60-Second Civics

Tuesday, October 27
   Daily civics quiz
Which of the following is one of the key principles of America's political culture?

 
 
 
 

Listen to today's podcast:



  rss feed  Twitter Donate

 

About the Podcast: 60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government.

60-Second Civics is produced by the Center for Civic Education. The show's content is primarily derived from the Center’s education for democracy curricula, including We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Foundations of Democracy, and Elements of Democracy.

Subscribe: It's easy to subscribe! Listen on YouTubeiTunes or Stitcher or subscribe via RSS.

Get Involved: Join the conversation about each episode on Twitter. Or you can contact the show by emailing Mark Gage. Let me know what you think!

You Can Help: 60-Second Civics is supported by private donations. You can help keep the podcasts coming by donating, buying an ebook, or by writing a nice review in iTunes to help others discover the show. We love our listeners. You are the reason we created the podcast. Thank you for your kind support!

Music:
The theme music for 60-Second Civics is provided by Cheryl B. Engelhardt. You can find her online at cbemusic.com. The song featured on the podcast is Cheryl B. Engelhardt's "Complacent," which you purchase on iTunes, along with all of Cheryl's music.


Looking for a particular episode? Search by keyword here:



60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4136, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 17: The Nineteenth Amendment
As the United States entered World War I, pressure to recognize the right of women to vote increased. After the war, women launched a national campaign that included huge parades, demonstrations, picketing, and civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. The Nineteenth Amendment was finally adopted in 1920.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4135, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 16: The Slow March of Women's Suffrage
Women in the United States gained the right to vote only in small increments. Plenty of excuses were offered for not recognizing the right of women to vote.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4134, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 15: State Voting Rights for Women
In 1869 Wyoming, while still a territory, gave women the right to vote. By 1918 more than half the states had enfranchised women.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4133, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 14: Equal Voting Rights for Women
The road to winning the right to vote for women was long, and suffragists faced many setbacks.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4132, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 13: Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments
During the middle years of the nineteenth century the struggle for freedom and equality for African Americans was closely linked to the campaign for woman suffrage. Many abolitionists worked for woman suffrage, just as many women worked to end slavery.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4131, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 12: Literacy Tests
Literacy tests were designed to disenfranchise African American voters. They did not disappear entirely until 1970.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4130, 60-Second Civics, Episode 4130: October 11, 2020
Poll taxes were meant to keep the poor and minorities from voting. The Twenty-Fourth Amendment ended poll taxes in 1964.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4129, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 10: Civil Rights Act of 1866
Until discriminatory laws and Supreme Court rulings took effect, millions of African Americans were added to the voting rolls, and some were elected to public office.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4128, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 9: The Fifteenth Amendment
In theory, the Fifteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African American men. But discriminatory laws, physical intimidation, and economic reprisals kept African Americans from exercising that right.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4127, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 8: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Mexican American men faced discrimination and violence in Texas when they tried to exercise their right to vote.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4126, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 7: Dorr Rebellion
Rhode Island was the only state after 1840 that did not have universal enfranchisement of white men. So, Thomas Wilson Dorr convened a "People's Convention" to draft a new state constitution that allowed all white men to vote. This led to a brief civil war in the state.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4125, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 6: Voting Reform in the Early 1800s
Voting reform took place slowly after 1790, with the property requirement slowly being phased out.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4124, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 5: Property Requirements
Suffrage in the original thirteen states expanded greatly after 1790 and many of the original states eliminated property requirements gradually over the nineteenth century, but they often required payment of taxes and had residency requirements.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4123, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 4: Voting and Property
Thomas Paine, with his characteristically sharp wit, pointed out some problems with the property requirement for voting.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4122, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 3: Enfranchisement and Disenfranchisement
Who was allowed to vote during the early years of the American republic? It depended on where you lived.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4121, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 2: Voting in the Colonies
What legacy of Greek and Roman democracy did the colonists inherit? Find out on today's episode.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4120, Voting, Elections, and Representation, Part 1: The Expansion of Suffrage
How did the right to vote gradually expand in the United States? Find out on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4119, Prohibition Changed American Society
