The Critical Balance Threatened: Personal Liberties and National Security in Time of War

byC. Bradley Avery, Jr.


This unit surveys United States History with special emphasis on the recurrent struggle to balance our precious civil liberties with the security needs of the nation. My unit draws on lessons of personal experience.

When I was a boy, I had a teacher that tried to spark in me an interest for school, something I had long lost. He asked me what I really found interesting. I told him that I liked to learn about governments around the world, that I did not understand why there were different governments in the world and why they were always fighting with each other. I remember that he was taken aback as I had not ever really acted interested in anything outside of recess. I also remember that I was taken aback as I never had a teacher that I felt really cared what "I" thought was interesting. That moment really shaped my teaching and the way I interact with students. The teacher gave me a college textbook dealing with communism. I was fascinated with the ideas contained in the book. I read it with enthusiasm. This was also the first time in a long time that someone really gave me something that would really challenge me.

One part of the book discussed how Marxist revolutionaries would use attacks aimed at governments they opposed to force the governments to suppress their citizens, restricting their rights for their protection. When governments responded in this manner, people were often resentful at their loss of freedoms. This in turn prompted the people to look outside their governments and to the Marxist revolutionaries. This is exactly what the Revolutionaries wanted. It was so beautiful the way their actions were beneficial to them twofold:

  • They drove a wedge between the government and the people.
  • They pushed the people closer to the revolutionaries.

Another event that dramatically affected me occurred when I was living in China. Daily I would walk across the campus I was teaching at to get my mail. I remember the first time I got my mail from my girlfriend, only to find out that it had been opened. I was surprised and shocked to find it that way. I thought maybe my girlfriend forgot to put something in the letter, reopened it and then sealed it back up. But then I saw that it had been sloppily glued shut. I knew my girlfriend would have either taped it neatly shut or simply replaced the envelope. When it occurred to me that the Chinese government was opening my mail I was irate. This anger turned to feeling violated, then that was followed by fear. I was worried that if someone would open and read my mail, it was very possible they would violate my privacy further. I had never felt fear like this before, especially in relation to a powerful body like the government.

Before I traveled to China I heard accounts of people's privacy being violated by incidents like getting their mail read and their rooms searched. This really did not have an affect on me until it happened to me. Then it occurred to me that I did not have any right to privacy. I was outside of the United States and therefore I had no right to expect the same liberties that I enjoyed at home.

The last event that has shaped me in regard to this lesson was when I visited Ground Zero in New York City. I knew I would be moved by the magnitude of what occurred there, but I had no idea that I would be moved to such an extent. I was met with a cacophony of emotions. As I stood looking at this vast field of ruin, I felt incredible and strong feelings. First, I felt sadness for all the pain and hurt that was visited at this place. This was followed up by anger directed towards the misguided souls that were responsible for this tragedy. I then felt pity as I was sad for these men that committed this heinous act. The emotion that followed was pride for the heroes that risked their lives to save others. Then came love, I felt love for mankind, and for our country that in the face of hatred and misguided zeal we can move on. Lastly, I was moved to distress and confusion. The lives we lived pre-9/11 are gone forever. Where are we now headed?

After a short time there I was physically and emotionally drained. Through all of my travels I have never knowingly been to a place where there have been so many lives lost. And to know that these were innocent lives. People who were going to work, shopping, or simply sightseeing found themselves struggling for their very existence. This one act was the impetus that set our country on the path which we now travel. Again I am forced to ask, where are we going? Will we find better ways to protect the lives of our citizens and visitors? Will we have to give up liberties in the process, perhaps stirring resentment against our government?

