Our National anthem proclaims us as the, “land of the free and the home of the brave”; yet the man who penned those words, Francis Scott Key, was a slave owner.*
In this course students study the emergence of the United States and its government through the lens of the concept of freedom. The word “freedom” is everywhere you look in the United States throughout history to the present, but how free are we and how free is this country?
We begin by exploring the concept of freedom and what it means to us and others by examining a variety of genres such as essays, poetry, music and visual art and answer the question: what does freedom mean to you and how does your understanding of freedom compare to others? We then examine primary sources from colonial American and the Constitution itself to investigate the progress of political, economic and social freedom that came as a result of the formation of the United States and decide if we think the U.S. Constitution was created to protect or limit freedom. Finally, we delve into some limits to freedom in the United States, using as a case study, “the great contradiction,” American slavery, and respond to the question of who was most influential in ending chattel slavery in the United States. The course culminates in a Social Studies PBAT.
Students conduct additional research for two essays in course: Does the U.S. Constitution limit or protect citizens' freedom? and, Who was most influential in ending chattel slavery in the United States?
Class debates on two PBAT questions, PBAT drafts and deadlines
Freedom artistic piece and artist statement