Friday, April 11, 2008


With my last week of student teaching coming upon me, I'll have to use the last blog post to say "farewell." I've had a great time learning how to teach with Mr. Gross as my mentor and will be sure to utilize many of his teachings - especially his puns ;)

As students, you have taught me quite a bit, and for that I'm pretty thankful. You've all acted as pretty good teachers yourself and as I'm considering continuing with the 8th-9th grade age group at the school I'm discussing employment with, I'll certainly use what I've learned and hopefully improve in the years to come.

Best of luck in high school... and good luck!

Mr. Fahler (and Glorbok)

Oh... and yes, you can figure out my first name as I've "unmasked" myself.

Oh... and I thought I'd add Glorbok into this post.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A miniseries retelling the life of John Adams will begin on HBO Sunday night (03/14) at 8:00. While we won't be able to watch it in class, it might be a good idea to try to catch parts of the series, as it depicts Adams' life beginning with his involvement during the Siege of Boston.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Preamble

The Constitution (Post 3)

We've discussed the Constitution as the document which came out of the Constitutional Convention. Five major principles will guide our study of the document for the next few weeks:
  1. Popular sovereignty
  2. Limited government
  3. Federalism
  4. Separation of powers
  5. Checks and balances

The Constitutional Convention (Post 2)

The Constitutional Convention, meeting from May, 1787 through the following September, was assembled after Shays' Rebellion in order to revise the Articles of Confederation. Some delegates, especially Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, proposed that the meeting turn into an opportunity to create the foundations for a new American government. Major issues discussed by the delegates - which included representatives from all states but Rhode Island - included three major compromises. Keep these compromises in mind, as they outline some of the most important concepts discussed at the meeting:
  1. Great Compromise - the creation of a bicameral legislature; compromise between the New Jersey Plan and the Virginia Plan;
  2. Three-fifths Compromise - declared African-Americans as "three-fifths" of a person for voting purposes;
  3. Slave Trade Compromise - declared that Congress could not make the international slave trade illegal for Americans to participate in for the next twenty years (1788 - 1808).

Monday, March 10, 2008

ConSource - The Constitution Online

If you're interested in more ways to discover how the Constitution came into being, be sure to look at the Constitutional Sources Project or ConSource. Sponsored by the New-York Historical Society and the History Channel, ConSource reveals not only the Constitution itself, but provides links to notes taken by the delegates, including the famous notes taken by James Madison at the Constitutional Convention which provide historians a window into the meetings at Philadelphia in the summer of 1787.

Link: ConSource

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Articles of Confederation (Post 1)

As we discussed in class, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution act as ways by which the “rules” of American government are defined. This unit explores the controversies, issues, and themes which the American government was founded upon and the people who set it into place.

Document One: The Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were created to establish the American government. Drafted and passed by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, they acted as a basis for a de-facto, or default government until put into law at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1781. After 1781, they became de-jure, or went into effect by law with the American victory in the Revolutionary War.

The nature of the articles required a limited central government. This government unified states into a confederation, or a collection of states united under a single purpose (hence “United States”). Major factors included the ability to declare war, print and regulate money, engage in diplomatic agreements, and administer Western lands. However, this early attempt at Constitutional government was not perfect, as the national government was given only limited rights and abilities. With no executive power granted to carry out laws, Congress could not enforce the legislation it passed. We see these issues coming to prominence in Shays’ Rebellion, an open revolt in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Because the government’s own problems created the event and the army could not effectively react to the event, American politicians would soon find the need to meet in Philadelphia in 1787 for a Constitutional Convention.

Unit Vocabulary:

Articles of Confederation
Shays’ Rebellion