This unit is, I believe, filled with the promise of enhancing student interest and teaching them some important lessons. By nature, this topic is contemporary, and what excites me is this unit's lessons promise to deal specifically with an issue throughout America's history. I view myself applying the material from this curriculum unit all year long, in many contexts. It could become a common thread that unites the entire curriculum for the year. I see it as the velvet rope onto which my class holds as we walk through the exhibits of our country's history. The rope can start as far back as the first Adams administration, with the Alien and Sedition Acts. I see United States history, from the 18th century to the 21st, joined by a common theme: the struggle to balance our precious civil liberties (the essence of our society) with the security needs and survival of our nation (the necessary condition for those liberties to exist).

I will endeavor to get my students to learn and understand the freedoms, rights and liberties they have been given by the Constitution. I also will strive to get them to feel first hand how the loss of these liberties might affect them. I will show them how our government often deals with an external threat by restricting our freedoms and how this is done for our safety and protection (and for the government's own preservation).

I believe that very few of my students really know their constitutional rights and, furthermore, that they do not understand their government's reaction to external threats that are now occurring or that have occurred throughout our history. They need to know the nature of government, what government's role in our society is, why government acts to reduce or remove civil liberties in certain circumstances, what has happened historically in our country as a result, what is happening now in regard to national security and civil liberties, and what should happen in the future. It is critical that they know and have an appreciation of their rights and freedoms so they will not take them lightly and will recognize threats to them.


My school, Englewood High School, in Jacksonville, Florida, has a population of over 2000 students.1 The school's population is perhaps the most diverse of the 17 high schools in the district. We have students from 39 different countries attending our school. Many of these students have just arrived in our country. Englewood has students from all over the world, speaking over 50 different dialects. Many of the students' families came to America out of political and/or economic necessity. Over 20% of the students speak other languages than English and are enrolled in limited English classes.

    When compared with our district and state, the students at Englewood have both a higher than normal absenteeism rate and higher dropout rate.2 In spite of these statistics, the school has maintained a "C" rating for the past three years.3 (This grade is determined by the State of Florida. Schools are given report-card style grades of A, B, C, D, or F.)

This unit is designed for my United States History class. The class will primarily be made up of eleventh grade students, and will come from a diverse set of students. Most students will not have taken American Government (that is a 12th grade level course at our school) and therefore the students will have limited knowledge or may not have any knowledge of the Constitution's content.

The primary materials that I will be using for this lesson will be PowerPoint and a projector. I will use the PowerPoint to aid my lectures. I find that the PowerPoint helps keep the students' attention, provided it is used sparingly.

I will supplement my lectures with a "Critical Balance: The Effects of War on Liberty" handout (which can be found at the end of this Unit Lesson) which I will use throughout the course. Each time that we begin to cover a war, I will hand out "The Critical Balance: The Effects of War on Liberty" worksheet which is a version of this same diagram to have the student fill it out, as we move through the lecture.

For example, using the War on Terror, I want the students to identify the Muslim Extremist's "actions," suicide bombings, and their "goals," to force the United States out of the Middle East, even to destroy us completely. For the "Rights restricted" section, I want my students to list some of the Constitutional Rights that have been infringed, such as the Fourth Amendment. For the "Security actions" that have taken place, I want the students to identify something like the government's scanning of email to gain information or the airport screenings to prevent future attacks. The "Administration involved" and the time period would be the George W. Bush Administration, 2001 to present.

Obviously, though this is a United States History class, it is intricately involved with the material that would be covered in United States Government. I do not see this as a disadvantage, but rather as a plus. The students benefit from the repetition of hearing the same material from differing perspectives, I also believe that students will likely enter their Government class the following year better prepared, and with a context in which to absorb the material their teacher presents them. The unit is also likely to assist my students with their ability to write persuasive essays, which could impact their performance in their language arts classes.


The objectives of this unit are for students to:

  • Apprehend the prime purposes of government.
  • Know the specific freedoms that they and all Americans possess.
  • Understand why governments might legitimately restrict freedoms in time of crisis.
  • Recognize specific abridgements of their personal rights.
  • Distinguish between legitimate and tyrannical abridgements in their personal rights, in accordance with their own personal values and American precedents.
  • Develop the ability to evaluate historical situations and draw these distinctions in ongoing units throughout the school year.
  • Learn that, oftentimes, these issues involving the critical balance between freedom and security lack total moral and even constitutional clarity.

