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ERIC Number: EJ946412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun-1
The Constitution and Its Critics
Main, Thomas J.
Policy Review, n167 Jun 2011
In planning a freshman undergraduate curriculum with colleagues recently, the question arose as to what type of understanding educators wanted to impart to their students about the Constitution. The alleged defects of the Constitution that these books point to are wide-ranging and can be classified into various categories. Some problems--such as slavery, the disenfranchisement of women and blacks, and the election of senators by state legislatures--are historical in nature. There are two other types of supposed constitutional defects. The first type are very real but not as widely appreciated as they should be, such as equal state representation in the Senate. They raise the question of whether there is any realistic chance of reform. The second type are supposed defects that turn out to be nothing less than the entire structure of separation of powers and checks and balances. In this article, the author takes another look at America's fundamental document and its critics.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, Slavery, Federal Government, Constitutional Law, Elections, Civil Rights, Disproportionate Representation, Democratic Values, Political Attitudes, Power Structure, Presidents, Course Content
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution