Monday, June 21, 2010

State Studies

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..."

If you're civic-minded, you probably recognize the preamble to the U.S. Constitution; what most Americans study far less regularly are their state constitutions.

For example, North Carolina's preamble says
We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution.
What are the basic assumptions of your state's constitution? What does it have to say about education? In North Carolina, "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." (Article IX)

What principles from your state's constitution do you see under debate or challenge today?

Constitution.org contains links to the constitutions of all 50 states, as well as the official government websites of each state. Those websites provide information about your state government, contact information for government officials, and links to other important sites.

Remember, as Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." Have fun learning about your state government with your family today!!

Between now and July 4th, keep your eyes on my blog for weekly snippets of history and trivia about the workings of the U.S. government.

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