There are several reasons I want to teach this unit to my students. Naturally, I want my students to understand and value their freedoms. Teaching about our freedoms is a fundamental part of any American's education process, if for no other reason than the fact that those freedoms are part of the common heritage that we all share. When we send students out into the adult world without the core knowledge that all members of society should possess, we weaken our nation. This is because it is our shared cultural heritage that keeps us together through the contentiousness of the ongoing political drama that we witness in the corridors of government and the social upheavals that occasionally occur on Main Street. We must know what it means to be an American if we are going to continue thinking of ourselves as Americans. For if the day ever dawns when we stop thinking of ourselves as Americans, then America will be on its way to being nothing more than a section in the history books of the future.

My second reason for teaching this unit is that I believe that if my students—the adults of the future—fail to understand their rights, or if they do not value their rights, then they will be more likely to surrender these rights when it appears to be expedient to do so.

I believe it is critical for all the students to have an understanding of what happens to our society—specifically, to our civil liberties—when the United States is attacked by any force. They need to be able to distinguish between a government exercising legitimate restrictions of freedom from an abusive use of emergency powers. If Americans do not understand the nature of government's role, then in the heat of critical events and even during the aftermath, they are more likely to be easily misled and even controlled.

Even outside of time of war, there is always a balance between individual rights and the need for governmental restrictions. Wartime is the crucible in which this balance is most clearly defined, but an understanding of the issues of liberties during wartime will lead to a better understanding of the more subtle issues that exist even during peacetime. In sum, my rationale for teaching this unit is:

  • Students today often fail to understand what rights they possess. While they do understand that they have rights, often they either do not know what these rights are, or they misunderstand the specifics of them.
  • Students should not only understand, but should appreciate the freedoms we have. It is hoped that a greater understanding of their rights will lead to a greater appreciation of them.
  • Students should understand the purposes of government, so that they have a scale on which they can weigh the consequences of government action in times of war, and can compare one historical occurrence with another.
  • Students should gain a sense of history, so that they understand how governments operate in times of war. Understanding that our government's reaction in time of war has been this way since its inception is a primary goal of the unit.

I hope that students who experience this unit will actually become better citizens. With an increased understanding of how their government works, perhaps they will look deeper into events. Most people today get their information from the electronic media, where they are not given much opportunity to apply critical thinking skills. While the TV report is going on, our eyes and ears are filled with the images selected for us by a corporation whose greatest goal is to keep our attention on the screen long enough to make sure that we are still there during the next commercial. Engaging citizens in critical thinking is not conducive to this goal. Accordingly, as the electronic media has become ubiquitous, the level of intelligent discourse in our society has declined. The deepest thoughts that students are exposed to on the subject today are mere sound bites, whether from the right ("We must renew the Patriot Act, or the terrorists will destroy us from within our own borders.") or the left ("The Patriot Act is George Bush's Enabling Act [the 1933 law which essentially gave Hitler dictatorial powers after a manufactured crisis]). My hope is that after this unit lesson, my students will not automatically despise the government nor blindly support it when they see the government taking crisis-related actions, but rather, that they will critically evaluate the specifics of what the government is doing.

This unit will help my students gain an understanding of how the government really functions. It is inevitable that, in the process of discussing these issues, that we will also touch upon and sometimes deeply delve into non-historical issues of government procedure. Students' working knowledge of the way government functions will grow as we talk about the conflicts between the executive and the judiciary, and between the executive and the legislature.

