One of the most famous political speeches on freedom in the twentieth century was delivered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his 1941 State of the Union message to Congress.This lesson examines some of the nuances and ambiguities inherent in the rhetorical use of "freedom." The objective is to encourage students to glimpse the broad range of hopes and aspirations that are expressed in the call of—and for—freedom.
This lesson will focus on the arguments either for or against the addition of a Bill of Rights between 1787 and 1789. By examining the views of prominent Americans in original documents, students will see that the issue at the heart of the debate was whether a Bill of Rights was necessary to secure and fulfill the objects of the American Revolution and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Students will also gain an understanding of the origins of the Bill of Rights and how it came to be part of what Thomas Jefferson called "the American mind," as well as a greater awareness of the difficulties that proponents had to overcome in order to add the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.
This interactive map of the first 13 states highlights the ratification process in each state.