History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This lesson places students at a critical moment in our nation’s founding, when Americans considered whether to ratify the Constitution. Should they agree to the document as-is, without making any changes? Students will examine and evaluate numerous amendments proposed at state ratifying conventions. Which of these protected rights or affirmed basic principles? Which called for structural changes in the new government? Only by looking at the full sweep of amendments offered by the states can students understand the historical context of the Bill of Rights, which would include some of the proposed changes but not others.
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