The following is a detailed study of the Tenth Amendment. This article is intended to supple- ment civics lessons for homeschooled children and their parents. Following the article are questions to help
the student understand the concepts
Tenth Amendment to the United
The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
The Founding Fathers rebelled against
England due to its abuse of power and
refusal to respect the colonists’ unalienable rights. England saw the colonies as
a source of resources and revenue for the
central powers of King George and Parliament. The Tenth Amendment was the
Founders’ way to address such overbearing and unconscionable authority.
The Articles of Confederation,
a.k.a., cat-herding gone awry
Immediately following the Revolution,
the states formed a loose association
through the Articles of Confederation.
The Articles were good in principle. They
provided a structure for the states to work
together in matters of common good, yet
maintained separate state sovereignty on
most other issues. The problem was that
the Articles lacked the teeth to force the
states to assist in those common issues,
such as defense and federal debt incurred
to fight the revolution. There were other
If a state didn’t want to help fund the
We the People
common defense, it didn’t have to. The
states could enter into independent trade
agreements with other nations, or en-
act tariffs against other states to protect
Kevin Mark Smith, Esq.
A Study of the
The Tenth Amendment is a wall to keep the Federal government
from interfering in the daily affairs of the citizens of the several states,
at least, that’s how the Founding Fathers envisioned it.