CIVICS STANDARD TWO: Students will understand the principles and ideals underlying the American political system [Politics].
Students will understand that:
- The principles and ideals underlying American democracy are designed to promote the freedom of the American people.
Fundamental ideals are enumerated in the introduction to this standard: individual liberty, freedom of religion, representative democracy, equal opportunity, and equal protection under the law. This is not a complete list of the main ideals of American democracy, but they are umbrella concepts. For example, the principles of limited government and civil rights are means to achieve individual liberty.
As with the previous standard, understanding requires answers to the question “Why?” Yet the standard calls for a more developed understanding of the meaning and issues involved with liberty and equality. An essential question for this standard as a whole might be “Why should people be free?” Fundamental assumptions about the value and competence of human beings and the importance of freedom to human purpose underlie these ideals. These ideals also have a dark side and involve serious tradeoffs and costs. This deeper understanding of American ideals belongs to the free minds of a free people and is required by Civics Standard Two.