The summer patriotic U.S. holidays, beginning with Memorial Day, turn attention to American government and historyt. America was founded on a democratic government system. Here are free printable American government lessons on democracy and core democratic values for teachers and students. PBS Kids free printable American government lessons teach that democracy is a Greek word meaning 'government by the people' ('dem' people + 'cracy'). Check that link for more free printable Greek words and roots. The people of Ancient Greece were the first to establish the idea of common people ruling their own country. In Greek democracy, all citizens had a right to participate in the process of choosing who from amongst their ranks would represent them. Typically nations were ruled by other forms of "-cracy" or "-archy." A monarchy refers to a country ruled by one supreme head, such as a king. "Oligarchy" refers to rule by a few elite people. In these forms of government, people who were ruled had no say about who their ruler would be. Leaders came to power by inheritance of a crown or by forced military take-over. These rulers had absolute power. They made the laws that the common man must obey. Typically the rules they made did not include themselves.
Never before the Greeks had a nation been ruled by a collective of people who voted to choose representatives. Here are free printable American government lessons on Greek democracy. Never before had a nation's people been given a voice over who should make the laws or what those laws would be. Never before had the rulers of a country had to obey the laws they made. The Greek experiment with democracy, or rule by the people worked well. Here are free printable Ancient Greece and core democratic values lesson plans to use for American government lessons.
Along with a system of democracy and core democratic values, the people of Ancient Greece taught gave the world philosophy, music, art, literacy, technology, medicine, science and language. Here is music of Ancient Greece for American government lessons. Here are free printable lesson plans on the medicine of Ancient Greece to use for American government lessons. Here are free printable Ancient Greece lesson plans on all those subjects.
When the founding fathers and mothers in America set out to establish a government, they looked to the Greek form of democracy as a model. Early Americans had experienced life under the monarchy of King George III and his predecessors. They had lived in a colony ruled by another nation across the sea. The American colonists knew about monarchies and oligarchies. To them, core democratic values in rule 'by the people of the people and for the people' looked very attractive. In the First and Second Continental Congress they drafted what a federal constitution and Bill of Rights that would become a model of democracy outlined core democratic values for other nations as theirs was modeled after the Greeks.In a democracy, the constitution lays out the rights of citizens very clearly. Every citizen has a voice as to what goes into the constitution. When changes are made to the constitution citizens must approve those changes. To explore democracy and American history lessons in an interactive online games, visit Democracy Game. To experience life in an ancient kingdom, click here for a free download ofSeven Kingdoms. Here are free printable