Prohibition was an agent of profound social change.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4118, The Prohibition Era Begins
The Eighteenth Amendment launched an era known as Prohibition and the birth of a new industry.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4117, The Prohibition Era Begins
The Eighteenth Amendment launched an era known as Prohibition and the birth of a new industry.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4116, The Prohibition Era
The Prohibition era began just as World War I was drawing to a close. Not every American soldier was happy about returning to a dry country.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4115, The Eighteenth Amendment
The Eighteenth Amendment, which was ratified in January 1919, inaugurated the era of Prohibition by outlawing the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors" in the United States.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4114, International Abolition of Slavery
The international movement to abolish the slave trade and the practice of slavery began in Britain and elsewhere in Europe in the eighteenth century.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4113, Northern Reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, only applied to the Confederacy and did not actually free most slaves in the South, but it did have a powerful symbolic effect and increased diplomatic support for the Union.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4112, The Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation had two parts. The first stated that enslaved people in any of the Confederate states that did not return to the Union by January 1863 would be freed. The second part freed all enslaved people held in the rebellious states, at least in theory.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4111, Abolitionists, Free Soilers, and Emancipation
At the outset of the Civil War, public opinion in the North was generally unfavorable to immediate abolition.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4110, "If Slavery Is Not Wrong, Nothing Is Wrong"
Abraham Lincoln's attitude to the slavery issue was complex. We'll learn why on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4109, The Corwin Amendment
The Corwin Amendment was created in order to avoid the Civil War. It would have outlawed future amendments that abolished slavery. However, the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter began the Civil War, and the amendment was never ratified. Instead, in 1864 Abraham Lincoln began lobby for passage an amendment to abolish slavery.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4108, Abolition Movements in the United States
A social culture of reform in pre-Civil War America was the fertile soil in which a variety of movements against slavery grew.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4107, Early Anti-Slavery Movements in America
Several movements to abolish slavery were formed during the Revolutionary era.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4106, Slavery Contradicted America's Founding Principles
Slavery was in flat contradiction to the founding principles and animating spirit of the American republic born on July 4, 1776.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4105, Economic Context of the Civil War
When the Civil War erupted in 1861, differences between the economies of North and South were directly relevant to the slavery issue.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4104, The Constitution on Slavery
On today's podcast, we learn about three compromises on slavery that were added to the Constitution to get the support of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4103, Slavery and the Start of the Civil War
On today's podcast, we examine the causes of the Civil War.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4102, The Civil War Amendments
Today we begin a brief series examining the Civil War Amendments. These are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4101, Freedom of the Press around the World
Starting in the nineteenth century, the people of many nations began demanding the liberal freedoms associated with democracy.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4100, The English Roots of American Freedom of the Press
The roots of freedom of the press in America are found in England.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4099, Freedom of the Press and New Forms of Communication
Americans hold a deep respect for freedom of the press and free expression.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4098, The Growing Power of Media
Americans have been avidly consuming news since the founding period, but news outlets haven't always been tremendously profitable.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4097, The Importance of Freedom of the Press in the Early Republic
Freedom of the press has been important to Americans since the early republic.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4096, Prior Restraint
How easy is it for the government to keep the news media from publishing sensitive government information? Find out on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4095, The Alien and Sedition Acts
The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed under the administration of Federalist president John Adams. They outraged Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, and contributed to Jefferson's victory in the presidential election of 1800.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4094, The Alien and Sedition Acts
The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed under the administration of Federalist president John Adams. They outraged Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, and contributed to Jefferson's victory in the presidential election of 1800.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4093, Libel vs. Slander
On today's podcast, learn about the difference between libel and slander.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4092, The Zenger Case
Under British colonial rule in America, criticizing the government was known as seditious libel, and it was illegal. But in the case of John Peter Zenger, the jury was on his side.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4091, Freedom of the Press, an Introduction
Today we begin a brief series on freedom of the press.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4090, A Just and a Lasting Peace
In Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln urged the nation to heal its wounds. He also expressed his hope that the nation may achieve a "just and lasting peace."

