State Curriculum - Social Studies

Grade 4
Standard 1.0 Political Science: Students will understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.
A. The Foundations and Function of Government
1. Trace how the political structure in early Maryland developed and changed over time
a. Describe how the colony of Maryland was established and governed including the establishment of rule of law and power with authority, such as Proprietorships, Royal Governor, and early General Assembly
b. Explain the importance of the Office of the Governor and the Court of Appeals
c. Outline the structure and function of the Maryland General Assembly and the roles of state senators and delegates
2. Analyze the documents, and democratic ideas that developed in the Maryland Colony
a. Analyze how colonial law influenced individuals in Maryland and other colonies, such as indentured servants contracts, Tolerance Acts of 1649, Maryland Charter of 1632
b. Describe how the Maryland State Constitution includes democratic principles and values
3. Analyze the role of Maryland government regarding public policy and issues
a. Analyze perspectives and policies in Maryland regarding historic and current public issues
b. Explain the effect that regional interests have on shaping government policy in and around Maryland, such as Chesapeake Bay issues, availability of land for mining, land use
B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System
1. Analyze how individuals and groups contributed to the political system in Maryland
a. Describe the contributions of 17th century English settlers who influenced the early political structure
b. Research the role of Marylanders who influenced the building of our new nation, such as the Sons of Liberty, William Paca, Charles Carroll, Thomas Stone, and Samuel Chase
2. Defend the importance of civic participation as a citizen of Maryland
a. Identify various sources of information that are available to citizens to make political decisions
b. Analyze ways people can participate in the political process including voting, petitioning elected officials, and volunteering
C. Protecting Rights and Maintaining Order
1. Describe rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in Maryland
a. Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens, such as freedom of speech, religion, and press, and explain why these responsibilities are important
b. Describe the role of Maryland state judiciary system
2. Explain how Maryland government protects the rights of individuals and groups
a. Describe the rule of law and explain how it impacts individuals and groups
b. Describe the balance between private life and government in providing order and protecting rights


MSDE has developed a toolkit for these standards which can be found online at:


Date: 6/20/2006