Civics notes

According to the dictionary definition, Civics is “the study of the rights and duties of citizenship”

We will begin Civics class with a pretest which will cover the map of the United States. It is important to know the location of different states throughout our country as we study local, state and federal government. It is also important to know the location of states as citizens of the United States.

We will also be studying current events which will require our knowledge of the states.Our class will review the location of the seven continents and four oceans of our world to help us better understand world events as well.There are a number of good web sites which allow you to not only study the map of United States, but also to print the map.

Civics (10 points), Mr. Wade, Course Description For the Second Half of School Year 2015 2016

In the school year 2015-2016, we will be discussing a number of topics. As Civics is associated with our life in the United States as well as our place in a global society, we will study and research differing topics which are important during our changing times.  We will incorporate new topics as we go through the year.  Below are the main points we will be covering for the second half of the year.



– 14th amendment.

-How does one become a citizen?

-How does one lose citizenship, is it possible?

Origins of American Government:

-Our Political Beginnings

-the Coming of Independence

-the Critical Period

-Creating the Constitution

-Ratifying the Constitution

Voters and Voter Behavior:

the Right to Vote

-Voter Qualifications 

The Electoral Process:

-the nominating process


Three Levels of Government

Legislative Branch of each level:

-the House of Representatives

-the Senate

Executive Branch of each level:

-President’s job description

-Presidential succession

Judicial Branch of each level:

-three levels of courts

Course Requirements:

written homework most nights, reading other nights, 35% of grade (see handout for specifics)

-quizzes and tests as needed, 35% of grade

– oral presentation due fourth marking

-weekly Journal, third and fourth marking periods

– in-class group projects

-class participation, 30% of grade (see handout for specifics)

Resources Used:

-text: American government.

 periodicals , including the Internet, including library and/or chrome books


-guest speakers

-class trips (hopefully)


Civics classes will continue to improve on our common core goals, which include citing sources, using primary and secondary resources, and researching. See below:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1 <;
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 <;
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

. The following are notes we will be taking during class  after  reading, researching and discussing.  The numbering does not always come out as it does on the notes  given in class

American government text, Chapter I Section 1: Government and the State

Introduction:   This lesson focuses on the goals of the Federal Government

Activities- Student Participation And Objectives       1. Students name three basic kinds of power that a government exercises; 2. discuss the difference between a government and a state; 3. list the main purposes of the American system of government.

  1. Government and the state
  2. government – The institution through which a society makes and enforces it’s public policies.
  3. Public policies – All of the things a gov. decides to do, i.e. taxation, defense, education, crime control, environment, etc. p. 4
  4. Must have power! – ability to achieve a desired end – must be able to prevent or command/demand action;
  5. Three basic types of power, set by the Constitution (body of fundamental setting up principles, structures, and processes of a gov;
  6. legislative – power to make law and public policy
  7. executive – power to enforce and administer law
  8. judicial – power to determine meaning of laws and settle disputes/arguments within society
  1. You will define dictatorship:
  2. Democracy:
  3. List important facts from remaining 5 paragraphs on p. 5
  4. The state – Body of people living in defined territory, organized politically with the power to make and enforce law.
  5. Population – must have people!
  6. Territory – must have land!
  7. Sovereignty – supreme and absolute power within it’s own territory; responsible for itself, not a colony;
  8. Gov. – already defined – see p. 6 & 7 and outline I. A
  9. Origins of the state – From where did the idea of “state” come? 4 main theories.
  10. The Force Theory – make sure you define this  and the other theories listed below
  1. The Evolutionary Theory
  1. The Divine Right Theory –
  1. The Social Contract –
  1. Purpose of gov. – also, make sure you understand  what each “purpose of government ” stands for.
  2. form a more perfect union
  3. Establish justice
  4. Insure domestic tranquility –
  5. Provide for the common defense –
  6. Promote general Welfare –
  7. Secure the liberty

Review: public policies, 3 kinds of power, dictatorship, democracy, the state, territory, sovereign, government, theories, 6 purposes of gov.

New lesson

Introduction – The lesson focuses on the different types of governments.

