In the early republic, Congress was a colorful, exciting, unpredictable, and contentious branch of the United States government. The members constantly quarreled but often deliberated and compromised through persuasive oratory and rational conversation. Congress was divided by party and sectionalism, but was guided through these difficulties by legislative statesmen. The Congress continued to function as the undisputed law making body of the people of the United States. Even during some of its most tumultuous years, from 1789 until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1860, the Congress effectively governed the nation.
Lesson plan PDF includes all handouts:
Handout A: Background Essay
Handout B: Articles of Confederation
Handout C: Legislative Powers of Congress
Handout D: The Powers of the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution Venn Diagram
Handout E: Constitutional Convention Role-Play
Handout F: Federalists and Anti-Federalists Debate Congressional Powers
Answer Key
Introductory Essay Founding Principles, Virtues, and Glossary
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