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State and Local Government

  • Federalism
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Electoral College
  • Framers
  • James Madison
  • tyranny
  • Constitution
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Founders
  • Continental Congress
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Tenth Amendment
  • democracy

State and Local Government Activity: What Is A Federal Republic?

Have students read Handout A: What Is a Federal Republic? Instruct students to answer the questions at the end of the essay.

Hand each student a copy of the Patrick Henry quotation on Handout B: Patrick Henry at the Virginia Ratifying Convention. Once class has started, ask that student to stand up and read the quotation aloud. Lead the class in a discussion about Henry’s concerns.

Divide students into small groups and distribute Handout C: James Madison and Federalism – Excerpts from Federalist No. 39. After students have completed it, lead the class in a discussion of the questions.


State and Local Government Activity: Nullification

Give a mini-lecture on the background of the Nullification Crisis relating to the Tariff of 1828, South Carolina’s nullification of the law, Jackson’s response, and how it affected the United States leading up to the Civil War.

Have students (individually, in pairs, or in groups) research the Nullification Crisis and prepare an oral presentation using information from Handout E: Federalist No. 26, Handout F: South Carolina Ordinance, and Handout G: President Jackson’s Proclamation and additional research.

Presentations should explain:

  • What is nullification?
  • What was the Tariff of 1828?
  • Why did South Carolina disagree with the Tariff of 1828?
  • What was President Jackson’s response to South Carolina?
  • What would the Founders have thought about the Nullification Crisis? Would Federalists and Anti-Federalists have differing opinions on the topic? Explain?
  • What were the long-term effects of the Nullification Crisis?
  • What, if any, modern day implications does nullification have?

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