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4089, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln's elegant words in the Gettysburg Address signify his enduring legacy to the people of America.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4088, Abraham Lincoln and America's Founding Principles
Abraham Lincoln believed that the Constitution was meant to fulfill the ideas of equality, liberty, and government by consent of the people contained in the Declaration of Independence.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4087, The Thirteenth Amendment
Abraham Lincoln was opposed to slavery, but did not live to see the Thirteenth Amendment ratified.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4086, The Emancipation Proclamation
Learn about the Emancipation Proclamation on today's 60-Second Civics.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4085, Abraham Lincoln on Slavery
Although rightly remembered as the president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation and won the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln did not intend to abolish slavery at the outset of the war.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4084, Lincoln Takes Strong Action against the Rebellion
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in order to better fight the rebellion. But not everything went Lincoln's way.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4083, Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus During the Civil War
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney rules against Abraham Lincoln's aggressive use of war powers

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4082, The Prize Cases
The Prize Cases posed a constitutional test of Abraham Lincoln's use of war powers during an emergency.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4081, Congress Approves Lincoln's Actions
Critics accused Abraham Lincoln of trampling on the Constitution, but he thought his actions were needed to save both the Union and the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4080, Lincoln Takes Immediate Action Against the Confederacy
Abraham Lincoln acted swiftly when the Civil War began, but some people thought he had gone too far.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4079, The Civil War Begins
Abraham Lincoln faced a tough first year in office: secession and war plagued the nation.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4078, Abraham Lincoln Elected President
Abraham Lincoln lost his campaign for the Senate, but won the presidency two years later.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4077, Abraham Lincoln Opposes the Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas-Nebraska Act brought Abraham Lincoln back into politics and pushed the country closer to civil war.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4076, Abraham Lincoln Begins His Political Career
Despite having less than one year of formal education, Abraham Lincoln became a lawyer and launched his political career.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4075, Abraham Lincoln's Early Life
Today we kick off a brief series on Abraham Lincoln.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4074, Virginia Ratifies the Constitution
Despite George Mason's objections, Virginia ratified the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4073, Virginia Ratifies the Constitution
Despite George Mason's objections, Virginia ratified the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4072, George Mason at the Virginia Ratification Convention
George Mason made one fateful error at the Virginia Ratification Convention.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4071, George Mason Refuses to Sign the Constitution
George Mason refused to sign the Constitution because it did not contain a bill of rights.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4070, George Mason Proposes the Bill of Rights
When George Mason proposed that a bill of rights be added to the Constitution, not a single state delegation to the Philadelphia Convention voted in favor of Mason's motion. As a result, Mason refused to sign the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4069, Bernard Bailyn on Slavery in the Founding Period
Should we hold America's founders to account for not outlawing slavery? We'll learn about one historian's views on the subject on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4068, The New York Manumission Society
Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and William Livingston were outspoken opponents of slavery and were founding members of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4067, Slavery in the North
Slavery was not confined to the South. Even in the late 1790s, one in five New York City households kept domestic slaves.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4066, Providence Punishes National Sins by National Calamities
George Mason's aversion to slavery and his vigorous condemnation of the institution remained a constant throughout his life. Even so, Mason never freed the people he enslaved.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4065, George Mason's Attack on Slavery
George Mason held slaves, but nevertheless condemned the practice.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4064, Jefferson and Madison on Slavery
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason and other Founders agonized over slavery and what to do to bring about its end.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4063, Mason and Washington on Slavery
Learn about two Founders' views on slavery on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4062, Frequent Recurrence to Fundamental Principles
The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 was extremely influential.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4061, Important Principles in the Virginia Declaration of Rights
The Virginia Declaration of Rights laid out a number of important principles of American government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4060, The Virginia Declaration of Rights
Among the important principles set forth in the Virginia Declaration of rights is that all power is derived from the people and that government officials are their trustees and servants.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4059, The Most Influential Constitutional Document in American History
George Mason was the primary author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and its "Constitution and Form of Government." The Virginia Declaration of Rights influenced the Declaration of Independence, state constitutions, and the Bill of Rights

