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Unit 1: What basic ideas about government did the Founders have?

To understand the United States Constitution, we need to know about the people who wrote it. How did they live? What experiences did they have? What were their ideas about good government?

Your country began more than four hundred years ago. It began as a part of another country called England. England was one of the most powerful countries in the world at that time. It had a large and strong navy with ships that sailed to many parts of the world. Its rulers were called kings. English kings sent people from England and other countries to create new communities in what are now the eastern states of your country. These communities were called colonies. When England united with Scotland, it became known as Great Britain. The colonies became British colonies.

In this unit, we will study their history and their basic ideas about good government. Studying this unit will help you understand other lessons in this book. More importantly, it will help you understand the basic principles of our government. It will help you understand why our government works the way it does.