How the Constitution and its European influences support the modern concept of American citizenship and citizens’ rights and responsibilities.

Construct a five-paragraph essay explaining how the Constitution and its European influences support the modern concept of American citizenship and citizens’ rights and responsibilities. This essay will demonstrate your understanding of the origins of the American government and democracy. In the process, you will be able to use primary sources to support your ideas from the documents discussed in previous lessons.

Be sure to cite evidence from the Constitution and at least two of the following: John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, the English Bill of Rights, Baron de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract.  A third influential document may be selected for comparison from primary sources studied throughout this unit. Writing this essay is an opportunity for you to synthesize your knowledge of the American government, the origins of democracy, and the importance of the people in the principle of popular sovereignty.

What constitutional principles and/or influential founding documents support the creation of the U.S. Constitution? What are some of the most important rights and responsibilities outlined in the Constitution for citizens? Where and how are those rights guaranteed? What roles do American citizens play in their government?

 

Outline each element of the essay as follows:

  • Introduction – Compose a general introduction about the concept of American citizenship and democracy.
  • Thesis Statement – Write a thesis statement to respond to the general question: what constitutional principles and/or influential founding documents support the creation of the U.S Constitution?
  • Constitutional Principle #1 – Introduce Constitutional Principle #1 and its original source. Explain the outlined principle rights and responsibilities guaranteed to citizens.
  • Influential Document #1 – Cite the document’s title and author. Explain the historical significance of the document and how its ideas appear in the Constitution.
  • Supporting Quotes or Ideas from Influential Document#1 – Choose 1–2 quotes from this document and the Constitution to support your ideas.
  • Constitutional Principle #2 – Introduce Constitutional Principle #2 and its original source. Explain the outlined principle rights and responsibilities guaranteed to citizens.
  • Influential Document #2 – Cite the document’s title and author. Explain the historical significance of the document and how its ideas appear in the Constitution.
  • Supporting Quotes or Ideas from Influential Document#2 – Choose 1–2 quotes from this document and the Constitution to support your ideas.
  • Constitutional Principle #3 – Introduce Constitutional Principle #3 and its original source. Explain the outlined principle rights and responsibilities guaranteed to citizens.
  • Influential Document #3 – Cite the document’s title and author. Explain the historical significance of the document and how its ideas appear in the Constitution.
  • Supporting Quotes or Ideas from Influential Document#3 – Choose 1–2 quotes from this document and the Constitution to support your ideas.
  • Conclusion – Revisit the main ideas expressed in each paragraph. Explain why you chose these three sources to explain your point. Paraphrase and explain your thesis statement again.

Your essay should adhere to the following format:

  • Paragraph 1 – introduction of founding documents, citizenship, and thesis statement
  • Paragraph 2 – source 1 and relationship to citizens’ rights and/or responsibilities
  • Paragraph 3 – source 2 and relationship to citizens’ rights and/or responsibilities
  • Paragraph 4 – source 3 and relationship to citizens’ rights and/or responsibilities
  • Paragraph 5 – conclusion

Be sure to also use quotes and cite each of your sources using APA Style. 

 

How the Constitution and its European influences support the modern concept of American citizenship and citizens’ rights and responsibilities.

 

 

 

 

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