  1. Forms of governments. – Like people, no 2 govs are exactly alike, why?

Classifying governments. (3 ways)

  1. who can participate in the process – number of persons who take part in the course of action
  2. democracy – People hold supreme political authority and the government is run only by and with the agreement of the people; p. 12;
  3. direct democracy (pure democracy) – the will of the people becomes law; straight from the people;;
  4. representative democracy – a small group are chosen by the people to carry out the will of the people (kept in check by elections and attentive citizens);
  5. dictatorship – those who rule Are NOT responsible to the will of the people
  6. autocracy – one person has unlimited political power
  7. oligarchy – power to rule held by small group of people who usually appointed themselves!; (give students terms on board: unitary, federal, confederate, presidential, parliamentary, dictatorship, democracy);
  8. Geographic distribution of government power within the state – you will work in groups of three to fill out the group activity sheet.

every system of gov. has power to govern in 1 or more places geographically; 3 basic forms

  1. unitary -centralized–all powers held by the gov. belong to a single central agency. Usually central gov. creates local units of gov. for it’s own convenience (Central gov. could get rid of local units).

2. federal – powers of gov. are divided between central gov, and several local govs. This division of power

CANNOT be changed by the local or national level acting alone. (Our Constitution sets this up).

3. Confederate – An alliance of independent states. The central organization with confederate only handles issues member states ASSIGN to it.

C. Relationship between legislative and executive branches – govs. often classified by relationship between leg. and exec; 2 forms

1. presidential – legislative and executive branches separate but equal; President and legislature chosen by the people at different times for different terms; checks and balances

2. parliamentary – executive made up of prime minister or premier and the official’s cabinet which come from the legislative branch (parliament); Legislature or parliament chooses the executive. research-which countries have parliamentarian gov, and who are the prime ministers of each?

Review: classifying; who participates, democracy, dictatorship, geographic distribution–unitary, federal, confederate; relationship between–presidential and parliamentary

The other notes needed after this review need to be in your notebook, as it is the webs we created on local, state and federal government.

This website is a good jeopardy review


Civics, 10th Grade Magnet

Chapter 21 section 4: American citizenship

Objectives :

  1. Identify the questions surrounding American citizenship.
  2. Describe how people become American citizens by birth and by naturalization.
  3. Explain how an American can lose his or her citizenship.
  4. Compare and contrast the status of undocumented aliens and legal immigrants.


Introduction: This lesson focuses on how American citizenship and naturalization is determined as well as the history and problems of immigration

  1. I. The 14th Amendment
  2. 1868 Civil War is coming, 14th amendment passed (page 613, American Government, 14th amendment,
  3. A person can become an American citizen either by birth, or by naturalization
  4. 90% of Americans are citizens because we were born in the USA, another several million are citizens because:
  5.   jus soli-the law of the soil where one is born Congress has

defined the United States to include, for purposes of citizenship, the 50 States,the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana and the Islands. It also includes American embassies and American public vessels abroad.


  1. jus sanguinis-law of the blood, to whom one is born-a child born abroad can become an American citizen at birth if he or she born to parent who is US citizen and lived in USA at some time


  1. Aliens-citizens or nationals in a foreign country who live in the United States
  2. Naturalization-people may become citizens at some time after birth through this legal process
  3. Be at least 18 years old
  4. Have entered the country legally lived in the United States for at least five years, certain states for at least three months
  5. File a petition for naturalization through federal court
  6. Be literate in the English language
  7. Be of “good moral character”, attached to the principles of the Constitution, and “well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States”
  8. Have a “knowledge and an understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and the principles and form of government, of the United States”
  9. Take an oath or affirmation


  1. expatriation-Americans can choose to give up or voluntarily abandon their citizenship (see bottom of page 614)
  2. denaturalization– Naturalized citizens who gained citizenship through fraud or deception may lose it through court ordered process
  3. Deportation-a legal process in which aliens are required to leave the United States

New section

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half of the time.” E. B. White.

Introduction: This lesson focuses on the basic concepts of democracy and free enterprise (We need to understand compromise as we are introduced to the Constitution)

