(CVC) Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

(CVC) Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You -...

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Unit 1: Foundations of American Citizenship Chapter 1: The American People Chapter Overviews Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizens. You become a citizen by being born in the United States or by going through a process called naturalization. Citizens have a duty to follow the rules established by the government. The government of the United States is a representative democracy. That means that the citizens choose representatives to make the laws and to govern on their behalf. Today, America's citizens are descendants of immigrants from all over the world. American citizens are diverse in ethnicity and religion, but they share common values and a commitment to the United States. As citizens, Americans possess certain rights, but they also have responsibilities. With the help of national, state, and local governments, citizens create a society in which people can live and work together peacefully. Chapter 2: Roots of American Democracy Chapter Overviews English settlers brought the traditions of representative government with them to the New World. Some principles, such as the Rule of Law, dated back to the Magna Carta of 1215. Others developed over several centuries. The English Parliament, which began in the 1300s, was able to define its powers in the English Bill of Rights (1689). The first permanent English colony— Jamestown—established its own representative body in 1619. Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower drew up a plan for a direct democracy in their new colony. By 1760 the thirteen colonies had gained valuable experience in self-government. However, Britain's new policies and the French and Indian War created tension between the colonies and Great Britain. The colonists rejected the many new taxes passed by Parliament. By April 1775, British soldiers and Americans had clashed in battle at Lexington and Concord. By July 1776, the delegates to the Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. Each of the states wrote its own state constitution. A union of the states was agreed upon, and in 1777 the Articles of Confederation was passed. Although this form of government achieved the successful completion of the Revolutionary War, it also had many weaknesses. By 1787 another meeting in Philadelphia was called. This time, delegates were to revise the Articles of Confederation. Chapter 3: The Constitution
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Chapter Overviews By early 1787, it was clear that the national government had to be strengthened. The fifty-five men who met in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention quickly decided to write a completely new plan of government. Disagreements arose over representation in Congress, taxation, how to calculate population, trade, and other important matters. Through a series of compromises the delegates were able to agree on the important points of the new plan. After its approval by the convention, the Constitution still had to be ratified by the states. The promise to
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIAL SCI Social Sci taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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(CVC) Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You -...

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