Civil Service Reform: Creating a Merit System for Pennsylvania

The Gilded Age of the late 19th century is not typically recalled as an age of reform. Characterized by industrialization, urbanization, and rapid population growth, it was an era of remarkable economic expansion. The Gilded Age also saw a dramatic expansion in the size and scope of government—the federal government employed just 53,000 people in 1871, but numbered 256,00 employees by 1900. Patronage politics was the norm, at every level of government.

Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure

Most Americans are unaware about when and where Fourth Amendment rights are at issue. This lesson will allow students to examine the text and interpretations of the Fourth Amendment to describe key terms and ideas like searches, seizures, and privacy, as well as define some of the key debates about where the Fourth Amendment is headed in an age of technology.

How to Have a Civil Civic Conversation

Filmed on a Constituting America Winner Mentor Trip, five young ladies share their thoughts on how to agree to disagree and how to have a discussion and still remain friends. Through personal experience these students have learned a lifelong lesson. Enjoy learning their lessons while you discuss yours. When watching you will see each person’s name, title and number. The number is their age. The title is the contest area they won in the We the Future contest. Check out the website for the contest information. Who knows maybe soon you will see your talent on the Civics Renewal Network and Constituting America!

Grades 6-12
Citizenship
Interactives

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

This free curriculum guide from the New-York Historical Society explores the contested efforts toward full citizenship and racial equality for African Americans that transpired in the fifty years after the Civil War. Examining both the activism for and opposition to Black citizenship rights, the materials in this curriculum underscore how ideas of freedom and citizenship were redefined by government and citizen action, and challenged by legal discrimination and violence.

George Washington’s Rules of Civility in the Age of COVID-19

In 1745, a young George Washington copied down a set of rules in his workbook. His aim was to learn how to properly conduct himself in society. He took his examples from the writings of a 16th-century Jesuit priest. The rules Washington recorded still resonate today as we learn how to navigate the health crisis the world is now facing while trying to maintain civil behavior.

Unlocking your Cellphone: Property Rights in the Digital Age

If there’s one gadget nearly impossible to live without in the 21st century, it’s the cellphone. Most of us keep one on us at all times, and a recent survey showed that for a majority of 18-34 year olds giving up their smartphone would be the hardest possession to live without. But is it really YOUR smartphone?