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4058, The Fairfax Resolves
George Mason, America's "forgotten founder," wrote the famous Fairfax Resolves in 1774, which were intended, as George Washington explained, to "defend our Constitutional Rights" and to set forth our fundamental principles.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4057, George Mason's Early Life
Like many of America's founders, George Mason had many good attributes. Nevertheless, his legacy is tarnished by the fact that was a slaveholder, as were George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4056, George Mason, the Reluctant Statesman
Most Americans know very little about George Mason, who was instrumental in getting the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution by the First Congress in 1791.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4055, George Mason, America's Forgotten Founder
George Mason was a highly influential Virginian who had a "profound understanding of republican government," and yet he remains largely unknown to the American public. Find out about America's "Forgotten Founder" over the next several episodes of 60-Second Civics.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4054, George Washington's Rules of Civility
Before he reached the age of sixteen, George Washington wrote down one hundred and ten "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation."

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4053, George Washington's Views on Slavery
George Washington owned slaves and took steps to return slaves who escaped. Nevertheless, he came to reject slavery, both for the human suffering it caused and on principle.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4052, George Washington Warns Against Party and Faction
George Washington believed in the virtues of nonpartisan government, in which patriotic citizens of different views would be willing to serve together.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4051, How George Washington Established the Authority of the Presidency
George Washington's vigorous policies established the president as an energetic leader, not a ceremonial figurehead.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4050, George Washington Relied on the Advice of Others
As president, George Washington understood his own limitations and was not reluctant to rely upon the counsel of others.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4049, George Washington as President
As president, George Washington demonstrated the value of a strong executive in the hands of a trustworthy person.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4048, George Washington, the Reluctant President
Far from being eager for power as president, George Washington likened his feelings on once again taking up the burdens of public service to "those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution."

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4047, A Strong Executive
George Washington did not participate in the public debates over ratification, although his support was widely known and had a strong influence.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4046, Washington's Support for Civilian Control of Government
George Washington strongly supported the principle that the military is subordinate to civilian government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4045, Washington's Support for Civilian Control of Government
George Washington strongly supported the principle that the military is subordinate to civilian government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4044, The Newburgh Conspiracy
Late in the Revolutionary War, a group of officers planned to march on Congress, demanding their pay. George Washington deftly confronted the officers and thwarted their plans.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4043, George Washington the Soldier
George Washington was a courageous and decisive soldier before and during the American Revolution. After independence was secured in 1783, Washington appeared before Congress and publicly resigned his military position, reinforcing the idea of civilian control of American government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4042, George Washington's Early Life
Today we begin a short series on George Washington, who was perhaps the most influential leader in the creation of the American nation.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4041, James Madison and the Bill of Rights
Although originally opposed to a Bill of Rights, James Madison became its strongest proponent

