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Unit 4: How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices?

The Constitution was a plan for the new national government. It described the organization of the national government in terms of its powers and limits. The Framers purposely wrote the Constitution as a general framework. They left out many details that they knew would need to be added in the future. They also knew that they needed to reconcile the tension between the national government and the state governments. Therefore they devised a new system called federalism.

In this unit you will learn how the three branches of the national government embody constitutional principles and how they operate. You also will learn how federalism remains a dynamic characteristic of American government.