Protecting the People: Limited and Absolute Governments

Common Sense Society (CSS) is an international network that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty—educating 21st-century generations and perpetuating timeless principles that are indispensable to human flourishing and happiness. Through our curricular resources, we’re illuminating the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better.

Our curricular resources consist of a growing number of modules that support middle and high school educators in exploring the value of Western civilization through a comparative examination of the histories and principles of the United States’ systems of liberty and their totalitarian counterparts.

Each module contains a selection of primary resources, student assignments, and classroom activities designed to enable students to examine the nature and preconditions of liberty, prosperity, beauty, and the pursuit of happiness; to consider how and to what extent these principles have been implemented in the course of history; and to compare and contrast this history of implementation with that of putative alternatives past, present, and future.

Module 2

Protecting the People: Limited and Absolute Governments compares and contrasts the differences between limited and absolute governments and asks, “which system better protects human rights and happiness?”

Students will consider the foundational philosophical ideas that underlie limited and absolute governments, as well as the powers these governments exercise over their citizens. Students will also learn about examples of limited and absolute government (e.g., republican, democratic, constitutional, tyrannical, fascist, and totalitarian) and how each behaves. Finally, after looking at primary sources and artwork from different regimes, students will think about the reality of daily life under an absolute government and why a limited government is more desirable.

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