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New Civics Lesson: The Magna Carta - Due Process from King John to the 14th Amendment and Beyond

Published on Sun, 11/25/2018

5-cent Magna Carta Commemorative Postage Stamp June 16, 1965
Magna Carta 1965 Postage Stamp commemorates 750 anniversary

A new lesson, appropriate for 8th grade civics and adaptable for other grades, asks: What impact did the Magna Carta have on the U.S. Constitution and the shaping of the 14th Amendment? With a particular emphasis placed on the due process of law, students analyze and organize primary source documents ranging from a British Court of Common Pleas from 1610 to Chief Justice Warren’s notes on Miranda v. Arizona in 1966. After looking at the history of due process, students consider a contemporary case in which police use of a robot to kill a man after a standoff is challenged. Students will learn through inquiry and recognize that historical events do not exist in a vacuum, but rather have long term and profound repercussions. Download lesson PDF, or browse the Emerging America teacher Resource Library. Image is from the Library of Congress,…, stamp 4. Magna Carta U.S. Postage Stamps, first day covers and flyer, June 15, 1965. 


Alison Noyes

Manager, Emerging America
Alison Noyes is the manager of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, where she leads the English Learner Collaborations project funded by a Library of Congress grant to the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies.