Our Constitution produced a somewhat peaceful resolution to religious and political conflicts; not cultural, economic, and geographical. Convention delegates in Philadelphia were from an aristocratic affluent class; other founders were farmers who had come back from war in debt. The Constitution is still trying to bring all levels of society under one just legal umbrella. America’s Constitution and civic life empowers students to see that voting and participation are important. [Civitas] Madison wanted to stop powerful interests or inappropriate factions from controlling government. His vision was to compose a Constitution that would ensure that the majority can never reign over the few, nor that the few reign over the many.
In 1791, Madison persuaded by Patrick Henry, protected individuals further by amending the Constitution adding the Bill of Rights. Historian Garry Wills quoted Madison’s support for liberty with: “Amendments, if pursued with proper moderation…may serve the double purpose of…providing additional safeguards in favor of liberty.” Students learn from this that while we can disagree politically, we do so without violence, and that governments transition without a coup d’état. Students need to see that individual protections, participation, and voting that are pivotal to the foundation of our America.
Consequently, if students know that these Constitutional protections exist they might continually participate in American Democracy. Learning American issues on these topics face everyday problems with their families, and motivate them to become active participants. America was created for a better civilization in the hands of the people, for the people, and by the people. The government that governs best, is a government that has a citizenry that is enlightened, understands natural law, equality for all, inalienable rights and Aristotle’s virtue of participation. Also the Greek concept of everyone paying their fair share for the safety and security of the state. Students must know our history, Constitution, political culture, the tradition of loyal opposition, compromises, popular sovereignty, conflicts, choices and American exceptionalism to maintain the Modern United States of America.