U.S. Government, U.S. History
In this lesson, students learn that Congress plays a major role in how policies are formulated and carried out.
Students research four significant congressional leaders in four specific time periods in U.S. history and identify and briefly discuss the main issues in the four time periods. They identify at least two major pieces of legislation that significantly affected the policies of the United States. Students analyze and discuss how the congressional leaders influenced U.S. foreign or domestic policy vis-à-vis the legislation.
They organize the material into four well–written reports and use the information in the reports to write a culminating persuasive essay on the role of Congress in formulating foreign or domestic policy. Students will evaluate at least one member of Congress who played a significant role in developing or affecting the end legislative products that became those two pieces of legislation they identified, or prevented them from being enacted.
Formative: 1787–1828 (foreign or domestic policies)
Sectionalism: 1828–1860 (foreign or domestic policies)
Civil War & Reconstruction: 1860–1877 (foreign or domestic policies)
Era of Economic Expansion: 1865–1914 (domestic policy only)
American Imperialism: 1865–1910 (foreign policy only)
American Imperialism: 1910–1939 (foreign policy only)
Post war boom and bust: 1914–1941 (domestic policy only)
The United States as a world power: 1914–1945 (foreign policy only)
The globalization of America: 1945–2000 (foreign or domestic policies)
Report Format: The four reports each need to be between two and four pages in length. Print copies and electronic copies as required. The following items need to be addressed in each report:
A. A strong paragraph on what was happening (domestically or in foreign affairs) that led to the legislation.
B. A brief biographical paragraph on the legislator believed to be significant during the time period. Avoid the "He was born…" and focus more on what made him or her the person they became.
C. A strong paragraph or two discussion each of the two pieces of legislation. Address the purpose of the legislation, why it was supported or opposed, what alternatives were considered, and what the final outcome was.
D. A discussion of how the legislator affected the legislation, why he or she took the position, and how it fits in with the person's overall political career and personal philosophies.
Write a three to five page persuasive essay on how Congress affects either domestic or foreign policy. A print copy and an electronic copy are required.
Use information about legislation and important members of Congress from the four time period reports previously submitted to provide documentation and support.
Each report is worth 50 points and the culminating essay is worth 100 points.
The culmination essay will not be accepted unless all four reports have been submitted and each has earned at least 35 points.
Reports: Each part will be graded holistically without a specific rubric. This allows more flexibility on the approach and the information presented. Items that will go into the holistic grade include, but not limited to, appearance, grammar, accuracy of information, details (opposed to generalities), and presentation (interesting and 'readability').
Culminating Essay: The attached rubric will be used.
Part A – 10 points
Part B – 10 points
Part C – 20 points
Part D – 10 points
Research resources (textbooks, Internet, etc.)
Ironwood High School