Looking for an interactive way to teach about the legislative branch? The Youth Leadership Initiative’s E-Congress program allows students to learn about Congress by writing original legislation and following it through the lawmaking process. Registration is required.
Arizona v. U.S. (2012)
Does federal law preempt Arizona’s immigration law? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court dealt with that question in 2012, concerning Arizona’s criminalization of undocumented immigration.
James Madison Lesson 2: The Second National Bank—Powers Not Specified in the Constitution
In this lesson, students examine the First and Second National Banks and whether or not such a bank’s powers are constitutional or unconstitutional.
How should the Constitution be applied to situations not specified in the text? How can balance be achieved between the power of the states and that of the federal government? How can a balance of power be achieved among the three branches of the federal government? In this lesson, Madison’s words will help students understand the constitutional issues involved in some controversies that arose during Madison’s presidency.
James Madison Lesson 3: Raising an Army: Balancing the Power of the States and the Federal Government
Not everyone in the U.S. supported the War of 1812. What events during Madison’s presidency raised constitutional questions? What were the constitutional issues? Where did Madison stand?
James Madison Lesson 4: Internal Improvements Balancing Act: Federal/State, Executive/Legislative
There was general agreement at the beginning of the 19th century that the U.S. would greatly benefit from some internal improvements of a national nature, such as a nationwide network of roads and canals. But how should the funds for such projects be raised? Who should be in control of the projects—that is, who should administer them?
Balancing Three Branches at Once: Our System of Checks and Balances
Using primary source documents, your students can see clear demonstrations of how one branch of our government can check another, and when it should.