NH Civics is pleased to share with you a library of civics curricula created by NH teachers between 2015 and 2019 and inspired by a NH Civics teacher professional development opportunity. See below the various topics around which we have organized the curricula; you can search by topic, keyword, or grade level. These curricular resources were edited by NH Civics Trustees, graduate students and a professor from Plymouth State College, and a high school civics teacher. We hope these teacher-created resources are helpful, relevant, and that they make increased quality and quantity of civics instruction in NH possible. We aim to add to this library over time.
Students will be able to examine the U.S. Supreme Court’s power of judicial review and critique the various approaches justices take when interpreting the Constitution. Further, students will understand how the constitutional right to free speech has evolved over time.
Students will be able to analyze how the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution over time impacts the balance of power between the federal and state governments within the United States.
The Constitution created a federal government whereby power is shared between the federal and state governments as well as the citizens. The Constitution delegates specific power to the federal government and under the Tenth Amendment reserves the remaining power to the states and to the people. However, over time Congress has attempted to expand federal power by placing conditions on the state receipt of federal funds as an extension of Congress’s spending power under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has approved these conditional spending programs as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power but has placed requirements on them in order to ensure they do not go too far as to make them an unconstitutional exercise of power. Question still exist, however, as to whether or not these programs violate the very principles of federalism that form the foundation of our constitutional system of government.
The First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress from abridging free speech and the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted to extend those prohibitions to state and local governments as well. Over time the Supreme Court has interpreted speech to extend to financial contributions to campaigns, political parties and other political organizations engaged in influencing election results. In addition, the Court has extended some rights of personhood to corporations, including protections of corporate speech against government infringement. Starting after the Watergate scandal, Congress has attempted at several junctions to limit the financial contributions of individuals and corporations to political entities. The Supreme Court, in response, has invalidated an increasing number of those restrictions as unconstitutional restrictions of free speech. Campaign finance regulations and the constitutional protection of free speech raise difficult and essential questions about the role and impact of money in elections and what constitutes an effective democracy.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about any of our programs or would like additional information.