiFederalists. Both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists wanted to have checks on the power of the government, but they did not agree on how to do so. The Anti-Federalists wanted to change the Articles of Confederation, while the Federalists sought to create a new Constitution with a more centralized government. 
   The Federalists wanted to limit the power of states. The Federalists explained that the Constitution would create a central government that would be separated into three branches. They believed that the branches would compete against one another and keep each other from becoming too powerful. 
     The states would then check these branches in order to keep the national government from growing too powerful. The Anti-Federalists disagreed. Many Anti-Federalists worried that giving too much power to a central government would limit citizens’ rights. They believed that power should stay with state governments because the states would better understand their citizens’ needs.
     Even after the Constitution was written, Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed during its ratification. Federalists supported the Constitution as it was written and did not think a bill of rights was needed. They believed the Constitution limited the government’s powers enough. They also feared that creating a list of rights might lead to other dangers. For example, people might think the government had more power than it had actually been granted. It would be impossible to list every right; Federalists did not want certain rights to be ignored or violated just because they were not listed. 
     Anti-Federalists believed that a bill of rights was needed to prevent the central government from taking rights from states and citizens. They wanted to protect against a central government that was too powerful and could take away the freedoms they had fought a revolution to preserve. They believed a bill of rights was needed so that citizens would be protected from the government infringing upon [ignoring or taking] their rights. 

How Was the Debate Resolved? 

     The Constitutional Convention ended in late 1787, but the debate went on. Nine states ratified the Constitution by the summer of 1788. However, New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts sent long lists of amendments they wanted in order to make sure peoples’ rights were protected. The people wanted a bill of rights. James Madison asked other Founders—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Mason, and President George Washington—for advice. They all supported a bill of rights. Mason, who had written the Virginia Declaration of Rights to protect the rights of Virginians, suggested using state bills of rights as a guide. Madison agreed to add a bill of rights and used Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights as a model. 
     Though Madison first suggested additions and changes to the original text of the Constitution, AntiFederalists objected, saying that Congress did not have the power to change the original form of the Constitution that had been ratified by the states. They decided the Amendments would be added as a separate list. On August 24, 1789, the House of Representatives sent a list of seventeen amendments to the Senate. The Senate approved twelve. Those twelve amendments were sent to the states for ratification, but only ten were ratified [approved]. On December 15, 1791, Virginia’s state convention became the last state needed to ratify the ten amendments that protected individual rights and states’ powers. These ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, joined the Constitution as the governing document of the United States. 

What Is the Impact of the Bill of Rights? 

     The Bill of Rights only limited actions taken by the federal government against people. The Founders thought citizens would be protected against state governments by their home states’ constitutions. For this reason, the Bill of Rights did not strongly affect Americans’ lives until the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the states from violating people’s lives, liberty, or property without due process. 
     Beginning in the 1920s, the Supreme Court began to apply the Bill of Rights to states to meet the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “liberty.” Over time, the Supreme Court has ruled that most of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply as limits on state and local governments through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 
     Prior to the twentieth century, the role of the federal government was more limited. In the last hundred years, however, the role of the federal government has grown. As a result of the federal government’s bigger role, its size and importance have changed. The change also affected the understanding of the Bill of Rights. The document that had not affected Americans’ lives often prior to the 1920s now took center stage in American society, politics, and conversation. 
     The Bill of Rights, much debated at the time of writing, still brings about questions and debate today. 
Preserving the Bill of Rights © THE BILL OF RIGHTS INSTITUTE 

Comprehension Questions:

  1. List 3 positions of the Federalist 
  2. List 3 postitions of the anti-federalists.
  3. Explain why Federalists thought a bill of rights was not needed and could even be dangerous?
  4. Why did Antifederalists oppose ratifying the Constituition? 
  5. Why did the Bill of Rights not strongly affect citizens’ lives until after 1920s? 
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Month 2 Week 3: The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment

Directions:Watch the following video about the Enlightenment: Respond to the following questions. Post your responses.


  1. What was the significance of the Enlightenment?
  2. How did it pertain to Democracy?
  3. Describe "natural rights."
  4. According to the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, if a government doesn't protect people's "natural rights," then what do the people have a right to?
  5. What is your opinion about the Enlightenment? 
  6. Please read and post on 1 student's post.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Month 2 Week 2: The Puritans

Religion and the role it played in shaping our nation: The Role of the Puritans

[Puritans going to church]

Early settlers to the Americas brought with them their dreams and desires for a new life. Often at the core of their motivation for starting a new life in the new world was their faith and their interpretation of how one might live as regulated by their interpretation of the Bible.

Of importance and interest to the formation of early american culture and government is the role of the Puritans played.

Directions:  Go to The History Chanel  and The Life of the Puritans  and read about the lives of the Puritans. Answer the following questions and post your response.

  • During the Colonial American time period, where were the Puritan colonies located
  • Describe the contributions of the puritans to American work ethic and family centered communities.
  • Explain the role the Puritan's attitudes and views played that led them to strive for a "moral society."
  • Explain why the concept of "religious tolerance" was not a view the Puritan's would have striven for.