  1. I. Basic concepts of democracy
  2. Foundations-democracy will continue in this country as long as the people support it. 5 important features: (slideshow)
  3. Worth of the individual-every individual is important, unique, should be respected
  4. Equality of All Persons-as in “Worth”, individuals should be treated equally. Democratic concept states two primary issues: equality of opportunity and equality before the law
  5. Majority rule, minority rights – theory is that majority of the people will be right more often than they are wrong. Democratic process searches for SATISFACTORY solutions to public problems. P. 19
  6. Necessity of compromise- in a democracy, people with different ideas/opinions must come together to form an agreement that satisfies and respects all sides of the situation;  go to your text, American government and define this important concept
  7. Individual freedom – The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins. Oliver Wendall Holmes; The rights of every man [person] are diminished when the rights of one are threatened. J. F. Kennedy  – an individual is allowed to have as much freedom as they wish as long as it does not interfere with someone else’s freedom.
  8. Democracy and the free enterprise system – Free enterprise is an economic system which goes with democracy, the political system.
  9. How the system works – capitalism (see picture below about socialism and communism)
  10. government does not decide on production, quantity, or price;
  11. law of supply and demand – many goods and services, prices drop; shortage, prices go up; (see image)

  1. government and free enterprise system
  2. mixed economy – private enterprise works with a large amount of gov. regs and promotion
  3. gov. regs. – i.e. pure food, anti-pollution, building codes
  4. Promotion – grant for transportation (buses, trains), research-stem cell
  5. fine line between free enterprisre and gov. participation;
  6. Democracy and the internet – Where do you draw the line regarding freedom?

What do they mean in terms of being concepts of democracy?

Primary/Caucus-this will be our lesson following the biographies  We completed on different congresspeople, along with following them  on twitter.

Primary-a process through which a person is chosen to represent a political party in a general election (define general election)– using your texts


Election-a process where citizens vote for someone to represent them in government


November 2016-there will be an election for?  Two major parties, Democrats and Republicans.

-two major parties hold primaries in order for candidates to try and get delegates


Delegates-people who are appointed to represent others; usually active in the states party (explain)

-candidates need delegates as they go into summer conventions

-conventions (people getting together, organizing conference) are held by Democrats and Republicans during the summer before a presidential election to choose the person they want to represent them on election Day

-before convention every state has primary

-candidates from each party try to win the most votes in that state primary (advertising and newspapers, pamphlets, TV, debates)

-candidates (person) who wins the most votes in that state primary gets that state’s delegates to vote for them at the convention during the summer

a-some states are “winner take all” (explain)

b-some states candidates get the number of delegates depending on the number of votes they get (proportional)


We will go over Republican and Democratic candidates-for example, 2008

Democrats = Clinton, first female running for president, lawyer, currently a senator, former first lady

Obama, first African-American running for president, lawyer, currently a senator

Republicans = McCain, senator, Vietnam veteran

Romney, ex governor of Massachusetts, businessman

Huckabee, ex governor of Arkansas, Minister

Chapter 2 Section 1: Our Political Beginnings

Introduction: This lesson focuses on the political ideas and concepts English settlers brought to the colonies.

  1. Our political beginnings
  2. Basic concepts of gov. – political systems came with early colonizers to US
  3. Ordered gov. – Is the need for an orderly regulation of the relationship with one another, that is for the government. They created local government, police, coroner, and grand jury.


  1. limited gov.- When the gov’t is restricted in what it can do, and each person has rights that the gov’t can’t take away.


  1. Representative gov. – A government serves at the will of the governed; the governed vote for individuals to reflect their say in voting for officeholders and laws



  1. important English documents
  2. Magna Carta – 1215 AD – the Great Charter, included basic rights, i.e. trial by jury, due process, protection for life, liberty, property; Stated that monarchy did not have absolute power;
  3. The Petition of Right -1628, limits King’s power; challenges idea of the “Divine Right of Kings.” Even a king must obey the law! See p. 30, parag. 4;
  4. English Bill of Rights – 1689; You, using p. 30, will list important parts. –free trial, freedom from excessive bail, and from cruel and unusual punishment.


 Q: What was Parliament’s primary concern in writing the English Bill of Rights? A. To limit the power of the monarchy   B. To keep the king from making things up    C. To transfer all power from the monarchy to Parliament      D. To make petitioning illegal



  1. The English colonies – 13 different locations set up at different times for different reasons; each had their own charter – written grant of authority from the king; developed into 3 different types of colonies;
  2. Royal colonies –
  3. the crown had direct control over them; king named a governor as chief executive. A council was also named to advise gov. A 2 house (bicameral) legis. was elected by property owners who were qualified to vote, (eventually leads to revolution, Why?)
  4. Proprietary colonies –
  5. organized by a person who the king granted land.
  6. Proprietor appointed governor.
  7. Legis. Unicameral;
  8. Charter colonies –
  9. based on charters or grants given to the colonists themselves.


  1. governors elected by white male property owners
  2. bicameral legis.

