8.1 Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.
8.1.1 Describe the relationship between the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and the development of revolutionary fervor.
8.1.2 Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights").
8.1.3 Analyze how the American Revolution affected other nations, especially France.
8.1.4 Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions.
8.2 Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.
8.2.1 Discuss the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact.
8.2.2 Analyze the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, and the success of each in implementing the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
8.2.3 Evaluate the major debates that occurred during the development of the Constitution and their ultimate resolutions in such areas as shared power among institutions, divided state-federal power, slavery, the rights of individuals and states (later addressed by the addition of the Bill of Rights), and the status of American Indian nations under the commerce clause.
8.2.4 Describe the political philosophy underpinning the Constitution as specified in the Federalist Papers (authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay) and the role of such leaders as Madison, George Washington, Roger Sherman, Governor Morris, and James Wilson in the writing and ratification of the Constitution.
8.2.5 Understand the significance of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom as a forerunner of the First Amendment and the origins, purpose, and differing views of the founding fathers on the issue of the separation of church and state.
8.2.6 Enumerate the powers of government set forth in the Constitution and the fundamental liberties ensured by the Bill of Rights.
8.2.7 Describe the principles of federalism, dual sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and balances, the nature and purpose of majority rule, and the ways in which the American idea of constitutionalism preserves individual rights.