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POLSC432: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Unit 1: An Introduction to Civil Liberties and Civil Rights   This unit will serve as an introduction to the concept of civil liberties and rights.  While these terms are commonly used interchangeably, they actually refer to two related but quite different things.  Civil liberties can be thought of, at least broadly, as protections from government afforded to citizens through the Constitution, while civil rights, can be thought of as protections of citizens by government.  More specifically, civil liberties refers to the protection of the individual's rights to form and express his or her own preferences or convictions and to act freely upon them without undue or intrusive interference by the government.  Civil rights centers more specifically on the rights of citizens to participate freely and equally in politics and participate in the electoral process. The reading for this unit will rely heavily on a text along with other readings that will explicate these differences. In this unit, you will define civil liberties and rights, and in doing so, prepare yourself to read the court opinions and interpretations of those opinions that will follow in the other units. 

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 4.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 2 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Distinguish the differences between civil liberties and rights. - Discuss the historical context of civil liberties and rights. - Describe the basic process of judicial review. - Discuss the constitutional and societal implications of selective incorporation.

1.1 Civil Liberties   - Reading: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 4: Civil Liberties” Link: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 4: Civil Liberties” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read each section under chapter 4 as this reading provides a substantive and comprehensive overview of civil liberties, both from a historical and contemporary perspective.  This will be useful to provide a foundation for all the material covered in this course.  Note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for Subunits 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.3.  This reading should take approximately 2 hours to complete.

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1.1.1 Civil Liberties Defined   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.1.

1.1.2 Some Historical Context-Feudalism   - Reading: The International Endowment for Democracy: Ellen Meiksins Wood’s “The Demos Versus 'We, the People': from Ancient to Modern Conceptions of Citizenship” Link: The International Endowment for Democracy: Ellen Meiksins Wood’s “The Demos Versus 'We, the People': from Ancient to Modern Conceptions of Citizenship” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides a philosophical perspective of the development of civil liberties based in the context of feudalism. This will provide a foundation for all the material covered in this course. This reading should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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1.1.3 The Framing and Civil Liberties   - Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Constitutional Government” Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Constitutional Government” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides background that leads up to the development of the US Constitution and then details about its ratification. Pay particular attention to the treatment of the Bill of Rights throughout. This will be a useful foundation for all the material covered in this course. This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
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1.2 Civil Rights   - Reading: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 5: Civil Rights” Link: American Government and Politics in the Information Age: “Chapter 5: Civil Rights” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read each section under chapter 5 as this reading provides a substantive and comprehensive overview of civil rights, both from a historical and contemporary perspective.  This will be useful to provide a foundation for all of the material covered in this course.  Note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for Subunits 1.2.1, 1.2.2 and 1.2.3.  This reading should take approximately 2 hours to complete.

 Terms of Use: The text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
the [<span class="s1">Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License</span>](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensee.

1.2.1 Civil Rights Defined   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.2.2 Some Historical Context-Slavery and also Religion   - Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Colonial Life: Work, Family, Faith” Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Colonial Life: Work, Family, Faith (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides background describing slavery and religion in the US in the colonial era before the Constitution. This material provides the context that leads up to civil rights issues during the framing and throughout US history. This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
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1.2.3 The Framing and Civil Rights   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 1.2.

1.3 Civil Liberties and Rights: General Development across Time   1.3.1 Judicial Review   - Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Marbury v. Madison (1803)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Marbury v. Madison (1803)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case that lead to judicial review. Without judicial review, civil rights and liberties in the US would have taken a different path. This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
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  • Web Media: YouTube: FedFlix’s “Marbury v. Madison 1977 Judicial Conference of the United States” Link: YouTube: FedFlix’s “Marbury v. Madison 1977 Judicial Conference of the United States” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this instructional video in its entirety. It begins with an introduction to judicial review followed by a dramatization of the circumstance that lead up to the court case that resulted in establishing judicial review. This concept is essential to understanding the development of civil rights and liberties across US history. This video should take approximately 30 minutes to view.
     
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1.3.2 Selective Incorporation   - Reading: The College Board: Andrew Conneen, Sean Matheson, Matt Moore, and Wesley Phelan’s “AP United States Government and Politics Special Focus: The Incorporation Doctrine” Link: The College Board: Andrew Conneen, Sean Matheson, Matt Moore, and Wesley Phelan’s “AP United States Government and PoliticsSpecial Focus: The Incorporation Doctrine” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the middle of the page and select “The Incorporation Doctrine” under the “Special Focus Materials” section. Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides a basic description of the case that lead to judicial review. Without judicial review, civil rights and liberties in the US would have taken a different path. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.