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The Hope and Fragility of Democracy in the United States

Grade Level Grades 6-12

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This present moment offers evidence of the ongoing struggle to establish a truly inclusive democracy. On January 6, 2021, the country witnessed the historic election of Reverend Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black senator, and of Jon Ossoff, Georgia’s first Jewish senator. A few hours later, insurrectionists—many bearing white nationalist symbols—stormed the Capitol building and sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election. 

In this Teaching Idea, students learn about the history of democratic and anti-democratic efforts in the United States and examine a series of sources that illuminate this tension from Reconstruction to today. 

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