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Our Documents,

National Archives and Records Administration, National History Day, US Freedom Corps

This website highlights 100 primary source documents that shaped United States history. Documents include the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Plan, the Civil Rights Act, and the Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps. Each source has detailed information about the document, an image of the original document, a document transcript, and high-resolution pdfs. The website also contains Tools for Educators, with guides on integrating these important documents into the classroom. Want to know what James Madison’s handwriting looks like, and why what he wrote was important? This is the place for you.

Amendments to the Constitution (Excerpt from the Constitution of Virginia),

Virginia General Assembly

This one-page excerpt from the Virginia constitution discusses the process of adding amendments to the constitution.

Which branch(es) of government are responsible for amending Virginia's constitution? How do voters participate in the…

Handbook for Grand Jurors,

Judicial Conference of the United States

There are two kinds of federal juries in the United States. Petit juries (or "trial" juries) decide whether or not someone is guilty or not guilty. Grand Juries decide whether or not someone can be "indicted" for a charge. In other words, they…

Stickman Game: Virginia History,

Office of the Governor

There are several games on the Kid’s Commonwealth website, which cover issues such as Famous Virginians and the Executive Mansion. The most prominent game is the “Stickman Game,” a flash game that offers a tutorial on Virginia History based on the SOLs. Try it, and learn something new about the founding of the United States or Virginia’s first African American governor.

Electoral College Policy Brief to the Governor,

Georgia Leser, Loudoun County Public Schools

Since ratification of the Constitution, the Electoral College has been the method used for electing the President and Vice President of the United States and is outlined in Article II of the Constitution. The Electoral College elects the President,…

U.S. Constitution Guide,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

This website provides a point-by-point explanation of the U.S. Constitution. Each page includes the text of an article or amendment, as well as an in-depth explanation of the meaning and historical context. It can be very helpful for anyone trying to understand the sometimes dense text of the U.S. Constitution. Another useful learning technique is contrasting the development and text of the U.S. Constitution with the Virginia Constitution.

How the founders differed from the English Bill of Rights,

iCitizenProject

Michael Barone is a journalist, political analyst, and senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. He also serves as a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In this video, he discusses how the U.S. founders' ideologies differed from…

C-SPAN: The History of the Electoral College,

C-SPAN, Don Ritchie

In this short video, Senate Historian Don Ritchie discusses the history of the electoral college. Today, many people question the usefulness and design of the electoral college system, particularly after the controversy during the 2000 elections.…

C-SPAN: The First Amendment and Student Expression,

C-SPAN

In this video, students discuss first amendment freedoms with Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar at the First Amendment Center. In particular, the discussion focuses on how first amendment freedoms…