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Who Rules? Understanding the Journey (6-8)

100 minutes
Approximately 100 minutes: interactive activities supported by films and PowerPoint slides.
Primary subjects: 
Civics and Government
Grade: 
6, 7, 8
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About

The internal threats institutionalized in the Constitution triggered a power dynamic, a class struggle for power and control, that continues to shape our society. This lesson examines three large-scale shifts in the balance of power after the Civil War. It explores why these shifts occur, who is driving the dynamic, and the growing social and political consequences of this power imbalance at the core of our democracy. Students reflect on the democracy journey and create their own narrative of who rules.

Key objectives for students
Explain how people came to be marginalized by their government, using examples of landmark laws and policies that disempowered people and weakened democracy.
Explain how corporations came to have power over the people, using examples of key laws and policies that empowered artificial persons with constitutional rights.
Give current examples of social consequences when corporations’ profits are protected over people’s wellbeing and environmental health.
Describe our history as a repeating pattern of power struggles between the ‘Money Power’ and people’s rights, a pattern driven by inherent weaknesses in human nature.
Understand why intergenerational vigilance and work is needed to operate and maintain a democracy, given the ever-present nature of the internal threats.
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