The Bill of Rights was created and passed during the very first session of Congress to define limits on the power of the federal government. It established the freedoms that many of us take for granted in the United States today: speech, religion, assembly, rights of the accused, and gun rights. Over time, though, we have determined that those rights are not absolute and require defined limits.
In this unit, we will examine our individual protections against an overly intrusive federal government. This is the first unit where you will be introduced to, and need to know, a good number of Supreme Court cases, which poses an extra challenge. Through this study, you will gain a better sense of your rights in our society and how you are protected against certain forms of government control.
Throughout our history, the United States has struggled with the question of equality. The latter half of the twentieth century and the early part of the twenty-first century have witnessed numerous efforts to ensure equality, at least legally, for all Americans. However, as movements such as Black Lives Matter suggest, there is still much work to be done.
In this unit, we will explore the history of civil rights in America and the efforts of various minority groups to gain legal and social equality. We will evaluate the success of these movements and determine how today's inequalities can be addressed. Most essentially, we will determine whether or not it is the responsibility of the federal government to "fix" inequality.