A SOCIAL SCIENCE DEALING WITH THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS.  That is the dictionary definition of the word civics.  Educators bemoan the lack of knowledge of basic facts and principles on which our country was created.  Late night comedians do street side interviews to illustrate the shocking deficiencies of average citizens on our form of government.  It is alarming to discover that civic education, once learned in elementary school, seems like a foreign language to so many.  In that vein, I have decided to discuss the issue of “civics” here on my newly launched website.  My goal is to promote inquiry, the truest form of education.  So, let me begin.  Who are the American founders?  Who paved the way for a system of government under which our nation has lived for two and a half centuries?  From the earliest colonial settlements you might want to review the writings of John Smith, William Bradford, John Winthrop, Roger Williams, and Anne Hutchinson.  How did the beliefs and perspectives of these early settlers build the foundation for what would become a new nation?  Later in the colonial period when the issue of independence from Great Britain reached fever pitch, a new generation of founders arose.  What do you know of the signers of the Declaration of Independence?  There were fifty signers.  How many can you name?  Do you know the risk they took by signing the document?  Can you trace the impact of John Locke and George Mason on Thomas Jefferson as he penned the famous Declaration?  When the war for independence finally ended, our first government, The Articles of Confederation, proved weak and ineffective.  This led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where a new form of government was established.  Do you know that the thirty three signers of the Constitution were essentially a new group of founders?  Only six signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Can you name some of the signers of the Constitution and recall specific contributions from them?  The document under which we live has lasted for more that two hundred and thirty years.  No nation on earth has a constitution that has existed for so long.  It is a system known as Federalism.  Federalism will be the subject of my next article.

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