With Honors: Genius of the Constitution

Professor Pitkannan conducts a Harvard class discussion centered around the novelty of the United States Constitution and how it prevents the president from effectively being an elected king. Simon, a homeless man and guest, argues that the genius of the Constitution is that it allows for ordinary people to govern themselves and that it is flexible enough to be modified with the evolution of society. He then states that the president is considered a servant of the people by the Constitution.

Profanity


This clip contains profanity at the following moments:
  • 03:39 - 03:40

Public Discussion Questions


  1. Why does Professor Pitkannan take issue with the first answers?
  2. What is the genius of the Constitution according to Simon?
  3. What is the president according to Simon?

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Standards


This clip is associated with the following standards:
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    analyze and evaluate the text, intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence an...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    discuss historical reasons why the constitution has been amended
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    discuss Alexis de Tocqueville's five values crucial to America's success as a constitutional republi...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    identify the impact of political and legal ideas contained in the following documents: Hammurabi's C...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    identify the influence of ideas such as separation of powers, checks and balances, liberty, equality...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    The student understands how constitutional government, as developed in America and expressed in the ...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    The student understands the importance of voluntary individual participation in the U.S. constitutio...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    The student understands the importance of the expression of different points of view in a constituti...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    identify major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the Am...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    The student understands the American beliefs and principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution and w...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    explain the importance of a written constitution
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    evaluate constitutional provisions for limiting the role of government, including republicanism, che...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    analyze the structure and functions of the executive branch of government, including the constitutio...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    explain how certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution provide for checks and balances among the th...

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