America’s Written Constitution

An introduction to the main themes of the American Constitution—popular sovereignty, separation of powers, federalism, and rights.

About The Course

"America’s Written Constitution" is now being offered as the first of two new stand-alone courses. The second course, "America's Unwritten Constitution," will be offered in January 2015. These two courses were offered together in January 2014 under the name "Constitutional Law," however feedback from our students suggested the learning experience would be more valuable and effective if we split the course into to distinct offerings. 

This course is designed to introduce you to one of the most important texts in human history—the United States Constitution.  Why and how did this document come into existence in the 1780s?  How and why has it been amended over the years?  Who decides what it means?  What are the ground rules for proper constitutional interpretation?  

Over the next 6 weeks, this course will go through the constitution in its textual order. Starting with the Preamble, working through all 7 articles, the Bill of Rights, and ending with the 27th amendment. We will also be discussing the substantive themes of The Document, such as democracy, slavery, and national security. Our hope is that anyone who completes this course will be left with a solid enough understanding of the written text to formulate their own opinions on the ever-present constitutional debates impacting U.S. society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

Students can also elect to enroll in the Signature Track to earn a Verified Certificate.