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4040, Madison Supports Freedom of Religion in Virginia
James Madison was a strong advocate for religious freedom and opposed the establishment of the Anglican church as a state-supported religion in Virginia.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4039, James Madison as a Champion for Religious Freedom
James Madison was a champion of religious freedom, believing that official religions were wrong because such a policy discriminated against the non-favored religions.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4038, James Madison's Fears About Slavery
James Madison was a slaveholder. Nevertheless, he denounced slavery as harmful for both enslaved people and those who held slaves.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4037, James Madison on Slavery
James Madison remained persistent critic of slavery throughout his public career. Nevertheless, benefited from slave labor all his life.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4036, James Madison's Evolving Opinion of Political Parties
James Madison was originally opposed to political parties, which he called factions, but changed his views. Learn how he later justified political parties on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4035, Mr. Madison's Party
James Madison was originally opposed to political parties. That all changed when he decided to organize opposition to Alexander Hamilton's plans for the country.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4034, James Madison on Partisan Politics
James Madison was not a huge fan of political parties. Find out why on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4033, If Men Were Angels, No Government Would Be Needed
Acknowledging that if "men were angels" no government would be needed, James Madison argued that any government "administered by men over men" must be so constituted so as to control itself as well as the governed.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4032, James Madison's Federalist Essays
James Madison's Federalist essays rank among the best political thought ever produced.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4031, James Madison's Federalist Essays
James Madison's Federalist essays rank among the best political thought ever produced.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4030, James Madison, the Convention's Most Active Delegate
James Madison played a very active role in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which drafted the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4029, James Madison's Views Did Not Always Prevail
Despite being known as the Father of the Constitution, James Madison's views did not always prevail at the Philadelphia Convention.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4028, James Madison Drafts the Virginia Plan
James Madison's Virginia Plan determined in large measure the direction the Philadelphia Convention would take.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4027, James Madison, Scholar and Politician
Despite the fact that James Madison was a small, slightly built and shy man with a quiet voice, he make a big impression on the Philadelpha Convention of 1787, later becoming known as the "Father of the Constitution."

