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The U.S. Constitution, 2nd Edition

Book Description

One of the most revered, imitated, and controversial governmental documents in the world, the U.S. Constitution serves as the foundation for the American government and shapes the lives of Americans every day. Yet, how many of us know its history and the impact it has on guiding our ever evolving nation? Idiot's Guides: The U.S. Constitution, Second Edition, provides you a clear look at the one single document that defines America. Suitable supplemental reading for students in high school government/civics classes and college political science classes, this guide covers the birth of the Constitution and the history and details of its amendments.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1: Constitutional Basics
    1. 1 The Founding Fathers and a New Form of Government
      1. The American Revolution
        1. Taxation Without Representation
        2. The Declaration of Independence
        3. The Founding Fathers
        4. Influential Women
        5. A New Framework
      2. The Articles of Confederation
        1. Insufficient Powers
        2. The Federalists
    2. 2 The Birth of the Constitution
      1. The Constitutional Convention
        1. Philadelphia, 1787
        2. The Delegates
      2. Political Thought and Government Theory
        1. Society’s Agreement
        2. Back to the Magna Carta
        3. Washington’s Return
      3. Contentious Issues
      4. The Great Compromise
      5. The Preamble
    3. 3 Ratification and the Bill of Rights
      1. The Process of Ratification
        1. Signing the Constitution
        2. The States Vote
        3. Ratification!
      2. The Bill of Rights
      3. Considering Slaves and Native Americans
  6. Part 2: Balancing the Branches
    1. 4 Articles I Through III: Separation of Powers
      1. Article I: The Legislative Branch
        1. Section 1: Congress
        2. Section 2: The House of Representatives
        3. Section 3: The Senate
        4. Section 4: Elections and Sessions
        5. Section 5: Housekeeping
        6. Section 6: Pay and Privileges
        7. Section 7: Legislation
        8. Section 8: Enumerated Powers
        9. Section 9: Restrictions on Congress
        10. Section 10: Restrictions on the States
      2. Article II: The Executive Branch
        1. Section 1: President and Vice President
        2. Section 2: Presidential Powers
        3. Section 3: Executive Responsibility
        4. Section 4: Impeachment
      3. Article III: The Judicial Branch
        1. Section 1: Federal Courts
        2. Section 2: Jurisdiction and Judicial Review
        3. Section 3: Treason
    2. 5 Articles IV Through VII: Making the Federal System Work
      1. Article IV: Full Faith and Credit
        1. Section 1: Full Faith and Credit
        2. Section 2: Privileges and Immunities
        3. Section 3: The Equal Footing Clause
        4. Section 4: The Guarantee Clause
      2. Article V: Amending the Constitution
      3. Article VI: The Supreme Law of the Land
      4. Article VII: Ratification
  7. Part 3: Your Basic Rights
    1. 6 The First Amendment: Freedom of Expression
      1. The First Amendment
      2. Freedom of Religion
        1. Religious Practices
        2. Evolution
        3. Parochial Schools
        4. School Prayer
        5. Religious Displays
      3. Freedom of Speech
        1. Political Speech
        2. Clear and Present Danger
        3. Fighting Words
        4. Corporations as People
        5. Obscenity
      4. Freedom of the Press
        1. Censorship
        2. Libel
      5. Freedom of Assembly
      6. Freedom to Petition
    2. 7 The Second and Third Amendments: Arms and Armies
      1. Second Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms
        1. The Militia Clause
        2. The Right to Arms Clause
        3. Evolving Law on Guns
      2. The Third Amendment: Quartering Troops
    3. 8 The Fourth Amendment: Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
      1. The Fourth Amendment Foundations
        1. English History
        2. Early America
      2. Searches and Seizures
        1. The Exclusionary Rule
        2. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
        3. The Legal Technicality
      3. Privacy
        1. Consent
        2. Good Faith
      4. Stop and Frisk
      5. To Knock or Not
    4. 9 The Fifth Amendment: Due Process
      1. The Fifth Amendment
      2. Grand Jury Indictments
      3. Double Jeopardy
      4. Self-Incrimination
        1. Confessions
        2. Taking the Fifth
        3. Immunity
        4. The Miranda Warning
      5. Due Process of Law
      6. Eminent Domain
    5. 10 The Sixth and Seventh Amendments: Fair Trials
      1. The Sixth Amendment: Juries in Criminal Trials
        1. The Speedy Trial Clause
        2. The Public Trial Clause
        3. The Impartial Jury Clause
        4. The Confrontation Clause
        5. The Compulsory Process Clause
        6. Assistance of Counsel
      2. The Seventh Amendment: Juries in Civil Trials
    6. 11 The Eighth Amendment: Bail and Punishment
      1. Excessive Bail and Fines
      2. Cruel and Unusual Punishment
        1. Three Strikes and You’re Out
        2. The Death Penalty
    7. 12 The Ninth Through Twelfth Amendments: The Political System
      1. The Ninth Amendment: Unenumerated Rights
        1. Privacy
        2. Birth Control and Abortion
      2. The Tenth Amendment: States’ Rights
      3. The Eleventh Amendment: Suing States
      4. The Twelfth Amendment: Picking the President
    8. 13 The Thirteenth Through Fifteenth Amendments: Civil Rights
      1. The Thirteenth Amendment: Abolishing Slavery
        1. The Civil War
        2. Reconstruction
      2. The Fourteenth Amendment: Due Process and Equal Protection
        1. Citizenship
        2. Civil Rights
      3. The Fifteenth Amendment: Voting Rights
    9. 14 The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments: Taxes and Senators
      1. The Sixteenth Amendment
        1. The Federal Income Tax Law
        2. Tax Protests
      2. The Seventeenth Amendment
    10. 15 The Eighteenth and Twenty-First Amendments: Prohibition and Repeal
      1. The Eighteenth Amendment: Prohibition
        1. America and Alcohol
        2. The Volstead Act
        3. The Downside of Dry
      2. The Twenty-First Amendment: Repeal
    11. 16 The Nineteenth Amendment: Women’s Suffrage
      1. The Birth of a Movement
      2. Winning the Vote
      3. Ratification
    12. 17 The Twentieth, Twenty-Second, Through Twenty-Seventh Amendments
      1. The Twentieth Amendment: Lame Ducks
      2. The Twenty-Second Amendment: Presidential Term Limits
      3. The Twenty-Third Amendment: D.C. Voting
      4. The Twenty-Fourth Amendment: No Tax on Voting
      5. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Presidential Succession
      6. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Voting at Age 18
      7. The Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Congressional Pay
  8. Part 4: Modifying the Government
    1. 18 The ERA and Other Failed Amendments
      1. Early Amendments Still Pending
        1. The Congressional Representation Amendment
        2. The Noble Title Amendment
        3. The Slavery Amendment
        4. The Child Labor Amendment
      2. The Equal Rights Amendment
      3. The D.C. Representation Amendment
      4. Amendments That Never Got Out of Congress
        1. The Balanced Budget Amendment
        2. The Flag Desecration Amendment
    2. 19 Future Constitutional Issues
      1. Expected Supreme Court Cases
        1. Abortion
        2. Crime and Punishment
        3. The Right to Petition
        4. Free Speech and National Security
        5. Presidential Power
        6. The Political Court
      2. Future Changes to the Constitution
        1. Suggested Amendments
        2. A Balanced Budget
        3. One Man, One Woman
        4. Elections
        5. Guns and Gun Control
        6. Eminent Domain
        7. A Constitutional Convention
      3. The Constitution: Our Continuing National Conversation
  9. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources
    3. C Petitioning the Government
    4. D The U.S. Constitution
  10. About the Author