Like all teachers at my school, I recognize that my students need to develop better writing skills. I intend to have them write at least two persuasive essays. And, as indicated earlier, I also want my students to develop some higher level thinking skills. Writing essays (and rewriting them, after peer-editing along with extensive commentary on my part) will contribute to this development of critical thinking. Critical thinking will also be developed by guided classroom debate. Why do I say "guided" debate? Classroom debate has the potential to eat up large amounts of class time with little planning on the part of the teacher. This is not my intention.

My students will prepare an outline of their ideas that they will bring into the debate. Just as importantly, as the debates are actually taking place, I will assume the role of judge, or referee (the appropriate title will not be apparent until the tenor of the debate is established), interjecting myself when I feel that progress is not being made. Most of the time this can be done simply be asking one side a leading question regarding a statement made by the other side. While this would clearly be cheating in a tournament debate setting, my classroom is not about winning, it is about learning. So I will, when I need to, prod a bit to make sure, not only that the facts come out, but more importantly, that the right questions are being asked, and the that answers given are in fact the answers to the right questions.

Strategies/Lesson Plans

I will introduce my students, through the use of lecture, visual displays, worksheets, and guided discussion, to an understanding of the following concepts:

  • The purposes of government.
  • The dilemmas posed to Americans in time of crisis.

I will then have my students utilize the tools first accessed in this introductory unit in the study of all wartime lessons encountered during the study of our country's history. Our discussion of the dilemma will lead to the development of a paradigm that will take on a life of its own. I expect my students to foresee the potential for government restrictions on freedom every time our nation faces a crisis. (One potential problem will be that some students, enthused at the power to anticipate events, may miss out on some of the more mundane, purely factual material that I need them to learn. But that is a problem I will gladly accept, as the price for having students enthused about participating in a history class.)

My first objective will be to teach my students about the fundamental purpose of government. I have an unusual notion of how I would like to do this.

To begin with, I will teach them the concept of Abraham Maslow's4 hierarchy of needs. (A bizarre thing, one probably thinks, to begin the first day of an American History unit by introducing students to the teachings of a humanistic psychologist.) It will not be necessary to teach the entire Maslovian pyramid, but students should at least get to know the first two or three layers. The foundational level of Maslow's pyramid is 'physiological needs', then come 'safety needs', followed by 'love needs' then, 'esteem needs', and lastly 'Self-Actualization.'

Students will learn that some needs take precedence over others. This will likely be non-controversial. Only a few will dispute that the need to have physical sustenance outweighs the need for designer jeans. And they will probably see that physical safety is more important than having freedom of speech.

I will explain that according to Abraham Maslow, the government protecting us (insuring Physiological Needs and Safety Needs are met) is more valuable to us than government's suppression or removal of our liberties (which would probably fall somewhere between Esteem Needs and Self-Actualization).

I will then introduce an element of disputation (although I will feign ignorance of the budding controversy) by introducing them to some of the central concepts from Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan5. I do not intend to go into much detail, and I certainly will not take time to explain about Hobbes' personal history (except in respond to some of the students' questions, which will inevitably arise once they understand—or think they understand—his philosophy on the Sovereign). I want them to understand the concept of the State of Nature (or State of War, as Hobbes more commonly called it); of the absolute insecurity that he says exists in the absence of government. Students, most of whom today have a negative perception of their fellow man, will have little trouble accepting this notion. But then I will introduce the Hobbesian solution: an absolute Sovereign. While Hobbes of course did not endorse the idea of a monarch who was cruel or even heavy handed, he did explicitly express the superiority of such a tyrant over the absence of government, and this, I believe, will spark the first emotional discussions in my class.

Then, once they understand the Hobbesian view of the purposes of government in general, to provide order and thereby to make other beneficial pursuits possible, I want them to understand the qualitative distinction of our system of government, that is, the essence of our government that makes it especially worthy of our protection. I will teach them not only about the Constitution in general, I will emphasize the Bill of Rights. I will have them learn the general purpose of each of first ten amendments, and then focus our concentration on the amendments that deal with specific individual liberties that are likely to be threatened in time of war (probably the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th—though not all parts of all of them).

