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Introduction Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Signing the Constitution Ratifying the Constitution Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

 


Books & Reading

Books & Reading





Ratifying the Constitution Signing the Constitution Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

Amendments

Very few things last long without change. Nothing is perfect. The writers of the Constitution realized this when they presented the first twelve amendments to the Constitution.

Amendments to the Constitution can be either additions or changes to the original text. It is not easy to change the Constitution. Since 1787, over 9,000 amendments have been proposed, but only 27 have been approved.

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The Constitution was written before parties were a player in American politics. When John Adams was chosen for President in the 1796 election, the second-place candidate, Thomas Jefferson, became Vice President. Adams was a Federalist and Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican. The two clashed several times during Adams's presidency, though Adams's conflicts with Hamilton, a Federalist, too, probably caused Adams more concern.


Surf with Uncle Sam
Surf with Uncle Sam


Word Spy
Word Spy


Projects You Can Do

Hold a town meeting to discuss the Edwardsville ordinance. Role-play residents for and against the ban, the American Civil Liberties Union, and members of the city council, business community, and "Edwardsville Beautification Society." Testify before the pretend city council on the pros and cons of keeping the law as it is. Those acting as city council members should question those testifying and then make a decision about the ordinance. Make signs supporting your decisions.

Form groups of four to five people. Draft a new law regulating signs that will further the interests of Edwardsville (for example, signs that protect the beauty of the community and maintain real estate values), and at the same time, insure First Amendment rights.

Compose a dissenting opinion.

Discuss reasons why commercial speech (such as advertisements) has been given less protection under the First Amendment than noncommercial speech (such as political or social signs).

The Dirksen Congressional CenterCopyright 2008