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Teaching Guide

Teaching The Federalists: Hamilton, Washington & Adams

Hamilton, Washington, and Adams, oh my!

GO TO STUDENT LEARNING GUIDE

Believe it or not, America used to be an immature nation. A baby, even. Your job is to show students that the country wasn't born in day—it was a long process full of great achievements and plenty of mistakes.

In this guide you will find

  • lessons analyzing one of the most important figures of the time (a.k.a. that dude on the $1 bill).
  • related historical resources on The American Revolution, the War of 1812, and Thomas Jefferson, among other things.
  • discussion questions on early American diplomacy.

And much more.

Our teaching guide will help you guide students through the birth of a nation (and we don't mean the horribly racist film).

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Inside each guide you'll find quizzes, activity ideas, discussion questions, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time. Here are the deets on what you get with your teaching guide:

  • 3-5 Common Core-aligned activities (including quotation, image, and document analysis) to complete in class with your students, with detailed instructions for you and your students. 
  • Discussion and essay questions for all levels of students.
  • Reading quizzes to be sure students are looking at the material through various lenses.
  • Resources to help make the topic feel more relevant to your 21st-century students.
  • A note from Shmoop's teachers to you, telling you what to expect from teaching the topic and how you can overcome the hurdles.

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Instructions for You

In this exercise your students will consider several quotations that present differing conceptions of the freedom of speech and clarify their understanding of this right by adopting the quotation that they find most compatible with their views.

1. Share these quotations with your students:

"A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger."
– Justice William Douglas, Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 1949

"In every country where man is free to think and to speak, differences of opinion will arise from difference of perception, and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted, as in this happy country, to purify themselves by free discussion, are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene."
– Thomas Jefferson,1801

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic."
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Schenck v. United States, 1919

"To promote the improvement of Society it is essential that Mind should be free. Unless individuals are permitted to reflect and communicate their sentiments upon every topic, it is impossible that they should progress in knowledge."
– Tunis Wortman, 1800

"Utterances inciting to the overthrow of organized government by unlawful means . . . by their very nature, involve danger to the public peace and to the security of the State. . . . A single revolutionary spark may kindle a fire that, smoldering for a time, may burst into a sweeping and destructive conflagration."
– Justice Edward Terry Sanford, Gitlow v. New York, 1925

2. Tell your students that they must select the one quote that best represents their beliefs about free speech. They must be prepared to defend their selection and, most importantly, explain why the others are flawed or incomplete in representing their views.

3. Ask your students to share their choices, then orchestrate a discussion surrounding these. To give focus to the discussion, tell your students that by the end of the discussion they must unite behind one quotation.

Instructions for Your Students

What does the freedom of speech mean to you? Take a look at these quotes and decide which one most fully reflects your views. Be prepared to defend your choice.

"A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger."
– Justice William Douglas, Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 1949

"In every country where man is free to think and to speak, differences of opinion will arise from difference of perception, and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted, as in this happy country, to purify themselves by free discussion, are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene."
– Thomas Jefferson,1801

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic."
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Schenck v. United States, 1919

"To promote the improvement of Society it is essential that Mind should be free. Unless individuals are permitted to reflect and communicate their sentiments upon every topic, it is impossible that they should progress in knowledge."
– Tunis Wortman, 1800

"Utterances inciting to the overthrow of organized government by unlawful means . . . by their very nature, involve danger to the public peace and to the security of the State. . . . A single revolutionary spark may kindle a fire that, smoldering for a time, may burst into a sweeping and destructive conflagration."
– Justice Edward Terry Sanford, Gitlow v. New York, 1925

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Intro    Summary & Analysis    Timeline    People    Facts    Photos    Best of the Web    Citations    Test Review    
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