Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.


Students can continue with a selective review of American government by considering this question: How did the country change because of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the nineteenth century? The events leading up to the Civil War, the successes and failures of Reconstruction, and informal and formal segregation brought on by Jim Crow laws also provide context for understanding racial inequities in late-nineteenth-century America.

Founding of the US

Why did Thomas Paine argue for independence? Download Lesson: Founding of the US

This lesson is designed to support student comprehension of an excerpt from Common Sense written by Thomas Paine. This passage is included in Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards.