The United States Constitution: Questions and Answers

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• What famous American refused to attend the Constitutional Convention because he smelt a rat?

• Why was a Bill of Rights omitted from the original Constitution?

• Can a president be sued for actions he takes in office?

• On what grounds may Congress punish its members?

• Where did the expression separate but equal originate?

• Do juvenile defendants have the same constitutional protection as adults?

• Is obscenity protected by the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press?

• What is the Lemon test?

• What is the only Constitutional Amendment that has been ratified by special state conventions rather than by state legislatures?

These and many more provocative questions are answered in this easy-to-follow guide that makes learning about the Constitution fun for students. Written clearly, this guide addresses those topics of the Constitution students inquire most about, from its origins and background through the adoption of the 27th Amendment. The information in each chapter is organized in a logical progression to carry the reader along to a basic understanding of the provisions and is peppered with fascinating facts and intriguing legal interpretations of topics of interest to young adults.

Ten chapters cover everything from the foundations and purposes of the Constitution to the 27th Amendment. The last chapter, A Walk Through American Constitutional History, uses the question-and-answer format to focus on key dates and events in American constitutional history. A selection of photos complements the text. Appendixes include the 100 questions and answers used by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for prospective citizens; lists of all Speakers of the House of Representatives, Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices from the beginning of the republic to the present; the date of admission to the union and the current number of congressional representatives of the 50 states; and the texts of the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation.

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Editorial Reviews

Writing for high school students, the author employs a short question and answer format to illustrate important basic facts and principles of the U.S. Constitution, its amendments, and its history. He takes readers step by step through the foundations and purposes of the Constitution, the seven articles, ratification, the amendments, and a brief treatment of Constitutional history. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher

"It will be most useful for students researching specific constitutional topics or engaged in academic competitions regarding the Constitution as well as general readers interested in following and better understanding contemporary political issues." - ARBA

"[T]his well-researched book . . . answers most of the questions readers may have regarding the history and application of, and controversies surrounding, the U.S. Constitution. . . . Perfect for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of Constitutional history." - Library Journal

"Curious about letters of marque and reprisal, symbolic speech, or concurrent powers? In this thorough update to the 1998 edition, eminent constitutional scholar Vile provides information about these and many of the other multitude of big (and small) questions that surround not only the U.S. Constitution but also its foundations and evolution over the last 226 years. . . . Vile's nuanced overview provides students and general readers seeking a better understanding of the founding document with an excellent educational primer." - Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313306433
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/1998
  • Pages: 328
  • Lexile: 1170L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN R. VILE is Chair of the Political Science Department at Middle Tennessee University. He is author of Companion to the U.S. Constitution and Its Amendments (Greenwood, second edition, 1997), Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues (1996), and numerous other books on the United States Constitution.

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Table of Contents


Foundations and Purposes of the United States Constitution

Article I: The Legislative Branch

Article II: The Executive Branch

Article III: The Judicial Branch

Articles IV, V, VI, and VII: Federalism, the Amending Process, Miscellaneous Matters, and Ratification

Amendments One through Twelve: The Bill of Rights and the Eleventh and Twelfth Amendments

Amendments Thirteen through Fifteen: The Post Civil War Amendments

Amendments Sixteen through Nineteen: The Progressive Era Amendments

Amendments Twenty through Twenty-Seven: The Modern Amendments

1215 to 1997: A Walk through American Constitutional History

Appendixes: The Constitution of the United States; The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation; 100 Questions and Answers Used by the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Speakers of the House of Representatives; U.S. Presidents; U.S. Supreme Court Justices; The Fifty States


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