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4026, James Madison's Early Career
After college, James Madison had difficulty choosing a career, but he was drawn into the growing colonial resistance to the imperial policies of Great Britain.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4025, James Madison, Father of the Constitution
James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. He combined the intellectual knowledge and creativity of the scholar with the practical savvy of the politician.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4024, Participation in Government
Participation in government is in our self-interest. The amount of time spent participating will probably depend on how well we think our elected officials are doing.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4023, Social and Political Action
There are two general ways that citizens can address problems in the community through participation in civic life: through social action and through political action.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4022, Civic Life
Civic life is the public life of citizens. It is concerned with our own interests as well as the common interests of our community and nation.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4021, Civic Participation
Civic participation means taking part in formal political processes and taking part in community activities outside of government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4020, Citizenship as an Office of Government
Some people say that the office of citizen is the highest office of government because citizens are the source of government's authority.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4019, Civil Disobedience
When laws or governmental actions conflict with a citizen's views of what is right and wrong, the citizen faces a difficult decision.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4018, Responsibilities of Citizens
With the rights of citizens of the United States come certain responsibilities, which can be grouped into two categories: personal responsibilities and civic responsibilities.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4017, Some Rights Can Be Limited
The rights of Americans are protected by the federal and state constitutions and bills of rights. However, it is reasonable and fair to place limits on most rights; they are not absolute.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4016, Personal, Political, and Economic Rights
There are three categories of rights that are important to democracy and to American citizens: personal rights, political rights, and economic rights.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4015, Legal Permanent Residents
Legal permanent residents enjoy most of the rights of citizens. An adult permanent resident may apply for citizenship after living in the United States legally for five years.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4014, Citizenship
In the United States, there are no degrees or classes of citizenship. In this country, citizenship does not depend on a person's race, gender, or ethnic origin. Every citizen is a full member of the political community.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4013, The Spread of American Ideas
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the American ideal of self-government spread around the world.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4012, Constitutional Powers to Deal With Other Countries
Each branch of the U.S. government has certain powers that come from the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4011, The United Nations
In the aftermath of World War II, fifty nations gathered together in San Francisco to create the United Nations.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4010, How Nations Interact
Today, the nations of the world are increasingly dependent on each other.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4009, International Law
International law consists of those rules that regulate how countries behave toward one another. It is usually made by treaties that nation-states make among themselves.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4008, The Indispensable Foundation of Individual Freedom
Due process of law involves two government responsibilities: (1) to protect the rights of an individual who may have broken the law, and (2) to protect everyone else from people who break the law and endanger the lives, liberty, or property of others.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4007, Due Process in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
The Fifth Amendment says, "No Person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This applies to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment includes actions by the states.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4006, Due Process of Law
The due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments are intended to guarantee that government will use fair procedures when gathering information and making decisions that affect our rights to life, liberty, and property.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4005, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
In August of 1963, thousands of Americans marched in Washington, D.C. in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which segregation in public places, such as restaurants and hotels. When African Americans won these civil rights after years of struggle, other groups began to call for equal protection.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4004, The Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement began in the 1950s, seeking change to unjust laws and practices that treated African Americans unfairly and unequally. People marched in the streets, wrote letters to Congress asking for stronger laws, and held boycotts.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4003, Brown v. Board of Education
In the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court said that placing African American children in schools separate from white children denied them the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4002, Plessy v. Ferguson
The 1896 Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson allowed states to practice segregation for almost sixty years.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4001, Unfair Treatment of African Americans
"No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." But even with the constitutional protections of the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War, African Americans were treated unfairly.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 4000, Voting in the States
The states, although limited by the Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, still make some decisions regarding voting rights.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3999, Voting Age Lowered to Eighteen
During the Vietnam War, thousands of Americans were drafted to fight in souteast Asia, but many of these same troops had no right to vote because they were younger than 21. This all changed with the Twenty-sixth Amendment.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3998, Native Americans Gain the Right to Vote
Because Native Americans were not initially recognized as American citizens, they did not have the right to vote. This changed only in 1924 with the Indian Citizenship Act.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3997, Women's Struggle for the Right to Vote
Gaining the right to vote for women was a long, slow process.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3996, The Long Struggle for Voting Rights for African Americans
Even after the Civil War Amendments were passed, the rights of African Americans to full citizenship, including voting rights, was often denied. Learn about the long struggle for voting rights for African Americans on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3995, The Right to Vote Denied to African Americans
Some states after the Civil War passed laws that made it impossible for African Americans to vote, these laws included literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and poll taxes.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3994, Civil War Amendments
