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Principles of Government
Guide: Majority Rule, Minority Rights

These resources show how the U.S. government was designed to follow the principles of majority rule while protecting minority rights. Use these resources to help students understand how majority rule works and why protecting minority rights is important. Use the Export to My List button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Societies need government to promote harmony, reduce conflict, and increase economic productivity
  • Governments come in many forms, including rule by one, rule by a few, and rule by many
  • Philosophical thought often influences a society's form of government
  • New political systems are shaped by emulating and opposing older systems of government
  • Founding documents are a result of compromise and the direct experiences of those drafting them
  • Democratic governments derive their power from the consent of the governed
  • Protection of individual rights and liberties is central to American democracy
  • Democratic governments strike a balance between majority rule and minority rights

Key Questions

  • Identify three ways that the United States government implements majority rule and list an additional three ways the United States government protects minority rights.
  • Explain the importance of majority rule and minority rights to American government.


  1. Overview: Majority Rule, Minority Rights
  2. Visuals: Majority Rule, Minority Rights (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Transcript: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-The Articles of Confederation
  7. Lesson: 2-Separation of Powers
  8. Lesson: 3-Bill of Rights
  9. Lesson: 4-Expanding Minority Protections
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Fifteenth Amendment: African Americans voting
  12. Reference Articles: Representative Democracy
  13. Reference Articles: Democracy: United States
  14. Reference Articles: Fifteenth Amendment
  15. Reference Articles: Bill of Rights
  16. Reference Articles: Checks and Balances
  17. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: Awakening (Puck, 1915)
  18. Political, Government & Court Documents: Articles of Confederation (1781)
  19. Political, Government & Court Documents: U.S. Constitution: Eleventh through Twenty-seventh Amendments (1795–1992)
  20. Political, Government & Court Documents: Bill of Rights (1791)
  21. Political, Government & Court Documents: U.S. Constitution (1787)

MLA Citation

"Majority Rule, Minority Rights." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156115?cid=256. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Entry ID: 2156115

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