„A more perfect union“ ?

American History | Modul 10 | Schaubild | Demokratie | ◻◻ mittel | ca. 30 min

American Constitution, 1787: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Faksimile der Amerikanischen Verfassung von 1789 | Vollständiges Bild und Bildnachweis (Public Domain, Wikimedia): Bild anklicken



After the Revolutionary War, the confederation of the former Thirteen Colonies was about to fall apart. In 1787, representatives of the former colonies met in Philadelphia to address problems in governing the United States of America and to work out a constitution. The American Constitution went into effect two years later, on March 4, 1789. Only 27 amendments have been added since then. These days it is the shortest written constitution in force.

How are the United States governed according to the constitution?   




    1 | Analyze the chart above.

    a) Find out who is entitled to vote, which committees are being elected and how often elections take place. How influential are the people in the appointment of the highest offices in the United States?

    b) The principle of checks and balances is fundamental to the American government. The chart names three different branches of power. Describe their relation to each other in your own words. Do you think that one of the branches has more or less power than the others?


    2 | The US Constitution begins with the words: "We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect union, establish …". More than 200 years have passed since the constitution went into effect. Can you find reasons for its long-term stability? Do you think that the system has weaknesses or flaws?


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