The Civil War Amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. They abolished slavery, granted full citizenship to African Americans, and guaranteed the right to vote to men regardless of their "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Despite these constitutional guarantees, it would be a long time before African Americans were able to fully exercise the rights of citizenship.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3993, Dorr Rebellion
The little-known Dorr Rebellion took place in Rhode Island in 1841-42. Thomas Wilson Dorr convened a so-called "People's Convention" that drafted a new state constitution enfranchising all white men, rather than just those white men who owed property. The insurrection was quickly put down.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3992, The Right to Vote Severely Restricted in the Early Republic
In the early years of the American republic, only a narrow group of people were allowed to vote. Restrictions on voting would reduce, but it would take nearly two centuries before suffrage for all adults was achieved.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3991, Religion in Public Education
On today's 60-Second Civics, we explore an always-controversial topic in American public life: whether religious teaching should be supported in public schools.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3990, Limits to Free Exercise of Religion
Even though it is one of the most cherished liberties enjoyed by Americans, your freedom to practice your religious beliefs can be limited. For example, government can require that children be vaccinated against specific contagious diseases before being admitted to public school, even if that violates the religious beliefs of the children's parents.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3989, Conflicts about Freedom of Religion
Americans disagree about what the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Constitution mean.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3988, Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is an important part of the First Amendment to the Constitution. On today's podcast we learn about two parts of religious freedom: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3987, Tinker v. Des Moines
During the Vietnam War, several high school students war black armbands to protest the war. They were suspended from school and took their case to court, ending in a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. How did the Court rule? Find out on today's 60-Second Civics.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3986, Limits to Freedom of Expression
Many people believe that freedom of expression is necessary for the protection of all our individual freedoms, but there are some cases when free expression can be limited.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3985, How Freedom of Expression Benefits Democracy
Freedom of expression, which is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, has many benefits, including increasing the chances of getting accurate information and having the ability to influence public opinion by persuasion without resorting to violence.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3984, Two Benefits of Freedom of Expression
Freedom of expression has many benefits. The Founders of the United States believed that the right to hold and express one's beliefs was essential if citizens were to participate in the affairs of government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3983, Freedom of Expression
The First Amendment to our Constitution protects our freedom of expression. It says, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3982, How Supreme Court Justices Decide Cases
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court consider a number of factors when deciding cases.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3981, Modernism or Instrumentalism
The modernism or instrumentalism method of interpreting the Constitution asks Supreme Court justices to take into consideration today's social values and needs when deciding constitutional issues.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3980, Fundamental Principles
One method available to Supreme Court justices to interpret the Constitution is to refer to the fundamental principles that our Constitution is based on. These principles include natural rights philosophy, constitutionalism, republican government, and limited government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3979, Original Intent
One method of constitutional interpretation is to examine the intention the Framers of the Constitution had when writing the document. This method is often called original intent or original history.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3978, Textualism, Literalism, or Strict Construction
Advocates for using the plain meaning of the words of the Constitution to resolve differences about interpretation of the document say that this method keeps the Supreme Court neutral and makes the law certain and predictable. Detractors say that even the Framers disagreed about what the words in the Constitution meant.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3977, Four Methods of Constitutional Interpretation
There are four basic methods the Supreme Court uses to interpret the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3976, Marshall's Reasoning in the Marbury Case
On today's podcast, we learn how Chief Justice John Marshall justified the Supreme Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3975, Marbury v. Madison
William Marbury thought he had a right to a job given to him by John Adams. The Supreme Court agreed. But then it did something that would firmly establish its power of judicial review.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3974, Judicial Review over State Governments
Today's podcast describes judicial review and gives an example of how it works.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3973, Who Interprets the Constitution?
Today's episode covers a big topic, the power to decide what the Constitution means and whether laws and actions of government violate the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3972, Advantages of Political Parties
Tired of partisan bickering? On today's podcast, we learn about three ways that political parties are useful to our nation.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3971, The Revolution of 1800
Despite the bitterness of the presidential contest between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the election of 1800 marked a milestone in the history of democratic rule.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3970, The Alien and Sedition Acts
By the election of 1796, there was serious hostility between the Federalists and the Republicans. The Alien and Sedition Acts outraged the Republicans.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3969, John Jay's Unpopular Treaty
John Jay negotiated a treaty with the British that was deeply unpopular with Americans.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3968, Americans Take Sides in the War Between France and Great Britain
In 1793, war broke out between France and Great Britain, raising the level of tension between the Federalists, who sought closer ties with the British, and the Republicans, who sought closer ties with the French.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3967, The Bank of the United States
Alexander Hamilton advised President George Washington that the necessary and proper clause of the Constitution gave government the power to create a Bank of the United States. Thomas Jefferson disagreed. Eventually, Washington decided in favor of Hamilton.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3966, Hamilton's Idea for a National Bank
As secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton wanted to strengthen the nation's economy.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3965, Hamilton vs. Jefferson
The views of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson about the powers of the federal government were often in conflict.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3964, The Rise of Political Parties
