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The Reconstruction Amendments and Their Legacy

Theme: American Political Thought: The Constitution and American Democratic Institutions
The Reconstruction Amendments and Their Legacy
Date: January 2006

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2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Connections (Learning Standards):

5.23: Describe the responsibilities at the federal, state, and local levels (e.g., protection of individual rights and the provision of services such as law enforcement and the building and funding of schools.)

5.24: Describe the basic political principles of American democracy and explain how the Constitution and the Bill of Rights reflect and preserve these principles.

A. individual rights and responsibilities
B. equality
C. the rule of law
D. limited government
E. representative democracy

5.27: Explain how American citizens were expected to participate in, monitor, and bring about changes in their government over time, and give examples of how they continue to do so today.

USI.11: Describe the purpose and functions of government.

USI.14: Explain the characteristics of American democracy, including the concepts of popular sovereignty and constitutional government, which includes representative institutions, federalism, separation of powers, shared powers, checks and balances, and individual rights.

USI.15: Explain the varying roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments in the United States.

USI.16: Describe the evolution of the role of the federal government, including public services, taxation, economic policy, foreign policy, and common defense.

USI.19: Explain the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and describe how democracy provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process through elections, political parties, and interest groups.

USI.21: Describe how decisions are made in a democracy, including the role of
legislatures, courts, executives, and the public.

USI.40: Provide examples of the various effects of the Civil War.

A. physical and economic destruction
B. the increased role of the federal government
C. the greatest loss of life on a per capita basis of any U.S. war before or since

USI.41: Explain the policies and consequences of Reconstruction.

A. Presidential and Congressional Reconstruction
B. the impeachment of President Johnson
C. the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
D. the opposition of Southern whites to Reconstruction
E. the accomplishments and failures of Radical Reconstruction
F. the presidential election of 1876 and the end of Reconstruction
G. the rise of Jim Crow laws
H. the Supreme Court case, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

USII.9: Analyze the post-Civil War struggles of African Americans and women to gain basic civil rights.

A. Carrie Chapman Catt
B. W.E.B. Du Bois
C. Marcus Garvey
D. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
E. Alice Paul
F. Booker T. Washington

USG.1.3: Describe the purposes and function of government.

USG.1.6: Explain how a constitutional democracy provides majority rules with equal protection for the rights of individuals, including those in the minority, through limited government and the rule of law.

USG.1.9: Examine fundamental documents in the American political tradition to identify key ideas regarding limited government and individual rights.

USG.2.7: Identify and explain historical and contemporary efforts to narrow discrepancies between foundational ideas and values of American democracy and realities of American political and civic life.

USG.2.8: Evaluate, take and defend positions on issues concerning foundational ideas of values in tension or conflict.

USG.3.11: Compare core documents associated with the protection of individual rights, including the Bill of Rights, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Articles of the Massachusetts Constitution.

USG.5.7: Analyze and evaluate decisions about rights of individuals in landmark cases of the United States Supreme Court such as Whitney v. California (1927), Stromberg v. California (1931), Near v. Minnesota (1931), Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), Texas v. Johnson (1989), and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997).