Lesson Plan

Learn how America's love-hate relationship with Great Britain's government showed up in the way the Founder's designed America's government. In this lesson, students take a close look at British influence on American government by examining representation, voting, checks and balances, and the concept of a bill of rights as they learn about Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the British monarchy.

*Note: This lesson highlights British influence on American government. Combine this lesson with other lessons from Foundations of Government - High School to teach students about the many influences that impacted the writing of the U.S. Constitution. 


  • Explain British influence on American government

  • Identify British documents that were influential in shaping the U.S. Constitution

  • Compare and contrast shared features of English and American government, including representation, voting, a bicameral legislature, a single executive, and a bill of rights

  • Analyze how America’s Founders incorporated and improved upon familiar British concepts to contain tyranny in favor of liberty


Downloadable Resources

Resources for this lesson are available in print and digital form. A free teacher account is required to access them.

This Lesson Plan is included in the following units:

Related Resources