VIDEO: Watch SIA 101.1: Declaration of Independence – Part I (Video time: 48 minutes)


Where there is a time mark, the answer is provided at the time indicated in the relevant podcast or video. Where there is no time mark indicated, the student should look up in a book or perform an Internet search for the term, person, or place.

  1. United States Code (1:45)
  2. What does score mean in terms of time?
  3. What does it mean to be influential?
  4. Pagination
  5. Ameliorating
  6. Lexicon
  7. Nihilistic
  8. Immutable
  9. Malleable
  10. Charles Edward Merriam (Where, when, and what subject did he teach?)
  11. Carl Becker (What book did he write about the Declaration of Independence?)
  12. John Locke (When did he live? What books on government did he write?)
  13. Montesquieu (When did he live? What books on government did he write?)
  14. Algernon Sidney (In what context did Thomas Jefferson refer to him?)
  15. Aristotle (When did he live? For what is he famous?)
  16. Thurgood Marshall (On what court did he sit and when?)
  17. Antonin Scalia (On what court did he sit and when? How did he think the Constitution should be interpreted?)
  18. Robert Taney (Who appointed him to the Supreme Court, and when?)
  19. Dred Scott (Who was he and what made his court case so infamous?)
  20. Robert Bork (Was nominated by whom to what position, yet was failed to be confirmed?)
  21. William Rehnquist (Was Chief Justice beginning when and ending when?)
  22. Bill Clinton (When was he President of the United States?)
  23. What year was Woodrow Wilson elected President of the United States?
  24. What year did the Titanic Sink?


  1. What are the four organic laws found at the beginning of the U.S. legal code? (1:58)
  2. Why start with the Declaration of Independence when learning about the founding of the United States? (2:30 – 5:59)
  3. Does Charles Merriam believe liberty to be a natural right? (11:21)
  4. From where does Charles Merriam believe individuals derive their liberty? (11:30)
  5. What year was the U.S. Constitution written? (18:12)
  6. Why will these teachings about the U.S. founding be challenging? (34:48 – 38:18)
  7. What is multicultural doctrine? (38:18 – 41:22)
  8. What is the classical view (old way) of human nature? (41:22 – 44:11)
  9. What is the modern view of human nature? (44:11 – 45:22)
  10. Why do modern progressives like the modern view of human nature? (45:22 – 47:09)
  11. What poses a great challenge to understanding the Declaration of Independence as the founders understood it? (47:10 – 47:30)
  12. Why is it important to understand multiculturalism? (47:30)


Carl Becker, The Declaration of Ideas: A Study in the History of Political Ideas