UNITED STATES HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT
United States history is the history of a great experiment in representative democracy.
The basic principles and core values expressed in the Declaration of Independence
became the guiding ideas for our nation's civic culture. United States history since the
Declaration of Independence has witnessed continued efforts to apply these principles and
values to all people. Adoption of the United States Constitution codified these principles, but,
as the history of our nation shows, that document and its amendments re p resented only the
first step in achieving "liberty and justice for all."
One major goal of the State social studies curriculum, K-11, calls for students to learn about
the structure and function of governments and to learn how to take on their roles as citizens.
Students should understand those basic principles and the cultural heritage that support our
democracy so that they can become informed, committed participants in our democracy. This
core curriculum lists examples that describe how individuals and groups throughout history
have challenged and influenced public policy and constitutional change. These examples and
this course of study should help students understand how ordinary citizens and groups of
people interacted with lawmakers and policy makers and made a difference .