Florida End Of Course Assessment: Civics

US History
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Unit 1: Origins and Purposes of Law and Government

Who doesn't like old white guys in wigs? No one, that's who. Okay, maybe there are some people, but humor us, because this unit is all about old white guys in wigs—along with all of the fashion accessories that go along with those wigs as surely as a Malibu Town House goes with Malibu Stacy: feathered quills, parchment documents, fancy calligraphy, you name it.

The Big Issues

This unit is all about laying the groundwork for our system of government in the good old U.S. of A. We'll cover the basic ideas of natural right and the social contract that are behind our country's founding documents. We'll review the history of the American Revolution—just what the British did to get our ancestors all good and ticked off, as well as the ways they expressed their ticked-off-ness in the Declaration of Independence. And we'll cover the basics of the Constitution and the struggles that went along with writing and adopt the historic document.

Tips and Tricks

There's a good bit of history in this section, so it will pay to know the big names. Those big names include thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu, who all influenced the Founders, important documents like the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and Thomas Paine's Common Sense, which the Founders drew from for inspiration, and some of the British policies like the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Tea Act that led to the breakdown between the colonies and Mother England. A few other things that might be useful to jot down on those flashcards are the key points about the structure of government under the Articles of Confederation—the Constitution's beta test—and the basic checks and balances established by the Constitution.

There are a few things to watch out for in this section. In particular, be careful no to mix up your important documents or confuse provisions in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.