Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation

Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation
In studying the American Revolution and the New Nation, the expectations deliberately build upon students’ prior knowledge in government and economics. The political and economic aspects of the French and Indian War and its aftermath are stressed. Students deepen their understanding of perspective by comparing patriot and loyalist perspectives with respect to events that eventually culminated in the American Revolution. The expectations in this historical era emphasize significant ideas about government as reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the role of key individuals and groups in declaring independence. Students also apply concepts of power and authority to the perspectives of the colonists and the British during the revolutionary era. Emphasis is placed on how colonial experiences and ideas about government influenced the decision of the colonists to declare independence. Students examine the course, character, and consequences of the American Revolution using geography and economics students to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each side in the war. Students also describe the significant events and turning points during the war. In examining the challenges faced by the new nation under the Articles of Confederation, the expectations continue to build upon students’ understanding of government. By exploring the political ideas underlying the Articles of Confederation and the subsequent adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (with particular emphasis on the rights contained in first four amendments), the values and principlesof American democracy are revisited through a historical context. Students examine how the Founders sought to limit the power of government through principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, dual sovereignty (federalism), protection of individual rights, popular sovereignty, and rule of law.
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