The Constitution specifies that power is shared between the federal, or national, government and the state governments. This was later clarified in the Tenth Amendment. In this high school-level lesson, students compare their state's constitution to the U.S. Constitution, explain how the two documents illustrate federalism, and evaluate the need for state constitutions. More
There are many parallels between the nation and the Capitol that has come to symbolize its ideals. As the nation expanded, so did the number of representatives and senators in Congress, and so did the Capitol to accommodate them. Just as the Constitution has been amended over time, this building has been "amended" over the years to accommodate new needs and technologies. More
"The obligations and the claims of the Federal government were simple and easily definable because the Union had been formed with the express purpose of meeting certain great general wants; but the claims and obligations of the individual states, on the other hand, were complicated and various because their government had penetrated into all the details of social life. The attributes of the Federal government were therefore carefully defined, and all that was not included among them was declared to remain to the governments of the several states. Thus the government of the states remained the rule, and that of the confederation was the exception."
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1838.
Presidents, members of Congress, and Supreme Court justices from the past two centuries compete in a baseball game unlike any you've ever seen. Discover how the rules laid out in the U.S. Constitution preserve the balance of power between the three branches of the U.S. government: the executive, legislative, and judicial.More
New Orleans, November 13-15, 2015 Colonial Williamsburg will be exhibiting and presenting at the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. We will be hosting a Thursday preconference workshop on "Character Interpretation: Bring History to Life in Your Classroom" with Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte and a surprise guest; a concurrent session on "Sustaining a Democratic Society" with Thomas Jefferson; and another concurrent session "Napoleon Bonaparte: A New Age of Human Rights?" with Napoleon himself! Stop by booth 813 and get a demo of the new The Idea of America™. More
TED-Ed is a platform that allows teachers to customize lesson plans around any educational video. Our popular Nutshell History videos are now available on TED-ED with accompanying lessons, ready for customization and use in your classroom!
Witness the conflict and compromises of ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Join young eighteenth-century observers as they travel from state to state tallying the vote. Learn about ratification and Americans' growing interests in their fledgling nation's new government. Includes accompanying teacher materials and program script. DVD, 30 minutes. More