Kids & Teens
Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

October 2020

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
getting started

Every four years, in even years divisible by four, Americans make an important decision. They elect a president. Voting in any election is an important civic responsibility. A vote is a voice. It gives citizens a say in who their leaders are. Unlike other elections, however, presidential elections are not quite as simple as one person, one vote. Something called the Electoral College is the ultimate decider. How the Electoral College works can be confusing, but we’ll explore its role in this issue. And, over the centuries, Americans have seen changes to the presidential election process. For example, today everyone votes on or mails in ballots by Election Day. But for the first dozen or so presidential elections, each individual state chose its own day for voting. Factors such as…

5 min.
road to the white house

Running for president is a long and exhausting process. Take a look! On the Campaign Trail Long before Election Day in November, many people announce their decision to run for president of the United States. But there can be only one president. Candidates know that to win, they need to convince people that they are the best person for the job. So, the candidates campaign for the office. They spend time traveling around the country. Wherever they go, they talk with people about issues that they believe are important. They explain what they will do for the country if they are elected. Candidates also conduct polls. Polling gathers information, such as how a candidate’s message is being received by voters or what issues are important to people. Running for president is time-consuming and expensive.…

1 min.
adding it up

Are you wondering how the Electoral College’s numbers add up in presidential elections? Each state plus the District of Columbia is given a certain number of electors. The number of electors for each state is equal to its number of members in Congress. The least-populated states have three electors: 2 senators and 1 representative in Congress. States with large populations have more members in the House of Representatives, and thus have more electors. California has the most electors at 55—2 senators and 53 representatives in Congress. (Check out the Electoral College map on page 10 for each state’s electoral number.) In all but two states, the candidate who receives the majority of a state’s popular votes on Election Day sends all his or her electors from that state to vote…

4 min.
why the electoral college?

Why did the Founding Fathers create the Electoral College? To answer that question, it is important to look at the problems they were trying to solve more than two centuries ago. The United States was a different country in the 1780s than it is today. After the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the new nation consisted of only 13 states, which varied in size. All the states were jealous of one another’s rights and powers. They were distrustful of any strong central government telling them what to do. The country’s population was only 4 million. Americans lived spread out, along about 1,000 miles of the Atlantic Coast. The nation’s mostly rural citizens barely were connected in terms of transportation and communication. That made campaigning for national office impractical. Most Americans frowned upon gentlemen openly…

3 min.
it’s a date!

When it came to casting votes for the president of the United States, the Founding Fathers did not set a specific day. They left that decision to the states. The only requirement was that the states hold their elections sometime in the 34 days before the first Wednesday in December. That’s when each state’s electors were supposed to meet to vote in the Electoral College. The every-state-for-itself situation made for chaotic elections. In some cases, illegal activity took place. Some voters traveled from state to state, voting more than once to help their candidate get elected. Another concern was that the early results from one state might influence votes in a state that held its election on a later date. In 1845, Congress passed a law to make Election Day more permanent…

5 min.
constitutional amendments

The Founding Fathers hoped the U.S. Constitution would create a framework for “a more perfect union” for the United States. But they knew they couldn’t think of everything their young country might face, so they also included ways to change or modify their framework. Between 1791 and today, there have been 27 amendments added to the Constitution. Five of those amendments address presidential elections. 12th Amendment (1804) Changed the procedure by which the president and vice president are elected. In the nation’s first four presidential elections, electors cast two votes. The winner of the majority of votes became president. The second-highest vote getter became vice president. The 1796 and 1800 elections revealed the weakness in this system. In 1796, John Adams, a Federalist, was elected president. Thomas Jefferson, the head of the…