The study of government and civics equips students to understand the nature of government and the unique characteristics of representative democracy in the United States, including its fundamental principles, structure and the role of citizens. Understanding the historical development of structures of power, authority, and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U.S. society and other parts of the world is essential for developing civic competence. An understanding of civic ideals and practices of citizenship is critical to full participation in society and is a central purpose of the social studies.
Formation of Governments
SS-08-1.1.1 Students will compare purposes and sources of power in the most common forms of government (monarchy, democracy, republic).
SS-08-1.1.2 Students will describe and give examples to support how democratic government in the United States prior to Reconstruction functioned to preserve and protect the rights (e.g., voting), liberty and property of their citizens by making, enacting and enforcing appropriate rules and laws (e.g., constitutions, laws, statutes).
SS-08-1.1.3 Students will describe and give examples of the ways the Constitution of the United States is a document that can be changed from time to time through both formal and informal processes (e.g., amendments, court cases, executive actions) to meet the needs of its citizens.
SS-08-1.2.1 Students will identify the three branches of government, describe their functions and analyze and give examples of the ways the U.S. Constitution separates power among the legislative, executive and judicial branches to prevent the concentration of political power and to establish a system of checks and balances.
SS-08-1.2.2 Students will explain the reasons why the powers of the state and national/federal governments are sometimes shared and sometimes separate (federalism) and give examples of shared and separate powers.
SS-08-1.3.1 Students will explain and give examples of how significant United States documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights) established democratic principles and guaranteed certain rights for all citizens.
SS-08-1.3.2 Students will explain and give examples of how, in order for the U.S. government to function as a democracy, citizens must assume responsibilities (e.g., participating in community activities, voting in elections) and duties (e.g., obeying the law, paying taxes, serving on a jury, registering for the military).
Culture is the way of life shared by a group of people, including their ideas and traditions. Cultures reflect the values and beliefs of groups in different ways (e.g., art, music, literature, religion); however, there are universals (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, communication) connecting all cultures. Culture influences viewpoints, rules and institutions in a global society. Students should understand that people form cultural groups throughout the United States and the World, and that issues and challenges unite and divide them.
Elements of Culture
SS-08-2.1.1 Students will explain how elements of culture (e.g., language, the arts, customs, beliefs, literature) defined specific groups in the United States prior to Reconstruction and resulted in unique perspectives.
SS-08-2.2.1 Students will compare how cultures (United States prior to Reconstruction) developed social institutions (family, religion, education, government, economy) to respond to human needs, structure society and influence behavior.
Economics includes the study of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Students need to understand how their economic decisions affect them, others, the nation and the world. The purpose of economic education is to enable individuals to function effectively both in their own personal lives and as citizens and participants in an increasingly connected world economy. Students need to understand the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence among people, societies and governments.
SS-08-3.1.1 Students will explain and give examples of how scarcity required individuals, groups and the government in the United States prior to Reconstruction to make decisions about how productive resources (natural resources, human resources, capital goods) were used.
SS-08-3.1.2 Students will identify how financial decisions (considering finance and opportunity cost) by individuals and groups impacted historical events in U.S. History prior to Reconstruction.
Economic Systems and Institutions
SS-08-3.2.1 Students will describe the economic system that developed in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-3.2.2 Students will explain how profit motivated individuals and groups to take risks in producing goods and services in the early United States prior to Reconstruction and influenced the growth of a free enterprise system.
SS-08-3.3.1 Students will explain how in the United States prior to Reconstruction, the prices of goods and services were determined by supply and demand.
SS-08-3.3.2 Students will explain how money (unit of account) was used to express the market value of goods and services and how money made it easier to trade, borrow, invest and save in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-3.3.3 Students will explain how competition among buyers and sellers impacted the price of goods and services in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
Production, Distribution, and Consumption
SS-08-3.4.1 Students will explain ways in which the basic economic questions about the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services were addressed in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-3.4.2 Students will describe how new knowledge, technology/tools and specialization increased productivity in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-3.4.3 Students will explain how personal, national and international economic activities were interdependent in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
Geography includes the study of the five fundamental themes of location, place, regions, movement and human/environmental interaction. Students need geographic knowledge to analyze issues and problems to better understand how humans have interacted with their environment over time, how geography has impacted settlement and population, and how geographic factors influence climate, culture, the economy and world events. A geographic perspective also enables students to better understand the past and present and to prepare for the future.
The Use of Geographic Tools
SS-08-4.1.1 Students will use a variety of geographic tools (maps, photographs, charts, graphs, databases) to interpret patterns and locations on Earth's surface in United States history prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-4.1.2 Students will describe how different factors (e.g., rivers, mountains, plains, harbors) affected where human activities were located in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-4.2.1 Students will describe how regions in the U.S. prior to Reconstruction were made distinctive by human characteristics (e.g., dams, roads, urban centers) and physical characteristics (e.g., mountains, bodies of water) that created advantages and disadvantages for human activities (e.g., exploration, migration, trade, settlement).
SS-08-4.2.2 Students will describe how places and regions in United States history prior to Reconstruction changed over time as technologies, resources and knowledge became available.
SS-08-4.3.2 Students will explain why and give examples of how human populations changed and/or migrated because of factors such as war, disease, economic opportunity and technology in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-4.4.2 Students will describe ways in which the physical environment (e.g., natural resources, physical geography, natural disasters) both promoted and limited human activities (e.g., exploration, migration, trade, settlement, development) in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-4.4.3 Students will explain how the natural resources of a place or region impact its political, social and economic development in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-4.4.4 Students will compare and contrast different perspectives (viewpoints) that people have about how to use land (e.g., farming, industrial, residential, recreational) in the United States prior to Reconstruction.
History is an account of events, people, ideas and their interaction over time that can be interpreted through multiple perspectives. In order for students to understand the present and plan for the future, they must understand the past. Studying history engages students in the lives, aspirations, struggles, accomplishments and failures of real people. Students need to think in an historical context in order to understand significant ideas, beliefs, themes, patterns and events, and how individuals and societies have changed over time in Kentucky, the United States and the World.
The Factual and Interpretive Nature of History
SS-08-5.1.1 Students will use a variety of tools (e.g., primary and secondary sources) to describe and explain historical events and conditions and to analyze the perspectives of different individuals and groups (e.g., gender, race, region, ethnic group, age, economic status, religion, political group) in U.S. history prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-5.1.2 Students will explain how history is a series of connected events shaped by multiple cause-and-effect relationships and give examples of those relationships.
The History of the United States
SS-08-5.2.1 Students will explain events and conditions that led to the "Great Convergence" of European, African and Native American people beginning in the late 15th century, and analyze how America's diverse society developed as a result of these events.
SS-08-5.2.2 Students will explain and give examples of how the ideals of equality and personal liberty (rise of individual rights, economic freedom, religious diversity) that developed during the colonial period, were motivations for the American Revolution and proved instrumental in the development of a new nation.
SS-08-5.2.3 Students will explain how the growth of democracy and geographic expansion occurred and were significant to the development of the United States prior to Reconstruction.
SS-08-5.2.4 Students will describe the political, social, economic and cultural differences (e.g., slavery, tariffs, industrialism vs. agrarianism, federal vs. states' rights) among sections of the U.S. and explain how these differences resulted in the American Civil War.