The Constitutional Convention: Creating an Executive

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History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students at the Constitutional Convention and asks them to explore one of the fundamental quandaries faced by the framers: how to create an executive branch that lacked monarchical prerogatives yet could make the government function more efficiently. Students will discuss various options: Should there be a single chief executive or should authority be shared? How should the chief executive(s) be chosen? How long should he/they serve, and should he/they be eligible for re-election? Students will enter the historical moment and engage with these issues. By discussing and debating the various options, they will gain a deeper understanding of the choices the framers faced and why they opted for particular structures, ones we live with today. Further, by discussing these alternatives, they will be exploring a critical dimension of republican government: how, exactly, can the people, for whom government is intended, delegate authority?

Lesson Plan Resources

Lesson tags: 
Advanced Placement (AP)
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)