Unit 1

Common Law and the State of Nature - The Federalist Society - 2:52

Explanation of the state of nature and how early governments form together. What rules, if any, are enforced before a government exists? What is a contract? What is the importance of a common law?


Middle School: Lesson 2

High School: Lesson 2


Aristotle - Politics | Political Philosophy - Political Philosophy - 19:11

Explanation of Aristotle’s basic ideas on the purpose of politics and the different types of governments as found in Aristotle’s politics. Why are humans inclined to form governments? What types of governments are just and likely to succeed? Who should rule these governments?


MIddle School: Lesson 2, 3, 4, 5

High School: Lesson 1, 2, 3, 4


John Locke, Natural Rights - BBC News Learn - 3:18

Brief explanation of who John Locke was and his ideas. Who did John Locke influence? What are the main ideas of Locke’s political theories?


Middle School: 2, 

High School: Lesson 6, 7, 11, 1, 2, 4, 12, 7


Natural Law Theory: Crash Course Philosophy #34 - 9:38

Explanation of natural law theory, and its basic tenets. Who were some of the advocates of natural law theory? Where does our rationality come from and what purpose does it serve? 


Middle School: 2, 4, 7

High School: Lesson 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 34, 27, 33


What is Magna Carta? - The British Library - 3:32

A brief history and explanation of the Magna Carta and its impact. Who did the Magna Carta influence? Why was it created?


MS: 6

High School: 4, 5, 18, 27


Is there a Higher Law than the Constitution? - GKtv Law - 4:57

Which is the Constitution the highest authority in a society, or is there a higher law?


MS: 4, 7

High School: 1, 6, 7


What is a Constitution? - International IDEA - 6:26


An explanation of the definition of a Constitution and its purpose. Why do people create Constitutions? What is the relationship between a Constitution and a democracy? What is the difference between a Constitution and a common law? How does a Constitution organize and constrain power?

MS: 4

High School: Lesson 1 


How did the rights of Englishmen develop?L4S2 - Center for Civic Education - 2:13

An explanation of the rights of Enlighmen and their origins. How did the concept of the rights of Englishmen influence the revolution and the founders? How does it contrast with an American understanding of rights?


High School: Lesson 4


Mayflower Compact - PBS - 4:17

An explanation of the Mayflower Compact and its background. What was the purpose of the compact? What was its effect?


MS: Lesson 2

HS: 5


Tea, Taxes, and The American Revolution: Crash Course World History #28 - 11:26

An explanation of the immediate causes of the American Revolution. Why did the American colonists dislike taxes? How did the colonists oppose these taxes? What was the American Revolution’s connection to the Enlightenment?

MS: 7, 8, 9

HS: 5, 6, 7



What is Habeas Corpus - BBC Radio 4 - 1:58

An explanation of Habeas Corpus. What is it, where did it come from, and what is its purpose today?

HS:4, 17

MS; 15



Which philosophy studied by the Founders was most influential on American political thought? L2S3 - Center for Civic Education - 3:30

A brief discussion on the influences that created the Constitution. What is classical republican and natural rights philosophy?


MS:1, 2, 4



How do rights in the Constitution reflect the influence of classical republicanism and natural rights? - Center for Civic Education - 1:38

A brief discussion on the influences that created the Constitution. What is classical republican and natural rights philosophy?

MS: 1

HS: 2, 27



Schoolhouse Rock!: America - The Shot Heard 'Round the World - 3:22

A simplified account of the American revolution in song.

MS: 7, 9


High School Lesson 6


The Iroquois Confederacy - Historia Civilis - 16:00

An overview of the Iroquois Confederacy. What was the Iroquois Confederacy, and how did it function? What is its importance, and how was the Iroquios confederacy viewed in early American History?

HS: 1



The Constitution of Athens - Historia Civilis - 19:20

An Overview of Ancient Athens. How did Athens function as a democracy? Who held political power in Athens? What were some advantages and disadvantages of the Athenian government? How did the Athenians attempt to prevent tyrants and factions? How did adding a degree of randomness via lottery enable the Athenian government?

HS: 1,2