Who rules? Understanding the balance of power

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Lessons 3 and 4 critically examine the basic concepts and rules of our constitutional democracy, focusing on its inherent weaknesses and the intergenerational work needed to defend against abuses of power. (150 minutes)

In Lesson 3, students critically examine the conceptual framework of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to understand the internal threats from inherent weaknesses in human nature that were institutionalized in these documents and in the Civil War Amendments. Students are introduced to a third entity that existed at the time of founding – artificial persons as corporations – and then explore the young government’s dilemma of where to fit this entity into the conceptual framework. Using Socratic method in small groups, students critically examine key legal changes and their social consequences on the balance of power during the first 160 years of the democracy journey. (100 minutes)

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