James Otis Lecture Series

Expand/Collapse James Otis Lecture Series


The James Otis lectures focus on the fundamental and guiding principles of our democracy: the rule of law, individual rights, and the guarantee of liberty and equality. The James Otis Lecture Series, presented yearly by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), is intended to educate and inspire students to learn about the U.S. Constitution. Named after James Otis, Jr., who was arguably the most influential lawyer in early American history and whose arguments helped spark the American Revolution, the lectures focus on the fundamental and guiding principles of our democracy: the rule of law, individual rights, and the guarantee of liberty and equality.

Use this collection of about Magna Carta to introduce or supplement your study of the Revolutionary War, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and historical and contemporary issues challenging the “unalienable” rights that are the foundation of our government and political system.

  • Magna Carta: Introduction

    Learn about the significance and influence of Magna Carta on U.S. history and government in this video from the James Otis lecture series presented by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. This resources is part of the James Otis Lecture Series Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Magna Carta: Rule of Law

    Learn how the rule of law and due process, first guaranteed by Magna Carta in 1215, became an essential component in U.S. constitutional law in this video from the James Otis Lecture Series, Massachusetts Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates. This resources is part of the James Otis Lecture Series Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Magna Carta: Justification for American Independence

    Explore how the principles of Magna Carta inspired American colonists to declare their independence from England in this video from the James Otis Lecture Series, presented by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. This resources is part of the James Otis Lecture Series Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Magna Carta: Relevant for the 21st Century

    Learn about the relevance of Magna Carta today and the importance of being an engaged citizen in this video from the James Otis Lecture Series, presented by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. This resources is part of the James Otis Lecture Series Collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Constitution

    Teachers can use the documents and sound files in this primary sources toolkit to help students experience the four-month process of secret argument, debate and compromise that produced the Constitution of the United States. Students can view the documents, recorded notes, and personal reflections of the delegates. They can read news reviews of the time. They can study a map and image of the places where these historic events occurred and can view paintings of the people involved in these events. They can view a chart, a broadside, the song lyrics, and a graphical cover for a musical score. They can even listen to the words of later statesmen whose speeches record their beliefs about the duties of government and about being a U.S. citizen.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Constitution USA | It's a Free Country

    Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is and most will say it’s the guarantees of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  In this episode, Peter Sagal explores the history of the Bill of Rights, and also takes on several stories ripped from the headlines, involving freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and right to privacy. Let’s take a closer look and see how freedom is defined for “We the People” as well as you the citizen.

     

    Grades: 6-12
  • King John Granting the Magna Carta in 1215, 1900

    Normand, Ernest (1857-1923). English. Medium: fresco. Date: 1900. The Barons presenting their demands to King John (1167-1216); Provenance: Royal Exchange, London, UK.
    Grades: 3-12

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