Module 7. Government and Citizenship
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A. Analyze the evolution of the Constitution through post-Reconstruction amendments and Supreme Court decisions. The U.S. Constitution has been amended and interpreted in response to major events in United States history. These amendments and interpretations combine with the originally ratified draft of the Constitution to create a document that is continually evolving. It is considered a "living" document.
B. Analyze the differences among various forms of government to determine how power is acquired and used. An absolute monarch gains power through heredity and has unlimited power. In a constitutional monarchy, a constitution limits the power of the king or queen and gives rights to the people. A dictator usually comes to power through military force. A theocracy is a form of government in which religious leaders rule the country. Representative democracies can take the form of a parliamentary system or a presidential system.
Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
A. Analyze ways people achieve governmental change, including political action, social protest and revolution. The opportunity for citizen participation varies depending on the type of government. Constitutional monarchies, parliamentary democracies, and presidential democracies provide the greatest opportunity for citizen participation, while dictatorships and theocracies offer the least.
B. Explain how individual rights are relative, not absolute, and describe the balance between individual rights, the rights of others, and the common good. Governments both protect and restrict individual rights. Laws may restrict individual rights in order to protect the rights of others and to protect the common good. The following criteria have been used to place limits or restrictions on rights: clear and present danger, compelling government interest, national security, libel, public safety, and equal opportunity.
To learn more about these benchmarks, read Chapter 9: Government, pp. 126-137 and Chapter 10: Citizenship Rights & Responsibilities, pp. 138-153 in Mastering the Ohio Graduation Test in Social Studies.