The Framers of the Constitution were opposed to the idea of political parties. Find out why on today's podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3963, The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights was passed by the first Congress. It contains ten amendments.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3962, The Creation of the Judicial Branch
Article III of the Constitution provided for a U.S. Supreme Court and said that Congress could establish lower courts as needed.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3961, Washington's Cabinet
George Washington, the nation's first president, could not run the executive branch alone. To help Washington fulfill his responsibilities, Congress created three departments: the Department of State, the Department of War, and the Department of the Treasury.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3960, The Nation's First President
George Washington had a strong sense of civic responsibility and felt that it was his duty to serve his country.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3959, Compromise on a Bill of Rights
The Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed over whether a bill of rights is needed for the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3958, Would the National Government Have Too Much Power?
During the debates over ratification of the Constitution, Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed over whether the national government would have too much power.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3957, Would the Constitution Maintain Republican Government?
One area of contention between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists was over the question of whether the Constitution would maintain republican government. The Federalists argued that it would; the Anti-Federalists argued that it would not.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3956, Three Basic Disagreements over Ratification
The debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists over ratification of the Constitution lasted for ten months. It was an intense and sometimes bitter political struggle.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3955, Meet the Anti-Federalists
The Anti-Federalists feared that flaws they saw in the Constitution would be a threat to their natural rights.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3954, Meet the Federalists
The Federalists were the people who supported ratifying the Constitution. They had a few advantages over the Anti-Federalists.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3953, James Madison's Plan for Ratification
The Framers knew that they had to get the Constitution approved, so they relied on social contract theory. The people would have to ratify the Constitution in special conventions in each state. The Constitution would be in effect after it had been ratified by the conventions of nine of the thirteen states.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3952, James Madison's Plan for Ratification
James Madison wanted the Constitution to be ratified, and he knew it might not be if Congress or state legislatures were asked to approve it. So, he came up with a plan.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3951, The Balance of Power
Today, the federal government has far more power over the state governments than most of the Framers of the Constitution could have imagined.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3950, The Supremacy Clause
The Framers of the Constitution agreed that the powers of the federal government were to be greater than the powers of the state governments. This is clearly stated in the supremacy clause of Article VI of the Constitution.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3949, Constitutional Limits on the Power of Government
A constitutional government means that the powers of government are limited. The U.S. Constitution limits the powers of both the federal and state governments.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3948, Federalism in Practice
As citizens of the United States, the people delegate certain powers to the national government. As citizens of the various states, the people delegate certain powers to their state governments. The people have kept certain rights or powers and have not delegated them to any government.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3947, Federalism
Federalism is the practice of dividing and sharing the powers of government between a central government and regional governments such as state governments.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3946, The People Are Sovereign
Today's podcast explains one of the fundamental ideas behind American government: popular sovereignty.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3945, Unitary and Confederal Systems
In a unitary system of government, a central government controls the state and local governments. In a confederation, the states are independent and have control of anything that affects their citizens and territory.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3944, The Supremacy Clause
What is the supreme law of the land? And what happens with the U.S. Constitution conflicts with a state law? Find out on today's 60-Second Civics.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3943, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction
Do you know the difference between original an appellate jurisdiction? Find out on today's 60-Second Civics podcast.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3942, The Judicial Branch
Article III of the Constitution establishes the judicial branch. A national judiciary was needed to decide disputes between state governments and between citizens of two or more states; it was also needed for disputes between the national government and a state or a citizen.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3941, Origin of the Electoral College
The Electoral College was created because the Framers of the Constitution were concerned that the people would not know enough about the candidates to make good choices. They were also concerned that the people might not always have the wisdom to select the best person for president.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3940, The Framers Debate How to Select a President
The Framers of the Constitution wanted a president who would be like George Washington, in fact, the expected Washington to be the first president. Washington was patriotic, honest, devoted to the public good, and not interested in using power for his own advantage. But they knew that no president would be a saint, so they discussed how to select future presidents who would be as qualified as Washington.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3939, Impeachment
The process of impeachment is an important way to limit the power of the president and other federal officials and prevent the abuse of power. The House of Representative has the power to impeach the president and other federal officials. The Senate then holds a trial. Conviction and removal from office requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3938, The President Shares Power with Congress
The Constitution limits the powers of the executive branch by making it share most of its powers with Congress. For example, the president has the power to nominate people for important jobs in government, but only with the advice and consent of the Senate.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3937, The Powers of the Executive Branch
Article II of the Constitution lays out the powers of the executive branch of government. It is much shorter than Article I and is written in more general terms. The Framers of the Constitution wanted an executive branch with enough power to carry out its responsibilities yet not strong enough to overwhelm the other branches.

60-second civics logo

60-Second Civics: Episode 3936, Checks on the Lawmaking Powers of Congress
In this back-to-the basics episode of 60-Second Civics, we learn how a bill becomes a law, and how that law can become null and void if the Supreme Court decides that it violates the Constitution.

About

CCE LogoThis site is brought to you by the Center for Civic Education. The Center's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

Center for Civic Education

5115 Douglas Fir Road, Suite J
Calabasas, CA 91302

  Phone: (818) 591-9321

  Email: web@civiced.org

  Website: www.civiced.org

© Center for Civic Education