At this point I will introduce Benjamin Franklin and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to help represent the other side of the debate (that is, the anti-Hobbes). I am using these two to defend individual liberties, pretty much at all costs. Benjamin Franklin's6 quote that "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" fits in perfectly for representing this point. And the ACLU mission's to protect personal liberties is wonderful for this purpose. I hope to trigger similar discussions amongst my students regarding this other extremity of the spectrum. Again, I do not intend to allow any issues to be settled; the discussion must last for the remainder of the school year—and beyond.

Everything that I have done to this point is merely preparing the soil for planting. Once the field is made ready, I will begin to plant the seeds of the course-long theme, on the role of government in the preservation of our liberties during time of war.

During such times, as we know, there is usually a suspension (at best) or even an outright loss of rights or liberties. Students should know that this is an ancient theme; it was noted over 2000 years ago by Cicero7: "In time of war, laws are silent." When a threatening opposition presents itself, the government is forced to react to the threat by clamping down on individuals as a safety measure. And the way government clamps down is to restrict, remove, or trample the freedoms we have.

This restriction in of itself is troubling to most citizens. As students will now already understand, some will object to any curtailment of any kind to personal freedoms. But what most people fear is that the ostensibly temporary loss of their accustomed liberties will become permanent.

I expect my students to come to an understanding, on their own, that the sign of a good and righteous government is one that, during a time of serious threat, manages to strike a balance between personal liberties and the maintenance of social order in a way that will be beneficial to the people as a whole. While this might cause some individuals a temporary loss of freedoms, they will be able to resume living with freedoms intact once the threat has been lifted. The problem lies in 'evil' governments that are self-serving and fail to look after the needs or freedoms of the individual, in order to maintain their own power.

Having established this paradigm, I will start out teaching my class the rest of the year in much the same manner as I have before, with the understanding that units involving crisis will all contain a subsection on the "Dilemma of the Critical Balance." Students will feel empowered to initiate these discussions as soon as it becomes obvious within a unit that the necessary conditions for governmental restrictions exist.

If all goes well, and I have succeeded in creating sufficient enthusiasm for the subject of the Critical Balance, I will then raise the bar further, as I will detail further in the assignments section below.

Both in this specific, introductory unit, and in the follow-up applications of this unit, I will use lecture, guided discussions, worksheet on the model, written essays, and role playing. Not all strategies of course will be used for all units. But all will follow the same theme, that of the Critical Balance.

I hope to show my students that our rights and freedoms are the life blood of our country. The assignments I am planning will hopefully demonstrate to them the absolute necessity of maintaining these rights, even as we seek to ensure our country's survival in times of crisis. Some examples of planned activities:

