Founders Bookshelf Objective: Students will examine major political ideas in history that influenced the Founding Fathers, evaluate major principles underlying the Constitution, and analyze personal writings and documents to identify the principles of government each one influenced.
Just as books, movies, TV, and music influence people today, the Founding Fathers were also influenced by the writings of various philosophers and historic documents. In Philadelphia, the Library Company, one of the nation’s first libraries, opened its bookshelves to the delegates, providing access to books and reference material for the framers of the Constitution. To understand these influences, we need to examine the major principles of government.
(Create a flip chart defining these principles)Title:Influences on Constitutional Principles
Directions for the Founder’s Bookcase • In your groups, share the handout “The Founder’s Bookcase” and decide which constitutional principles are reflected in each of the writings. • Write the name of the document/author (if the author is identified) on the backside of the flap of the principle you have defined orwrite the name/author under the definition. • Keep in mind that some of the writings can fit into more than one principle.