Influence, Ideas, and Ideologies of Early American Government Graphic Organizer
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or GroupCommon Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/1] Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
- [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/2] Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
- [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/5] Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Using a grid storyboard, students will summarize and explain influences on early American government. This will provide a deeper, historical context for early American government, through the ratification of the Constitution. Students will be able to explain and analyze these influences and ideas, as well as their relation to government. By putting each topic on one axis, students will summarize what defines each topic, and provide the influence it had on government on the other axis.
Influential Early American Documents
|Explanation||Influence on Early Government||Paine’s Common Sense||Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense was widely circulated throughout the American colonies. Colonists read about ideas of representative governments, populist power, and natural rights that included life, liberty, and property. All of Paine's ideas greatly influenced early Americans' perspectives.||Common Sense had an immense influence on colonists living in early America. It gave them ideas and dreams of operating their own country under their own terms. It instilled a belief in natural rights and the voice of the people dictating law. It would go on to be a founding influence on early government.|
|Republicanism||Republicanism is the practice of government representatives advocating for a larger group's needs and interests. America is a democratic republic, meaning the people vote on their representatives in government level.||Ideas of republicanism are the foundation of early, and current, American government. In electing representatives, Americans believed they were voicing their opinions, concerns, and thoughts by controlling who ultimately controlled their politics. The United States still functions as a republic today.|
|Revolution||Revolution itself is the action of change. By revolting against the British, American colonists put into action the change they wanted to see. By fighting for their independence, ideas that spurred revolution would carry over to how early American government would function and serve the people.||The American Revolution itself was a tremendous influence on Early American government. Fighting for what they wanted to see happen, the revolution served to realize these ideals. They fought under the belief of the people powering their nation, not one singular king.|
|Democracy||Democracy is a government run by the people. There is no singular king, or ruling class. Each citizen retains certain rights, including the right to vote, own property, and conduct their own business. For America, the power lies in the people's ability to elect their own representatives, and create their own laws.||The idea of democracy was a founding principle in early American government. The citizens of British America believed they had the right to control their destinies, not a king thousands of miles away. Furthermore, colonists had functioned well governing themselves without British influence or interference.|
Have students create a grid storyboard for America’s current government. Have them define topics they believe influence government today, making connections to the influences on early American government. Some topics can even be the same, with students directly connecting its past and current influence.