  • Acting for the "greater good"
  • To demonstrate this principle of the Critical Balance in a concrete manner, in an early exercise, before we actually get to any American wars, I will post in my classroom the rights and liberties "due" to all students. Ostensibly this will be done just as an exercise in classroom democracy, where the students will work together to come up with their rights. One right they will specifically possess is the right to be informed weekly of their grades earned on tests and assignments. Within a few days after establishing this right in their minds, I will purport the need remove this "right" due to "the greater good." When pressured I will tell them that they can not know their grades because it takes too much too much time handing out papers and progress reports. I will also inform them that handing out papers also demoralized the students so I will refuse to show them any of their grades 'for their own safety.' I will go on with this for just a period of a few days. After I make a big show about this, I will endeavor to get them to understand that just because something is purportedly 'for their own safety' does not make it something they always appreciate, agree with, or even find nominally beneficial.
  • Translating Madison
  • Students often look at texts from 18th century and regard them as unreadable. And indeed, some of the vocabulary has changed. But when pressed, students can understand the vast majority of the material from the period of our founding. I will take large sheets of paper and write the individual Bill of Rights on them. Then, I will break the students up into groups and have them translate the Bill of Rights into their own vernacular onto these large sheets of paper. Next they will present their "translations" to the class, both to demonstrate that they can understand the 18th century text, and, more importantly, to provide them with a context in which they are more likely to retain the information. (I had a colleague who did this successfully with the Declaration of Independence—in my opinion, a more challenging task. As I observed this activity I saw that it provided his students with a lot of self-confidence when they saw what they could do.)
  • The Paper Evaluation
  • I have an open note quiz which I will give them half way through this unit on the Bill of Rights. A copy of this quiz is found at the end of this unit. An open-note quiz is not in my mind an effective evaluation of what a student knows. My purpose is not really to use this as a means of evaluation but more of a method of learning. I have often found that students will work harder when they know a quiz or test is looming in the future.
  • Your speech or your lawyer—what do you hold most dearly?
  • I will engage the students into higher-level thinking by having them debate the relative importance of individual portions of the Bill of Rights for issues of war and civil liberties—specifically the 1st, 4th, 5th, or 6th amendments. [1st Amendment issues dealing with the church are probably not germane. And 2nd Amendment issues bear the risk of getting into a whole new ballgame—namely the issue of overthrowing the government itself—certainly not the intended topic. 8th Amendment issues are critically important to individuals, but I do not personally see them as being relevant to this discussion. 9th and 10th Amendment issues are, strictly speaking, not individual in nature, and the 7th Amendment does not seem to have any importance to issues of national crisis either. Finally, the 3rd Amendment potentially could be seen as very critical in times of war, were it not for the sheer impossibility of its being violated, due to both the public will and the altered nature of the military today. This debate can start off as an informal classroom discussion. Assuming that it sparks enough talk, I will assign it as a debate topic, giving them a day or two to prepare.
  • Unit Application
  • I want students to seize every opportunity possible to apply these principles, so I plan to make every wartime unit an opportunity to engage the students in active discussions. For each period of war we cover I will have students research the conflict and have the students prepare a paper or poster on the war and discuss how the government dealt with issues of public safety and personal liberties. If two or more students would like to get together and hold a debate on these issues during this time period, this would be very acceptable.
  • Freedom vs. Safety
  • I will have half the students write an essay explaining the benefits of living in a "free society", and the other half write an essay explaining the benefits of living in a "safe and secure country." I am not certain yet whether or not to allow them to make their own choice. Then, having read the essays, I will have the students who have made the most cogent and compelling arguments organize and debate their point of view. Finally, everyone will have to write a second essay on the topic, only this time, everyone will have to take the opposite point of view from their original essay.
  • The Abuse of Freedoms
  • I will have the students write an essay on how personal freedoms can be abused both by individuals (e.g., someone selling military secrets on EBay) and government (e.g., screening private emails without individual warrants). While this is simple enough to describe, it will actually, I believe, be one of the more challenging assignments, needing a significant amount of research beyond which most of my students are able to do independently.
  • War is Here and Now
  • As a final assignment, I plan to provide the students with a detailed scenario in which our country finds itself under attack, on our own soil. The students will be required to provide a plan for how the government should respond to this threat and state in detail the impact that the government's response will have on personal liberties.
  • Scenarios

