The Constitution

Overview

Constitutional law expert Paul Finkelman offers readers a carefully researched and highly readable look at the document that is the blueprint of American democracy. He begins by showing how ineffective the Confederation government was in dealing with the problems facing the newly independent republic: no uniform laws among states, no courts to settle arguments, no power to collect taxes. Then the reader sits in on the Constitutional Convention, where arguments about how to balance power between large and small ...
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Overview

Constitutional law expert Paul Finkelman offers readers a carefully researched and highly readable look at the document that is the blueprint of American democracy. He begins by showing how ineffective the Confederation government was in dealing with the problems facing the newly independent republic: no uniform laws among states, no courts to settle arguments, no power to collect taxes. Then the reader sits in on the Constitutional Convention, where arguments about how to balance power between large and small states and how to count slaves as part of the population are among the key issues. They will learn about the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, the Connecticut Plan, and the Three-fifths Compromise, and meet some of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists who passionately argued the Constitution's pros and cons until it was finally ratified and became the law of the land. Includes the complete text of The Constitution.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
This series covers some of the most important documents in American history, providing photos of the documents along with historical photographs and images and full text for each document. The Constitution covers what the pre-constitution government looked like, some of the events that led to the need for a constitution, the Constitutional Convention, and the ratification process along with some of the amendments. Also discussed are the parts of the Constitution and a usefully simple explanation of the often-confusing Electoral College. The text is very simple, and all the topics are touched upon quite briefly. With the integrated illustrations, easy text, and short format, these works, which also include books on the Emancipation Proclamation, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, serve best as a starting point, or a quick way to find the full text of these documents. (American Documents). VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2006, National Geographic, 48p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos., Ages 11 to 14.
—Teresa Copeland
Children's Literature
From the "American Documents" series published by the National Geographic Society, this edition briefly details the history of the writing of the Constitution; its importance to the country, both then and now; the three parts of the Constitution; the three branches of government and their purposes; and the Constitution, itself. Excellent color photos, drawings, and reproductions of old paintings and artifacts, as well as an interesting layout combine to peak the interest of older elementary students. The author's use of anecdotal material on important participants in the political process over the years helps to bring the subject to life. It sets the scene for the reading of the Constitution, especially the amendments which should inspire lively discussion in the hands of an interested teacher. A glossary and index are included. 2006, National Geographic Society, and Ages 8 to 11.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-These titles give clear and concise introductions to two important documents, providing historical context for their creation and comments on their impact throughout history including their place in our society today. The superior layout and illustrations enhance and reinforce the texts through a combination of high-quality reproductions, photographs, artwork, and biographical sidebars. Though Constitution lacks diagrams or maps to help explain some of the more confusing parts of American government, it is ultimately accessible. Pair it with Syl Sobel's more comprehensive The U.S. Constitution and You (Barron's, 2001) or use it to expand study after an introduction with David Catrow's incredible We the Kids (Dial, 2002). Proclamation fills a gap in the small lineup of titles about this important document. Both books will find primary use as research tools, but budding history buffs will undoubtedly be attracted to their glossy pages for browsing. Solid selections for collections in need of history or government resources.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792279372
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Series: American Documents Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,087,400
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 10.23 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Finkelman is the Chapman Distinguished Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He has been a fellow at Harvard Law School and has written more than 20 books on constitutional law in American history. He lives in Tulsa, OK.
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