Part 1: In a Nutshell

  • A large group of people in an area organized under one government is a nation.
  • The group of people who makes rules for a nation is called a government.
  • A member of a nation is called a citizen.
  • A U.S. citizen may be either a natural or a naturalized citizen.
  • Any person born in the United States is a natural U.S. citizen.
  • Any person whose parents are U.S. citizens is a natural U.S. citizen.
  • Certain requirements must be met in order to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
  • Hundreds of American Indian tribes had sovereign nations on the continent of North America when Europeans “discovered” this continent.
  • In the 1600s and early 1700s, Great Britain established 13 colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America.
  • Great Britain was too far away to govern the colonies properly.
  • The Founding Fathers believed that all people are born with natural rights—the right to life, the right to liberty (freedom), and the right to own property.
  • The Founding Fathers thought that their rights were not being protected by the British government.
  • The Declaration of Independence stated that the colonies would unite and form a new sovereign nation.
  • The Revolutionary War was fought for freedom from the government of Great Britain.
  • A government ruled by the people is a democracy.
  • The United States is a republic with a President, and the citizens elect people to speak for them in the government.
  • The Founding Fathers wrote a plan of government for the new nation. This plan was called “The Constitution of the United States.”