Design Your Own America 50 points



Every constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter dated Sept 6, 1789

Thomas Jefferson suggested the writing of a new constitution ever nineteen years. Your job, with a partner, is to design your own America. You may examine all aspects of American life, including culture, law, politics, society, economics, religion, etc. You will then be responsible for designing a functioning government (of any form you like,) and a bill of rights that all American citizens will have. In your response, you must address the following:

      1. Where does the authority of your government come from? Why?
      2. Why style of government will you choose? How are leaders chosen?
      3. What checks and balances (if any) will be necessary to effectively control power?
      4. What rights do Americans have under your constitution?
      5. How can your constitution be amended if necessary?

After successfully designing a new constitution, you'll need to present it to the class. After everyone has presented their ideas, we'll have a mini-convention, and vote on the best new form of government for America.


Resources:

US Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
Resources for Constitutional Design: http://www.constitutionmaking.org/
2010 Census – information about the demographics of America: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/
CIA World Factbook for US: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html


Goals:

  • Students will use their knowledge of American history, culture, and politics.
  • Students will analyze various forms of government, and know their strengths/weaknesses.
  • Students will build their own government, combining various ideas and philosophies, and experience the difficulties of the Founders.