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Unit 3: How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?

The Constitution of 1787 has been changed in several important ways. The Framers provided mechanisms for some of those changes, including a process for amending the Constitution. Other changes are not explicitly provided for in the text of the Constitution but have played a significant role in the constitutional system. The Civil War produced three amendments that transformed American federalism and moved the Constitution toward the ideals of equality contained in the Declaration of Independence.

In this unit you will learn how judicial review and political parties, neither described in the Constitution, affect American constitutionalism. You also will learn about the constitutional issues that helped cause the Civil War and how that war created what is often called a second American constitution. That transformation emphasized due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and expansion of the right to vote.