Review: Basic concepts of gov., ordered limited representative; important English documents-Magna Carta, Petition of Right, Eng. Bill of Rights; Eng. Colonies-royal, charter, proprietary;


  1. The coming of independence
  2. British colonial policies –
  3. For 150 yrs. Colonists become fairly independent from England. Relationship could be considered federal – Central gov. in London responsible for defense and foreign affairs (including trade markets) for colonies.
  4. 1760 King George 3rd wants to become more strict with colonies, including new taxes to help pay for British troops in North America. “Taxation without representation”;
  5. Growing colonial unitycolonies must work together in order to succeed! You will wk. in grps using p. 35-36, identify and outline 3 attempts at cooperation



  1. early attempts – New England confederation (a joining of several grps for a common purpose).to defend against native Americans and French.
  2. The Albany Plan – Ben Franklin proposes formation of Congress of delegates or representatives from each of 13 colonies; they have the power to raise military and naval forces;
  3. Stamp Act Congress – grp of 9 colonies send delegates to “Congress” where Declaration of Rights and Grievances against British policies is sent to the King. Colonists also boycott; March 5, 1770 Boston massacre, Boston Tea Party 12/16/1773
  4. First Continental Congress –
  5. September 1774 delegates from every colony except Georgia meet in Philadelphia (Philly) discuss new English laws passed to punish colonies (Intolerable Acts);


  1. Continental Congress sends Declaration of Rights protesting Britain’s policies -colonies are asked not to trade with England until taxes and regulations are repealed or recalled (p. 37).
  2. Second Continental Congress – May 10, 1775; British gov refuses to compromise or change policies revolution has begun with several different battles
  3. Representatives-All 13 Colonies send representatives. Create continental army, George Washington appointed commander
  4. Our first National Government-second Continental Congress served as first Government of the U.S. for 5 years. British condemn it!  Congress is unicameral, exercising both legislative and executive powers
  5. Declaration of Independence-


Adopted July 4th, 1776, and announces the ind. of US    

  1. First state constitutionseach state will draw up it’s own constitution
  2. Drafting state constitutions – “Bodies of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of their governments” (p. 38)
  3. common features – You will fill in on computer after discusssion;


Review: colonial policies, colonial unity, attempts Albany Plan, Stamp Act Congress, Continental Congresses, Declaration of Ind., first constitutions;

Next Lesson: The Critical Period

Objectives: Students will be able to:

1. Describe the structure of the government set up under the Articles of Confederation.

2. Explain why the weaknesses of the Articles led to a critical period for the government in the 1780s.

3. Describe how a growing need for a stronger national government led to plans for a Constitutional Convention.


Introduction: This lesson focuses on the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, which led to a critical period for the United States.

I. Critical period – It becomes necessary to unite the former colonies.

A. Articles of Confederation – Plan of government to unite the former colonies;

1. Each state will remain independent from each other, except in times of defense “security of their liberties and mutual and general welfare” (1777);

2. Ratification – all 13 states must approve of the document;

3. Governmental structure –

a. simple – sets up Congress only, unicameral, delegates chosen yearly by states; Each state gets 1 vote in the Congress, regardless of population or wealth of state;

b. No executive or judicial branch – committees would handle functions;

c. presiding officer – Congress chooses one of it’s members

4. Power of Congress – can make war and peace; send and receive ambassadors, set up money system, post office, Navy, ask states for troops for Army, and settle disputes among states;

5. State obligations – provide funds and troops as requested by Congress; treat citizens from all states fairly, open trade and travel;

6. Weaknesses – see p. 45:

a. 1 vote for each state regardless of size; T&S discuss What is electoral college?

b. Congress powerless with taxation

c. Congress powerless in regulating foreign and interstate commerce

d. no executive-why is this a problem? What is executive’s job? What if CHS had no principal?

e. no national court system p. 45

B. Critical period – 1780s;

1. Revolutionary War ends 1781; Treaty of Paris 1783;

2. with peace economic and political problems begin to show;

C. Need for stronger gov-

1. Articles not strong enough to deal with nation’s problems;

2. Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia

Review: Articles, ratification, gov. structure, powers of Congress, state obligations, weaknesses, and Critical period;

6 Responses to Civics notes

  1. TimothySmith says:

    Received the notes!

  2. Bob Bobert says:

    Mr. Wade’s class is swag.😄

  3. jesus ramos says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s