American Constitutional History – GOVT 421

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A survey of American constitutional development from British and colonial origins to the present, emphasizing the history of the Supreme Court and the development of the constitutional framework.

Prerequisite

GOVT 200

Rationale

American Constitutional History provides the student with an overview of the American Founding. The course focuses on the fundamental, constitutional origins of our governmental system. The student will explore the relationship between biblical, constitutional principles and modern American politics.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Articulate the various historical influences on American constitutional principles.
  2. Compare the importance of biblical, constitutional principles as they relate to American government.
  3. Analyze the various components of the Constitution and related documents.
  4. Examine how constitutional principles have been undermined in modern American politics.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words, be supported by at least 2 sources (with one being the text), and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words and be supported by at least 2 sources (with one being the text).

Short Papers (3)

The student will write three 2–3-page research-based papers in current Turabian format that focus on 1) the constitutional heritage of our governmental system; 2) the faith of our Founding Fathers; and 3) the major constitutional principles of our legal system. The papers must include at least 3 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Research Paper 1

The student will write a research-based paper that focuses on the right to privacy. This assignment will be completed in 2 parts. The first part will consist of creating a thesis statement, an intended outline, and an annotated bibliography. After receiving feedback from the instructor, the student will submit the 4–5-page final draft of the paper. The paper must be in current Turabian format and include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.


Research Paper 2

The student will write a research-based paper that focuses on 2 major Supreme Court cases regarding freedom of religion. This assignment will be completed in 2 parts. The first part will consist of creating a thesis statement, an intended outline, and an annotated bibliography. After receiving feedback from the instructor, the student will submit the 5–7-page final draft of the paper. The paper must be in current Turabian format and include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.