    1. An Arabic terrorist group sets up an autonomous authority somewhere in Mexico—most likely Sonora, Chihuahua, or Coahuila—and begins to work in concert with the Anzalduanistas, a Mexican rebel group whose slogan refers to the lands of the southwestern US, from California to Texas, "This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and is, and will be again". The Arabs agree to help the Mexican group regain the territory lost to the US in the 1840s, with the understanding that the urban areas will first become morgues, possibly radioactive. The Mexican government, belatedly learning about the group operating in the Sonoran desert, professes incapacity to act, as the group claims to be prepared to turn its weaponry on Mexico City if its activities are disturbed. The group makes its first move just across the border, in San Diego. So-called "dirty bombs" are released in the general lobby of Lindberg International Airport, on the streets of downtown San Diego, and a small nuclear bomb is exploded on Shelter Island, just across the channel from Naval Air Station San Diego.
    2. The President of the United States is delivering his State of the Union address in January. A suicide bomber plummets to the Capitol from several miles above Washington. The nuclear bomb he is carrying detonates automatically, destroying virtually the entire center of Washington, including the President, the Vice-President, all of the members of the Supreme Court, all the members of Congress, and all the members of the Cabinet except the Secretary of Transportation. In a statement released to al-Jazeera simultaneously with the attack, the terrorists promise to continue the attacks on America until all American troops are withdrawn from every country in the world, whether those countries want the Americans present or not.
    3. In an obviously coordinated attack, China crosses the Formosa Strait and invades Taiwan, while North Korea invades and occupies South Korea. Pyongyang threatens to nuke Tokyo, and China threatens to do the same to a major city in India, if the US takes military action against either of the renewed allies. Finally, China threatens to destroy oil fields in the Middle East if the US does not immediately withdraw from the region. In response, oil jumps to $155 per barrel, and gas in the US goes up to an average of $7.85 a gallon.

I will have my students individually work on these scenarios for about 30 minutes. I will then have them get into groups of 3 or 4 with other students. They will use this time to compare and comment on the three scenarios. At which point they will collaborate on a final course of actions that should take place to protect the citizens all the while trying to reduce the restrictions on the citizen's rights. I will then have each group present to the class the three action plans that they collaborated on.

My goal for this activity is that my students will grasp the difficulty the government has in protecting its citizens while insuring the continuation of freedoms.

Having completed all of these activities it is my goal that my students will have developed an understanding of government's purpose, understand their personal freedoms, and understand the balance between their safety and their freedoms.


1. Duval County Public School, (Last accessed 12 July 2005).

2., (Last accessed 12 July 2005).

3. Duval County Public School, (Last accessed 12 July 2005).

4. Maslow, Abraham. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

5. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, (Last accessed on 20 July 2005).

6. Wikiquote, (Last accessed on 20 July 2005).

7. Yuni Words of Wisdom, (Last accessed on 20 July 2005).

Teacher References

Bovard, James, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty. New York, St.Martin's Griffin, 1994

This book will be useful in getting a taste of the encroaching ways government is seeing to become more powerful and to advance its own will, rather than the will of the people.

Bovard, James, Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

This book deals with the way the US government has, in the view of the author, trampled the civil liberties of its citizens since 9/11.

Hugle, Linda, Civil Rights/Casualties of Wartime, (Last accessed on 28 July 2005).

This site is good for a briefing on the way government infringed the civil liberties of its citizens. It goes back to the Roman era. More useful, of course, is the U. S. History section.

Rehnquist, William H., All the Laws but One: Civil Liberties in Wartime. New York, Vintage Books, Random House. 1998.

This is a very enjoyable and readable book. The book deals with the suspension of Habeas Corpus throughout American history back to the Civil War. A vast majority of the book focuses on Abraham Lincoln.

Student References

Bovard, James, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty. New York, St.Martin's Griffin, 1994

See annotation under Teacher References.

Bovard, James, Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

See annotation under Teacher References.

Hugle, Linda, Civil Rights/Casualties of Wartime, (Last accessed on 28 July 2005).

See annotation under Teacher References. This site could be very useful to students that do not have a strong history background.

Rehnquist, William H., All the Laws but One: Civil Liberties in Wartime. New York, Vintage Books, Random House. 1998.

See annotation under Teacher References. I do recommend this book to students that have a desire to learn more about American history.

George Orwell, 1984, Evanston, Illinois, McDougal Littell, 1998

This book is probably the consummate novel on how modern governments, claiming to represent and protect their people, could turn into totalitarian regimes. It is an easy read for students at the high school level.

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